Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sagada Chronicles: Day One

Original Itinerary (Was it followed? Nah!)

We left at exactly 12:30. I was tad excited I did not even sleep the whole day, considering that the only descent sleep I will be having is on the bus. We waited for maybe an hour for a bus going to Baguio. I ate siomai in the bus terminal and made me regret that! My stomach got upset and made me stay awake fighting the urge of not to throw up. I'm gonna give you a spoiler now. That upset stomach was the last bad thing that ever happened to us on the whole trip. 

We arrived at Baguio around 5 in the morning. We had our cold lugaw and a little Baguio-lovin' reminiscing before taking the bus going to Sagada. We lived in Baguio together before that's why it's so dear to us, but that's another story. The road to Sagada will always be a bittersweet experience. Bitter because of all its twists and turns and when you're quite unlucky, you'll land on a bus having it's seats still covered in plastics which will make your ass slide every twist of the road. Like what we had. I was wearing a skin tight leggings which translates to a slippery clothing when in contact to a plastic seating. It made me sleep less because of the balancing I had to pull off. Well, the sweet side of that was the view. I just adore the mountains and the marvelous terraces our ancestors made for us. 

After our lunch, we went straight to the SaGGA office to meet with my contact. Unfortunately he wasn't available so we got assigned to another guide, which I did not regret for even a moment. His name is Sotero. He was older than the usual guides. He told stories about the places and their culture. I thought that was just their usual spiels. Until we really got to know him. He was one of the most genuine person I ever knew. He helped us go through the Echo Valley. It was a place where you'll get to hear your echo once you shout. We had good laughs on how he mimics the shouts of other tourists. 

My Cristo Redentor Pose at the Echo Valley
Us at the Burial Site at Echo Valley

Going down in this burial site was quite dangerous. The path was along some cliffs and the dried leaves and pine needles were slippery. Anyhoo, we still made it. According to our guide, people placed here actually requested for it. The one in a bright brown coffin was the newest addition. It was December 2010. You'll notice that there were chairs attached too. Those were the chairs used for their wake. Apparently, there were those nights were in the dead must be seated on a chair like regular people. You'll also see that other coffins are rather small for a person. This is because they were placed inside in a fetal position. The purpose of that is very interesting - they wanted to go back to mother nature like a little fetus again. We also learned that they do not use preserving chemicals like formaldehyde. So their dead really smells after several nights at the wake. Coffins are also a chance for bayanihan, they were made by friends. There are no funeral parlors. Some do their own coffins even before they die. I'm not quite sure if all these apply to every deaths in their place or to some traditional people only. Nevertheless, still very interesting. I know they have this regular cemetery which is free to use by the way, where they bury their dead the modern and Christian way. So hanging coffins is no longer for everybody, but what about the formalin? I forgot to ask, damn.

After that trip to Echo Valley, we quickly had our showers and headed outside again. We wanted to savour the place and spent less time in our inn. While waiting for dinner time(we had reservations at Log Cabin for the 7pm dinner), we killed time by having our photo shoot. He has a good eye for photography and I love modelling. Haha. We also met a beautiful dog, locals call him Raffy, we call him our friend. He tagged along everywhere we went. It made us think he was tour guiding us. =)

Our dinner at the Log Cabin was an experience. The place was cozy, it even had a lit fireplace. Other guests were mostly foreigners. We actually felt good about it. He said it was a nice decision to had ourselves reserved. Then the food came. We marveled on our first bites. It was different. The chef was French, the food were not familiar. At least not for us. After we ate a quarter part of our food we agreed to exchange plates. I had his mustard covered penne pasta. He had my chicken and mushroom in cream. Then we ate silently, both of us trying so hard not to spill the truth. But then it had to come out. I can't recall who said it first, but it was a mutual thing - we were not enjoying the food at all!! I don't know if the food was just plain or our palettes were just used to plain food.  We are definitely not one of those people giving wonderful reviews about that restaurant. Sorry. 

That sums up pretty much everything of our first day. We had few drinks in our inn that night just to let us sleep early. We received an invitation to attend a local party from my previous Sagada trip tour guide, but we passed. 4:30 am was our call time. We'll have try to view the sunrise the next day. Watch out for that entry, journal. =)


  1. i remember that dish! i like the ambiance and the hearty food at Log Cabin too. rewarding! hehe

  2. Thanks for dropping by Chyng! Ang bongga ng ambiance noh.. Kakamiss!

  3. I have exactly the same placemat on my table right now. :D

  4. Ang daming wrong grammar and spelling. People like you shouldn't definitely be called a blogger.