Friday, April 25, 2014

Sagada & Banawe Adventure - A Dream Come True!

Banawe Rice Terraces

It's always been my dream to visit Sagada and Banawe to see the beautiful scenery and explore the area while I still can.  Many of my friends who been there tells me a lot of beautiful experience they had and how they conquer Sagada and Banawe.  I was really curious before for the things need to be conquer and what a thrilling experience they been through. 

I and my bespren Wella planned to go there way back 2007 however it did not materialized because she needs to leave the Philippines to work in United States.  I thought I will not be able to see the place when she left  but I was so glad when I saw a very affordable package tour and so I and my friends at work booked it as early as February.

It was Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014 at around 8:00 pm when we left Manila to see and have fun in Sagada and Banawe.  Going there was not easy because travel time from Manila to Sagada is already around 12 hrs. and aside from that the road going there was not easy.  I am just so glad that I am still able to sleep even if we were traveling in a zigzag road.  Since we avail the package tour, there were other people that have been with us in the van.  We were 9 travelers in the van, 3 of them were my friends and the other 5 folks were new acquaintances which later became our friends as well.

We arrived Sagada at around 8:00 am and since our day was full of activities we just ate breakfast, changed clothes and headed to Sumaguing Cave.  Most of us chose to explore the two caves connected which lasted around 7 hrs. trekking and exploring the beauty of the caves.

The trek inside the two caves was no joke.  It was really hard that you need to pay full attention to the guide because you might get accident in just one wrong move.  It was 7 hours trek however we did not really noticed the time as we need to concentrate on the trek and just enjoy the beauty of nature inside the caves.  It was long but worthwhile. 

I thought the following day was just an easy trek going to the falls.  It was easy compared to the caves however it tested our endurance because we need to complete about 6000 steps going up and down the mountain before enjoying the beautiful creation of God.  Oh well, I can't complain because all that I've seen down the mountain were all worthwhile.  It was a magnificent creation that awed me.

We really enjoyed the water after the long trek going down.  The beauty of the falls and all the things that surrounds it wiped away the tiredness that we felt that day. 

After we enjoyed the Bumod-ok falls we had a chance to explore the main place of Sagada where we enjoyed the church, the famous yoghurt house, the Sagada Market, rice wine and my all time favorite Lemon Pie.

It was sad but in every vacation there is always an end and so we left Sagada on Sunday around  4 am in the morning.  We were still tired because of the activities we had a day before that but then we need to pack up and headed to Manila.  But then on our way to Manila there were a lot of side trips that we enjoyed like watching the sea of clouds while waiting for the sun shine and of course my long awaited dream of seeing and walking to the famous Rice Terraces in Banawe.  Those things really made my day.

It was another unforgettable experience for me.  Sagada and Banawe will always be a special place for me.

Some tips for those who wanted to travel to Sagada:

- Book a tour with Tripinas because they offer a very cheap tour packages
- Bring food if you can because prices of foods in Sagada are higher compared to Manila especially for the processed foods.
- Be ready for a long walk because most of the time you need to walk to see the beauty of Sagada and Banawe.
- Have Fun!

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