Sagada: Much Needed Mountain Retreat

Where do broken hearts go? They go on mountain retreats, stuff their faces with lemon pie and gulp strong coffee and scream “You stupid ass, you broke my heart! You ruined me” at Kiltepan view.

Sarcasm aside, Sagada is known as “Mountain Province’s Pride” with only about 5,000 residents. It’s the best place to chase away summer. It’s coldest during February but we got to experience a cool 15c – 25c weather when we visited (March 2017).

How to get to Sagada:

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Coda Bus Lines offer straight trips to Sagada. I do suggest taking the Baguio-Sagada route. It took us 18 hours to get to Sagada when we took the Banaue Route, insane traffic situation in Sta Fe.

We booked bus tickets through PH BUS. It’s PHP 720 per way. You can book your return ticket to and pay for it via Dragonpay.

Where we stayed: Sagada Heritage Village

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For once, I did not require my friends to look for a hotel nor a place with air conditioning. We booked through booking.com in advance for only P3000.

The place is a little far from the town but the place is so quiet and serene and you wake up to a pretty damn good view every morning. Did I mention they serve unlimited coffee?

The hotel will pick you up and take you back to town when you check out for free.

Where to eat: 

YOGURT HOUSE (PHP 180 – 250) 

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Known as the best restaurant in Sagada. Best place for coffee and yogurt pre/post hiking. Must Try: Their yogurt desserts duh!

STRAWBERRY CAFE (PHP 150 – 200) 

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Definitely the perfect place to have breakfast. Their omelettes are delish! Must try: Ham and cheese omelette.

LEMON PIE HOUSE (PHP 150 – 250) 

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If you want to take the lemon pies home, you need to pre-order. A pan costs 220.

SAGADA BREW (PHP 150 – 200) 

A good place to eat. They have a superb breakfast menu consisting of of local and western favorites. And they serve coffee in a big mug here! Must Try: waffles

A good place for drinks too. Lots of people at night tho. They have local wines, they serve them by little glasses that only cost P30 each. Try their cherry, bugnay and rice wine.

LOG CABIN (PHP 280 – 300) 

Perfect place for dinner! You have to call them before hand because dinner is pre-ordered. Their Pork Tenderloin served with white pasta is LOVE.

Gaia (PHP 180 – 200)

For the gulay lovers out there. Gaia serves vegetarian dishes.  I’m not vegetarian but I love the food here! And the staff are super nice.

You might also be familiar with the place because it’s one of the places they shot in the movie “That thing called Tadhana”

Must try: Vegetarian Adobo

Getting around Sagada

Here’s the tricky part. There are no public vehicles in Sagada. You either book a car/ van for PHP 1800/ day.

Book a car to take to one place for 200, or be fetched and taken to another location for PHP 350.

Or…you hitch hike. I kid you not.

It’s a thing in Sagada, you can be courteous and offer PHP 20-50 pesos to those who let you hitch hike.

We hitched hiked a truck. Not the cute 4×4 truck, but the kind that delivers cement and construction stuff. It was pretty bad ass.

Tours / Adventures you need to try

Cave Connection / Spelunking 

By description, leaving your soul in the caves cos you probably dropped it there from all the “fun” stunts you will do.

This is not for the faint hearted. Cave connection takes about 3-4 hours. You will enter Lumiang Burial caves and emerge from Sumaging cave.

You will rappel, climb, slid through holes and walk through rocky, muddy and slippery places.

If you are a little girl who easily freaks out like me, you can do it. I came out alive but you will have to face your fears. Cos there were a lot of times I just wanted to cry and stop but then I realize, moving further is so much easier than giving up and turning back and doing all those crazy shit again.

If you are not up for the 3-4 hour cave adventure, you can just try Sumaging Caves. It takes about 1.5 hours to explore and the trail is pretty easily compared to the Cave Connection.

Cost: 400 / person (for a group of 5 people)

Adventure Trail

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Trail: Mary the Virgin Church – Echo Valley – Hanging Coffins – Underground Cave – Bod-mok falls.

Unfortunately because it was raining we had to turn back when we got to the Hanging Coffins. But the trail would have been 2 hours.

It’s mostly walking, compared to spelunking, it was mostly cardio.

Cost: 1000 for 5 people

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Our tour group with Kuya Jaime

Kiltepan Viewpoint

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To satisfy your “That Thing Called Tadhana Feels”

We got up at 4:30 am and waited for the sun to rise. It was a picturesque view, almost like a painting but there are a lot of people, especially on weekends.

Tip: Get a spot by the stairs or go further down, be careful and don’t die.

Cost: 500 for 3 people

Sagada Itinerary

March 24
9:30 PM Departure from Manila

March 25
2:30 PM Arrival in Sagada | Pay Tourism Fee: 35 (Jan 2017) | Book tours
Note: Keep Receipt because it’s needed when you go to tours
3:30 PM Check in Hotel | Freshen up
4:00 PM BR-UNCH-NER at Yoghurt House
6:00 PM French Crepes
6:30 PM Pre-order pies at Lemon Pie House
7:00 PM Drinks at Sagada Brew
7:30 Pm Back in Hotel
8:00 PM Sleeeeeepppp

March 26 
3:30 AM Wake up | Get Ready
4:30 AM Kiltepan Viewpoint
6:30 AM Breakfast at  Strawberry Cafe
7: 30 AM Cave Connection
1:00 PM Freshen up
3:00 PM Lunch
3:30 PM Adventure Trail
5:00 PM Drinks Cellar Door
7:00 PM Dinner at Log Cabin
9:00 PM Back in Hotel

March 27
8:00 AM Wake up
10:00 AM Check Out
11:00 AM Brunch at Sagada Brew
12:00 PM Buy souvenirs
2:30 PM Departure

March 28
2:00 AM ETA in Manila

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