Fresh from our Mt. Pulag climb, we proceeded to Sagada, which supposedly was our main destination of our whole Cordillera trip. Sagada has been one of the tourism spots of Mountain Province. A peaceful place and sanctuary of serene beauty. Peaceful Sagada as I mark it.
From Baguio, Benguet to Sagada, Mountain Province.
From Baguio, we woke up early to catch the first trip to Sagada. We then went to Baguio’s Dangwa terminal and secured our bus tickets. We took the GL Trans bus which departed by 6AM.
The ride took at least five hours. There are several bus stops on the way to Sagada, so you can take care of your personal necessities. You’ll witness plenty of cinematographic landscapes while you pass on several cliffs, curves, and bumps on the road.
Sagada’s Tourism Registration
We reached Sagada town proper by noon. Luckily, there were almost no tourists around for it was no peak season. The roads were not crowded and the shops were open but barely with customers. We directly went to the town hall for registration. Also, the tourism office coordinates and centralizes all the tourism activities in town. Each activity comes with their own rate. With no time to waste, we looked for a place to stay. We found and inn, Sagada Igorot Inn, which offers the best deal we can find.
Have you tried their pinikpikan dish?
After we settled our bags and composed ourselves, filling our bellies came to our minds first. We decided to try their notable pinikpikan dish. We then headed straight to their famous “Pinikpikan Haus of Sagada“. Pinikpikan is a traditional dish mostly in the mountainous provinces. The gruesome nature of the dish’s preparation makes it even more notable. First, the chicken is slowly beaten to death by continually slowly hitting it with a stick. Bruises surfaces the chicken’s body. The blood drenches the chicken’s flesh which makes contributes to its distinct flavor. Then the chicken is then cooked and served. Do not get surprised if you can see blood lumps on the dish since that’s how the dish normally looks like. I personally don’t like the taste of the dish. Maybe because my mind already got preoccupied by how the dish was prepared, thus affecting my total experience of the food. I only managed to sip the soup and ate a bit of the meat but did not finish the whole dish.
Let’s start the fun!
After having our fill, we went back to the town hall to coordinate and avail their tours and activities. We tried Sumaguing Cave spelunking, tried desserts in Yoghurt House, and of course, tried their local home-prepared dishes. Honestly, that was my first time appreciating eating vegetables. Their vegetables taste way better than those available in the cities. They also rarely use salt and other artificial flavorings on their dishes.
We managed to sneak a bottle of rice wine just enough to warm our bodies especially right after having a shower due to the very obvious reason. The town has an unforgiving cold atmosphere.
Seize the last day.
The following morning, we took an early breakfast in Sagada Brew cafe. The place is clean and cozy and has a warm ambiance. They serve desserts and full meals. Luckily, the server was a “bisaya” which made us feel even more welcome.
After our breakfast, we went on to another attraction. We wanted to visit their scenic rice fields, but unfortunately the weather was not cooperative. So we went to another place instead. We went to their Hanging Coffins, Echo Valley, and went for a stroll around town. To fully maximize our time, we bought souvenirs from their shops before catching the bus trip bound for Baguio.
Until next time Sagada!
We left Sagada by noon and got back to Baguio early evening. We chose not to immediately head straight to Manila. Instead, we booked a midnight trip for Manila and stayed on Baguio’s bus terminal until midnight. It was a strategy we decided to do to save money. We just slept on the bus while on our way to Manila for more than 6 hours.
We reached Manila late in the morning and headed straight to the airport to check-in and secure our flight back to Cebu.
Sagada is definitely a place to be if you want to free your mind from the busy environment of the city. The place is also good if you want to go on a solitary travel and soul-searching. It really is a sanctuary of peace.