Sunday, September 28

Puka Beach, snorkeling, and cliff diving in Boracay

Hello, Dear Sunday.

How are you all doing? Well aside from the fact that we all got our little rest time which is just enough to go through the next week, aren't we all happy we got to spend this day for ourselves? I am happy. lol it's not like I don't have the whole week for myself I am a bum for work's sake.

Anyway, join me in rekindling my second day trip to Boracay last April 6, 2014. Second day always wins for the best day *usually* since the first day is only a warm up and the last day is often just to waste the remaining time you have at that place. Anyhow!!! I kept confusing my subjects lol I'm sorry #writerproblems

Our second day mainly consisted of island hopping and bar hopping. Shall I say, the islands were all equally gorgeous, just not as gorgeous as those in Camiguin or Palawan but gorgeous enough to satisfy. The first stop was at Puka Beach. Sand is not as white or pristine as the main island but is a sure winner when it comes to tranquility and privacy. The water is a bit rough for swimming but the contrast of deep blue and turquoise is really inviting. Aileen and I plunged. Bet you would, too!

It was the perfect place where you can take pictures and nobody would be caught walking behind or something... There's enough space for everyone. Certainly not like the main island where you need to wait for a couple of minutes before you can take decent pictures without anybody jeopardizing the frame for you. Is it obvious that I loved Puka Beach a lot? Yes, I guess so.

We also had lunch there, which is the same with main island when it comes to pricing. Totally over board. Mind you, there's only one restaurant available so you practically don't have a choice. It's quite good if that makes it any better though.

After lunch, we went on with our next agenda which was snorkelling somewhere in the middle of the sea. I wasn't able to see that much fish or coral but I did enjoy the time spent swimming! It was good practice, this was my favorite among all three.

I'm okay with threading all day, really

My swimming buddy in Bora :D
And look at the main island just behind her.
Awesome snorkeling and threading. We then head to Magic Island for cliff diving. Disclaimer I was totally brave before I saw and experienced the balancing wood, really. It was the culprit!!! I so did chicken out. I AM SORRY TO FAIL YOU, GUYS.

Congratulations to Jenny for being able to do it.
Not just once and certainly not twice but thrice. (I blame the balancing wood.)
We went back just in time for sunset!!! And it is lovely as usual. One of the few things I love about Boracay. It may not be as perfect as Santorini's or Mykonos' but man, who cares? The fact that the colors mixes up so beautifully shouldn't be questioned! You shouldn't miss it, at least once in your life. The pictures never do it justice.

We had dinner after at this buffet restaurant. Can't tell you enough how much I love oysters and they had a lot of it that it was so close to heaven! I can practically eat it all day. Afterwards we had a little down time and pre-game at the hotel before we head out to go clubbing! Ended up at Epic that night, thankfully. Paid P300 for 2 free drinks and entrance. Certainly had a good time! I didn't end up drunk, too bad. Being not drunk makes me not dance with anyone at all. Thankful nonetheless because then I'd always remember what a fun night it was with my friends. Cheese!!!

Thank you for the photo, Kim.
Hit the sack at around 4am, was really really sleepy by then that a quick shower didn't even wake me up. It was a good Boracay party that I quite enjoyed! A little too much I think. Catch you again in my next entry! Of course, with the itinerary and estimation of expenses for all the days.

Happy travels!


Friday, September 26

Boracay - Philippines' Island Paradise

After being off from my blog for a few weeks, I've been updating myself on what to write next. And voila! As I searched, the Best Island in the World as awarded by Travel + Leisure magazine 2012 edition is up. Boracay - the Philippines' tropical island paradise!

Contrary to being famous for it's night life and relaxing white beaches, Boracay is also a place where you can relax. In the morning of course when almost everyone's still busy from regaining their spirit and energy lost the night before. Make sure you make the most out of this time! Unless you're one of those people oops haha. Boracay has received a lot of recognition throughout the years for it's powdery white sand and great sunset that almost every kind of tourist and locals are here. It was my first time and it was the first week of April, but man, it was 'kind of' jam packed already! Never have guessed. lol

Anyway, we arrived in Boracay at around 10 or 11 in the morning. We were so freaking hungry that we just dropped our things off at the hotel (since we had to wait for check-in time) and rushed to the nearest (not exactly nearest oops) D'Mall to get some food. Luckily, my first meal in Boracay wasn't an awful one, in fact it was totally the opposite! I have always loved Mexican food and Tres Amigos sure did captivate me. I ordered their burrito as usual *coughs coughs* and surprisingly it's as good as Silantro's in Kapitolyo.

Tres Amigos' burrito (sorry I'm pretty selfish, didn't take photos of the other food lol)
After eating our lunch at D'Mall, we then went back to the hotel for a bit of rest and freshening up. At around 3pm, we went out for parasailing! One of the most exhilarating moments of my life! T'was super awesome. We paid P1,500 for 30 minutes and every penny was worth it. PS try not to get overpriced in Bora and haggle your way to the top AT ALL TIMES. They usually have varying charges according to race and ethnicity, you can do it!

Sure gave us a good time. It was quite a waiting time though but nonetheless the experience was spot on. We even got to ride a speed boat twice and see this amazing sunset up close.

The Boracay Sunset ..on a speed boat. An amazing view, as usual.
We went to Red Coconut after to join the other half of our friends for dinner. The food was obviously overpriced but it comes with the high tourist rates so, never mind. Average service. Main reason I loved it was the opportunity for an illegal swim. Jenny, Aileen, and I went for a swim after eating and got back to the table soaking wet. I was just so hungry for water I had to. Don't judge lol

The rest of the night was tiring. Little did we know that partying actually starts before sunset and mostly ends at around 9 or 10 in the evening. Unfortunately, we slept and ended up in Club Paraw at midnight. What on earth? If you're after partying, check the upcoming events before booking for heads up. It'll give you an easier time.

Capped off the night at 4am with a cup of noodles and Chuckie. Didn't know pushing and shoving can be really exhausting. Lesson learned! Good night, world!

Happy travels!


Monday, August 25

Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint & Strawberry Side Trip at Baguio

Hello, Monday! Feeling all the positive vibes for this week. Sorry for being lost for about two weeks or more, got all buzzed up. I'm back for good though and with something for all of you, of course! My detailed narrative of our third day in Sagada including the list of expenses and our itinerary. This one is going to be short since we didn't have a lot to do that day anyway. I mean, we were supposed to do a lot but the weather, season, etc didn't permit us to so... I guess we all know where we ended up.

We left the inn at 4:30 in the morning to be in time for sunrise at Kiltepan View Point. It's 1,889 MASL and is accessible by cars, however, it's a bit hard to maneuver due to the narrow and muddy road that's why some of the tour guides opt that the cars park at a certain point and just reach the peak by walking or trekking. The trail is quite slippery but it's short and easy. It's freezing cold since it's super early in the morning! What the tour guides do is make a bonfire for everyone to share. It's pretty cute actually, I loved it very much since the last two nights that I was there I wasn't able to try sitting by a bonfire!

Forgive the shot, that's the only photo I have of the bonfire! I know, shameless.

A lot of people were in the area waiting for the sunrise. We were unable to see the sunrise, unfortunately since the clouds were too much and it was covering the spot but it was nonetheless beautiful. A sea of clouds in front of you, it felt as if I just hiked Mt. Pulag!

The light... It's peeking! It was that close!

After Kiltepan View Point, we were supposed to go orange picking. However, we were just about to enter when we saw a sign saying "Orange picking not available. No more oranges." So we skipped it (we have no choice! lol) and went straight to breakfast at Sagada Brew. They serve all day breakfast food, cakes, and coffee. The food is actually tasty and presentation-wise, it's spot on.

Providing you a sample of their breakfast selection. Good as it looks.

Food is ranging from P90-P180. Well all the restaurants are quite expensive in Sagada but they do have big servings. It takes getting used to. After breakfast, we started our journey back home with a different route since we'll be passing by Baguio. We drove through Halsema Highway where the highest point of Philippine Highways is located at 7,400 feet above sea level. Too bad all the photos I had were full of hair all over my face, no decent photo at all so let's just leave it at that...

When we arrived at Baguio, there were two options. Either you go inside strawberry farm or you just tour around the market, buy the ever famous strawberry ice cream or taho, and indulge yourself on pasalubong buying! We prefer the latter.

I was able to buy 7 kilos of various vegetables, fresh and cheap! We were also able to try the strawberry ice cream which is apparently my favorite flavor. I personally think they should manufacture it and produce gallon-filled ice creams to be sold in supermarkets. It's so good!

The dairy queen-ish feature of Baguio's strawberry ice cream!
Turn it upside down and it won't fall. If it does, they'd replace it for free.

And of course, what else would speak so much of Baguio? Nothing else but their fresh strawberries!

We also tried some of the oranges from Sagada and what they said was true, there's nothing like an orange from Sagada. It's delicious - with the right amount of acidity and sweetness in every bite. Travel from Baguio to Manila took an additional six hours on the road. I didn't even feel it, I slept mostly on the trip since I was too tired from the three days journey.

Sagada is truly a place for the adventurous, and it does take a lot of sporty disposition to keep going! For all the brave souls and adventure-seeking buddies out there, this place is definitely for you!

Anyway, here is our sample itinerary and rough list of expenses from Day 2 & 3.


  • 06:00am - Wake up call; breakfast
  • 07:00am - Proceed to drop-off point of Bumod-ok Falls
  • 07:30am - Start of trek
  • 09:00am - ETA Bumod-ok / swimming / picture taking
  • 10:00am - Trek back to drop-off point
  • 12:00nn - Travel back to inn / wash up / freshen up
  • 01:30pm - Late lunch
  • 02:30pm - Proceed to Sagada Weaving, Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, and Pottery House
  • 05:30pm - Sunset viewing at Lake Danum (depends on the weather)
  • 07:00pm - Dinner; souvenir buying
  • 08:00pm - Bonfire & socials

(Please note that this is individually quoted and based on the number of persons traveling which was in our case 7)
  • Parana Tours Packaged Tour - P1,066
  • Breakfast - P150
  • Tip for Bumod-ok Falls Tour Guide - P50
  • Dinner - P150
  • Drinks and chips - P50

  • 04:30am - Wake up call / check out
  • 05:00am - ETD for Kiltepan View Point
  • 06:45am - Orange picking
  • 07:00am - Breakfast
  • 08:00am - ETD from Sagada to Baguio
  • 01:30pm - Late lunch
  • 02:00pm - ETA at Strawberry Farm
  • 03:00pm - ETD from Baguio
  • 10:00pm - ETA in Manila

(Please note that this is individually quoted and based on the number of persons traveling which was in our case 7)
  • Parana Tours Packaged Tour - P1,066
  • Oranges (1 kilo) - P50
  • Breakfast - P150
  • Lunch - P100
  • Strawberry Farm Side Trip or Pasalubong Buying - P500
  • Snacks - P50

TOTAL FOR DAY 2 & 3: P3,382.00

Feel free to share your crazy experiences in Sagada or tips on how to lower down the budget!
There is plenty of space on the comment box below.

Happy travels!


Thursday, August 7

Trekking, swimming, and drowning in Sagada

It might have taken a while before I was able to write my detailed narrative of our second day in Sagada but guess what! I'm here to complete it now! Good morning, Friday!

There's a reason why everybody loves Fridays and I have to admit I was one of those people who used to shout and scream when it's finally that time of the week but thinking about it now, I miss it a lot really. I shouldn't have been so thankful for Fridays because it was the last day of work week, if I only knew how much I would miss being around the kids! Very much.

Oops, sorry for the teacher sentiments. I'm back to my old self! Snap, snap! Anyway, lemme go ahead and tell you of our day two in the ever famous body pain place - Sagada! Please don't get discouraged by my sakit ng katawan stories about the place, I am just really amused that it managed to give me that much of exercise and thrill! Could barely walk...

We gathered at 6 in the morning for breakfast. Restaurants open early in Sagada since they know a lot of tourists come in for an energizing meal to go through the day. A breakfast worthy of a whole day that involves trekking almost 4 hours back and forth Bumod-ok Falls, swimming in 20-40 feet deep fresh water, and trekking back again for the Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins.

The interior of this restaurant is amazing and the food... don't ask. It's good as it looks. For some reason (hungry) I wasn't able to take photos of the deli yet again so just trust me on this. If you don't want to, then feel free to check the reviews. Sagada Lemon Pie House is famous for their *obviously* lemon pies; although aside from the lemon pies everything else is deliciously refreshing.

Breakfast took us 1 hour and a half before we traveled to our jump off point going to Bumod-ok Falls. Our guide informed us ahead that the duration totally depends on the speed of the whole group and ours spent a bit past one hour. The trail going there was downward so expect this to be an easy course. You just have to be careful on some steep slopes though. Anyway, you'll have your tungkod handy. The tour guides will give it to you before you start.

It's a gorgeous and vibrant view out there so be sure to snap plenty of photos. Almost every side is a rice terraces formation you should definitely watch out for! When you get to the falls, it's simplicity will surprise you. It doesn't have the turquoise water but it's huge and it's gonna give you the can-we-please-jump-in-now feel. Seriously! I immediately invited my friend Ziah to take a dip! To be honest, I just learned how to swim and still needs a lot of practice but what the heck?! An inviting falls is in front of me and I can't let this go like Kawasan. Never again!

The water was freezing cold! It could be a reason for muscle cramps if you stay too long swimming so you would have to watch out for that. My friend Ziah and I decided to go near the falls. I wasn't aware how undercurrent felt like 'til I was able to go through one. Scared the hell out of me! Luckily I managed to stay calm and succeeded. I totally assumed for a while that I wouldn't make it but wait, there's more!

Upon reaching the stone to rest on near the falls, Ziah slipped straight to the 40 feet water and she didn't know how to thread! One of our friends tried saving her by lending his hand but he didn't know how to swim either which resulted to the two of them drowning reaching for help. It took me a second to respond since I just learned how to swim and I don't have an idea of saving a life! More so, two lives! Still I held out my hand and drowned with them trying to reach for the top, threading like there's no tomorrow! I was shouting crazy every time I catch my breath telling them to keep swimming and threading. Thankfully, there was this guy who managed to get Ziah out of the water, then Rafael, and I was finally free to swim back on top. We definitely owe him our lives. We wanted to thank him again before we left but he was already gone. Our tour guides also did us well, they massaged our legs and arms after our near death experience and was very kind to us. I hope they stay blessed.

We started our way up at about 11 in the morning and reached the top past 12. Our guide brought us back to the inn so we could change and freshen up for late lunch. We ate lunch at an expensive eatery! I wasn't able to take the name down but the guide told us that it's one of the most expensive places in Sagada. The chicken meal was P250, I opted to have water for drinks. lol but it was big! And this time I was able to take a photo!

Afterwards, we hurried to the van so we can finally check out the Hanging Coffins and Echo Valley. Upon starting the trek, I asked the guide how many minutes it would take. He said less than 15 minutes. We got there 30 minutes after. Everything he says is doubled. This is definitely the shortest trail we've done so far but the most steep!

The Hanging Coffins is a big part of Sagada's culture. Although they don't do it anymore as the latest body was from the 90's but this will always be their signature - a mark of their identity as a province. A good 15 minutes trek was the Echo Valley where you can shout at the top of your lungs and it will go back to you loud and clear. Thus, the name Echo Valley.

Immediately after, we dropped by Sagada Weaving and Sagada Pottery for a little bit of tutorial and pasalubong shopping. Look at how this clay runs smoothly on her hand.

Impressive, huh? If only I didn't have too much to learn already I'd go over a class of pottery as well. Aah traveling makes you want a lot of things! Anyway, we called it a day immediately after going back to the inn since we were all tired. Didn't even get the chance of bonfire anymore! HA another reason to come back *reasons, reasons*

I will be including the rough list of expenses and itinerary on my summary entry for Sagada so it won't be all jumbled up! Oh and by the way, don't forget to like Travel-opolis' facebook page by clicking here.

Happy travels!


Monday, July 28

17 Destinations Before 30

Travel. What comes into mind when you hear that word? Mine is 17 destinations that I want to reach before 30. And just recently, I have discovered Airbnb - the mobile application (available in both iOS and Android users) that gives everyone opportunities to avail low-cost accommodations that make traveling not only for the financially gifted but the average as well. You can sign up just by clicking this link over here. Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 192 countries. With its wide range of accommodations - hotels, apartments, lofts, flats, and even rooms, you are sure to find one that perfectly fits your personality and budget! #MyAirbnbBucketList

Today, let me share with you the 17 places included in my travel bucket wish list. Places I wish to travel and conquer ideally before I build a chocolate shop or finish all of the Philippines' local tourist destinations and after I have saved up for my family's emergency fund.

1. The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Imagine yourself doing barbecue night with this view. The Pyramids of Giza is one the absolute parts of history. It is a symbol of how amazingly resourceful and creative our forefathers were. It proves that architecture has developed tremendously throughout the ages but since then it was never boring. Oh, and the camel ride will always be a bonus!

2. Washington, USA

You might be thinking, why would I even want to travel to Washington apart from it having the White House? Well the reason will prolly take you by surprise! The main reason I want to go there is because I want to visit Boeing's factory of airplanes. The biggest factory in the world. I mean, have you ever wondered whenever you see an airplane how the hell was that even made or how did they even complete such a magnificent creation? The factory was shown in Megafactories of National Geographic once but of course it's still different to have it right in front of your naked eyes and that is what I am aiming for!

3. Hong Kong, China

Two words. NEAREST. DISNEYLAND. Please, this is the happy kid's chance.

4. Paris, France

Paris is a common destination. Most would say they want to go to Paris because of the Eiffel Tower but apart from that, don't you think an afternoon in Paris would really be nice? People watching, drinking coffee, reading a book in one of their coffee shops. It's part of the French culture. Aside from that I also want to check out some places mentioned in the Da Vinci Code. The places once only in imagination will finally come to life. Isn't that enough reason to be excited other than the Eiffel Tower?

5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I fell in love with this place a long time ago. Fell in love meaning I would probably scream my lungs out and produce little teardrops on my face upon seeing it. It has an unfathomable impact to me that I seriously love it 10 times more than the Eiffel Tower. It is one of my dreams to visit one of the nearby parks in KL, just sit there and watch this building turn the lights on after sunset.

6. Bali, Indonesia

Getting away from the city life? Meditating your way to solitude? Bali is the perfect place. I will always dream of doing yoga in Bali. Isn't it the exact same scene going on your head whenever you hear people mention it? Come on, tell me! Just imagine the wind gently touching your hair, the sound of the birds chirping, and the waves banging against the tall rocks bordering the sea.

7. Singapore City, Singapore

Oh, Singapore. I have been here almost 5 years ago and it is one of the most refreshing places I've ever seen. The exemplary organization of this country, the absolutely clean air, the crazy party during Halloween, the one dollar ice cream sandwich, and the long walks at night - Singapore is truly a place to enjoy. I actually considered permanently living in here before, but who knows I might change my mind since I still have a lot of countries to visit!

8. Taipei, Taiwan

That feeling of being on top of the world in Taipei 101 - that's my main reason of wanting to go to Taiwan! I know the feeling would be nerve wracking but it would sure help me realize how small I am of the world. Another reason is, I also want to go check out it's various memorial halls, temples, and its night market! I. LOVE. NIGHT. MARKETS.

9. London, United Kingdom

London Eye. Big Ben. National Gallery. Buckingham Palace. Tower of London. Trafalgar Square. Aren't those enough reasons to visit this place?

10. Yokohama, Japan

Japan will always be a destination close to my heart. Mainly because it's my mother's dream to go there. Of course the cherry blossom! I usually catch her searching pictures of it on Google and someday I promise I'll take her there. She has always made a way for my dreams to come true and it will always be my promise to fulfill some of hers, too. AND!!! What made me even more excited is the loft that I have seen in Airbnb, it has this common area with library which is close to living a life of heaven on earth. I might just stay and read books while mother goes out for the cherry blossoms. Kidding!

11. Barcelona, Spain

Main reason why I want to go to Barcelona? I want to practice the use of my Spanish dictionary. It might be superficial to you but I believe that one of the easiest ways to learn a new language is using it where it's intended for use. Where else but the country where it originated? Aside from that, the architecture in Spain and generally in Western Europe is exquisite. Take a look at the Sagrada Familia. Now tell me, what does it say about Spain's architecture?

12. Madrid, Spain

The largest city of Spain ..and it's capital! Frankly speaking, I don't have a specific list of tourist attractions to see. I just really really want to visit this place for some reason I don't know.

13. Agra, India

Agra India is one of my priority places in the next two years. I have read in various travel blogs that the government of India is considering to close down the Taj Mahal for public viewing to further preserve it. They think that the volume of visitors might be too much for the place to take and adds to the pollution making it's pristine white walls deplete its natural beauty. The rumors are the decision will be set final within the next five years. I am determined never to miss it.

14. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The home of pilgrimages - Brazil. I'm not gonna go there for a pilgrimage though I just wanted to share with you how it's mostly famous for Christian Pilgrimage. Brazilians are beautiful people and whenever I look at this country I feel as if it's something like the Philippines. I am interested to know how the two countries are same or different in many ways.

15. New York, USA

The city that never sleeps. I am delighted to visit a place where there's action 24/7, a place where you would feel strange but at peace in the same time. I would love to stroll at night, grab a quick snack, and experience New York at it's peak. I know it's going to be a busy one but it'll sure be an exciting trip!

16. Santorini, Greece

They said one of the best sunsets in the world can be found in Santorini, Greece. The warmth of the sun as it touches my skin, the view of the sea beneath me, and the fiery orange glow in front of me - I'm pretty sure it will be an unforgettable moment. I wish I could visit this place sooner, the destination is pretty cheap since the economy of Greece is not in a good state right now. I don't want to wish they remain in that status though I just hope they have more tourism-cheap years to come, at least before I go there! #selfish

17. Zurich, Switzerland

The sophistication and classic beauty of Switzerland never ceases to amaze me. Its urban and rural feel at the same time makes you want to visit and know what it has to offer. To be honest, I don't remember Switzerland for anything but milk. Although recently, I have encountered an article saying Switzerland is an ideal place for solo travel and it really got me. I have been researching for places to do solo travel in for who knows how long already and I've finally found the perfect place. Plus, a lot of Swiss men wouldn't hurt too.

How about you? What are some of your dream destinations? Tell me about it on the comment box below!

Happy travels!


Tuesday, July 22

Exploring Sagada

Earlier this 2014, a day after the new year festivities, I headed to Sagada for a starter trip! It was one of the best feelings in the world -to head out exactly after January 1st. It's like you are owning this year for travel and I do hope the last six months of 2014 will live up to the first half *crossing fingers*

Sagada is one of the municipalities in Mountain Province. It only has a population of 11, 244 people and the crime rate is close to zero. It takes 12 hours to get there, the trip's definitely long but trust me when I say it's worth it! Thinking about it now, even the body pain it'll give you will be worth it, despite of it lasting for 2-3 days. One week being the worst! The place is most popular for activities like trekking, spelunking and exploring caves and waterfalls, rappelling, bonfires, and participating in tribal activities of the locals. Peace of mind? This place is sure to bring you lots. Adventure? More so.

We got our scheduled tour (see, I'm a fan of hassle free scheduled tours) from Parana Tours for P3,200 per person. It depends on how many you are on the group and for this one, there were 7 of us! It was my first time to travel with my 'studious' cutest college friends who knows almost all of my secrets and they surely gave me a great time! Anyway, 8 hours from our meeting point in Manila we had breakfast at Halfway Inn who has a teaser view of the Rice Terraces. It wasn't even the pretty version but we were already amazed. Two hours more of travel and we arrived at one of the view points for the ever-famous-one-for-the-books Banawe Rice Terraces. Coupled with the sunrise it's sure to give you a breathtaking view.

The road to Sagada took 3 hours more. I was lucky I got the window seat this time because the view gave me nothing but bliss. I couldn't stop smiling! It was God-knows-how-much meters above sea level it's gonna give you a bit of the scared feeling but other than that you won't stop looking and being amazed on how this gorgeous scenery is even in front of you. I almost had stiff neck!

We stayed at Hidden Hill Inn throughout our trip. When we arrived, this cute little kid welcomed us and we later on realized that almost all the kids in Sagada looked like her! Try to observe when you get there and you'll see what I'm talking about. Anyway, Hidden Hill has very cozy beds, clean comfort rooms, and it has common areas both inside and outside where you can either watch TV or stay by the trees and light a bonfire. Plus the family who owns it is very hospitable they'll do anything to make you feel welcome!

We had our short lunch at Salt N Pepper Diner who absolutely has good food and excellent service! Be prepared though since meals in Sagada are quite expensive ranging from P150-P250 per person but the servings are huge. It also takes a while when you order, average serving time is prolly 30-45 minutes. The good thing is there are hardly any restaurants that doesn't serve delicious food!

Salt N Pepper Diner

While we were having lunch, our cave guide approached us and presented our options for spelunking. We had to pick before we head down since our entry point will be determined by the path we choose. Since we have two boys on our group and the hardest will always be the best option, we chose to do the cave connection of Lumiang and Sumaguing. Our guide advised us that it normally takes 4 hours since the path is a bit hard and long but it mostly depends on the group. Ours took 6 hours to finish - started at 1pm and ended at 6. Almost 7! That's even more than six hours to begin with.

You will be entering at Burial or Lumiang Cave and exiting at Sumaguing Cave. That's our 'before' shot. Before all the body pain happened, before my leggings were torn, before my shirt had all the mud stains, and before I was nearly crying and begging the capitol sealed jet to take me back because I couldn't do it anymore. (Yes, I'm a Hunger Games fan.)

It's an extreme activity and if you're one of those adventurous souls who are aiming for all the extremes then go for it! I can hardly walk after but thinking about it now, it's worth it. A friend once told me, it's better to look back at something and say "I can't believe I did that" than looking back and saying "I should have done that". I kept it in mind throughout the trip and it absolutely gave me the strength to go on.

Rappelling manually without any harness whatsoever

Fitting into super small holes!

You would have to rappel, fit into ridiculously small openings (couldn't even believe I was able to), and manage to balance and hold on tight for some slippery passages you'll go through along the way. Mind you, one wrong step and you could go running for your life. It's not a joke. We had to go through a stairway of stones wherein if you fall on your right and fail to keep your balance a cliff is waiting for you. Sketchy, huh?

Halfway through there was this natural pool inside the cave you can swim on. According to our guide it was 20 feet deep; looking back I was nervous since I just learned to swim and I'm not really that comfortable yet but what the heck I'm in the middle of a cave and it has this really awesome natural pool and I've been walking and doing all these extreme stuff for 3 hours now, I couldn't let this pass without plunging in! So I went ahead and conquered my fear. For all I know I didn't want to leave the pool after! However, since we have to get back by sunset, I had to let my natural pool go and continue the exhausting journey.

We had to endure the cold temperature three hours more and it's not that easy for the main reason that we plunged in and got our bodies soaked in water. After another round of rappelling we finally get to see the marvelous stone formations Sumaguing Cave has to offer. It was really pretty! Although if you're like me who was almost dead tired from the journey you might not be able to appreciate it that much until you see the pictures. Luckily, our cave guide Kuya Kevin, was able to take photos of the formations.

I wanted to scream a good 'yehey' when our cave guide announced that it's time to go back! Then he said it would take 350 steps I could cry. It was one of the MOST tiring exhibitions I've done in my whole life and up to now I still can't believe I conquered it. Sagada is truly a place for the adventurous. It was just the first day and I felt like I was able to lose 5 lbs already!

Anyway, here is our sample itinerary for Day 1 which was designed by Parana Tours:

  • 06:00am - ETA at Banaue / breakfast / picture taking at view points
  • 07:00am - ETD to Sagada
  • 10:00am - ETA at Sagada / check-in
  • 12:00nn - Lunch
  • 01:00pm - Proceed to entry point for Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave Connection
  • 06:00pm - Estimated time of return from the cave
  • 06:30pm - Back to lodging / wash up / dress up
  • 08:00pm - Dinner / bonfire / socials

(Please note that this is individually quoted and based on the number of persons traveling which was in our case 7)

  • Parana Tours Packaged Tour (just divided it by 3 since it was 3 days) - P1,066
  • Breakfast - P100
  • Lunch - P200
  • Tip for cave guide - P100
  • Dinner - P150
  • Drinks and chips - P50
TOTAL: P1,666.00

Any questions, fun experiences, and ridiculous moments in Sagada? Jot it in the comment box below!

Happy travels!