Travel Diary: Exploring Sagada

It was a test of strength, stamina and energy when you go and travel to Sagada Province. Not that I complained because so far, among the trips I had in the past, this is way different and most macabre, surreal and authentic experienced I had being a wandering soul. It was also fun because I have the most amazing bunch of travel buddies who were all funny and adventurous during the trip.

Sagada is a beautiful place which offers tourist with different activities from simple to extreme. In fact, they are visited because of their caves, falls, culture, sightseeing and their cold climate. My most favorite activity out of all the extreme activities we had is the cave connection. My adrenaline is at its peak while climbing and rappelling through the huge boulders and crawling through the narrow opening in between those rocks. Actually, there is a two level of difficulty in spelunking, the easy and the more popular level – spelunking in Sumaguing cave alone, where most of the beautiful rock formation is located while the extreme and challenging one, the Cave Connection, wherein Lumiang Cave is the point of entry connecting to the Sumaguing Cave. Moreover, the cave connection is a four hour, dreadful, no turning back spelunking activity which truly sucks up your strength and energy but very fulfilling.

Sagada is also blessed with scenic view of nature. Everywhere you go, you will always be greeted with beautiful sights of mountains and trees. One of the few things not to miss out in a Sagada trip is watching the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak. It was a blissful experience as I witnessed the fleeting rise of the sun in my naked eyes. It is often rare occasions we see a sunrise in our lives. I mean, because most of us were busy working our ass to make a living, we failed to see (most of the time) and appreciate this kind of blessings.

Aside from spelunking and sightseeing, cultural immersion was also in our itinerary. One of the fascinating about their culture is their traditional way of burying people. The dead is put inside the coffins and were hanged in high-elevated cliffs, or placed in caves. According to the locals, the coffins were carved by their elderly and have been practiced for 2000 years. Most of the hanging coffins can be found in Echo Valley.

Our last extreme activity in Sagada is the trekking to Pongas Falls. It was indeed another sucking of strength and testing of one’s stamina but it was worth giving a try. Pongas Falls is said to be a new discovery of the SAGGAS (Sagada Genuine Guides Association) group. Unlike spelunking, trekking to Pongas Falls is way harder because it’s all about trailing to the top. We were soaked in our own sweat, bathed under the sun and the trail is getting difficult as we levitate further to reach the falls. But it was all worth it once you reach the summit. It was so beautiful and for a while, I allow myself to saturate with nature.

Sagada experience is one epic adventure. I highly recommend it to those seeking high adrenaline activities. It was indeed tiring and exhausting but the experience compensates everything.

Photo Credits: Ms. Rosalyn Alberto