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!