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Sagada and the Rice Terraces

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If you’re a person who likes adventuring in mountains, hills or cliffs, and you love to use your hiking boots or sandals, Sagada and the Mountain Province are one of the best destinations for you to visit. When you wake up in the morning at your lodge and look at the sunrise outside, you will feel thankful for being there. The sunshine is bright yet the weather is cool, needing you to wear a sweater. And the village is quiet. It is an ideal escape, a place to recuperate if you live in a city under tropical climate and makes you feel stressed everyday.

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You will witness great views from the provincial highway along a thousand high cliff. But before deciding to go there, be cautious of traveling there as there is recent news about a certain bus line that unsuccessfully reached there due to a terrible accident.

People who live in Sagada’s village are peaceful and humble. They like listening to country music and the coffee shops they operate play New Age music to add to a customer’s escape mood.

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Places to Visit

1. The Burial Cave

The Burial Cave is a few centuries old already. In the past, people there practiced burying their loved ones by mummifying and putting them in a crouching position to fit in small coffins. The last burial there took place in 1984.

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READ THE CAVING RULES BEFORE PROCEEDING.

2. Sumaging Cave

Trekking Sumaging Cave needs good knees. Rocks are slippery; some are sharp and the water in the cave is ice cold so before proceeding, be sure you have a local tour guide with you because a briefing is given for safety measures in the cave. Better listen carefully to the orientation and most of all, be sure you eat well and have a good cup of hot chocolate or soup.

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The cave has magnificent rock formations. Below is a formation that locals call “curtain” since it does look like window curtains.

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The deeper part of the cave has more of these formations, wherein the rocks get too big and too slippery to walk on, so spelunking is done which is one the fun parts in this adventure.

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Beyond that, the water gets up to chest deep and this can be bad for someone who can’t stand getting dipped in freezing water for at least 15 more minutes. In that case, you may choose to stay behind and wait for your companions to come back. However, you will be left with no lamps and the cave is pitch black. Therefore, it is advisable to bring your own flash light.

3. Bomodok Falls

Going to Bomodok Falls takes an hour from your car’s parking area. You are advised to bring 1 liter of water. You will pass by a nice looking valley on your way there.

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When you reach the falls, you will witness its beauty. You may bathe in the water of the falls; however, it can get too cold and you have to be careful not to slip when walking on the rocks.

If you want to just relax and sit around, you can take a foot massage service from any of the kids who go around area.

4. Sagada Weaving Shop

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Locals in this region have great talent in weaving. They make products with beautiful design patterns. If you have a thing for crafts, this is one of the best places to shop crafted products in the Philippines.

Fresh fruits are best buys in the Mountain Province. Nobody should miss fresh strawberries. There are many vendors in their local market that sell them however on peak seasons, strawberries easily run out.

5. The Rice Terraces

After visiting Sagada, the next thrilling trip is going to the rice terraces. It takes a four-hour road trip to get there.

Again, the road journey goes through the provincial highway on a cliff about a thousand feet high so be sure to have a reliable driver with you who slows down on uncertain parts of the highway.

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You can stop by the big Our Lady of Fatima Statue, offer a short prayer and take a bathroom break.

The viewing deck of the rice terraces is the final stop of the road trip where you can take pictures, buy souvenirs and socialize with the Igorot locals. They put on their ethnic clothes for tourists who want to take pictures with them.

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The best months to visit this region in the Philippines are from December to April, when stormy season is not around to bring typhoons.

If it is your first time to visit there, go with travel groups to have everything arranged for you such as transportation, lodging, food, and tour guides. You can check either of the following travel groups for their trip packages.

Travel Factor:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/travelfactorhq

Twitter: https://twitter.com/travelfactor

WowTrippers:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wowtrippers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WOWtrippers

Head Organizer: Janine Manaig

Mobile: 63 923 712 5083

 

 

 

 

Author: Carla Pido

 

All photos courtesy of the author

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This article is also published on Carla’s blogsite:

http://imbctraveling.wordpress.com

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