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Monday, September 2, 2013

Sagada: Greens and Fresh Air, Left and Right, Left and Right

So it wasn’t the most comfortable trip ever but the destination was all worth it.  Taking a whiff of the fresh, clean air and savoring the cool breeze upon arriving to this mountainous tourist attraction made my nausea from the zigzag road go away faster.   It was around 5 hours of zigzaging from Benguet province to Sagada.

After our Benguet farm tours, my fellow bloggers and I took a van to Sagada which left early around 4am.  We learned the hard way that you should not take coffee before the trip and to make sure you visit the comfort room before you depart because it will take quite a while before you land near a public toilet.  I blame it on the cold weather and the coffee for the urge to urinate every so often .  The pay public toilets  available at every junction is proof of the fact that other people also experience the same thing.  So make sure to always have coins with you for whenever  you need to go.

For a more memorable Sagada adventure they say, you should travel by jeep sitting on the roof.  I’ve seen a couple of foreign tourist backpackers do exactly though we did not have a chance to try that.

 We made a courtesy call to the Mayor’s office upon arrival where we were  briefed about their organic agriculture progress while being served a cup of homegrown, brewed coffee.  They treated us to a savory lunch of native cuisine which included ‘Pinikpikan” with cured smoked beef.  The salted beef was the strong flavor that made the stew extra special.


After lunch, we were brought to a cozy, reasonably-priced homestay accommodation to unpack and rest.  With rates around P250-300 per night per head, the homestay  is ideal for  for the backpacking crowd who have limited budgets.  There were other foreign boarders whom we shared the same home, toilets, living and dining areas with.  The nights were cool and conducive for a refreshing sleep. 

The mornings were even more awesome, waking up to a gorgeous view of the mountains while smelling freshly-brewed Sagada coffee.Breakfast was the social event of the day were everyone was cheerful and excited for the day’s activities.


Prior to our Sagada tour, was a visit to an organic coffee farm where the farmer discussed how they maintained the farm focusing on their compost preparation, fertilizers, and application of organic pesticides.  Due to rainy July weather, the grounds were muddy and a bit slippery.

Back at the Homestay,  we strolled around the premises late afternoon  then had dinner while exchanging jokes and stories.  It was simply heaven the next morning to have warm, freshly brewed Sagada coffee in such a cool, lovely weather with a gorgeous view of greeneries.  That was the highlight of my Sagada experience.  But wait, there’s more . . .


I did the unthinkable, for me, when I said yes to go spelunking in a deep, dark, muddy, bat-inhabited cave---the Sumaguing Cave.  Yes, I decided to try it for the first time, and perhaps the last time, just to say that I did it.  The thought of grabbing slimy rocks covered in bat feces and urine just to keep from slipping is not something I look forward to doing again.  Once is good enough for me.  The other tamer activities we did in Sagada was touring around the museum, pottery shop, weaving shop, and visiting the hanging coffins site. 

 I wanted to take home and try the blueberry and mulberry jams as well as try the blueberry wine, but the thought of carrying that extra load on top of my luggage made me decide against it. 

For me, Sagada would be the ideal haven for writers and painters who long for a peaceful environment with inspiring views, fresh clean air to clear the mind,  and organic coffee to stimulate the mind’s creative process.  



























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