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Wednesday, February 13

All The Way to Sagada—Mountain Views

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The cascading mountains and seas of clouds awaits you on your trip to Sagada.

From Manila, there are two ways to reach Sagada—the one that goes through Ifugao and the one that passes through Benguet. If you are stopping by the city of Baguio then you are going to take around four hours on the roads of Benguet. Another two hours in Mountain Province for a total of 6 hours Baguio-Sagada route. It wasn’t exhausting at all just because the views along the road make you realize how beautiful the Philippines is.

Nothing Beats Plain Nature Adventure: Sagada

Travel and realize how small you are in this big world.
When a foreigner like you gets to the Philippines all you know was that the whole of North Luzon is the Cordillera, or a series of mountain ranges. A part true because the middle of Northern Luzon is mountainous (okay get a Philippine map, identify Northern Luzon, divide it into three parts vertically and take the middle—that is where Cordillera is). This is where Lonely Planet describes the Philippines as a place where there is “generally cooler climate”. Sagada is the most popular destination and just like Baguio, Sagada also reaches single digit temperature scale in Celsius of about 9.5˚C or even lower. The reason there it’s because it is situated thousands of feet above sea level, and by the month of January, the coldest in the Philippines, the Siberian winds blow up the northern parts of Luzon, and the coldest of which is at the upper portion of the atmosphere. To compare it to near temperate regions, on a normal cooler day, Sagada is hotter by day than Hong Kong but Sagada is colder by night compared to Hong Kong. Remember Sagada is in a tropical region where the climate should have been humid and hot. Experiencing chilly temperatures in a tropical region, interesting right?

The cabbage terraces of Buguias, Benguet.
 From Baguio to Sagada is a long and winding six-hour road. The roads are very dangerous and I do not advise going to Sagada in rainy season—that is July to September. When I got there in October, the weather was good and the series of mountains and mountains and mountains is just so relaxing. All the cascading mountain photos can be found on your way to Benguet and the super pine-forested mountains can be seen in the Mountain Province. The nature is well taken care of and hopefully it will still be maintained in the future.

Going to Sagada is like saying “I’m on top of the world”. Cordillera is like the roof of the Philippines. Mount Pulag, which is located in Benguet, may not be the highest point in the Philippines but it’s just a few meters lower than Mount Apo in Mindanao. And besides it is freezing colder in Mount Pulag, Mount Apo is not. (It’s because the cold winds of Siberia don’t go as far as Mindanao.)

Well I cannot describe everything I saw during my trip. One time when I was going back to Baguio from Sagada, I was thinking of urbanizing a mountain peak there which doesn’t have any tree at all. I will flatten the peak and make it like another Baguio. But then I realize if this will be pursued, a large chunk of the forested area will be lost again, and I don’t that happen. Maybe a skyway? But that would be expensive. Oh dreams. It’s superficial.

All the way to Sagada is a series of unending mountains. If you have never seen such before, visiting the Cordillera is a way for you to realize how small you are in this big world.

Nothing Beats Plain Nature Adventure: Sagada Travel Series:
Part 8: The Echo Valley Tour: How to Reach the Hanging Coffins
Part 9: SOON.

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