Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sagada: Unthinkably Beautiful Surroundings

My friend Judith Mayocyoc visited me last month and shared with me pictures and video of Sagada, her province. (Yea, Judith is an Igorot). The pictures made me reminisced the many beautiful memories I have of Sagada.

I visited Sagada about 8 years ago, with my bestfriend Ate Dearie, Jean Palapala and Angie Launico. The four of us were looking for a place where we could find silence from the hustle and bustle of modern life, and Judith recommended her own province Sagada, with a sense of pride. And Sagada did not fall short of our expectations. We found ourselves in an unthinkably beautiful surroundings.

Judith (a friend from mission) gladly accepted to be our tour guide and provide us free accommodation at her parents house in Sagada. She has been staying in Baguio so we first went up to Baguio to meet her then it took us about six to eight hours from Baguio to Sagada.

The Baguio-Sagada trip began early in the morning, and passed through rocky but by no means comfortable road. But the scenery made us forget all of the discomforts. We were treated to a fantastic mountain landscape, of rock face and green forest on one side, and a sheer drop hundreds of feet down on the other.

Just a 30-walk from the town square is the Sumaging Caves - among Sagada's most popular tourist attractions. Tread carefully in Echo Valley, as this place serves as the burial grounds, where the "Hanging Coffins" - small wooden coffins in which mummified bodies are placed, and then lodged in the limestone crags - can be found. This valley is also just a short hike from the Mission Compound's cemetery. A little bit more effort will bring you to a nature lover's dream destinations. The small but nevertheless charming Bokong Waterfalls. Here, you see mountain vistas that spread out to infinity, silent forests, rolling fogs, and, when you wish it, the opportunity for solitude. It is not hard to see why Sagada is also a favorite destination for soul - searchers. There are many reasons to come to Sagada. I want to go back there and stretch my legs, and stretch my senses!

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