Banaue – Sagada – Baguio

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Banaue – Sagada – Baguio

By |July 30th, 2015|Travel Blog|5 Comments

Banaue Sagada Baguio Itinerary and Experiences

On this travel, I decided to go with a travel agency since i’m going with my family. Less freedom but less hassle too. No more thinking of what the Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary will be, just go with the flow. We’ve originally booked with Quinto Travel & Tours but for some technical reasons we’re transferred to a different agency – Travel Ventours, and man how glad we were that happened. Our driver – kuya “palaboy” and the tour head kuya – Joey made the trip very fun, accomodating, and sympathetic. It’s like a buddy-buddy relationship not a serious-work type relationship and we liked that. Meetup was 7PM at MOA. It’s a night travel so we’re forced to sleep in the van but i tell you, it would be very challenging to sleep in a van, specially when going to Mountain Province, my god, I tell you, roads are all like “S” and you don’t want the van to slow down because that would take take us noon to get to Banaue so you have no choice but to adapt to being thrown left and right because of the so much “S” roads(it’s the most curvy road i’ve been to, like a thousand left and right curves ). And that’s where we were so wrong, it was my grandma’s first time riding a plane and of course she had jet lag and then trying to sleep in a van with those curves you know what’s next. Yes, she threw up, good thing we brought “bonamine”(it’s treatment of motion sickness) so she threw up only once :)) Also, there were 3 vans set off for the tour and each driver had walky talkies so they were constantly communicating, the first van instructing the others whether it would be safe to overtake to the other lane. There I knew, we were under the wheels of some experts.

Despite the challenging ride we arrived safely but of course less sleep but once we gazed upon those godlike scenery of the Banaue Rice Terraces, man, stress was gone in an instant. With the sun gazing on your face, breathing in mountain-fresh air, and seeing those green refreshing terraces, our aliveness levels – 100%. It stayed that way since we ate our breakfast just right beside the viewing point of the rice terraces. After eating we were set off to Sagada. As we arrived we checked in at Billy’s House, our family were situated at the largest room. It was a house-like inn, there were cooking and eating materials, a refrigerator, 2 bathrooms with heater but i suggest you not to use it – to experience the natural cold waters of Sagada :)) We were given 2 hours to relax and yeah, all were dead asleep for that 2 hours. We had lunch at salt and pepper diner, food here for us was just not worth it’s hefty price. We were then set off to my favorite part of the trip, spelunking on Sumaguing Cave. By far, my most exciting and challenging caving experience and I experienced it with my family. Sadly my grandma wasn’t fit to do it and my aunt, she tried but she only carried to go 10% of the path and she backed out. Like many others, a lot were scared of the slippery limestone rocks. Also, the steep downhill steps added to their anxiety and yeah, they just couldn’t take the pressure. The guides said no one died yet there so that made us more confident that we won’t die either LOL. It was all doable, a very old american man even carried on with the trail and he did it with his black leather shoes(black leather shoes! so badass). That old man inspired a lot of people in there – “if he can do it why can’t I”(I guess that’s what all of the people there thought of). It was really hard stepping down those slippery rocks but there are a lot of guides watching and assisting you on what to do, how to do it right so you won’t slide and they are so right if you just follow them. But on the part where we need to slide slowly there was one girl who recklessly slided down and yeah she slipped all the way down, no worries though, it was on the smooth limestone side and there was water below. She didn’t get any bruises but yeah she was so wet :)) Because of that incident excitement levels went higher, people were all in camaraderie mode and that made it all better. The limestones are slippery but with proper body position and control you won’t slide over. You will also go back the trail the same way you got in so that makes it twice the fun. Don’t worry going back is easier, i don’t know any scientific reason for that but trust me, it’s easier. Going out that cave, we never felt more alive, you know that feel after so much thrill and excitement, yeah that feel.

After the cave experience, our group(12 of us in our van) decided to just cook dinner ourselves because food in diners are expensive. So we got into the market, bought ingredients and went back at Billy’s House to cook dinner. And man, how glad was i to bring my old people, they headed the cooking and yes, it was well appreciated by the group – food tasted awesome as always. I really liked our decision, it was the time where the group got to know each other closely and i think we needed that. Good food really brings people closer. It was then time to rest, another exciting day ahead.

The second day we started by cooking our own breakfast. After breakfast it was time to head on to Bomod-Ok falls. If you rarely exercise or even walk at long distances this will be pretty hard for you. I think it was a 2km trek to the falls and with the scorching heat of the sun it’s pretty challenging. My grandma again just stayed in the van and chatted with the locals because yeah, she can’t do the challenging trek. My aunt barely makes it to the falls because she wasn’t used to walking such long distance under the punishing heat. But we all made it, and seeing the huge and majestic falls, we just felt relieved. Tired wasn’t even a thought specially after we dipped into the ice cold waters of the falls – it’s really freezing cold, the coldest waters i’ve been to by far. You won’t see anyone who won’t shiver terribly once he/she dips down into the waters of the falls, you’re not human if you won’t shiver in those waters. After the shivering, the guides will let you choose as to either go back with trail we used coming to the falls or trek for just “5% of the original trail” and then ride a jeepney. Yes, that’s what the guide said, 5% of the original trail and we were all like, “whuuuut when do we get there we’re walking for a while now”. I know the jeepney is also part of their business but they could’ve just told the truth that the jeepney is still like more or less a kilometer trek away, not tell us it’s near and let us expect something that is not. That made people anxious but it’s all good, our understanding and attitude towards accepting the challenge are far more greater. The group were also excited when they knew they could ride on the roof of the jeepney, made them forget the trust issue as they were all screaming with the rugged and curvy roads :))

We then had lunch at Sagada Homestay and food were was way better and cheaper than the last lunch we had(definitely suggest it). After lunch, we head on to Echo Valley where the Hanging Coffins are also located. This time my grandma had a chance to go on a slight hike with us to Echo Valley. The limestone cliffs brought my mind back to Palawan where i always saw mountainous limestone rocks around me. They also call it Echo Valley simply because whenever you shout, well you know, it echoes. My grandma only saw the Hanging coffins from a distance because it’s a steep trail down the hanging coffins. And i tell you it’s a quite challenging trail, still slippery with some limestone rocks and terrain with rough slopes. It’s only slippery when it’s raining but in Sagada raining is normal, so just be ready for the challenge. Their belief for the hanging coffins is that the higher your body is laid, the closer they are to heaven. But only registered citizens of Sagada can practice this, if you really want to be hanged with the Hanging Coffins, go marry a fellow who lives in Sagada :)) We then head off to Sagada Weaving. You’re not allowed to disturb the weaver’s, maybe that’s the reason why they produce such high quality woven materials(their store is just beside their factory). Last stop was the Sagada Pottery and I was quite disappointed because back in Ilocos they allowed free pottery making but in Sagada they don’t, they charged for a price, i forgot, but i know it wasn’t cheap because no one in the group tried to do it. Maybe because the pottery materials in Sagada are scarce? I don’t know, but I understand that because it’s their business and I’m not against it – forward march Philippine economy! We then again decided to cook dinner ourselves. The group shared their experiences for the day, stories came out, and yeah it’s just stimulating to the spirit when you’re in good company. After dinner the young people had further company, the other group from the other van came over and that was so fun, you know why – because they were of different nationalities(we called them the united nations), one was Canadian(Leisha/Laisha/Laysha i dunno how it spells and she was kind of special so I made a post for her here), one was British(Elizabeth), one was Indian(Ashwapati) and the other one was a Filipina(JC). We had snacks, a few drinks, and a pack full of lively and entertaining conversations. Man, i still remember the laughter we all shared despite the differences in nationality – happiness truly is relative. We had so much fun staying up so late we almost forgot we would be waking up early for the sunrise viewing at Kiltepan.

That’s why in the early morning, the ones who stayed up late had heavy eyes – you know that feeling when you still want to sleep and your eyes feel so heavy you can’t open it, yeah, that’s the downside of having so much fun late at night :)) But as we arrived at the sunrise viewpoint it was just wow. It was made famous by the Filipino movie “That thing called tadhana” and it was then branded as the place where broken hearts go, where they scream there hearts out, where the sun radiates the sea of clouds.

And for me it’s kind of fitting to people with broken hearts, no matter how lonely you are, there will always be people that will stay by your side, let you shine and bring the best in you. And unconsciously you’ll bring the best in them too, just like the sunrise. In one perspective it lights up the clouds and brings the best them but in the other perspective the clouds perfectly conceal the sun shine at first and when it’s time for it to radiate its beauty the clouds will give way but not entirely leave, just stay by the sun’s side and together they show us that harmony and good company creates natural beauty that’s unachievable by going alone.

Well, so much for the feels trip, we then departed from Sagada to Baguio, had late breakfast at an eatery in La Trinidad, Baguio. We then arrived at the Strawberry farm. The strawberry farm wasn’t as visually appealing as I expected and Baguio isn’t that cold either but I think when it rains it will be cold or maybe there’s really a part in Baguio where it’s really cold, if there is it’s not where the strawberry farm is situated. Their strawberry as always tastes great, we liked it, but their seedless oranges we loved it! The best oranges that pleasured my mouth so far. Beside the farm are souvenir shops a lot of them so take your time hunting for the cheap ones you can really save a lot if you know how to :)) Our last stop was the Lion’s Head, a famous attraction along Kennon Road. We decided to just take a picture of it from the van, there are a lot of people crowding the head and there are a lot of speedy cars passing by – of course it’s a highway. And you know when there are old people, safety level is over 1000% LOL. After a short while we had lunch at an eatery in Baguio. We arrived in Manila at 9pm and yeah – traffic. We checked in at Jade Hotel in Makati, it was a cool hotel, had a nice pool and dining place but quite expensive. We could’ve gone to cheaper ones but nah, it’s for the family, they deserve the best :))

Denouement

Banaue Sagada Baguio Itinerary

The sceneries? Breathtaking. But it’s literally breathtaking (you’re gonna experience heavy breathing most of the time) because this travel is full of adventurous trails and terrain. We thought that our grandma could’ve handled going to most parts of the trip but we were so wrong. I do not suggest very old people to go with the caving and trekking. But experiencing first hand the beauty and grace of the terraces in Banaue, the radiance of Kiltepan’s sunrise, my grandma said to me after the trip, “Even though I didn’t enjoy the spelunking and trekking because of my old age I’m still so happy you brought me there. I have experienced more of nature’s beauty in those 3 days than I had my whole life!” and then she smiled and walked to where my aunt, my parents and brothers were standing and then I saw them talking, smiling… happy. No sight could ever top that.

Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary and experiences

Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary and experiences

Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary and experiences

Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary and experiences

Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary and experiences
Banaue Sagada Baguio itinerary and experiences
Time Act Expenses(Per Person in Pesos)
* in 3,200PHP/pax for agency
 
1:00PM – 2:00PM Lunch at Wendy’s NAIA 120
2:00PM – 2:20PM NAIA to MOA 400
2:20PM – 6:00PM Stroll around MOA
– Snacks – 100
6:00PM – 7:00PM Dinner at KFC 100
7:00PM – 9:00PM Meetup with other groups at Trinoma *
9:00PM – 5:45AM Manila to Banaue *
Preliminaries – 720
Day 1
5:45AM – 8:00AM Breakfast and viewing Banaue 120
8:00AM – 10:00AM Banaue to Sagada *
10:00AM – 12:00AM Check-in and rest at Billy’s House *
12:00NN – 1:00PM Lunch at salt and pepper 180
1:00PM – 5:00PM Spelunking at Sumaguing cave *
– Snacks – 40
5:30PM – 8:00PM Buy/cook/eat dinner 70
D1 Total – 410
Day 2
5:30AM – 7:00AM Cook/eat breakfast 50
7:00AM – 1:00PM Bomod-ok Falls *
1:00PM – 2:00PM Lunch at Sagada homestay 110
2:00PM – 4:00PM Echo Valley/Hanging coffins *
4:00PM – 4:30PM Sagada weaving *
– Buy shirts and snacks – 180
4:30PM – 5:00PM Sagada pottery *
5:00PM – 8:00PM Buy/cook/eat dinner 70
8:00PM – 9:00PM Chill, take bath
9:00PM – 11:30PM Entertainment session
– Drinks and snacks – Sponsored by generous member :))
D2 Total – 360
Day 3
4:00AM – 5:30AM Checkout, travel to Kiltepan *
– Jeepney fare – 50
5:30AM – 7:30AM Kiltepan viewing *
7:30AM – 9:30AM Kiltepan to Baguio *
9:30AM – 10:30AM Breakfast 90
10:30AM – 12:00PM Arrive at strawberry farm *
12:00PM – 2:00PM Stroll farm and buy stuffs
– Snacks and pasalubong – 200
2:00PM – 2:20PM Lion’s head viewing *
2:30PM – 3:30PM Late lunch 100
3:30PM – 9:00PM Travel back to Manila *
9:00PM Checkin at Jade hotel 800
D3 Total – 1240
Bye, going home
7:00AM – 8:30AM Breakfast *free*
8:30AM – 9:15AM Makati to NAIA 3 400
Bye – 400
—————
Overall 3130 + 3200 = 6330

 

5 Comments

  1. sam September 17, 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

    your brother is cute what’s his name? 🙂

  2. Logan January 20, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Hi John,

    Its so glad to read all your positif comments about this agent, if you dont mine, could you pls. share with me the agents contacts since im going there for a week trip.

    Regards
    Logan

  3. Maison Real March 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Another important area is that if you are a senior, travel insurance regarding pensioners is something you should really look at. The elderly you are, a lot more at risk you happen to be for allowing something poor happen to you while overseas. If you are definitely not covered by several comprehensive insurance policy, you could have a few serious complications. Thanks for revealing your guidelines on this weblog.

  4. Sarah Simbol July 22, 2016 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Thanks for the blog, very helpful. It will be my first time in Banaue and Sagada next week, so I’m looking for backpackers who wants to join me. I have coordinated everything even the van..so if you’re interested, just text me at 0927 687 4929. Thank you 🙂

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