A walk into Sagada’s Pine Forest
Three nights have passed and just when it has begun, we realize we are about to leave. You’ll never get dull in this place as there are more to do and discover. I could have stayed longer but work beckons. I would gladly like to walk more on the pine forest and feel the cool fresh breeze. Or just lie down on the grass by the church and read a good book. Watch the glorious sunrise on a cool windy morning at Kiltepan or the scenic sunset while having a picnic at Lake Danom (Lake Bana-ao to those who live in Besao). Or further more discover more hidden secrets Sagada holds. We were conversing with some elders at a store and found that beneath Sagada there are more cave systems waiting to be explored.
Breathtaking view of Kiltepan
I will miss those cheap but full dishes (Chicken, vegetables and a large serving of Red Rice) at Sudimay, the vegetable rice at Shamrock Cafe, the Chicken barbecue with matching acoustic music at the new Bamboo Grill and those tasty Yogurt meals at Yogurt house. I regret having not bought a bottle of those Blueberry Rice Wine I was able to taste. Or to zip on the aroma of a mountain tea.
Facade of the famous yogurt house
There is simplicity in Sagada that anyone can experience. I remember the first time I went there a few years ago, was the first time for me to actually travel on my own. But you’ll discover that you are never really alone, as like minds and people are there to help you out and can be good company as well while you stay. I really enjoyed it. But traveling with friends can be a memorable experience as well.
Picnic Perfect at Lake Danom
So to those who want to experience the so called Shangri-la of the Cordilleras, I urge you to travel. Whether you will do a lonely planet (interestingly a lot of foreigners, especially Koreans were doing lonely planet at that time, a woman even), or a trip with your barkada, or better yet with your special someone, do it soon while Sagada is still a Shangri-la. And hopefully it will for a long time.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.