Author: Lolidie Jeena Zubiri
Date of Trip: January 2012
A lot of people have been recommending Sagada to me for a trip. I was amazed with the stories they have been telling me- how beautiful the place was, how delicious their food is, and so on. I wanted to see and experience Sagada myself! So I invited my officemates to go on a trip last January. Woohoo, my birthday month and yes, it’s my birthday gift for myself!
I thought about whether postponing the trip on February for a much colder temperature but then we decided to go there while it is still much warmer. So I started researching about the To Do’s and To Go’s in Sagada and Benguet (since they are just near) and I was overwhelmed with a lot of blog posts. And then my officemate from Baguio gave her own itinerary list and suggested that we should rent our own transportation vehicle. We were eight people that is why she said that commuting would be a hassle. So I looked for tour packages since they are the ones that offer transportation- and that’s where I learned about Travel Factor.
I visited their website and looked through their itinerary. With an organized schedule and a tour guide, I knew that these would help us experience more of Sagada since we’re a big group. We no longer have to think of where to sleep, where to eat or how to go to certain places. As soon as everyone agreed to it, I made a reservation and deposited our payment. It was all our first time to be in a tour package of TF although we’ve tried other travel agency before in my Ilocos Trip. The feedback is good so I am excited to know how they do it, and maybe I can be a tour guide someday, hahaha!
Anyway, here is our itinerary (Jan. 21-23, 2012):
Day 0, Friday, Jan 20
08:00 PM Meet up at the bus station
(Ohayami, corner Fajardo St. A.H Lacson, Sampaloc, Manila)
09:30 PM Exact Bus Departure Manila to Banaue
Day 1, Saturday, Jan 21
08:00 AM ETA Banaue
Breakfast at Banaue (at own expense – Bring you own baon)
08:30 AM ETD Banaue
11:30 AM ETA Sagada
Check-in at Alibama Inn
12:00 NN Lunch at Alibama Inn (included in package)
01:00 AM Banga-an Rice Terraces, Trekking and Swimming Bomod-ok Big Falls
05:00 PM Sunset at Lake Danum
07:00 PM Dinner (at own expense)
Overnight at Alibama Inn
Day 2, Sunday, Jan 22
04:00 AM Wake Up!
05:30 AM Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint
08:00 AM Breakfast at Alibama Inn (included in package)
09:00 AM Cave Connection Adventure
01:00 PM Late Lunch at Alibama Inn (included in package)
*could be later, depending on the speed of the spelunking group
Dinner (at own expense)
Overnight at Alibama Inn
Day 3, Monday, Jan 23
07:00 AM Breakfast at Alibama Inn (included in package)
08:00 AM Walking Tour: St. Mary’s Episcopal church, Calvary Hills, Echo Valley,
Hanging Coffins, Sagada Weaving, Pasalubong shopping
12:00 NN Lunch (at own expense)
01:00 PM ETD Sagada
04:00 PM ETA Banaue
Early Dinner at Banaue (at own expense) 6:30 PM ETD Banaue
Day 4, Tuesday, Jan 24
03:30 AM ETA Manila
My favorite part is the Cave Connection Adventure! It was very challenging but very fun experience! The guides even threatened all of us that it is a life-risking activity. Some people backed-out because of that, haha. The slippery steps and dangerous climbs are superb! It is a must-experience! I also liked the trek to the Hanging Coffins. A lot of us didn’t go there because you have to walk a lot and this is not a straight path, mind you, it is like a mountain climb. Most of them are dead tired but not for me, haha. We were also able to eat at the famous Yogurt House in Sagada. They say you have to try it once you’re there. The line was really really long and the place is jampacked but we managed to get our seats. I ordered Oreo Yogurt and it was really good. There are a lot of souvenir shops in Benguet and Sagada where you can buy affordable and good quality products, plus the market where you can buy cheap fruits and vegetables. I’d like to talk more of where we went and what we did but it’s all in the itinerary so I’ll just wrap it up.
With the help of our agency and guides, I believe we have maximised Sagada. We’ve been to many places that we think we will not be able to if we were on our own. They have made good arrangements with the partner places which gave us no trouble in our entire stay.