That place called “Ganduyan”

Travel Date: April 2015

Want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Manila? Well, this place is perfect for you. From the cold weather, friendly locals, native food and serene view – I bet you would want to stay here for good! Just like what I’ve felt a year ago when I visited this place. I am actually having sepanx right now while writing this post. HUHU! Can someone take me there puhleez? šŸ˜¦

Sagada is one of my favorite place to visit. I was there only for almost 5 days and I’ve already felt the need to be back every year. Consider it OA, but I fell in love in Sagada.

Good to know: “GANDUYAN” is the former name of Sagada. It was changed to Sagada when Spanish soldiers came here. They asked a local  (who was carrying a bamboo basket) the name of the next place. Then the man replied thinking the soldiers were asking what he was carrying,  “Sag-a da” (which means carrier) . From then on the name of the place was registered as Sagada. 

BRING ME THERE!

From Manila, you can ride a bus going to Banaue Ifugao. From Banaue terminal, there are vans that will take you to the town proper of Sagada for P200 or less per pax.

You can book through Ohayami trans for P530.00 (Deluxe)

Please check their website:

http://www.phbus.com/ohayami-trans/

Please check this website too to get more options:

https://www.pinoytravel.com.ph/

Ohayami Trans terminal is located in Sampaloc Manila and trip to Banaue is always at night.

(If you are coming from Baguio, there are Bus terminals going to Sagada. Travel time is 6 hours for approximately P200 per pax)


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Stop over for 15 minutes at Dyanara Viewpoint and Banaue rice terraces.
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After 2 hours, we reached Sagada around 12 in the afternoon. You will have to pay some fees (environmental fee, government fee, etc.) for P35. Please keep the receipt during your stay in Sagada.

I’ve contacted Auntie Mary for our accommodation however her lodge was fully booked. Good thing her brother has its own lodge for P300 per night only. I do not have photos of the lodge but I guarantee you it’s one of the best! It has its own kitchen, bathroom (w/ hot and cold shower) and  the view from the balcony… Just WOW! And I forgot! It’s located at the town proper!

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Our view from the lodge’s balcony. Amazing right?! šŸ™‚

We’ve met some friends too when we were on our way to Sagada. Great uh? The best part of traveling is when you meet new friends who can help you with your expenses. HEHE! We’ve shared fees for the tour and transportation. Yey! That’s what you call DIY strategy!

Day 1

EAT. MEET NEW FOUND FRIENDS. START THE TOUR. 

Activities:

Lunch at Pinikpikan Restaurant >Sagada Pottery >Sagada Weaving >Sunset at Lake Danum >Bonfire, smores and drinks with locals at Sagada Cellar Door

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Unconventional Restaurant. Weird I must say, but the ambiance was really great! – Pinikpikan Restaurant

Sagada Pottery

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(c) Kyle Villaflor

Sagada Weaving

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(c) Kyle Villaflor

“Lake Danum” 

(We were actually waiting for sunset…  Guess we were too early?)

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And to end our first day, we went to Sagada Cellar Door to have some time with the locals of Sagada. It’s such a wonderful experience to be here. Bonfire, Smores, Drinks, endless conversation, singing locals and a husky dog in the middle of the forest. I just can’t explain the feeling. It’s just amazing!

FYI: As far as I remember, Sagada Cellar Door is a private property owned by a family. If you want to visit, you may need to ask permission first. 

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(c) Kyle Villaflor
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Met the owner of the Brewery. Her family has an organization who takes care of “Pawikan” all over the Philippines. A very inspiring lady!

DAY 2

Kiltepan Sunrise >Breakfast at Treasure Inn >Cave Connection Sumaging to Lumiang >Lunch at Garden Inn >Bomod Ok Falls >Dinner at Salt and Pepper


Sunrise in Mt. Kiltepan

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Medyo sad kasi hindi clearing nung nagpunta kame ng Kiltepan. Kala ko makaka experience ako ng sea of cloud dito katulad nung movie sa “that thing called tadhana”… Kaya lang ang naabutan namen ay sea of crowd. Ang daming tao! Kaya next time kapag bisita kayo ng Sagada weekdays nalang hehe para solo nyo Kiltepan! šŸ™‚

Garden Inn

(Dinalaw namen si Aunti mary sa lodge nya. Dito narin kame nag breakfast. Ganda kasi ng view my overlooking tapos malalaking rocks na pwede mo akyatin!)

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Lumiang to Sumaging Cave Connection

Normally, it would take 4 hours to finish this spelunking activity. But for us, it’s just 3 hours or less!!! YAY! We were the only group inside the cave and water was sooo cold! It’s tiring but the experience was unforgettable! The tour itself including the tour guide will cost you P500/pax.

FYI: There’s mumu inside and a lot of pupu and wiwi from the Bats šŸ™‚

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Entrance to the Cave

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“let there be light…”

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TADDAAHH!

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We are almost done!
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Bomod-ok Falls

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You have to pass by those rice terraces to get to  Bomod-ok Falls.

Day 3

St. Mary Church >Echo Valley >hanging Coffins >Yoghurt Hauz >Dinner at Masfarre’ >Taste the weirdest Halo Halo >eat Wild Bore BBQ

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St Mary Church


Echo Valley

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They called this “Echo Valley” because of one main reason – your voice will echo when you shout!

Hanging Coffins

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You can also try the rock climbing in Echo Valley for P400-P500 only.
Weirdest Halo-Halo I’ve ever tasted. Macaroni? Only in Sagada!

OTHER ACTIVITIES:

-The great Pongas Falls
-Sagada Bonfire Festival (one of the best! A must try! This only happens once a year!)
-Pongas Extreme Rivering Adventure
-Visit Ganduyan Museum
-Savor the flavors of Sagada
-Try the famous Lemon Pie and Tea
-Visit Bokong Falls
-Marlboro mountain
-Stargazing

HOW MUCH IS THE BUDGET?

If you’ll be staying for 4 days and 3 nights, please bring P5000 – P6000.00 for everything (Bus fares, tours, guide fees, tour transportation, accommodation and food). I know it’s a bit too much but you’ll get to satisfy yourself with the beauty of Sagada. One tip I can share, if you are a solo traveler it’s a must to join a group to save money for tours and van rentals.

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES:

P1060.00 – Manila to Banaue Ifugao/ Banaue to Manila
P600.00 – Van from Banaue to Sagada/ Sagada to Banaue
P300.00 – accomodation per night
P500.00 – Cave Connection spelunking
P800.00 – van rental for 2 days (shared amount)
P1500 – Food for 4 days

WHO TO CONTACT?

For van rentals (tours around Sagada), please call Kuya Earl: 0915-782-7161

-He’s very accommodating. He’ll bring you to places na hindi gaano napupuntahan. So definitely marami kang madidiscover about Sagada! šŸ™‚

For accommodation, maraming pwede pagpilian talaga pero mas okay kung sa mismong town proper ng Sagada para mas madali. You can call Auntie Mary: 0918-596-2237

Travel TIPs and FYIs:
-Okay bumisita dito ng Summer. Pero kung gusto mo talaga ma feel ang lamig ng Mountain Province, visit ka around November -February.
-Try nyo yun Wild Bore BBQ. Yun nagiihaw nasa harap lang ng Youghurt Hauz. Dun kasi ako tumambay nun nung naabutan kame ng ulan after kumain sa Youghurt Hauz.
-Ang sarap lang mag chill ditey! Yun naglalakad-lakad ka lang sa town, sa gubat, sa pine trees.. magmuni muni… Ay grabe suryal!
-For Kiltepan, mas okay weekday kayo pumunta para konti tao. Kapag sea of clouds habol nyo, punta kayo summer.
-Magpabook ng maaga if ever punta kayo Sagada para secured ang seats nyo!
-No need for tour guides kapag punta kayo ng Echo valley, Hanging Coffins and Calvary. Pagtanung nyo lang keri na yun. Ganun ginawa namen.
-Yun Pinikpikan. Okay to kung makikita nyo paano ginagawa. Tradition yun sa Sagada.
-Sana maabutan nyo na may wedding ceremony. Buong maghapon yun at nagpapakain ang kinasal sa buong Sagada! Ganun pala ang ritual dun. Makikisayaw karin ng ethnic dance. Yun ang tradition.
-Stargazing and Bonfire please!!! A must try!

PS 1.1: To my new found friends, thank you so much! Definitely, it was an amazing adventure because of you guys. I hope to be with you on my next travel!

PS 1.2: Thanks Kyle for allowing me to share some of your photos! šŸ™‚

 

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