Banaue: Short Trip to Sagada

Traveling with friends.
It was Christmas time when we tour Sagada to experience the cold weather apart from going to Baguio which is very much crowded any time of the year. I always dream of going to this town because it is famous for it’s beauty and culture. Nestled at the top of the Mountain Province, we left Pampanga around 2300 on Christmas Day. This time, we join a group from a travel agency since backpacking wasn’t ideal for this season. Our trip will start to the famous Rice Terrace in Banaue, Ifugao before proceeding to Sagada. I was able to sleep on the way to Ifugao even though it was not comfortable. The agency provide a van that compressed 15 people with out belongings. So imagine sardines squeezed in to a can.
All my legs are getting numb, when we reach the highway going to Banaue it was foggy and almost zero visibility. I tried to sleep again even though I was feeling uneasy. The road is slippery and we are actually running beside a 20-30-meter cliff. We arrived in Banaue for breakfast around 0600H. It was cold, wet and slippery. For is coming all over the place. On the restaurant where we decide to dine in, there are huge windows to view the entire town. After eating breakfast we head out to the Viewpoint to see the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The view is spectacular if only there are few houses built in the surrounding area. But the Terraces are still amazing. Man made rice paddies, the Igorots are very intelligent and smart to have the mountains transform into something very useful for their livelihood. After taking too many picture, we decide on continuing the journey on the way to Sagada. From Banaue it will take another 4-6 hours of travel time via private transportation. I cannot figure out how many hours when you commute from Manila to Sagada because the bus will take ages before it arrives and the jeepney needs over flow passengers before the driver start the engine.
Anyhow, we arrive Sagada around 1200H because of traffic and road construction. It was peak time and I did not know that there are too many people are traveling to Sagada which actually ruin our itinerary later. We arrive on each of our hotels, we learned that most of the inns and hotels are fully booked because of public holidays. The inn we got is good enough, no AC nor electric fan, hot shower and 2 queen size beds. It was basic and simple which is good enough for the 4 of us.
Sagada is progressing by the looks of the town. Hotels and restaurants are surrounded. This place is not as mainstream as Baguio City or Tagaytay City but it is building is progress in high rate. Many travelers are from the cities, hoping to see a town and experience its adventure.
Off to Next Trip!
Jei 25/12/2014
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