22.5.17

Sagada 3-Day Travel Guide: Tours, Accomodation, Food & Budget

Hello again! Welcome to the 2nd part of my Banaue-Sagada travel guide. I have already shared with you all facts and details from our one day sidetrip in Banaue and Batad. You can read about it here. We spent one whole day in Banaue and visited the isolated town of Batad which was absolutely beautiful and then we travelled by land to Sagada. From Banaue, we took a public jeepney to Bontoc for P100 and then from Bontoc we boarded a jeepney heading to Sagada for P50. Here are stories and photos from our 3-day Sagada adventure! Read on...




 Finally in Sagada!

 Drop off was at the town center


From the jeepney terminal, it just took us less than 100 steps to get to our accommodation!

 Booked a room at ISABELO'S INN

A few days before our trip, I searched the net for the best & cheapest accommodations in Sagada. I saw a lot of places and read a lot of reviews but ISABELO's stood out. I think the ultimate selling point is its location. It's in the town center and a stone's throw away from everything! It's behind the municipal hall, a few steps away from the bus and jeepney terminals, directly across the Tourist Information Center and public market, etc. etc. Our accommodation during my 1st Sagada trip was so far from the town center, it was so much of a hassle. This time I hit jackpot! Hihi. 

There are 2 sari-sari stores just below the inn. So convenient!

 We immediately went inside and tried to check-in early

 Dining area


We were given a 4-bed private room located beside the entrance or the main door. We also had our own toilet! The toilet is located outside but it was okay. 

Can you see that white door? That's our private restroom. Could be scary at night though!


Our room! Sorry for the mess! Took this photo after check-out hihi. We were given towels and blankets. 


Paid P400 per person per night 

After checking-in we immediately left and looked for someplace to eat. We were still on a budget so we wanted to eat somewhere cheap with good food. I've been to Sagada a few years back and we had this favorite restaurant where we ate almost everyday. It's called Strawberry Cafe and they serve delicious meals at an affordable price (compared to other restos) plus they serve the best yogurt! So, it was the first place we searched for. Sadly, it was closed all 3 days we were there. Huhuhu.


 Steps leading to the main road


We first stopped at the Tourist information Center which was just across the street to book our tours. 

 They have an ATM machine! Yey!

 All tourists are required to pay P35 each for the environmental fee.

 We booked the Sumaguing Cave / Short Course Caving for P500 (divided among us 4, so P125 each)

 Moon House was still closed but I've read good reviews on different sites





 Along the road, we saw the popular YOGHURT HOUSE! Food was pricey so we decided not to eat here. Hehe.


 If you need help washing your clothes, there's a laundry shop nearby.


 We also passed by the famous Salt & Pepper Diner



 We walked some more to explore the area. Our legs were still aching from our Batad adventure the day before. 

 Finally saw STRAWBERRY CAFE! It was closed. Huhu.




While walking, we saw this Pinikpikan Haus Restaurant. We ended up eating lunch here because the boys wanted to try Pinikpikan -- an exotic dish that is quite famous in the Cordillera region. They say it's like Chicken Tinola but different in a way the dish is prepared. They say it's like art but definitely not for the faint of heart. Before I tell you how this dish is prepared, remember that we all have different cultures and that we should respect each and every one. We cannot judge what we do not know. People have different beliefs and different mindsets. I've come to accept that in my countless explorations. So anyway! Let's move on. So how do they prepare this dish and why is it so controversial?

This is how. They first prepare the chicken by beating it with a stick (while it's still alive) until it's tender and until its blood clots so it won't be bloody when it's cut open. It is then soaked in a pot of boiling water to loosen the feathers and easy removal. From the pot, it is transferred to a grill to burn the remaining feathers. It is then cut perfectly afterwards, and should have no broken bones from the beating or cutting. The flavor is from the smoked meat & feathers, Etag (aged & smoked meat kept underground in jars) and blood.  And no, they don't just do this for the sake of food or for fun. This is actually a ritual done by tribes when facing a difficult decision or when asking the spirits and their ancestors for help or guidance.

Read more about it here:

 Lovely art adorned the walls of the restaurant

 Waiting for our food!



Menu! I ordered their Pork Kawali meal

 Food flatlay! Looks amazing right?


VERDICT: The food may look pretty, but its taste was the opposite. Only Ivan's food tasted okay. I was super hungry but I just took one bite and I pushed my food away. Ivan was kind enough to swap his chicken with my pork. Haha. I am not choosy, I can eat anything (maybe not Tinapa and crickets) but the pork really tasted different. It might be etag, I'm not sure. Nico ordered Pinikpikan and he said he didn't like it. I'm not sure if all Pinikpikan tastes the same but he said it's malansa. My cousin Chollo forced himself to finish his meal. Hehe. If you're gonna eat here, skip the pork. But if you're adventurous, go for it. You might like it, who knows. We all have different taste and food preference. :)

 Buti nalang this cutie kept me entertained! He wouldn't stop chewing on Nico's shoe lace. Hihi. 

After eating, we walked and explored some more until our feet hurt

 Matchy matchy with the house!

(Pax):  H&M sweater, SM leggings, Skechers rubbershoes, (Nico): Don't know where he got his clothes & Bata rubbershoes!



Further down the road was SAGADA BREW






Tempting!


 three blind mice

 We also saw the popular Lemon Pie House!




 Ano meron guys? Haha

 We bumped into these adorable kids who were walking home from school

 When they saw me taking their photo, they gamely posed ala fashion blogger pa! So cute!

May nakisali pa haha




Can you see the hanging coffins?

You can actually walk going to the Sumaguing Cave!



Love this spot

Cuties

Bana's Cafe where you can try Civet Coffee or coffee made from cat shit. haha.



The popular Masfarre Country Inn & Restaurant

Homestays for your reference!

I want to try rafting next time!

Map of Sagada

We spent the afternoon just relaxing and walking around

Time for meryenda!

Sayang Ganduyan Museum was already closed

For dinner, we chose Ramyun Korean Restaurant

The place was small but cozy



Menu!

Nico and I ordered Tuna rice toppings & Ramyun noodle! 

Perfect na pampainit that cold, cold night!

The next day, we woke up late so we decided to eat lunch muna before meeting up with our tour guide and service. :)

We decided to eat at SALT & PEPPER

Our service arrived at around 1pm!

We headed straight to Sumaguing Cave!


We first had to register at the Tourist Assistance Desk

And then we went down to the entrance of the cave!

Mandatory turista shot hehe

read the sign!



Our expert guide!

Briefing before our descent


It was my 2nd time to explore Sumaguing cave and I don't know why but it was scarier than my first. Maybe because there were less people (as in mga 10 pcs lang kami inside the cave haha) so it was darker and because there were no other tour groups, the silence was deafening. We only had one guide so we had to walk faster while trying not to slip and die because we needed to catch up with Kuya Guide since he was the only one with light. I wore my trusty Merrell shoes but halfway down Kuya instructed us to remove our footwear and go barefoot for better traction. One should be extra cautious and alert when traversing the cave because one wrong step could bring about serious injuries. I also handed over my camera to Kuya and he took all of our photos. Don't worry, they're experts! :)

This was before we were told to remove our footwear

First stop is this rock formation that resembles alam niyo na. Mejo bastos. haha!

shempre if may girl, meron din boy haha

the water was freezing but refreshing

this is a turtle hiding inside its shell

and this is a chocolate gelatin cake daw!


We also had to go down through this rope! 






Compared to my first caving experience, this tour was shorter and there were a lot of areas we were not able to explore. I asked the guide why and he said it depends sa season. Some of the areas we explored before were covered in water that time. Huhu sayang. I expected a lot of crawling and going into tight spaces pa naman. :( Oh well, better safe than sorry! I heard they closed the cave temporarily last April because a local kid died inside. :(


Time to go up!

What an experience! 

I forgot to bring extra clothes so I had to endure walking around and touring pa more in wet and muddy clothes. So uncomfortable but push! Haha. After caving, we headed straight to Echo Valley where the famous hanging coffins are. 



We had to present our environmental fee receipt. They turned away the tourist in my photo above who didn't have one.

Kuya guide waiting for us

From the gate we passed through this cemetery.

It is the same place where I think I was "nabati" 4 years ago. I remember after going here I got so dizzy I wasn't able to stand all night. 

One of the Fallen SAF 44 was buried here. Thanks for your bravery!

Just follow the trail to see the hanging coffins!

Hello cutie

We had to hike a bit to reach the viewing point

Blog niya talaga to eh

Finally! This is the closest I've ever been to the hanging coffins.

So we decided to go down to see it up close!

Our legs were still aching from all the trekking but push!

Worth it!

View from the top

And then it was time to leave

Still wearing my Merrell

We walked from the valley to our accommodation! It was near lang pala!





This is where the path led us! Town proper!

Mejo creepy this house



We headed straight to CODA Lines to book our ticket back to Manila

There's a shortcut going to Isabelo Inn from there

Snacks before dinner

Homemade gyoza and yogurt!

Dinner at Salt & Pepper!

Ordered this tuna wrap for P200

And this pizza for P220! We all shared.

Swiss miss for midnight snack haha

Woke up early the next day, as in 4:30 am, to catch the sunrise at Mt. Kiltepan. We booked Kuya Driver from our Sumaguing Cave and Echo Valley tour. We paid P500 divided among us 4.

Saw these vendors when we got there. Perfect coz we haven't eaten breakfast yet!

P50 Goto for breakfast!

Waiting for sunrise

Unfortunately, it was super foggy that morning. :(



But, picture pa din! Found a nice spot. Sayang lang no view!

Nico was trying to hold me coz mejo bangin na yung baba haha

Sumama na rin sha sa picture hehe

So cold!!!

We left when it started raining again. The fog was so thick and it covered everything. There was one moment when the sky cleared and we got a nice glimpse of the beautiful view but the fog was so quick I was not able to take a photo! Next time. :)


After Kiltepan, Kuya driver took us back to our accommodation where we napped for a bit. We woke up half an hour before checkout. I was able to take a bath pa and then it was time to leave! Huhu. 

Decided to eat lunch at this eatery, a few steps away from our accommodation

Menu!

Picturean ko daw sha sa motor. Why? haha.

I ordered pork giniling with brown rice while Nico ordered chicken curry. It was one of the best meals we've had in Sagada. Haha. No weird tastes. It's cheap too! Pasok sa budget!

We also loved our dinner at Ramyun the other night. 

I wanted dessert so we walked to French Crepes. Kulit nila kuya. Haha!


I ordered their Milk Chocolate crepe for P100! It was good! Wasn't able to take a photo coz we ate it agad. Haha.



Last OOTD before leaving haha

Bongga ng Volvo ni Kuya

Our bus arrived a few minutes before 3pm. Just in time!

Inside our bus! So nice! Fell asleep a few minutes after sitting down. Haha.

Sadly, this comfort was short-lived. Haha. We were asked to go down near the bridge in Bontoc to transfer to another CODA Lines bus. It was a 5-7 minutes walk and kind of a hassle. I really liked the first bus coz it was more spacious. Huhu.


Our bus to Cubao

It was smaller :(

And no leg room! Boo! I also had to put my bag on my lap and then the floor coz it can't fit in the overhead compartment.

It was so small

Selfie muna kami ng kuya sa likod haha

Buti nalang the view along the way was AMAZING.


If you easily get dizzy or has motion sickness, you have to drink Bonamine before the trip. Or during the trip. It was a long ride up and down zigzag roads and it got me feeling woozy. I don't easily get nauseous so I didn't drink anything to prepare myself for the long & winding trip back home. I was able to get over it by listening to chill music and lulling myself to sleep. Haha. My cousin wasn't so lucky because he threw up. Wawuh! Hehe.

Stopover at Pink Pantry Express for dinner!

mejo box office the line


We arrived in Manila at around 2am. It was a short, quite expensive and physically challenging trip but it was fulfilling, unique and meaningful. Wish we had more time to explore other places in Banaue! Maybe next time we'd finally push through with our Buscalan, Kalinga trip. It is our dream to get inked by the legend, the one and only Whang-Od! Soon, I hope. :) Thanks for reading! :)


My expenses/Budget in Php:

Jeep from Banaue to Bontoc - 100 (included in last post so will exclude)
Jeep from Bontoc to Sagada - 50 (icluded in last post so will exclude)

Isabelo Inn accommodation - P400 per person x 2 = 800
Day 1 Lunch at Pinikpikan house - 140
Meryenda - 20
Dinner at Ramyun Resto - 160
Random sari-sari store buys - 100
Day 2 lunch at Salt & Pepper - 150
Sumaguing Cave & Echo valley tour - 150
Environmental fee - 35
CODA lines ticket to manila - 750
Snacks before dinner - 60
Day 2 dinner at Salt & Pepper - 120
Mt Kiltepan service - 125
Breakfast - 50
Day 3 lunch - 90
Crepe dessert - 100
Random buys (water) - 50
_______________________________________________
TOTAL = 2,900


BANAUE - P2,290
SAGADA - P2,900
__________________________
TOTAL - P5,190

 (it could be quite pricey but the experience makes it all worth it!)



Book a room at Isabelo's here:


Link to my BANAUE post:




Link to all my travel posts:





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