Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[The Sagada Chronicles] Way up in the Mountains

First Published on November 12th, 2006

November 3, 2006
Friday, 2:45 am in  Baguio 
Before we knew it, we were in Baguio already. 

And we were so unprepared for the cold. 

We also had a mutual theory that Ja wasn’t even awake yet (she’s supposed to leave La Union for Baguio at 4 am). So we kill time at the station. Brought some shawls and hats at a nearby all-night boutique. Drank coffee. Took turns in sleeping. Ate breakfast at around 5 am. 

At 5:45, Ja arrives! Tuloy na tuloy na ang Sagada Adventure! We took a taxi to Lizardo station. There we boarded a mini-bus of sorts to take us to the most-awaited Sagada. Go, Sadaga Team! 

Since we’re all bangag, we snoozed off as soon as the bus started (but not before we took some pics, of course!). I woke up when I saw the mountains. Since I’m at the window seat, I woke up even more when I saw the cliff just right outside. 


The six-hour ride was generally uneventful and we all slept most of the time. On the fifth hour, I found myself thinking: “Where are we? This feels like the middle of nowhere”. Imagine six hours of mountain view. The same green and Cliffside roads. It sure felt like we were on a never-ending trip to the land of trees and vegetation. It was not easy on the backside, as well.

November 3, 2006
Friday, 12:30 noon in Sagada
So this is how it feels to be in Sagadan soil. 

Despite our exhaustion, stickiness and hunger, there was magic in the temperate air and the looming pine trees.

We lugged our bags and took the road going down to the George Guest House. Finally. And a bed. Phew! We were shown to the penthouse (third floor, with a view of the terraces and the main road). Just lovely. And at a fair price, too. 

Then we went to take our first real meal in the mountains. The Yoghurt house was packed that day. We took the only free table in the middle of the room. While eating the most sumptuous lunch, we planned our activities for the next couple of days. 

On the menu: Mushroom and Cheese Pasta (for me), Java Chicken (for Coach and Candice), Fried Rice and Pork Treat (for Jaja) and Stir Fried Treat (for Ivee), For Dessert: Yoghurt Special, Yoghurt Cake

In the midst of all these was a disturbing phone call for Coach (disturbing for us). When he answered “Hello, Direk?” in a clear and audible tone, all of us simultaneously lowered our heads to laugh. Note that the tables in this restaurant barely have enough elbow room in between. You can just imagine the effect. In my peripheral vision, I could feel eyes on our table seemingly asking “Who is this freak?!” Didn’t help when we realized that the people in our nearby tables were actually modeling and production teams on a location shoot. Embarrassing — for Coach at least. Blooper number 5. 

We planned to hike during the afternoon. Unfortunately, it started to pour just after we had our lunch. We shopped for souvenirs, instead. And then slept the rest of the afternoon off. We didn't realize how tired we were. 

At 6:30 pm, we had a big dinner at Alfredo’s Inn. Great fish and vegetable dishes!
On the Menu:
Sinigang na Bangus, Buttered Vegetables, Pork Curry, Rice for all, Ice cold mountain water

Coffee and conversation addicts that we are, we decided to treat ourselves to Masferre’s Special Hot Chocolate (which wa s not as good as we expected) and their Yummy Banana Cake (which is a treat in itself!). It was actually tucked away in the pastry corner, and not even in the menu. Good thing our sweet-trained eyes found it! 

Now back to the Inn before curfew!

Note: There is a standing 9pm curfew in Sagada, which actually makes sense when you think of it. There is minimal street lighting, which is dangerous for night strolls. Considering also that the activities offered are outdoor-daytime adventures, it is sensible that one rests during the night. There is no night life there, which suits us coffee-shop-people just fine. The people in Sagada respects silence 9 pm onwards. For the natives and the residents, tomorrow is always an early day.


  1. At mas winner ang "Hello, Direk?!" episode! Grabe, winner talaga si Ramil sa adventure na ito. Sa kanya lahat ng bloopers! :P