Reasons to love Sagada

sagada-08Sagada is one of the 10 towns of Mountain Province situated in the vast mountain ranges of the Cordilleras. It is higher in altitude compared to Baguio City and is naturally colder. It is famous for its serene environment, caves and waterfalls, its own version of Marlboro country and has been visited by tourists for its unique weaving and good food.

Based on some historic accounts, Sagada was untouched by the Spaniards until the 17th century. Apparently, it was them who introduced the cultivation and production of Arabica coffee, as well as citrus fruits such as lime, lemon, and oranges because of the town’s climate. Later on, when Anglican missionaries settled to teach their faith to the locals, strawberries, peaches and apples became part of their agriculture.

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Poblacion Sagada

The town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Luzon at present. Apart from the activities it offers like spelunking, hiking, and sightseeing of the hanging coffins, tourists claim that there is something about the town that hook them. Some say it’s the best place to go to, to avoid the hustle and bustle of the big cities; some would say the culture of the natives are captivating and inspiring; and some would also say it’s where broken hearts go.

It was in the 70’s that Sagada became popular to tourists from the different provinces in the Philippines and abroad. Some would go there for a retreat, some would immerse themselves in the culture of the natives, and some would give the adventurous activities a try.

For some reasons, a lot of tourists nowadays seek solace, in what other people would say, Sagada’s β€œmagical and hypnotic” beauty. True enough, you’d hear some of them say, they were β€œhealed” when they went there or that they finally β€œrediscovered” themselves after spending a few days surrounded by the smell of pine and a slow pace of lifestyle.

So how does one get to Sagada?

The jump-off point to Sagada is Baguio City. Tourists who come from Manila have to take a 5-6 hours trip to Baguio and transfer to another bus to Sagada for a travel time of 3-4 hours. Finding the right homestay or inn will never be a problem since these have sprouted like mushrooms over the past few years. Restaurants for local and international food have boomed as well.

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GL Trans is one of the buses bound to Sagada from Baguio. The first trip of the day is 06:30 and the last trip is 13:00.

What to see and do:

  1. Try the cave connection!
  2. Hike towards Bomod-ok falls and take a dip!
  3. Drown yourself in yogurt at the Yoghurt House!
  4. Drink your tea with lemon and blueberry pie at the Lemon Pie House!
  5. Light a bonfire and sip the local strawberry or rice wine to keep you warm!
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Being a tour guide in Sagada is a livelihood. Usually, one tour guide is responsible for 1-4 people in a group. Depending on the chosen activity, the rates also vary per tour guide.

 

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“Sit, grab… slide.” These are the usual tips of tour guides once you get inside the cave and walk over limestone that are very slippery because of mud and water.

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At the entrance of Sumaguing Cave lies this simple yet very important reminder to take care of our environment.

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This bell is located near the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, an Episcopalian church. Anglican is the primary religion of the people here. Anglican missionaries taught their faith to the natives during the 17th century.

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The lemon pie of Sagada has the right balance of sweet and sour. Pair it with the local’s mountain tea and you get a perfect afternoon for chatting with friends or with your favorite book.

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Sagada’s Yoghurt House is one of the most sought after restaurants in the town. But the yogurt is not the only one to die for here. There are various meals served with huge servings and truly mouth-watering!

Whether one goes there to have peace and quiet, experience some extreme activities, or mend a broken heart, it is undeniable that Sagada exhibits natural wonders that thrill and excite, beauty that soothes and comforts, and a culture that is rich and strong.

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