Banaue - Bontoc - Sagada

Bontoc Travel Blog

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view from the jeepney roof

After half an hour of amazement in Banaue, the guy then took us to the road where buses heading to Bontoc pass by. Bontoc is the capital of Mountain Province where people get jeepney en route to Sagada.

Buses were scarce, but we we were fortunate enough to find one that just passed by. It was already full with locals packed with cargoes, so we decided to seat on the roof instead. The air was cold and we started to chill as the bus traverses it's path to Bontoc.

I'm on the jeepney roof
Seating on the roof of a moving bus was dangerous but exciting! I remember, we had to stoop so many times whenever we meet a low lying tree branch. I look everywhere, I see beauty! I look down, I see cliff!

We reached Bontoc after few hours of enduring the cold air temperature. We quickly moved to another vehicle heading to Sagada, hoping we could all seat this time. But chances weren't really for us, the jeepney hadn't sufficient space for all of us to seat! So, we let the girls in while we take the roof again! We had the same experience as we had on our way to Bontoc. Stoop! Stoop! Stoop! On our way, we met a European guy boarded on the same vehicle. I noticed that he was more comfortable sitting on the roof! Well, that's odd for a tourist who live in a very developed continent. We shared stories and he said peace and serenity made him come back to Sagada.

He admires the Filipinos' positive outlook in life that despite of the economic crisis and poverty we still smile. He also admires the Filipinos when it comes to family matters. With his stories, I suddenly realized that there are lot of things the Filipinos should be proud of. Thank God, I'm a Filipino! :)

 

It was late in the afternoon when we reached Sagada. Before we left Manila, I thoroughly searched the internet for the cheapest lodging inn in Sagada. I found "Residential Lodge" for only php250 per night which I also recommend. It's just only 5min away from the bus terminal. We rushed to this Inn as soon as we got off the jeepney. The owner is an old woman whom we call aunt Mary. She was kind and patient enough to give us the information about the tourist spots while taking us to our rooms.

very clear water
We then head to the municipal hall after lunch to register and get tourist guides. Before the tour started, we were given lectures about "dos and donts" in Sagada. Tricycles aren't allowed to keep the tranquility of this town, so we also rented a van from the municipal hall. We started the tour in a mountain with hanging coffins, though it's really weird but that's how their ancestors bury their loved ones.

It's getting dark and we didn't waste much time in the area and proceeded on to the next location, the Sumaguing cave for spelunking. It is perhaps the most popular and frequently visited place in town. We needed to trek down a slippery trail from its mouth to see the magnificent formations of stalactites and stalagmites that took thousands of years to shape. I was petrified by the striking beauty of the rock formations.

sumaguing cave
 Inside are underground streams and natural pools with water temperature near freezing point. We crossed a waist deep pool and I got totally wet and freezing! It took us almost an hour to finish spelunking.

Now, that's what you call real adventure!!!!!!! :)

Since we hadn't got some rest since we arrived, we easily felt tired. We took our dinner in "Yogurt House" that is few steps away from where we stayed. There is a curfew in the town that started as early as 9pm. So, we went back to the lodge or else we might have got fined. I joined friends for a drink then after a while, I went on ahead to sleep............

 

That's all for now, the adventure continues tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

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view from the jeepney roof
view from the jeepney roof
Im on the jeepney roof
I'm on the jeepney roof
very clear water
very clear water
sumaguing cave
sumaguing cave
en route to Sagada
en route to Sagada
Bontoc, Mountain Province
Bontoc, Mountain Province
our tour guide in Sumaguing Cave
our tour guide in Sumaguing Cave
where we stayed
where we stayed
Bontoc
photo by: CFD