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Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure
A few months ago, a blogger friend, Ian of freedomwall.net, asked who would want to go with him to Batanes on September of this year. I immediately responded to him and asked him to book the plane tickets for me. Fast forward to September 7th, I was on my flight to Clark which had been delayed for a few minutes and I was already getting nervous I couldn't make it to our flight to Basco. My friend's and his workmates' flight to Clark was earlier than mine so they have been waiting for me to arrive. Our flight from Clark to Basco was 10:10AM and boarding time was at 9:40AM. The plane landed at 9:20AM and I immediately switched off the Airplane Mode and checked if I have updates from them. Fortunately, our flight to Basco was delayed for an hour. When I arrived at the boarding gate, our flight was then again, delayed for another hour because the weather wasn't cooperating that day. We were talking about our Plan B just in case our flight would definitely be cancelled and yes, it was indeed cancelled for the day. So we pushed through with our Plan B—Sagada.


We took the Aircon Jeepney going to Dau-Mabalacat Bus Terminal and paid Php 100 each. There were five of us and I think we could've saved if we took a Grab Taxi instead but yeah, at least we now know not to take the Aircon Jeepney next time. Haha. We stopped by SM City Mall Dau to grab some lunch which was only a few meters away from Dau-Mabalacat Bus Terminal. While having lunch, Ian booked us a room where we can stay for that night in Baguio. After having our lunch, we looked for a bus going to Baguio. We waited for a while before we got on one and yay off we went to Baguio. And what was so funny about this trip was as if something was playing with us. The supposed three-hour trip going to Baguio became five because there were a lot of unexpected things that came our way. We all just laughed it off because we were really determined to push through with this trip. We didn't want to go home losers. HAHA.

Baguio City, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure

We arrived in Baguio around 8PM and it was raining so hard. We took a Grab Taxi going to our hotel—Hotel Henrico Kisad—and after settling in our things, we took another Grab Taxi to go to the night market to buy clothes and accessories for the cold weather. Why? Because again, we were supposed to go to Batanes and we brought summer-ish clothes. Haha. I, myself, only brought dresses with me, so I had no choice but to buy a jacket. It was my first time to go to the night market and goodness, their jackets are so affordable and most of them are still in very very good condition. I got mine for only Php 350 and it was such a good steal. We also got to try the famous Strawberry Taho and it was so good. Despite the unexpected twist, our Day 0 wasn't so bad. In fact, it was memorable for me.

September 8, Day 1. We took another Grab Taxi going to the old Dangwa bus station. We waited for the 8AM bus trip going to Sagada. The trip was around 5-6 hours and it was still raining when we arrived in Sagada. In fact, it was raining the whole time we were in Sagada. Lol. We stopped by a store to buy umbrellas and raincoats. I bought myself a pair of slippers too because I only bought a pair of slip-on sandals with me. How unprepared. Haha. We also stopped by the Sagada Tourism Office to avail the tour package. Note that it is illegal to tour around Sagada without going through the tourism office. Let's just help our fellow Filipinos, okay?

So anyway, we asked the staff from the tourism office what attractions we could possibly visit on a rainy weather. She suggested the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, Sumaging Cave, and Marlboro Hills. We wanted to go to Kiltepan Peak, the famous peak where you can witness a beautiful sea of clouds and was featured in the movie 'That Thing Called Tadhana', but unfortunately, it was temporarily closed due to a fire accident that happened last November 2018.

After settling our tour, Ian went ahead to find us a place to stay. He found Isabelo's Inn and Cafe, we got a family room and paid Php 350 each for a night. We settled our stuff and went back out to proceed with our tour. And the attraction we visited for Day 1 was the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley.


Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley

We met with our tour guide at the Sagada Tourism Office and then we walked going to our first destination. It's the easiest, most accessible, and fits our very tight schedule we had since we only had a few hours left before Day 1 ends. We passed by St. Mary Church where we took the first two photos below.

We then passed through the Calvary Hill Cemetery and at the end of the cemetery were stairs going down to the Hanging Coffins. I'm not sure how long it took us to get to our destination but the point is, we did. I finally witnessed the Hanging Coffins with my own eyes which I only used to see and like on Instagram. Our guide also gave us brief history about the Hanging Coffins which I'm sure you can read from other blogs so I'm not gonna share it here anymore. Haha. After the history session, we walked back up, went back to our hotel, had dinner, and ended of our first day in Sagada.

Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Very Koreanovela noh? Haha

Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure


Sumaging Cave

September 9, Day 2. Last day in Sagada and we had two attractions to squeeze in for the whole morning because we have to be in the 1PM bus going back to Baguio. The assembly time we set with our tour guide was 6AM. We waited for him in front of the tourism office. He arrived at 6:30AM and still had the audacity to have breakfast while we haven't even had ours yet. It was already almost 7AM when we took off for our first destination—Sumaging Cave. When we arrived at the "main entrance", our guide suggested we leave our valuable things as they may get wet. We left everything in the jeepney and brought our phones, wallets, and camera. And then we started going down the stairs and stopped at the cave entrance because our guide gave us his final reminders to keep us all safe. We went inside and when I started hearing running water, I immediately backed out. Actually, there were three of us who backed out and only two pushed through. I backed out because I wasn't prepared for it. My mind wasn't set for caving. And I didn't want to get all wet and muddy. So the three of us went back up and had breakfast at the Caveman Restaurant which was just right across the "main entrance".

Before having breakfast, we got to talk with the restaurant owner and she asked us if we were from the caving activity and we said yes. She said the cave was supposed to be closed because it was common knowledge, and that all guides should know it, that there shouldn't be any caving activity during rainy season because the cave gets flooded. We started becoming nervous for our two friends but thank goodness, they all came back fine and wet. They really swam in the waters inside the cave. Haha. They had a quick breakfast at the restaurant, we stopped by our hotel for them to change clothes, and off we went to our next and final destination. *pun intended* LOL

Sumaging Cave, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Sumaging Cave, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Sumaging Cave, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Sumaging Cave, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure


Marlboro Hills

On our way to Marlboro Hills, it stopped raining and I prayed that the weather will continue to be good until we get home. When we started hiking up the trail, the guide suddenly ranted that boots should've been the proper footwear since the trail was muddy. We were slightly fumed with his attitude because why didn't he tell us yesterday after the hanging coffins tour? We could've bought ourselves a pair of boots each! But anyway, we just shrugged it off and continued hiking. It took us around an hour to get to the peak of Marlboro Hills but I'm pretty sure it'll take lesser time if the trail was dry. The hike was very easy actually. It's perfect for all tourists regardless of age.

Up at the peak, the view was simply breathtaking. It started raining shortly after we arrived at the peak but we were still thankful we were given a clear view of the beautiful Cordillera mountain ranges. I would've wanted to stay there for a little bit longer to just enjoy the beauty of nature, breathe in the fresh air, and meditate, but we had a bus to catch and the rain was getting heavier so we started hiking back down.

Marlboro Hills, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Marlboro Hills, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Marlboro Hills, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Marlboro Hills, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Marlboro Hills, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure Marlboro Hills, The Unexpected 4N3D Baguio-Sagada Adventure

We were able to get on the 1PM bus and it was already around 7PM when we arrived in Baguio. While we were on the bus, Ian booked us a room at the City Center Hotel and our booking was inclusive of a free breakfast so yay! Anyway, we checked in, settled our things, and went back out to have dinner and buy pasalubong. And then we finally took a good night's rest because we had to leave early because three of our friends' flight to Cebu was scheduled the next day. Ian still had an extra day and I had extra hours because my flight back to Cebu was on September 11th at 5AM but we had separate plans so we all parted ways upon arriving at Dau-Mabalacat Terminal. I took a Grab Car going to the hotel I will be staying in for the night before I leave for Cebu the next day. I booked it via Airbnb and I had no regrets that I chose Hotel Snow Angeles. I wanted to go out while I had the extra time but my body wasn't cooperative so I had a massage at the hotel instead and rested early. And that's it. The next day, I was on my way back home and I swore that I will go back to Sagada one day.

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