Sagada belongs to the landscape mountain ranges of Cordillera Region. A 3hours away from Banaue and almost a 9hours away from Baguio City using one of the most dangerous highways in the country, the Halsema Highway.
First time I step my foot on Sagada was like Im lost on somewhere. A place filled with tall pine trees filling each corner and standing on a limestone cliffs, an area where numerous waterfalls are visible and cool climate reunites with native brewed coffee. A tranquility.
What I've noticed is that Sagada is a small town with narrow roads loaded with numerous restaurants, cafes, travellers' inns and homestays. A one-stop-shop destination for a homebody who simply love sightseeing, culture and local scenes. And for adventurer who seeks thrill and excitement just like me.
My 1st stop was to be at the Echo Valley. A 20-30minutes walk from the town proper. A short trekking passing the church of St. Mary and going through the Calvary Hill where the modern cemetery is located. I was ask to shout and an echo bounced back. Few more trekking downhill leads me to the "must see" thing in Sagada and that is the Hanging Coffin. A place where coffins were perched on high stone and mountain cliffs for they believe that their passed relatives would be closer to heaven. It is also an honor for them especially for the elders.
For a greater challenge, I decided to try the Cave Connection. A 4hour intense spelunking, rappeling, body squeezing, lifting and climbing. The starting point is in Lumiang cave, known also as the Burial Cave where more than hundreds of wood coffins would be found and the end point is the Big Cave or the Sumaguing Cave which served as a refuge area for Filipino soldiers during the WWII. Activities in here requires one to be fit and this is not advisable for claustrophobic people. Series of obstacles are a test of my ability. Local guides are provided for our safety. It is a must. I am really amazed of the towering rock formations as well as stalagmites and stalactites inside.
But for those who just wanted a simple spelunking, do the Single Sumaguing Cave.
After an overnight stay at Sagada we decided to wake up early at 4am to hike Mt. Kiltepan. One of the highest peak in the area to see the the sunrise and sea of clouds that goes out with it. After the sun risen, a magnificent view of Sagada owned rice terraces awaken our sleepy mood. It's just below Mt. Kiltepan's viewing area.
There are more adventure awaits me but due to time constraints, I am not able to try and see everything. So i promised myself to keep on going back until I have seen all their numerous caves and until i visited all their high-rising waterfalls.