Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

 

Sagada has been one of the favorite tourist spots of the Filipinos for its cold weather, interesting culture, exciting activities, and beautiful scenery. It is located in the mountainous province of Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region. There’s a lot to do in Sagada from spelunking, kayaking, exploring waterfalls and historical sites, nature hikes to participating in tribal celebrations.

BACK TO BONTOC

Sagada was our last destination for our Cordillera Trip. We’ve spent a lot of time on the road so we’re left with a tight schedule upon arriving in Sagada. From Buscalan, we rode the monster jeepney again going back to Bontoc. The sun was high and we’re at the top again, imagine the heat and our positions, but it was good as the view from the top was amazing.

Once we arrived at Bontoc, we went straight to the terminal where we rode a jeepney going to Sagada. To our surprise, we met the German Traveler we first encountered in Banaue. She and a French one became our companions during our stay in Sagada. This is probably one of the highlights in our Sagada Trip, meeting and sharing stories with new people.

SAGADA’S HANGING COFFINS

To maximize our time, we ate our late lunch, hurriedly checked-in to our accommodation and went to the church of St. Mary the Virgin before proceeding to the hanging coffins. Rain seems to have liked us so much, as we’re descending going to the site, the rain poured heavily with hails… and we’re soaking wet again. Fortunately, our guide knows a small cave where we stayed for a while. The valley where the coffins are located has good acoustics, where you can hear your scream throughout the valley, thus it is called Echo Valley.

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Facade of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Inside of Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Our guide shared with us the stories behind the hanging coffins, for he himself is a member of a Kankanaey Tribe, an indigenous tribe that lives in Sagada. They put their dead in these coffins and the height depends on the status of that individual. Their tribe forced the dead body to be in a fetal position as it represents the start of a new life. They also have this tradition wherein they try to seize the body and when blood spills on them they believed they will receive a bountiful harvest and good life.

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Echo Valley. Photo by Rox Roldan.

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Hanging Coffins. Photo by Rox Roldan.

A lot of restaurants and inns have sprouted throughout the years to cater to the rising number of tourists. There are cheap and expensive ones but we chose the carinderia near our accommodation. That night, we shared conversations with our new foreign friends before we go to sleep.

KILTEPAN PEAK AND THE SEA OF CLOUDS

The next day, we were excited to see the view of the sunrise and the sea of clouds from the famous Kiltepan Peak. A van picked us up from the tourism office. You can walk going to the peak but there’s elevation and the way is still dark so a means of transport is a big help. Kiltepan is also famous for the huge number of crowds that gather there. That time, there was not that much so we were able to find a good spot to stay and watch the unfolding one of Mother Nature’s wonders.

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Sunrise at Kiltepan Peak

Right in front of us, the sun was starting to rise and slowly lit the sea of clouds below us. If you haven’t seen a sea of clouds, I think this is one of the easiest ways to see one. We’ve seen a lot before in Rizal but we have to climb for hours before we can see the wonder. XD After that spectacle, we ate hot champorado at the stalls nearby. A good way to start the day.

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

View of Sea of Clouds from Kiltepan Peak

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Stalls at Kiltepan

Sagada, Mountain Province (Travel Guide)

Have some Champorado

There were still a lot of activities we want to do in Sagada but we already have no time left. We already extended one day from our planned itinerary. Just another reason to visit Sagada again in the future. We rode a bus going to Baguio and from there, another bus going back to Manila.

Visiting the Cordilleras made us appreciate and explore not just the wonders of the provinces but also the culture/traditions of our brothers and sisters in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

This is my last guide for our Cordillera Trip, hope you visit my next posts about Iloilo and Guimaras soon! Cheers!

 

REMINDERS/GUIDES/TIPS

LOCATION:

  • Mountain Province, Philippines

HOW TO GET THERE:

  1. From Bontoc:
    • Take a jeepney going to Sagada. (Travel Time: 1 Hour and 3o Minutes)

     

  2. From Manila:
    • Ride a bus at (Victory Liner) going to Baguio City. (Travel Time: 4 to 6 hours)
    • Ride a taxi and go to Dangwa Station to ride the GL Trans Bus going to Sagada. (Trips are from 6:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.; Travel Time: 5 to 6 hours)

POWER PACK:

  • Raincoat
  • Jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Water Tumbler
  • Comfortable Footwear

FEES:

  • Eco-Tourism Fee: P50
  • Guide Fee (Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins): P300
  • Van to Kiltepan Peak (2-Way): P500/group

ACCOMMODATIONS:

NOTES:

  • There are a lot of activities to do in Sagada, you can go and inquire to the Tourism Office to book your activities.
  • Even if locals encourage it, let’s avoid screaming in the Echo Valley as a sign of respect for them.
  • There are a lot of outdoor activities that can be done in Sagada so prepare medkits and observe proper attire & footwear to secure your safety.
  • Please avoid throwing your trash at Kiltepan Peak or at any place in Sagada, let’s be responsible tourists and human beings.
  • Be in a group so you can save from some of the big fees.
  • Other places of interest include Lake Danum, Bomod-Ok Falls, Lumiang Cave, Marlboro Hill, Blue Soil Hill and many more.

 

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