December has always been adventure time for the family, and last year was no different. We took a long drive to the enchanted mountain town of Sagada; leaving Manila at around 11pm, stopping over at 5:30am in Baguio for breakfast and some stretch-those-legs time, before taking that long final trek through the ‘highest highway in the Philippines’ and arriving in Sagada at around 3pm. The Christmas chill welcomed us not so ‘warmly’. We had to wrap ourselves with whatever it was that could keep us from getting cold.
Sagada was altogether a different adventure. The family had always been partial to water, being scuba fanatics and all. But for once, my wife, Wit, thought of a totally different adventure. And as is always the case, she wins any argument hands down. Mysteriously, even a 3-3 vote always comes out a unanimous decision in her favor! More tricks up her sleeve than the Comelec, don’t you think?
In Sagada, we trekked the mountaintop to watch the glorious sunrise come out. We took a dip at the cool pristine waters of Bomod-ok Falls.
We marveled at beautiful flowers and wild orchids we haven’t really seen before. And the food? The vegetables were fresh and crunchy. The meat too was extraordinarily tasty. Must be the mountain air. And they were priced reasonably too.
We also saw the old coffins traditionally embedded in the cliffs or wedged at the mouths of the caves the natives held sacred.
And we took a crazy spelunking tour of the Sumaging Cave. The cave tour had two options, the easy and the hard one. The kids outvoted me a million to one, so we had to take the hard route which took us about 3-plus hours.
A lot of crawling and swimming and cliff-hanging and rappelling and slipping and dying a bit, you name it; and lots of praying, too! A different, yet totally exhilarating experience, it truly was!!!
Oh, and they had indoor pools too. If you’ve seen the pools at the Pamukkale in Turkey, you will find their lesser-known indoor sisters in Sumaging. Check it out.
For more on Sagada, go to: Visit Sagada.