12 MIDNIGHT

It was a six-hour trip from Sagada to Baguio. We only have one thing in plan on that province: a booked homestay at Tam-awan Village. From the bus terminal, we took a taxi going to the village. We booked this little native Ifugao hut as our home for the night.


10 AM

We intended to wake up early that morning to explore Baguio, instead we woke up at 10AM and found people having a tour in the village. We decided to have brunch at Farmer‘s Daughter Restaurant. An organic resto just adjacent the village.


TAM-AWAN VILLAGE: GARDEN IN THE SKY

It was indeed a garden in the sky. It is a 20-minute drive from Burnham Park. It’s a little farther compare to other tourist attractions. Aside from it’s cold urban Manila counterpart, it is also worth it to know Baguio’s heritage.

As we head back to Tam-awan when we thought we could join in the groups of people watching an ethnic performance. 





Tam-awan Village occupies several hectares of land along the northwestern part of the city. Although it is far out (and up), it gives you a view of Baguio City and West China Sea. It wasn't called Garden in the sky for nothing! It also showcases different kinds of Cordillera huts. Some of it has anitos or deities sculpted along these huts. The village has a little gallery and craft stores.



Anaba Hut

Although most home-stay and hotels are located along Burnham Park, we picked a rather different kind of accommodation. We booked this little Ifugao hut. It’s as if we were playing “bahay-bahayan.”


BURNHAM PARK

Burnham Park— a well-known park in the Philippines. It is basically the center of Baguio City, surrounded by famous and important establishments. A lot has changed since my last visit here. When I got out of the bus from Sagada, I wasn’t quite sure if I were really in Baguio. It was more urbanized than I remember.


We thought of ways to kill time, so we walked around Burnham Park and found a street full of bikes next to an improvised skateboard rink. Although I’ve never learned to bike, we decided to give it a try.

We rented a 2-seater bike.




LOTS OF WALKING

We were trying to save up our last money so we did a lot of walking. I mean, it was cold, it was sunny yet the heat’s still bearable, and what’s the best way to enjoy a foreign place than to walk around observing the scenes at each end— and you’ll never get lost in Baguio again.



PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL 2016

Panagbenga Festival, or Flower Festival, is a month-long event in Baguio. It means “season of blooming” occurring during the month of February. Lots of events, parties and dancing happen on this month. It is one of the most-awaited festivals in the Philippines— with floats beautifully covered with flowers, accompanied by colorful dancers and live festival music at their annual opening. So Baguio is pretty much busy during February. We arrived just in time for the closing ceremony of the Festival.







ITINERARY

DAY 1: IFUGAO
DAY 2: SAGADA

DAY 3: BAGUIO

We basically had nothing planned for this place, but here are our expenses:

Brunch: 90PHP | Lunch at Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant
Tam-awan Village: free | since this is our accommodations, we get free entrance fee to this cultural village
Tam-awan Village to Baguio City Proper: 15 minutes via taxi | 70PHP; 35 PHP per person
Burnham Park: free
Bike rental: Good for 1 hour | 50PHP; 25PHP per person | Bike at Burnham Park, P50 per bike
Dinner: 50-100PHP for a complete meal
Baguio to Manila: 6 hours via Bus | 445PHP | Ride a Victory Liner at Baguio City Proper
Transportation: It’s easy to roam around Baguio. We did a lot of walking to lessen our expenses, but taxi fares ranges from 50PHP-200PHP.
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Total: 705PHP per pax

For the complete itinerary, click here

Here’s a video compilation of our 5-day trip to Cordillera.



FOOTNOTES:
Photos taken with GoPro Hero 4. Some shot by Cheloi Marasigan | Baguio City, Benguet | February 2016 | Updated August 2018

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures! 



Read about the Disclosure here.

PART 2: SAGADA

We set our alarm to 6 o‘clock to prep for Sagada. Batad was a great start for our trip although i wish we could still explore the Hanai Rice Terraces and visit other attractions in the area. If we weren't doing a province-hopping, I wouldn‘t mind staying here for the rest of the week.





There are two ways of transportation from Batad to Sagada: (1) P150 jeepney ride from Batad to Bontoc and P100 jeepney ride from Bontoc to Sagada, (2) P300 L300 ride from Batad going straight to Sagada. We took the latter choice and got ours for P250 each. It was a 6-hour trip full foggy roads, cold faces and mini-heart attacks due to my fear of heights. This was definitely a memorable roadtrip.


We arrived in Sagada just in time for lunch. We were restricting our budget— Sagada was just a stopover on our original plan going to Baguio. Since the only bus from Sagada to Baguio was scheduled at 6pm, we decided to use our spare time to eat and visit one or two sites in Sagada. We registered at the Tourism Office and got a free map (this made it easier to explore the sites even more, no need for guides!) The admins were helpful enough to let us leave our backpacks at their office since we weren't checked in any hotels in the area.




SAGADA ECHO VALLEY

We decided to visit the Sagada Echo Valley and its Hanging Coffins. It is one of the famous tourist spots here in Sagada (and one of the cheapest finds yet.) It involves a beginner-friendly hike and a well-established flight of stairs. After an hour of trekking, we reached the Hanging Coffins.






HANGING COFFINS

It is easy to guess why Sagada Echo Valley got its name. Shout at the top of your lungs and hear the echo across the valley. The valley has this impressive rock formation good for rock climbing.




SAGADA WEAVING AND THE POTTERY




The Pottery was a fun experience. Cheloi got to try it for only P100. For beginners, they let them make bowls. Going to the pottery took us roughly an hour and another hour going back. The bus going to Baguio is already taking in passengers.






I still want to explore Sagada! The Bomod-ok Falls was on my bucketlist, although the lack of time hindered us. Sagada offers a lot of adventures from thrilling spelunking to chill view at Mount Kiltepan. Here‘s the list of some of it:

Cave Connection – 4-hour spelunking from Lumiang Burial Cave to Sumaguing. Tour fee is ₱400/pax (for 3pax and up) while the optional two-way transport costs ₱400/group.
Sumaguing Cave – Lumiang Cave entrance and a tour within Sumaguing Cave. Guide Fee starts at ₱500 (4 visitors or less).
Balangagan Cave Spelunking – Guide Fee is ₱650 for 4 pax or less while the two-way jeepney ride cost ₱650 good for 20 persons
Kiltepan Sunrise – a jeepney for ₱500 or jog to the view point to get a peek of the sunrise.
Bomod-ok Falls – 1.5 hour-trek going to the falls. Guide fee is ₱600/group of 10. Central Sagaga Eco Tour – Includes Echo Valley Hanging Coffins, Sagada Underground River, St. Mary’s Church, and Bokong Natural Swimming Pool. Guide fee is ₱600/group of 10.

IMPORTANT CONTACT NUMBERS

Tourism Information Center: +63 999 400 0088
Municipal Tourism Office: +63 999 991 1801
Office of the Mayor: +63 999 991 1800
Sagada PNP: +63 908 225 8115




ITINERARY & DAMAGE

DAY 1: IFUGAO

DAY 2: BANAUE TO SAGADA TO BAGUIO

Check out Accommodations
 Breakfast: inclusive
Batad to Sagada: Roughly 4-5 hours via van | 250PHP | Head to the town proper, specifically the market. You have the option to ride a van, that will get you straight to Sagada, or a jeepney bound to Bontoc (150PHP) and another jeepney going to Sagada (100PHP). We picked the latter part.
Environmental Fee: 35PHP | Once you arrive in Sagada, look for the Tourism office near the barangay Hall. From there, you can get tours for different tourist spots and fix your own itineraries depending on your liking.
Sagada Echo Valley Tour: Roughly 1 hour of hiking | 100PHP | This is the only tour we took because we only have a limited time in Sagada.
Church of Saint Mary the Virgin: free
 Lunch50-100PHP for a complete meal
Pottery Entrance Fee: Roughly 1 hour of walking | 50PHP | We didnt get a tour here. We mainly followed the map.
Pottery Tutorial: 100PHP | This is optional. We were intrigued and had Cheloi try this one out.
Sagada Weaving: free
 Dinner50-100PHP for a complete meal
Sagada to Baguio: 5-6 hours via bus | 182PHP | We waited for the Lizardo Bus headed to Baguio City. It is the only bus going to Baguio that time and it will leave at 6pm.
Baguio to Tam-awan Village: 15 minutes via taxi | 70PHP | This is where we booked our accommodation.
Check in Accommodations: Tam-awan Village | 1000PHP | We booked an Anaba Hut at Tam-awan Heritage Village.

Total: 1887PHP for solo-travelers; 1352PHP per pax for 2-pax travelers

DAY 3: BAGUIO

For the complete itinerary, click here.

*Prices may change and travel time may vary.


Here’s a compilation of our 5-day trip to Batad-Sagada-Baguio. More on our Batad-Sagada-Baguio Province Hopping.


FOOTNOTES:
Photos taken with Sony Xperia M2 and GoPro Hero 4. Some shot by Cheloi Marasigan |  Sagada, Mt. Province | March 2016; Updated August 2018
RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures!

Read about the Disclosure here.

PART 1: BATAD

DAY 0

We took the Ohayami Bus going to Banaue, Ifugao. It has a 9pm and 10pm schedule daily and we would probably arrive around 6-7 in the morning— roughly 10 hours of sitting. We almost missed the bus, good thing they didn’t leave us behind. As we step inside, wow, it was packed with foreigners. The trip was mainly composed of irregular sleep, weary feeling and stopovers to places we don’t know exactly. 

“10 Minutes to Banaue,” said the conductor. Best alarm ever. 

DAY 1: BATAD

Cold breeze.

The first stop on our list was Batad. We booked the Uyami Lodge which is located at the town proper of Banaue. A strip of lodging and inns for tourists line up along its streets, all of them giving you a scenic view of the rice terraces. 



We almost took the free shuttle going to the town proper when we saw a guy holding up my name. I didnt know it was included on our lodging. So we had our breakfast and planned the day ahead. We had Kuya Arthur guide as through the day, and we decided to hike the Batad Rice Terraces and Tappiya Waterfalls.


LIWANG RICE TERRACES

We had two stops before going to Batad. Both are viewpoints of the Liwang Rice Terraces. Everywhere i look, a series of green stairs covered the area. It’s as if the road doesn't belong there.

The hike was a series of descending stairs. Each step following the mountain‘s terrain. It was a change of scenery where all hikers you meet along the trail are foreigners— all of them jolly and filled with excitement.



Hiking along the trails of the terraces was a fun moment. We didnt feel the length of the trail and the pain on the legs because of the green amphitheatre-like architecture that surrounds us. We can see houses pile along the terraces. I’ve always thought it would be astonishing to see full green grass steps resembling Peru’s Machu Picchu.

BATAD RICE TERRACES


I was excited to be back on foot. It has been three months since my last hike. So Cheloi and I planned this trip to “make up” for the lost opportunities. Everything about the day‘s hike was exciting:

It was my first time to explore the Cordillera region. I've never been this up north before. It was my second time to do a “province-hopping.” It sounds more fulfilling and exciting to visit a lot of places. 




We continue the hike to Tappiya Falls as we pass by the Batad Rice Terraces. We‘ve already walked the perimeter of a mountain, but it seems like the falls is located on another adjacent mountain! “Bawing bawi sa pag-akyat ng bundok itong trip na to, ah.”



Since many tourists have come and go, most were commercialized and made easier to access these tourist spots. But, man, these stairs were tiring even when you're going down. 





TAPPIYA FALLS



But all was worth it. Hello, Tappiya Falls.

It was sort of a routine for us to just stare at it for a long time. Everything was so peaceful, you wouldn’t question yourself zoning out to this beauty. Absolutely astonishing. 


We headed back. The once descent was replaced with an overwhelming flight of stairs. It was exhausting. The cold air didn't help either. It was roughly an hour and a half going back to the jump off trail. I was gasping for air and was soaked in cold sweat, but the chilly air helped soothe my tiredness.

We then met Kuya Arthur and brought us back to our lodging.

Tomorrow, Sagada


ITINERARY & DAMAGE

DAY 0: MANILA TO BANAUE
Manila to Banaue: 8-9 hours via bus | 450PHP | Ride the Ohayami Bus. It has the direct route headed to Banaue. It has daily trips at 9pm and 10pm with arrival time of 6-7am the morning after. It is located at J. Fajardo Street corner Lacson Avenue in Sampaloc, Manila. (02) 516 0501, 0927 649 3055 Tip: Book in advance. It’s hard to be a chance passenger for this bus. 

DAY 1: BANAUE

Accommodation: Uyami Greenview Lodge | 900PHP | Uyami Greenview Lodge: 0920 540 4225, 0917 591 0981 Tip: It is best to book the lodging beforehand for smooth travel. Uyami provided us a transfer from the bus to the Lodge.
 Breakfast: 50-100PHP for a complete meal
Batad Tour: 5 hours depending on your pacing | 2200PHP | Inclusive of Lawang & Batad Rice Terraces, Tappia Waterfalls. We started the hike at 10am and ended at 3pm. We got the tour at Uyami Lodge. The Batad Tour is good for 5 people
 Lunch: 50-100PHP for a complete meal
 Dinner: 50-100PHP for a complete meal
Environmental fee: 50PHP

Total: 3300PHP for solo-travelers; 1750PHP per pax for 2-pax travelers

DAY 2: SAGADA
DAY 3: BAGUIO
For the complete itinerary, click here.

Here’s a video compilation of our 5-Day trip to the Cordillera Region.



FOOTNOTES: Photos taken with Sony Xperia M2 and GoPro Hero 4. Some shot by Cheloi Marasigan |  Banaue, Ifugao | March 2016; Updated August 2018

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures!

Read about the Disclosure here.