Sagada Philippines Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Sagada Itinerary Planning by Benj
May 9, 2014, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Accommodation Hostels Guest Houses, Restaurants, Tour, Travel

Visit Sagada is your one-stop resource website for everything that has everything to do with Sagada, Philippines. :)

Thank you for visiting us! :)

Here’s the Sagada Super Post. Almost everything you know for planning your very own cost-efficient, organized and fun Do-It-Yourself Sagada getaway  is here. If you don’t find it here, post a question on our Facebook page.

Think of this post as a table of contents that would tie together almost all the entries that we have here.

How do I get to Sagada?

There are multiple ways to get to Sagada. Traveling to the western side of the country is slightly more convenient due to the number of buses leaving Manila for Baguio City in a day (perhaps as much as 50 trips for Victory Liner). Traveling via the eastern side (Ohayami or Cable Tours) gives you less options but gets you to Sagada earlier.

Comparing the routes - what's the best one? 

Angel Juarez rock climbing Sagada Echo Valley

(more…)



Two consecutive long weekends for August 2015 by Benj
July 25, 2015, 3:25 am
Filed under: Blog, Travel

There will be two three-day long weekends on the last 10 days of August 2015.  The first one is from August 21-23. August 21 is Ninoy Aquino Day – a holiday commemorating the assassination of Ninoy Aquino at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport.

The second one is from August 29-31. August 31 is the last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day.

If you want to sneak a quick trip to Sagada, these dates might be worth looking into.



Travel: Ohayami Trans (Bus Company) – Manila to Banaue by Benj
July 24, 2015, 6:10 am
Filed under: Travel

While there are many bus companies that one could take on the western route – Victory, Partas etc.; very few companies are active on the eastern route. Ohayami Trans is quite possibly the best option for the route that passes through Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao. This bus line doesn’t take you straight to Sagada but they do get you close – at least up to the eastern edge of the Cordilleras.

Main office: Dullagan Poblacion West, Lagawe, Ifugao 3600
Manila Terminal: Lacson Avenue cor. Fajardo Street, Sampaloc
Contact number: 09276493055, 02-5160501 (Manila); 09175617344 (Ifugao)

You can reserve tickets by calling in advance or sending them an email at ohayami@yahoo.com. Please indicate the following details:
– name of passenger
– date of trip
– number of passengers
–  if roundtrip/ one-way

If there are still available tickets, you will be required to pay via one of these options to reserve your ticket:
1. LBC Pera Padala/ MLHUILLIER Kwarta Padala /Western Union
2. BPI Transfer
3. BDO Transfer
Here are the details needed to make the transfer.

The fare for Manila to Banaue is 450 Php one way.

Please be mindful that the company has no refund policy for tickets past the departure date. You have to cancel your ticket at 12nn before your bus departure.

Bus Schedule

Picture

Luneta Park ( Manila)
Manila to Banaue (Video and free WIFI on board)
09:00 PM – Manila – Banaue ( peak season only!)
ETA: 6:30- 7:00  am
09:30 PM – Manila -Kiangan/Lagawe
ETA: 5:30-6:00 am
10:00 PM – Manila – Banaue
ETA : 7:00- 7:30 am

Picture

Banaue Rice terraces
Banaue to Manila (Video and free WIFI on board)
06:30 PM – Banaue Manila ( peak season only!)

07:00 PM – Banaue Manila
ETA: 4:30 – 5:00am

Picture

Gotad ad Ifugao ( Ifugao Day)
Kiangan to Manila (free WIFI on board)
7:00 PM – Kiangan to Manila
Lagawe to Manila (free WIFI on board)
7:45 PM – Lagawe to Manila
ETA:4:30 – 5:00 am

Picture

Ambuklao ( benguet)
Baguio to Banaue
09:00 PM – Baguio to Banaue

ETA: 5:00 – 5:30am

Picture

Tappiya Falls ( batad, Ifugao)
Banaue to Baguio
05:00 PM – Banaue to Baguio
Lagawe to Baguio
06:00 PM – Lagawe to Baguio

ETA: 3:30-4:00 am


Sagada weather forecast: Accuweather by Benj
July 13, 2015, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Travel

Accuweather has weather forecasts and predictions for Sagada. For an extended forecast, you may visit the Sagada page on Accuweather. The page includes details on general weather, precipitation, humidity, temperature, sunrise and sunset times (especially useful for people who want to go to Kiltepan and Lake Danum).

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Sagada Weather Reports and Forecasts: Forecast IO by Benj
July 13, 2015, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Travel

Sagada is located several hundred kilometers north of Manila and due to this, the forecasts for Manila does not necessarily apply. Please refer to these widgets and websites for the best forecast.


Sagada weather is largely different from Manila weather due to its location and elevation. Be mindful that caving is not allowed when it is raining due to the threat of flash floods inside the cave chambers.

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Sagada Environmental Guides Association by Benj
May 5, 2015, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Blog

The touring in Sagada is generally governed by three tour guide associations – the oldest and most established of which is the SEGA or the Sagada Environmental Guides Association.  According to to their history page, guiding in Sagada was done through a referral system involving the inns and hostels in town and the known guides. In the 90s however, the town moved to organize guides and in 1998, the SEGA was registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Through out the years, the organization has continued to improve the skills and knowledge of its members by both conducting and attending workshops most especially in the fields of safety and first aid. SEGA has also forwarded alternative livelihood projects like bee-keeping to help their guides participate in the economic growth of Sagada in ways other than tourism services.

The SEGA office is located in the Sagada Town Hall. They are at the first window to the left once you enter the building.

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Sunsets at Lake Danum by Benj
April 8, 2015, 2:20 pm
Filed under: Travel

Sagada Sunset Danum

The area surrounding Lake Danum offers a stunningly gorgeous view of the sunset. Located in an area halfway between the town center of Sagada and the neighboring town of Besao, the spot features a set of ridges that allow people to see the sun as it disappear behind the peaks of the Cordilleras.

Sunset Danum Lake Sagada

The area is an uphill hike from town so most people would probably prefer to hire a van or jeep to get to it. It is next to the pottery factory so the lake, the factory and the sunset could be one late afternoon’s itinerary. The road is not lit at night so make sure to have lamps or flashlights if you choose to walk to the site for the sunset.

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Weather Forecast: Super Typhoon Maysak by Benj
April 1, 2015, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Blog, Travel | Tags: , ,

Maysak Chedeng Typhoon

Super Typhoon Maysak (Philippine name: Chedeng) is expected to make landfall on Sunday (April 5, 2015). The track of the typhoon may still change due to the other weather systems north of the Philippines but as of the 9AM April 1, 2015 forecast, the typhoon is expected to pass through Northern Luzon – with Sagada and other Cordillera towns at risk of being on the eye wall. Maysak is expected to weaken significantly before landfall but it is still expected to bring winds in excess of 100mph, heavy rain and pose risks for landslides.

The typhoon is currently category 5 (160-195 mph) and has devastated parts of Micronesia.

If you are going to Sagada please be aware that there might be a major typhoon on Sunday and your plans on returning back to Manila/ leaving Sagada might not go as smoothly as planned. Make the necessary arrangements and preparations and be alert at all times.

Please check Typhoon2000 for up-to-date news on Typhoon Maysak. Keep yourself informed of the latest weather bureau bulletin through radio and TV news updates. Stay safe everyone!

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Sagada on public holidays by Benj
March 27, 2015, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Blog, Travel

Bomod-ok Falls

This is a photo of Bomod-ok Falls. It’s a towering falls that cascades through a sheer cliff and is only accessible through hiking for around an hour across several levels of rice terraces. It’s a stunning sight and the route is likewise gorgeous.

Sagada Bomod-ok Falls

This is what it looks like during Sagada peak season. There’s hardly any place to stand and while the scenery is still quite breath-taking, having so many people around does make it hard to have a more reflective moment. Sagada draws people for various reasons – the adventure, a chance to reflect etc – but the crowds just make it hard to execute on these goals. This photo was not taken recently. Nope, this is not a net effect of the new found popularity of Sagada thanks to the box office mega hit That Thing Called Tadhana. This was actually taken during the December break of 2009. Sagada is a small town with very few roads and it isn’t equipped to handle an influx of tourists especially if the drivers of this rise are tour promoters from out of town.

With many people already chiming on describing Sagada as a potentially very crowded town during the end of Lent and other public holidays, I felt compelled to write something and repeat some of the things I wrote about the town as early as 2009. I have gone to Sagada several times (24 times and counting) and I’ve seen it through most months of the year.

I know what it looks like during the early part of the year when foreign tourists from Europe are in town as they try to escape their harsh winters, I’ve seen how throngs of college students go up during the summer months to try out spelunking. I’ve experienced first hand the perils of traveling through Halsema Highway during landslides season and by now, I know that Sagada turns into virtual parking lot almost every time there’s a three-day long weekend.

What needs to be addressed first is how people’s attitudes travels and destinations have changed throughout and how it is to be reconciled with the philosophies and way of life of people who do not necessarily subscribe to the same standards and expectations. In the “customer is always right” mantra that has been sold as truth in the city (so much so that both the service provider and the client tend to believe it), it has been expected that a service provider would go to extraordinary lengths to provide great service. Business owners or in this case, the municipal government is expected to go the extra mile to ensure the utmost comfort and convenience of their guests.

However, in the case of Sagada, it might be different. Sagada is a fifth-class municipality. It doesn’t have the financial capacity and flexibility to create infrastructure for the few times in a year that it gets filled to the brim. It just isn’t worth the investment. The people are also from a proud culture that has been more or less contained in the Cordilleras. The way they run their business reflect their way of life and it might take some time for some to get used to having to serve hundreds of people a day. It might be frustrating to wait for your meal a while longer but keep in mind that people in town are also experiencing a period of adjustment.

Just a few notes:

1. If you can help it, don’t go to Sagada during Holy Week, the Christmas break or any other long weekends. Sagada is best experienced when there are less people. Roads are less congested and the trails to sites of interest and inside the slippery formations in the caves are more relaxing and conducive to optimal enjoyment when there are less people in town. This trickles through your prospects for getting tables and timely meals at your restaurant of choice.

2. If you have no choice but to go to Sagada during the crowded days of the year, check your attitude before you enter the town and acknowledge the stressful time that everyone is in – this goes for all the hostel owners, municipal officers, drivers, restaurant owners and even your fellow travelers. It won’t be a picnic and it’s in your best interest to keep a level head and just roll with the punches. Expect difficulty in finding a hostel (if you don’t have one yet), drives and commutes to certain sites will remind you of a EDSA (but on a mountain) and finding a restaurant that has a table will be tough (especially for big groups).

 

3. If you’ve been to Sagada, relay this information. Sagada is a small town. It is not equipped to have its population double for a weekend half a dozen times in a year. Make sure that people get the correct expectation of what it is. As it stands now, while Sagada is modernizing at a pace much faster than most of us expected and/or preferred, it still an idyllic mountain town that strikes the balance between peaceful isolation and modern convenience.

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That Thing Called Tadhana by Benj
March 14, 2015, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Blog

That Thing Called Tadhana

Sagada is getting a good dose of pop culture cred thanks to Antoinette Jadaone’s romantic comedy That Thing Called Tadhana. The town of Sagada figures heavily in the movie and is even suggested to be a good place to soul-search and mend a broken heart – the relaxing environs of the town could in fact soothe people who are seeking the warm embrace of a mountain mother.

The movie which stars Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman has been a hit in the box office and has racked up over a Php 120M in just three weeks burn. Critics have also been giving very favorable reviews of the film – the IMDB has it rated at 8.8/10, the MTRCB has given it an A rating and various websites have given perfect or close-to-perfect scores.

Have any of you seen it? How well does this movie improve the pop culture lore surrounding our beloved Sagada?



Discountinued: Direct buses to Sagada by Coda Lines (no longer available) by Benj
March 12, 2015, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Blog, Travel | Tags: , , ,

 
UPDATE: according to CODA LINES’ official Facebook page, they daily trips are stil currently on hold. The Codaline Official Facebook page has been deleted. There is no reason to believe that these buses are still running as of now.

Codaline Sagada Bus

Traveling to Sagada is now made easier by new routes by Coda Lines (formerly KMS Philippines). The Coda Lines terminal is located at Lot 6 Block 2634 Legarda St (Below LRT), Manila. The fare is 760 from Manila to Sagada. This cost is very comparable to the usual tw0-leg route that passes through Baguio or Bontoc.

The trip schedule is as follows:
Manila to Sagada – 8:00 PM (will arrive in Sagada at around 7AM)*
Manila to Bontoc – 8:30 PM
Manila to (Banaue) Ifugao – 8:30PM

Sagada to Manila – 2:30 PM (will arrive in Manila at around 430 AM)*
Bontoc to Manila – 3:30 PM
(Banaue) Ifugao to Manila – 6:00 PM

*personal estimates

They have indicated in their Facebook page that reservations would be entertained. Please contact Coda Lines via their hotlines – SMART (09394677863) and GLOBE (09771860548). The trips just started today and we would love to hear feedback on how this new route works out.