Note: This is a continuation of Part 5
We were set to leave before noon but there were still some places we haven’t visited yet. So we started out early on Black Saturday morning.
Every Saturday is Market Day in Sagada. Farmers, sellers and merchants would come in from other towns and gather in the main road, set up ‘shop,’ and lay down their wares, such as tea, coffee, fruits like blueberries (for only 15 pesos in a cup!), vegetables, fish, meat, stuff from China, wooden crafts, sweaters, dvds of movies and Cordillera music, etc.
It was 6 in the morning when EmJ, Zbeth and I passed by; some were still in the process of setting up. We decided to buy a pre-breakfast snack (if there is such a thing) from them—cinnamon bread and hot Sagada brew served in styro cups—to be eaten while strolling along the St. Mary’s Episcopalian Church grounds (left).
Built at the turn of the 20th century, the church pretty much looks the same as it did a hundred years ago (see old pics of it via this vid).
A peek inside: The Church with stone walls and Rose windows:
The church grounds where one can contemplate and meditate:
Then, we went back to St. Jo’s to take our last breakfast of fried rice, and all-you-can-eat danggit. Next off we went to pack our stuff so we can get ready to check out at 11. But since there was still time to spare, we decided to go for one last trek.
We passed beyond the church grounds to see the cemetery and as shown on the right, the big cross at Calgary Hill (which was ruined because of a hideous communications tower said to be from Globe built behind it):
Watch your step!: Just the previous night, there was somebody who fell down around these parts. Fortunately, he survived. A local manghihilot was all they needed to patch him up.
And then, off we went for a short hike towards Echo Valley, so-called because it is where you can hear echoes of your own loud shouting and screams (and yes, we tried it, of course!). And from our viewing point, one can see from a distance, the Hanging Coffins of Sagada (the unique burial custom of the locals) at a limestone cliff (pic courtesy of Lori B):
The last thing we did was visit the Ganduyan Museum. Here, we found out that before the Spaniards came, Ganduyan, was the original name of Sagada. Artist and owner/curator, Cristina Aben (at left), showed us around and gave a very enlightening talk about Igorot history and local customs, as well as indigenous artifacts and items in her collection displayed in her museum. A small monetary donation is asked of you in lieu of an entrance fee.
Travel tip no. 3—make it a point to visit a local museum or attend a cultural show every time you travel. If traveling in Sagada, I recommend to include Ganduyan Museum in your itinerary. I found it a very informative and worthwhile experience that capped off our Sagada vacation perfectly.
Just one more… Part 7 (The Journey Home)