What started in 2006 as a way of leisure turned out to be a way of living life to its fullest!
I am a spelunker, trekker, adventurer, photo enthusiast, river rafter, motorbike and bike enthusiast, waterfalls chaser, playwright, poet, nature tripper, professor, lawyer, blogger, reviewer, and a lone traveler. I am a Filipino!
This is my life. TRAVEL!
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Summer in Sagada 2014 (updated December 2015)
Going to Sagada has become a yearly activity. It all started in 2010 when I first stepped in Sagada and I was awed by its serenity, beauty and grandeur. From 2010 to 2013, I always go to Sagada during Christmas season. And the last trip was my first summer tour of Sagada.
How to get there
There are three options. You can either go to Baguio or go to Banaue.
I know for a fact that Floridablanca Bus (not operating) is the one servicing this route. But I have no idea on their schedules. I have never tried the Banaue route. I tried once the route from Banaue to Manila but not Manila to Banaue.
Board a bus going to Baguio either from Cubao or from Sta. Cruz, Manila. The buses available are Genesis, Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus Liner, Five Star or Philippine Rabbit. It is a lot better to travel at night. The last trip in Sta. Cruz, Manila is 8:30 pm and the first trip is 11:00 pm. I usually board the 11 pm trip of Genesis to Baguio. You can also board the 10 pm trip of Dagupan or Victory in Cubao (better to call them or make reservation). The fare from Manila to Baguio is P445.
After 6-7 hours of travel, you will reach Baguio. Then, from the bus terminal, flag down a taxi going to Dangwa or bus terminal to Sagada. The fare is not more than P50 and travel time is less than 10 minutes depending on the traffic.
Arriving at the Dangwa bus terminal, board a bus going to Sagada (not Bontoc). The schedule of their trips are as follows:
Besao via Sagada - 6:30 am
Sagada Ambasing - 8:30 am
Besao via Sagada - 9:30 am
Besao via Sagada - 10:30 am
Sagada Ambasing - 11:30 am
Besao via Sagada - 1:00 pm
Tip - The best schedule is to have the 6:30 am trip. But you have to arrive early at the bus terminal. During peak season or long weekends (November - January) , the queue for the ticket is really long.
Travel time to Sagada is 5-6 hours. Fare is P220. The first stop is in Sayangangan, Atok, Benguet after 2 hours of travel. Next stop is the small market and you are just 2 hours away from Sagada. Then, the bus will cross a small wooden bridge and you are just 1 hour away from Sagada.
Coda Lines Corporation
Coda Lines is the only company that gives you a direct trip
from Quezon City to Sagada.
Quezon City to Sagada – 9:00 pm
Sagada to Quezon City – 3:00 pm
277 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Cathedral Heights Quezon
City (Proceed between TUA and Shakey’s )
Before I continue with this blog, let me first share to you my other Sagada blogs.
Everything About Sagada- A Profile - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/12/everything-about-sagada-profile.html
Sagada - Coolest Place in Philippines - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/12/sagada-coolest-place-in-philippines-4th.html
Backpackers' Trip to Sagada - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/03/backpackers-trip-to-sagada-my-third-trip.html
Adventures in Sagada - http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-adventures-in-sagada-plus-itinerary.html
Regarding accommodations, tours and guides, you can view them in the link - Everything About Sagada.
I arrived in Sagada 12:30 pm that day. I immediately went to my accommodation. It is actually a homestay and the fee is only P250/day at Karen Galas' homestay - 0907-771-4431. This is where I stay whenever I am in Sagada. Before, I use to stay at Tita Mary's Lodge but it is very difficult to reserve and it feels home in Ate Karen's homestay. The trek to the homestay is 15-20 minutes.
I rested and fell asleep and was awakened by a rain. Good thing it stopped and I trekked my way to Lake Danum. The trek to Danum Lake from the town is more or less 4 kilometers or 30-40 minutes of ascending walk. Along the way, I passed by the Sagada Pottery. There is actually a Sagada Town Tour comprising of the Sugong Hanging Coffins, Church of St. Mary, Sagada Museum, Sagada Pottery, Sagada Weaving/Looming, Lake Danum and sunset viewing. But I did not join the tour.
The Sagada Pottery is just a 10 minute walk from where I was staying. From the town, it would take you 25 minutes. In my five years of travel in Sagada, that was the first time I was given the chance to see and experience the pottery. Good thing there were also tourists that day and I just went inside without being invited.
Part of the tour is the history of pottery in Sagada and the process of making a pot.
My first time to see the actual making of pottery was in Vigan and the second time was in Vietnam. But the process still amazes me. The tour includes a light snack but I was not officially part of the tour and I did not get one. The pot making demonstration amounted to P100.
While I was inside the pottery, it rained anew and I waited for the rain to stop. Well, it did not stop but I continued my way to Danum Lake. It was a gamble that I had to make that day. Usually, whenever it rains, it follows that there will be no sunset. But I was persistent and eager that day to have the summer sunset in Sagada.
And after 15 minutes of walking from Sagada Pottery, I arrived at the lake.
It was past 5 pm and I was eager to see the sunset at the lake.
During summer, they have boating and kayaking at the lake. Contact numbers are:
Siegrid - 0919-671-9875
Brenda - 0912-367-2244
Maritess - 0939-181-4622
I was told by the locals that I had to climb the hill to have the best spot of the sunset and I did ascended.
And I was able to get the best spot and the best sunset for the day. After the sunset, I went back to the town and took my dinner.
There are four things that I had to do in Sagada in that trip, sunset in Danum Lake, sunrise in Kiltepan, buy in the Saturday market and buy ornamental plants. Day 2 is sunrise viewing in Kiltepan View. The ideal time is to be at the site 5 am so that you can witness the sunrise as it unfolds.
Ride to Mt. Kiltepan and Danum Lake - Victor 0948-384-3378.
The rent for the vehicle is P500 and I shared it with a foreigner and paid only P250.
Good thing I was on the site at exactly 5 am and I awaited the sunrise as it unfolds.
After a few minutes, it was coming out.
And there we have it, the sunrise!
After the sunrise, I went back to the town. And the scenery was really BREATHTAKING!
Last part of the trip was the souvenir shopping, I was able to buy northface and columbia jackets and the plants that I needed. After the shopping, I boarded the bus back to Baguio. The first trip is 5 am, second is 7 am, third trip is 8 am and the last trip is 1 pm.