Friday, December 14, 2012

Sagada, Mt. Province - December 2012

There will always be something in Sagada worth returning to. The sweet mountain chill, the smell of pines in the morning, the un-even terrains, picturesque landscapes, sunrises that makes you take off your fleece and sunsets that invite the cold back, cheap veggies, brown rice, and if you're lucky- a wedding or a local festival.
I have fallen in love with this place ever since we came here last 2009 and even when the distance sums up to a clear 12hours+ of travel, the laid back life in a cool, stress free environment makes it all worth it.

Tour: Tripinas-Ann Pablo{P4xxx / 8pax)
There are a lot of tours that offer the Sagada experience but if your numbers are not at par with their required headcount, Tripinas is an option that could fit your specifications just by adding a bit on your per pax budget.
Miss Anne has a network of courteous drivers with well maintained vans that are hardcore in getting you to and around Sagada on schedule.

Sagada (Package tour)
Contact person:             Ms. Ann Pablo
Contact number:            09179037672
landline:                       (632) 477-7446
Price:                            4,090 / person
*Rates may change overtime.

Accomodation: Sagada Guesthouse.
Our group of 8 were provided 2rooms: 1 x single bed room and a 1 x 6 bed room.
Rooms E6 is a second floor room next to a common toilet and bath just up the stairways of the reception area. Much of accommodations in Sagada are not as classy and mostly caters to backpackers.
Room N2 is as well a second floor room but lies at the annex of the building just an outside stair path from the guesthouses' lobby.
  • There are no power outlets inside the rooms. Charge at the lobby or by the veranda or common areas. (Bringing a multiplier is best if you have lots of devices to charge) This also opts you to hang around the area so as not to leave your stuff lying around for guests to pry an eye on.
  • Strong free wifi. There is also a PC with internet available for rent at P20/hour.
  • Small tube TV with cable at the lobby.
  • Bidet available in Toilets. Pressure though is not strong enough.
  • No cabinets in room. Just a Bed and a small table. No mirrors.
  • No towels provided, but other room has. We have our own so no biggie.
  • Breakfast and meals available at their restaurant.
Sagada Guesthouse is located at the Town Center or at the Tourism office area near the market and terminals.

Souvenir shirts also available.
Sofas to accommodate guests.
Breakfast at the Sagada Guesthouse.

St. Marys Church-Mission Compound Cemetery-Echo Valley-Hanging Coffins
All these are in one place and are an easy way to spend your first morning arrival.
Located near Sagadas Town Center.
  • If you arrived in a private transport, best to always consider a place to crash with appropriate parking area like Georges' Guest house Annex.
  • For a wider variety of meals, go to the Centrum building at the Market place. There are lots of eateries at the buildings ground floor that offers cheap-big-serve and already cooked meals. Dakitan 2 has papaitan and Bulalo most of the time.
  • It takes long for restaurants to prepare their stuff, always make prior reservations. Your guides will also make sure you are aware of these basics.
  • Locals only sell their farm harvests on Saturday mornings at the Town center.
  • Just a few meters from St. Marys church, there is a nearby bakery (Navales bakeshop) that sells cheap freshly cooked Cinnamon bread at P19 a pie (among other baked goods). They open at 5am.
  • Globe and Smart has dominance over cellphone signals here, but not Sun.(as of Dec 2012)
  • There is only 1bank and ATM here, bring enough cash.
  • Bonfire Festival happens end of December.
  • Bring your one good walk around lens, like a 18-135mm. Useful in framing landscapes tighter and enough to fit a group in the shot. 
  • Tripods are hassles to bring unless you plan to do time lapses or long exposures. Take a DSLR and hand over a point and shoot to your guide. Dont forget to appreciate their efforts and hand over some tip as extra.

Kuya C2 (Joseph Gayyad of Saggas) Our ever funny and informative guide/photographer.

Lumiang Cave/Sumaguing Cave.
This is where your cave connection starts, otherwise, its your visit to another set of piled up coffins before doing Sumaguing Cave. Lol.

  • Make sure you're all geared up, ready to crawl on all 4s and get dirty and wet when going for either the Cave connection or Sumaguing Cave.
  • Unless you have a medical condition, like diabetes, leave your food behind and just bring pocket sweets. The cave activity may push your sugar to drop.
  • No need to bring trekking poles as they'll be more of a liability than helpful.
  • Bring headlamps, and extra cameras. Our guide was kind enough to man our DSLR and point and shoots, even when hopping up and about slippery boulders. The DSLR batt conked out by the way.
  • Wear gloves if you cant tolerate crawl-touching bat poop. There is an area there where there are a lot of bat droppings and crawling on your back going down will force you to have contact with it.
  • Although outdoor slippers are best, their traction is no match on limestone surfaces.
  • For weak knee'd peeps, a patella support is always recommended and oblige yourselves to do some quick stretching before indulging in the activity.
  • Doing Sumaguing Cave may take 3hrs or more, depending on your capacity to proceed with the other parts of the cave, photo op frequency and guest traffic.

Bomod-ok Falls.
A few things to consider when hiking to the Falls.
  • Bring a small pack enough to contain your lunch and water.
  • Sun protection, Hat, Cap, arm warmers, and for the tan conscious -sun block.
  • About 2liters will do as the initial trail is mostly descending and the weather is cold even when the sun gives out its spikes.
  • They will provide you with bamboo sticks as balance support so you can forget bringing your trekking poles.
  • The trail is mostly cemented, though there are some terraces trail that are slim and one way.
  • There is no place to change clothes other than behind boulders, best wear light or dry fit clothing and let it drip and dry when going back. Hence, towels or malongs.
  • Falls waters are chilling cold.
  • Leave no Trace
  • Trek may take about 2hours one way. Manageable in an hour if you're on the go.

Rock inn Orange Picking.
You can proceed with the Orange, well actually it looks more like Dalanghita if not actually it, after your Bomod-ok falls trekk. It is at the same far flung entry point of Sagada, close to Bomod-oks jump off.
They have a cafe here where you can also eat merienda. Accomodation as well, but too far from Sagadas center.
P50/head entrance fee allows you to eat all oranges you can for 15minutes. If you pick for take home, its P50/kilo.

Kiltepan Sunrise.
Few are blessed to see the sun rise from the foggy mountains of Kiltepan. But stay patient. We waited close to 7am after waiting for more than an hour at the view deck.

Sagada Weaving. 
One of your drive by stop overs halts at this small souvenir shop. The store owner does not like people taking photos of the weavers. There is also a small sign telling photographers to ask for permission in taking photos of stuff here. 

Ganduyan Museum.
Prepare for nosebleed as Madam Christina Aben, owner of this self maintained collection of historical artifacts, speaks straight to fluent English. She narrates the history of her collection section by section. Although not a Sagada native, she makes sure knowledge about the legacy of the culture is handed down to others.
Take off shoes and No picture taking of stuff. Accepts donation.
Located near Sagada Guesthouse.
Banaue Side Trip.
The scenic route passing via Banaue is the best way to get out of Mountain Province. You can also reserve buying souvenirs at the Banaue Rice Terraces view deck other than or instead of getting stuff at Sagada.

A Cat named Dog, at Mt. Polis.

What some of us can only see on the P1000 bill.

Souvenirs at the Banaue Rice Terraces shops.

Not Bearing but Molye.

More Photos.

Bulalo and Papaitan at Dakitan 2.

Food ready to serve at Dakitan2.

Yoghurt House.
Guide lamps used when caving.

Lemon Pie at Salt n Pepper.

Saturday Morning vegetable overload.

Navales Bakeshop.
Lemon Pie House.

SAGADA TRIP – December 13 to 16 (Itinerary)

December 13, 2012 - Thursday

630 PM – 730 PM
Taxi from Pasig to McDo Trinoma

McDo dinner
830 PM – 830 AM

Travel time going Sagada

December 14, 2012 - Friday

930 AM
Brunch at Dakitan
1030 AM – 1200 NN

Start of Tour St. Marys, Hanging Coffin, Lumiang, Sumaguing cave.
1230 PM

Check in at Sagada Guest House
100 PM
Yoghurt house, late lunch

Mineral water

Tip to guide
730 PM
Dinner at Salt and Pepper
900 PM

Back to Inn, rest

December 15, 2012 - Saturday

530 AM

Wake up time





Breakfast at Sagada Inn

Packed lunch
945 AM – 300 PM

Bomod Ok falls

Musuem donation / C2 tip / Certificate

Entrance – Orange picking


Rock Inn café merienda

Wallet – Sagada weaving

730 PM
Dinner at Lemon Pie House

Magnet and sticker
1000 PM


December 16, 2012 - Sunday

500 AM

1000 AM
Breakfast at Mt. Polis

Souvenir – Banaue
120 PM
Chowking, late lunch Nueva Vizcaya
833 PM
Jollibee NLEX Mexico
1000 PM

1030 PM
Taxi going home

Overall expenses:
Php 509.00
Php 615.00  
Php 1,865
Php 1,211.00
Php 4,200
Package tour
Php 4,090 * 2 = 8,180

Php 12,380 /2

There are still a lot to explore in Sagada when you grow tired of the usuals. Visit for activities they provide.
For other guided trips elsewhere, check out

*For Concerns, email