That thing called Sagada

Sagada,  Mountain Province is about 275kms away from Manila.  It is about 6 hours ride away from the City of Pines. 

Became popular because of the hanging coffins and the movie that thing called tadhana,  the said province also have other things to display like the stalactite and stalagmite formation in the Sumaguing Cave,  their rich culture,  the falls on the northern part and many others. 

See the hanging coffins???

There are  actually 2 seasons in Sagada,  videlicet:  the wet and dry season.  But if you want to experience a very cold weather (wherein temperature drops off up to four degrees),  you should try the month of January and Febuary, which is considered to be the coldest months on the said place. 

In front of the hostel where I stayed

I stayed overnight in Clairence Inn when i went there.  But before doing my escapade the following morning,  i was advised by the hostel staff to register myself in  the tourism office. Part of registering would be hiring  an authorized tour guide that offers you several tour packages. 

Their set tours start from Php600 up to Php1500.  That depends on the number of visitors the tour guide will accomodate and the place you want to visit. I opted for the start up price, since I was a solo traveller.  The package that I chose was the view of the famous Hanging Coffins and the Sumaguing Cave. 

You won’t get lost going to the cave but kinda far from here

If I had only knew that viewing the hanging coffins is accessible without a tour guide (you can see it from the town’s fire department),  I would have chosen a different package. But because I had no idea,  I felt that the Php600 bundle I had chosen was quite expensive, for there are other tourist spots you can also view and visit.  

Indeed a solid rock

After seeing the hanging coffins,  we went straight ahead to the Sumaguing Cave. 

One thing i liked most in Sagada,  aside from the serenity of the place,  are the well preserved solid lime formation that you would see almost everywhere.

A lime formation with another hanging coffins

On our way to the Sumaguing Cave, my tour guide mentioned how Sagadans wanted to preserve Sagada as is.  Meaning,  they do not want it to become commercialized same as Baguio City that’s why,  even the incoming establishments there, the LGU is conducting a thorough screening with the guidance of  Sagadan elders (they are doing rituals).  Through that way as he continued,  their place won’t be abused. 

Before we went down in the Cave,  we first dropped by in the site where Americans put a hospital before World War II.   Same with other sites in Sagada,   you will also see many coffins piled up layer by layer.

At my back are the pileup of coffins

We did not attempt anymore to enter the small tunnel within that hospital area,  for my tour guide did inform me that the passage would also lead you to the Sumaguing Cave. However that particular path according to him, is more challenging and dangerous for girls. 

From the hospital built by the Americans going inside the Sumaguing,  it took us another 45 minute walk.  

Top view from the cave’s entrance

Yes,  the tunnel going to the stalactite and the cake like stalagmite formation is quite difficult to reach,  but it was all worth it.

Happy Kiddo here😀

Almost there… 5 more minutes😀

The  stalactites and stalagmites I had seen was a sight of awe and reverence. 

The Stalactite Formation
The Cake Like Stalagmites

Never did I thought that I would sight a stunning creation as marvelous as this place had shown me.  I really wanted to stay long but my tour guide and I went down there kinda late.  We have to go up again for another more than an hour walk for us to be able to return in the town proper. 

If given enough time, I will definitely go back.

We reach the town municipality at around 7 in the evening. The town was already quiescent and instead of going out and due to exhaustion as well,  I just decided to call the night off and go home to the hostel for tomorrow would be another day for me. 

The Sagada Public Market at night

Early in the morning the following day,  I just walked around town before buying souvenirs.  I would be leaving after lunch for Bontoc (I have a separate blog for that),  another town in the Cordillera region.

I noticed while walking a known place in town the round table,  where Sagadan elders usually hold their rituals as well as some of their functions.  

The Sagada’s Round Table

As informed by a local I was able to interview in the area,  if  only I came a week earlier as he said,  I would have had a chance to see a Sagadan ritual with the elders wearing their traditional bahags. How I wish I was really there earlier.

Heading towards the town municipality,  I was looking for a Catholic Church;  however,  the only religious place I had seen was,  the Anglican Church.  Unfortunately it was also closed that time. 

The Anglican Church

While roaming around within the Church vicinity,  I saw a beautiful calesa wheel – one of the oldest spot on the said town.  

1901 Calesa Wheel

Part of my 2 day trip in Sagada was visiting the very famous Sagada Lemon Pie House. Before trying their signatured lemon pie,  I ate my breakfast first in the Sagada Brew,  a resto cafe a few meters away from the pie house.

The first meal I ordered in Sagada was the tapa meal,  wherein,  it was also my first time to eat a red rice.  So far,  even though a bit pricey,  everything was served fresh and it doesn’t look like yummy – fact is,   it really is! 

Tapa Meal, Php220

After I ate my first meal in Sagada Brew,  I headed towards the famous Sagada Lemon Pie House.  From the name itself,  I ordered a lemon pie (not just an order but 3 orders!). 

8 degrees Brrrrr
Homey.. Isn’t it?

The place is a bit cozy that I decided to stay around half an hour,  which primarily was the reason too, why I have ordered 3 lemon pies –  not just once but thrice!  😀

Because the weather was very cold and I didn’t order any drink from the first resto cafe’,  I combined my pies with a rice coffee – a very strong and addictive one,  scent and taste wise I must say. 

Rice Coffee, Php35
Lemon Pie, Php60/slice

As I headed towards the hostel to pack my things and be ready for my Bontoc adventure,  I took a last glimpse of this very peaceful town from the mountains of Cordillera. 

Taken from the Gym and the town’s basketball court

And to you Sagada,  I wish I could have stay longer…  thank you for the wonderful experience and if given enough time,  I will definitely see you again❤❤❤




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