Monday, December 30, 2013

Sagada - Coolest Place in the Philippines (4th time) Updated December 2015

Top loading in Sagada
Among the various tourist spots in the Philippines, Sagada comes closest to my heart. 
It has been my fourth time to visit Sagada last December 2013 
and the place still amazes me in so many ways..

The original plan was to spend the last days of the year again in Mindanao. But for one reason and another, I ended up going anew to Sagada. I do not mind the backbreaking 12-hour travel every year for as long as I will be in Sagada.

My first travel in Sagada was way back 2010. I joined the group of Mr. Abina and ended up going not only going in Sagada, but as well as in Banaue Rice Terraces. 

Second time was 2011 and I simply went to Sumaging Cave and spent only one day in Sagada. I went back to Baguio as the rain was pouring profusely.

Third time was the best experience with my co-called "Backpackers" last 2012 and I also made a separate blog for that unforgettable experience.

And I just had to scratch the itch this year and I went back to Sagada!

Best Route
Coda Lines Corporation
Coda Lines is the only company that gives you a direct trip from Quezon City to Sagada.
Trip Schedules
Quezon City to Sagada – 9:00 pm
Sagada to Quezon City – 3:00 pm

Terminals
Quezon City
277 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Cathedral Heights Quezon City (Proceed between TUA and Shakey’s )
#0927 559 2197 / 0929 521 3229

Mt. Province
Poblacion, Sagada, Mt. Province
# 0929 521 3247 / 0936 971 9216

Poblacion, Bontoc, Mountain Province
# 0977 326 8080 / 0929 521 3235



There are three things I like about Sagada, namely: (1) its environment, (2) weather and, (3 its adventures!

December 26, 2013 

I left Batangas at around 7 pm and arrived in Manila 9 pm. I boarded the train to Doroteo Jose Station for the Genesis trip to Baguio (You can also go to Cubao and board Victory Liner). It is either Genesis or Victory Liner for my trips in Baguio. The bus left 11 pm (first trip) and it took only less than 6 hours before we reached Baguio. Arriving in Baguio, I boarded a taxi, went to Dangwa and paid only P50.00. It was a 5 minute drive to the bus station. 

I always make it a point to eat in Good Taste Restaurant whenever I am going to Sagada. The trip would not be complete without eating in this succulent Chinese restaurant. 

After the early meal, I went to the station. There was a long queue that morning and I ended up boarding the 3rd trip to Sagada. The fare was only P220.00 for a 6-hour trip or 138 kilometer trip.

Normally, there was only 2-3 stops before reaching Sagada. But this trip was totally different! We experienced 2 flat tires along the way. And we arrived in Sagada past 2 pm.

I went to Ma'am Karen Galas Homestay (0907-771-4431) and placed by bag inside her house. The lodging fee was P250/day. I trekked and went to Danum Lake. 


From the town, it is 30-40 minute uphill trek. But from where I stayed, it was only a 25-minute trek. It was my first time to see the lake. I waited for the sunset but it was cloudy and foggy that day and I decided to go back to the town instead. On my way back to the town, out of nowhere, I saw my SG and CDO friends.

From left to right - Jan, Marian, Maricel and their friend
The first night in Sagada was so cold that I had to double my clothing, put my socks, wear globes, and jacket.







We had to build a bonfire to keep us warm that night.

Day 2 - December 28, 2013

The following morning, there was only one thing to do - Hiking! 

I opted not to do spelunking that day. I did the 2-hour spelunking in Sumaging Cave twice already and the cave connection for Lumiang to Sumaging last 2010. 

I joined the Marian's group for this trek and paid only P260.00 for the tour.

Normally, the trek towards the fall is good less than an hour and a half.

It was cold and foggy that day. But it was still a good day for trekking!

I made an extra effort to reach it ahead of time that day as part of my exercise.




And my efforts paid off. I reached anew Bomod-ok Falls for the fourth time!


Marian's group decided to do spelunking that day after the hiking trip. But I decided to go back to the town and do a little bit of ukay-ukay shopping. I was able to buy 2 Northface jackets for 800 each and 1 Columbia jacket for P700.00. Good thing it was a Saturday and the town has its weekly market only on a Saturday!


The following morning, I had to leave ahead of schedule and went to Bulacan to see somebody so special and dear to me. 


I will be back next summer 2014 in Sagada!

Suggested Activities

SOUTHERN SAGADA
Cave Connection (4 hours)
Short Course Caving (2 hours)

EASTERN SAGADA
Marlboro Country
Overnight Camping
Kilpetan Sunrise Viewing
Rice Terraces

CENTRAL SAGADA
Eco-cultural Tour
Echo Valley/Hanging Coffins
Underground River Entrance
Bokong/ Small Falls
Rock Climbing

NORTHERN SAGADA
Eco-cultural Tour
Bomod-ok/Big Falls
Fidelisan Rice Terraces
Northern Sagada Villages

WESTERN SAGADA
Danum Lake
Sunset View
Ampacao Mountain Trek

Youtube link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgiGiLI79s4

UPDATED INFORMATION 2015
Fare from Manila to Baguio via Genesis
P440, P570, 690

Fare from Baguio to Sagada via GL Liner
P220


Register at the Municipal Tourist Information Center and pay PhP35.00 for the environmental fee. This will be your personal ticket to all the destinations.

Engage the services of local guides. Never engage the services of children. Always get a guide for all your tours.



Ride to Mt. Kiltepan and Danum Lake - Victor 0948-384-3378.

TOURS

Cave Connection
Last entrance to the cave – 4:00 pm
Guide fee: P800 for 2 visitors or less, plus 400 for each additional visitor
Optional: Two-way transportation – P400

Short course caving
Last entrance to the cave – 4:00 pm
Guide fee: P500 for 4 visitors or less / P600 for 5 visitors / P1,000 (2 guides) for 6-9 visitors
Shuttle optional: P350

Balangagan Cave Spelunking (Marcos Cave)
Last entrance to the cave – 4:00 pm
Guide fee: P650 for 4 visitors or less
Transport: P650
Sight seeing in Hanging Coffins and Lumiang Burial Cave
Guide fee: P200 for 10 visitors or less

Rock Climbing and Rappelling
No time limit, equipment provided
Around 30 meters high
Fee: P800 for 1 visitor /P400 each for 2 or more visitors

WATERFALLS

Bumayeng Twin Falls
Fee: P2,500 for 5 visitors or less (includes guide fee and packed meal)
Hike duration – 3 hours or more one way
Transportation: P650 two-way

Bomod-ok Falls
Fee: P500 for 10 visitors or less
Transportation – P650 two-way vehicle hire via Aguid / P500 two-way vehicle hire via Bangaan
Hike duration – 3 hours (back and forth)

Pongas Falls
Fee: P600 for 10 visitors or less
Transportation – P650 two-way vehicle
Hike duration – 1 hour one way

Bokong Falls
Fee: P200 for 10 visitors or less
Transportation – P250 two way vehicle

ECO-TOUR
3 hours of loop hike to Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, Sagada Underground River, St. Mary’s Church. Bokong Natural Swimming Pool
Guide Fee: P600 for 10 visitors or less

Adventure Trail (3 hours trek)
Guide Fee: P1,000 for 10 visitors or less

Echo Valley Hanging Coffins
Guide fee: P200 for 10 visitors or less

Camp by the fire
Includes a boodle fight dinner at any preferred campsite (Kiltepan Peak or Danum Lake)
Minimum of 4 for only P1,800
Inclusions: meals and shuttle back and forth

Kiltepan Sunrise
Leave for Kiltepan at 4:30 am
15 minutes drive from the town center
Transportation fee: P500
Best time: summer

Lake Danum Sunset at 4:30 pm
20 minutes drive from the town center
Transportation fee: P550

MOUNTAIN TREKKING
1.       Mt. Ampacao Traverse (3 hours or more)
Guide fee: P800 for 10 visitors or less

2.       Grassy Land / Marlboro (2-3 hours trek)
Guide fee: P600 for 10 visitors or less
                Shuttle fee: P650

3.       Langsayan Danum Traverse (3 hours hike or more)
Guide fee: P1,000 for 3 visitors or less

4.       Mt. Sisipitan (highest mountain in Sagada, 2,20 meters)
Guide fee: P2,000 each

5.       Mt. Polis
Guide fee: P1,500 for 3 visitors or less

6.       Marlboro Hill / Blue Soil Traverse Trek  (4-5 hours trek)
Guide fee: P1,800 for 3 visitors or less
Transportation: P1,350

SAGADA TO MAINIT HOTSPRING
                Guide Fee: P2,500 each visitor for trekking
                Additional fee from the hot spring to Maligcong

Municipal Tourism Officer – 0999 991 1801
Mobile No. 0998 886 6081

Recommended Accommodations for 5 pax or more
Sagada Green Hills (0905 455 7820)



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