Some veggies at the market
Day 3 started early. At 6AM, we were already eating breakfast (some canned goods that we brought and rice that we bought downstairs) in our room. We knew we were faced with a long day as we wanted to see as many attarctions as possible for that was our last chance to do it. Our trip back to Manila the following day was set at 7AM.
Sagada requires all tourists to hire a tour guide for every attraction you’re visiting. But from the directions that we got from some locals, it seemed easy to experience some of Sagada’s wonders independently.
Stopped by the market. Saturday is Sagada’s big marketing day where locals sell their freshly-harvested agricultural products to the public. It was amazing to find out that good here are so affordable that you could buy vegetables 3X cheaper than their market prices in Manila.
tired now, dan?
0800. Headed for Echo Valley. The trekking seemed endless but fun. Funny that we started walking from a cemetery to another cemetery. You’ll know you’re heading the right path if you pass through Sagada’s public cemetery. There was about 30 minutes of trekking until you reach one side of a cliff that contains the “hanging coffins”. Traditionally (and occasionally even now), the corpse is still sometimes positioned outside their house in a chair known as "the death chair". This is believed to give the soul a chance to escape before the remains are disposed of. The smoking of the corpse with a wet fire helps to preserve it for a five-day burial feast.
Then the corpse on the death chair is brought to the cliff, then is ‘buried’ in hanging coffins, most of which actually rest on iron bars hammered into the rock face. This very interesting belief is unique to sagada people that you’d surely consider the hanging coffins a sight to behold.
0930. Walked north to explore Bukong Falls. After 45 minutes of trekking some mountains cliffs and walking along rice fields, we finally reached the hidden, tiny Bukong falls. We even saw some boys who found a playing spot in the falls. They even showed us some of their stunts, jumping off the falls. The water was so clear and cold that we regret our clothes weren’t proper for swimming.
1100. Went back to town and stopped by the market once again to enjoy Halo-Halo, a filipino concoction of mixed fruits, crushed-ice and milk. Sagada’s Halo-Halo also has its own uniquness as it’s got Macanroni as one of its main ingredients.
Some of Masferre
1230. Checked-out at George’s and moved to Traveller’s Inn. I thought George’s was abtter choice until Traveller’s Inn caretaker led us to our room which happened to be bigger, and showed the kitchen where we could cook our food (other accommodations in Sagada don’t have this so we’re happy we booked our last night here).
1300. Lunch at Strawberry Cafe. Dan sang a couple of songs using the resto’s videoke machine while waiting for our food which were served after a few minutes. The Breaded Pork chop coupled with red rice was a blast! That was so far the best meal I had in Sagada. Overall, the resto has friendly and informative staff who even taught us some Igorot words with cheap and DELICIOUS FOOD!
Started trekking Mt. Ampacao in the hope to reach Lake Danum for a perfect sunset view. Unfortunately, it started to drizzle and it was time to cancel the trek. Instead, we just explored the mid portion of the mountain and found some farmers harvesting rice crops. We had some short, but interesting conversations with them mainly about their livelihood. It made me realize how hard and complicated farming is and appreciate their role in the community.
The busy Sagada Market
1600. Went back to Traveller’s Inn and changed clothes. Checked on some souvenir shops and bought some items. Purchased some goods at the market for dinner.
1830. Dinner at Traveller’s Inn.
2000. Went to check out Bamboo Grill and drink some bottles of Beer. Well, we were greatly disappointed to find out that the resto has closed early that night. We ended up in one of the nearby restaurants and clebrated our last night in Sagada with Red Horse Beer.