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I survived Sagada…

Years ago, not only 2 close friends of mine asked me to visit Sagada. I am not that interested. I am perflexed by the thought of no more trips after dark? Why? I used to ask whats with Sagada? Ive been to Baguio anyway.

Guests will have to sign up here before beginning the adventure...

All visitors must register first in the Municipal hall..

The view from our room...

Windows – one of my favorite subjects..

Lemon pie house…

I’ve read several blogs about it, heard about the many interesting activities you could do there, spelunking, there are distinct falls, historical sites, sightseeing, breathtaking views, hospitality in all sense of the word, good weather, (you will hear an impetuous sound thinking that it’ll rain in a while only to find out, it was just a strong wind coming), and the rain itself will without any warning. Their local cuisine, not to forget their own locally grown coffee, the list might be endless. Honestly, I am awed with those blogs. I thought i would try writing mine…Sagada as they say were meant only for the adventurers as it is almost too difficult to reach, to get there, you will count hours (by land) you cant avoid crossing deep valleys, bumpy rides, ravines, creeks and cloud forests. It isn’t for those like me who got used to travelling by air than by land with those swelling buttocks, and suffer from dizzy spells due to too much sights and sounds (and varying smells from the aircon bus with a cubicle where you can pee while the bus is running). Trip schedules are actually limited due to the not so safe trail to reach Sagada. But after the loooong trip, Sagada is for everyone to enjoy the very essence of rural life in the highlands especially for us who’s accustomed (or maybe at times tired of the city life), the place exhibits the wonder of a rich culture and simple life.

Source of income is selling brooms.. this reaches Manila..

I wonder how it feels like being based in such a famous and well visited place yet simplicity can be seen in all their eyes. Not only simplicity, but bliss and an enduring hospitality which Filipinos are known for. I noticed that half of the passengers in our bus were foreigners. I then again got mystified with the common trait of travelers to discover something beautiful and be changed by it instantly. It was funny to find myself nibbling on Yogurt cake in Sagada.

Yogurt cake...

Yogurt cake..yum yum!

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The restaurant won’t look like one unless you go inside..thanks to the signage..

There’s this one foreigner who owns an Inn/ Resto – Masferre who was tagged to be the Father of Philippine Photography. I am astonished what took the likes of these foreigners to hold such love for a country other than their own (which reminds me of another photographer during People Power Revolution who was weeping while taking pictures of that event and claimed that most of them (Americans) were complacent of the freedom that they always have while these people (Filipinos) were defiantly willing to die fighting for their freedom. How i wish we can see our country through these foreigner’s eyes… Masferre boasts goodies (all kinds of fruit jams) which we bought for our loved ones. I wistfully yearned to describe Sagada like repercussions of my past experiences, good and bad.

Was I a soul during the 1920s?

I dropped the other activities and treated the “Hanging Coffins” as the highlight of this trip.

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I no longer fear the woods..

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And the spirits..

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With Jen..

Instead of being aghast with the sight of coffins literally hanging in the mountains, I felt admiration to their strong belief of an undying love when one has physically died already. The unyielding belief of being one with your loved ones and your Creator at the same time. An adulterated love.

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The wind is cold yet we were perspiring and catching our breaths..

ECHO valley!

One of my favorite shots!

As I sauntered to these valleys…heartstopping long walk

Enjoying the scent of biiiig trees! (–,)

to the unknown (we didn’t hire a tourist guide/ the fact that we can hear the other tourists voices destroyed our fears and made us continue trekking until finally we were inches away from the coffins), running out of words to describe Sagada, let me end this to claim that this is an adventure like no other…