Our Baguio-Sagada-Baguio trip was the most tiring one thus far, but it’s the sweetest way to seal the year after starting it with our Batanes trip January of 2014. The original plan was to take a bus to Banaue, then ride the van or jeepneys going to Sagada. But I don’t know if the bus lines from Manila to Banaue takes reservations and I anticipated that there will be long lines via that bus route. Aside from that, we’re still undecided if we’re going to push the trip all the way to Sagada or just go to Baguio for the cold weather. At dahil gusto talaga naming umalis, I booked the Joybus going to Baguio for December 26, from there, bahala na si Batman kung tutuloy sa Sagada.
December 26, 2014: Baguio
We left Manila at 4 am, very comfortable naman ang Joybus at mabilis pa, so after 5 hours, we’re already in Baguio. We just left our things at Dely’s Inn, had breakfast at Good Taste Restaurant, and then proceeded to the playground at Burnham Park. We napped for around 2 hours back at the hotel. Gwen is so excited going back to Wright Park to ride a horse kaya di pwede mawala sa itinerary yun, after our nap, we rode a taxi going to Wright Park. Ang traffic sa Baguio during that time, naglakad na lang kami passing by Botanical Garden, Ketchup Food Community, then Wright Park.
After Gwen’s horse ride, syempre KFC na. I wasn’t able to try Canto’s Lomo Ribs last Holy Week so we ordered that for dinner. Okay lang naman 🙂
Gwen’s ninong also arrived in Baguio that same day so we met up with them at night for a couple of beer in Solibao Restaurant in Burnham Park.
We slept early that night because we plan to catch the first trip to Sagada at 5:30 am in Dangwa terminal.
December 27, 2014: To Sagada
Here is where the adventure starts. We arrived in Dangwa terminal at 5:30 am, we’re shocked at the long queue, and if we count the number of buses before we can ride a bus to Sagada, siguro mga 4 buses pa and we’ll have to line up until 11 am or 12 noon since buses leave every hour. Chaotic talaga, because I already warned Jeff that Dec. 27 to 28 is Sagada’s Bonfire Festival, hence the influx of tourists.
Jeff saw that there’s no queue for the tickets to Bontoc, he then suggested that we take the Bontoc bus instead and then ride a jeepney going to Sagada for another 1 hour. Since I also hate falling in line, we took the plunge and off we go to Bontoc. Ticket from Baguio to Bontoc is Php 220.
The non-AC bus started to tread the meandering path of Halsema Highway, for me it was a delight seeing that familiar sight again after a decade. After an hour of that stomach-churning ride, Gwen threw up. This is one for the books because we already thought that she can take any bumpy rides after all our travels, pero di pa pala and we’re caught unprepared. I have to buy wipes during the stopover, change her clothes, and grab a few pieces of sando bags for the next 3 hours of bumpy ride.
I can’t count how many episodes of throwing up Gwen did, boy, that was the longest bus hour ride of my life. If we’re not in between a mountain and a cliff, I would have stopped the bus and just go back. Fortunately, we arrived at Bontoc alive! We headed to the jeepney terminal going to Sagada, one more hour to go and we’re done! Jeepney ride to Sagada from Bontoc is Php 45.
This is it, Sagada na! But wait, the mishaps don’t stop there. Since we’re undecided from the start if tuloy ‘tong Sagada trip, I didn’t reserve a room for us. We expected that we can find an accommodation with the help of their Tourist Info Center. After paying the tourists’ registration fee which is Php 35, Jeff and I spent a good 1 hour looking for a place to stay. All the inns/guesthouses were fully booked, kasi nga daw dahil sa Bonfire Festival. Tinuro pa nga kami that we can sleep in the hospital if wala na kami mahanap na accommodation.
I finally got a room/bed for us to stay even for just 1 night, it’s a homestay, the owner has an extra room to spare and she asked for Php 250 per head.
We slept in 1 room while Ate Rose slept in this makeshift bed found in their sala. There’s no hot/cold shower, mag-aala-icebucket challenge ka pag maliligo ka.
We’re so exhausted with our trip, si Jeff 7 pm pa lang tulog na! We woke up the next day around 9 or 10 am. Thanks to the fleece blankets provided by our host, we were able to sleep despite the cold night.
December 28, 2014: Echo Valley, Calvary Hill, Lake Danum
We decided to look for guesthouses kung san kami makakalipat, malayo rin kasi yung homestay. Good thing there were guests leaving at Ganduyan Inn, just beside the Sagada Town Hall. Ate Rose and I took care of transferring our things.
After having our power breakfast at Masferre, we’re ready for our next adventure. We just followed the Sagada map and walked through some of the attractions like Echo Valley and Calvary Hill.
The chilly weather is so conducive for sleeping that’s why we slept for siesta hehe.
In the afternoon, we decided to join a group tour going to Lake Danum. Php 550 for the round-trip tour. Ganda ng Lake Danum! Sabi nga nung iba dun, para daw nasa Lake Tahoe, though I can’t relate.
We went to an elevated area just near Lake Danum in time for the sunset.
After the tour, we had dinner at Sagada Brew with our friend Katrin, akalain mo yun, akala ko sa Baguio lang kami makakakita ng friends, sa Sagada rin pala.
December 29, 2014: Mt. Ampacao, Sagada Weaving, pasalubong shopping
This is Jeff’s wish, to climb the mountain with Gwen. The tour fee is Php 1,000. I’m not in the mood to hike that time, my body’s not ready haha, tsaka walang kasama si Ate Rose pag sumama ako kila Jeff na mag-hike (dinahilan ko lang talaga si Rose :p). Ayan, nag-date ang mag-ama. Sulitin na rin ang Ergo baby carrier.
After their 3-hour father-daughter bonding, they went back to Ganduyan Inn to check on us. Ayun, pagbalik nila, kakagising ko pa lang :). While Ate Rose did some pasalubong shopping for her nanay and siblings.
While still deciding where to eat, we dropped by the Sagada Weaving showroom to buy bags and some souvenirs. I bought a small bag from Sagada Weaving 10 years ago during our first trip to Sagada, until now, I’m still using it, ang tibay. So when we went back, Jeff bought me a backpack.
December 30, 2014: Sagada to Baguio to Manila
We woke up at 4 am to catch the first trip of the bus going to Baguio, kaya lang, may mas maaga pa sa amin and we caught the second trip na at 5:30 am. Bumili na ako ng 1 pack ng sando bag :p. But this trip was manageable, Gwen was asleep for the first 3 hours ng mala-bitukang Halsema Highway. Kaya lang ako ang medyo nahilo, next time, remind me to drink Bonamine :p.
We arrived in Baguio at 10 am, then taxi ride again to Victory Liner because we have to buy tickets to Manila. We got the 2 pm regular bus ride. 6 hours + another 6 hours (naging 8 hours pa nga because of the traffic and stopovers), longest land travel ever! We just made fun out of the situation, like food trip every stops.
Baguio-Sagada-Baguio was awesome! Ended the year with one epic trip with the people who matters most, yes, kasama si Ate Rose.
See you again Sagada, maybe after a decade again, when Gwen is old enough to do spelunking :).