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Sagada: Taking in the Mountains

I must confess that I'm more of a beach girl. It has something to do with the fact that I live in a mountain town. I'd rather lie down by the beach and drink beer until I drown or until my arm falls off.

Sagada is a different story. The first time I went there I'd come straight from work, and slept through the freezing temps.The second time I hiked for four hours on a bum leg to a giant waterfall and swam my ass off. Imagine dunking your head into a vat of ice water. Delicious! As they say, the third time's the charm. This time we brought a guitar and drank Heineken by the bonfire, battling the wind and the cold with nothing more than determination and thick jackets.

Sagada is a 6 to 8 hour drive from my hometown of Baguio City. From the capital, it can take as long as 15 hours. Rest assured, the trip is worth it. You can take a bus or rent a van. The views along the way are spectacular. You almost forget you are in the Philippines. Or you realize how beautiful this country is, really. 

Town Proper
Once you enter Sagada, you are treated to the sight of a beautiful mountain town.  Don't expect a backwards barrio. It's homey, a little urban but surrounded by nature. A lot of foreigners have settled here over the years, drawn in by the panoramic mountain views, cool weather and laid back atmosphere. If you love to hike, bike and trip, there are different trails to take for different levels of fitness. I'm not the fittest person in the world, but it's nice to stretch your legs. I'm afraid of falling off the trails really, because it just gets to pretty you end up stunned.


Sagada, like most of the surrounding provinces, is famous for the terraces. This farming technique was perfected by the Cordillerians eons ago. It involves laboriously carving out steppes on mountainsides and a complicated irrigation system that allows them to grow all sorts of crops year round. It's best to visit Sagada during the early summer months, from February onwards because the terraces are at their most beautiful. All that green boggles the mind.

sometimes it just gets so pretty. Drive up from Sagada and you will find yourself Banawe, where the most famous rice terraces are.

If you ever find yourself in the Sagada area, don't forget to try out the yogurt. Take home a bag of their delicious coffee too. 

The Small Falls

These kids had the right idea for a hot morning

Next time I'm going traipsing in the caves--I'm prepared for the bat guano and prepared to battle my claustrophobia. 


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