10 Things to Do in Sagada

The mountain town of Sagada nestled in a valley in the Mountain Province is one of the most ideal places in the Philippines to enjoy the outdoors. This scenic town in the Cordillera region offers the most spectacular view of mountains, cooler climate due to its high elevation and well-preserved culture.

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Panag-apoy sa Sagada

This time last year, I was in the lovely mountain town of Sagada where I got the chance to witness an interesting and unique ritual traditionally done during All Saint’s Day – the Panag-apoy sa Sagada. The Panag-aapoy is a traditional practice among the people of Sagada to respect the dead.

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Food Trip: Sagada

In recent years, Sagada has gotten a reputation for having lots of great eating places. If you’ve been there, you can probably agree that the cool crisp mountain air and all that walking around surely works up an appetite. Thankfully, there are lots of great restaurants to try out. For those who like to plan where to eat in advance, here’s a list of some of the restaurants we sampled during our five-day trip there, with accessibility ratings and distance on foot from the town center (with the hospital as the starting point).

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Snapshots: Sagada

Right now, I’m really missing the cool mountain air of Sagada. There’s something about this charming town that just makes you want to stay for days or weeks. Aside from all the great places to eat and exciting outdoor activities you can do, it’s just the ideal place to laze around. You wake up to the most spectacular view of mountains and flowers and can  huddle under the blankets even at high noon. Still working on a couple of articles about the different things to do there. In the meantime, here are a few snapshots from our trip:

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Motorcycling Sagada-Bontoc-Banaue and Back

The narrow road seemed to snake on endlessly. Before me were several towering mountains thickly covered with pine trees. Thin clouds that seemed like wandering spirits shifted in and out of the scenery.

Some sections of the road apparently had just been been cleared of landslides, but there were still boulders and rocks strewn all over. At every blind turn, I was terrified of crashing head on with a jeepney full of toploaders or a speeding truck on its way up to Sagada. More than once, I had visions of my motorbike careening off a cliff, tragically with me still on it. Continue reading

5 Philippine Landscapes as Magic Cards

One of the most meaningful gifts I got during graduation was a set of five basic land cards laminated and turned into bookmarks from a friend who introduced me to the game Magic: The Gathering. An attached note said: “I want to show you the world, but I have no money. Hope these inspire you to explore the world on your own.” Well, they have.

Here’s my version of the five basic lands – plains, island, swamp, mountain and forest – representing five places in the Philippines I’ve been to since then. 🙂

Plains:  La Paz Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte

The La Paz Sand Dunes is a protected sandy coastal desert and beach close to Laoag City, the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte. The sand dunes of Ilocos were said to be created by the interaction of the wind, sea, and river that together cause erosion and deposition. Everyone had a blast trying out the sand boarding and riding 4×4 vehicles around the dunes earlier this year during the Lakbay Norte Media tour. Continue reading