As I said, it had been a dream of mine to go up and see Sagada of the Mountain Province, Cordillera region for thebataan-126 longest time.  It had been in my bucket list of destinations that I’ve been itching to tick off for so long.  There were several attempts to actually push through with it in the past but something always came up, and so I thought this elusive dream of mine will never be realized. Until now…

Last Holy Week, I and two of my friends (EmJ and Zbeth) from work finally decided to avail of a packaged tour of Sagada, organized by NACCI. We would be traveling with some strangers who also availed of the tour. We took the Banaue/Bontoc route instead of the one via Baguio (Benguet), taking a Florida airconed bus Wednesday night (God! the bus station was practically bursting at the seams with people trying to get home to their respective hometowns!).

We also passed through Nueva Vizcaya in the dark. We first arrived in Banaue at 8 am where we had our breakfast, took souvenir pictures and marveled at the Banaue Rice Terraces…


This view from the balcony at Stairway Lodge and Restaurant seemed to be greeting us a bright and cheery morning.


We Pinoys proudly claim it as the eighth wonder of the world.  Even if some do not agree, it is so in our hearts.  Alas! My camera (and our view deck’s location) did not give it justice though.  I mean when it came to the ‘view-deck’ (which was something carved out on the side of a road cliff) that we were taken to, I think it was too low.  Maybe there was one at a higher vantage point and better angle where the terraces or steps can be fully seen and appreciated but we were not taken to that.  But hey, it was a blast to finally see The Terraces with my own eyes anyway (and not in some post card), so I was happy nevertheless.    pict0420

Our breakfast at Stairway… they were pretty fast in serving a motley crew of hungry, sleep-deprived travelers like us who were on the road for almost 9 hours.

And so afterward, we ventured on.  We transferred our backpacks to a yellow jeepney (which is a longer and modified Pinoy version of a  jeep meant to take in passengers; great for rough roads) that was going to take us the rest of the way to Bontoc and Sagada…


pict0444The long and winding roads (which can be seen at the picture above) up the mountains were quite safe (with some parts still being improved, constructed and paved), not at all scary and still offered breath-taking views of the cliffs, mountain terrains and more mini-terraces along the way.

To be continued in Part 2! ☆^(*・ω・)ノ゜+。*゜+。