Any questions you want to ask to Visit Sagada?

The email function has been a bit wonky the past few weeks so I hope you could bear with us.

If you have questions, please go to the Visit Sagada Facebook page click like and ask your question on the wall. We will be more than happy to answer your questions. :)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ June 22, 2011 - 11:48 am

Accommodation: Canaway Lodge

Canaway Lodge is a relatively new hostel just 300m down hill from the main town square. It’s a multi-storey building that has a sets of rooms that are fairly cozy. The rooms that we stayed in were part of a three-room “apartment-type” unit that has a television set as well as a sitting area in the common space. Toilets and baths were fairly decent and there were water heaters on all bathrooms – water pressure was a bit variable in between rooms though.

Canaway Lodge is certainly a good choice if you want a comfortable bend without breaking the bank. Canaway Lodge can be reached by calling +63918 291 5063.

The rate that they gave us was 250/head. :)

Filed under: Accommodation Hostels Guest Houses — Benj @ April 26, 2011 - 7:33 pm

We experienced a three-hour delay at Dalton Pass (Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija)

Dalton Pass is the mountainous stretch of road that separates the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya. People going to Sagada via Banaue or Bontoc will pass through this route. My friends and I took this route and we ended up getting stuck for over three hours. This had us behind schedule by almost four hours when it was all said and down. Instead of arriving in Sagada by around 9AM, we ended up arriving in Bontoc (still an hour away) at noon.

There seems to be major road repairs ongoing at Dalton Pass. I suggest that you take the other route (the one that goes through Baguio) to avoid inconvenience.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ March 23, 2011 - 5:47 pm

Kalinga: A trek to remember (K.I.D.S. Foundation)

I’m posting this straight out of a friend’s e-mail. I believe in this cause and I also think that Kalinga is one of the most breathtaking places in the country. I hope you could consider this trip. The price looks really affordable and you’ll get to help out people in one of the most remote corners of the Cordilleras and Caraballo Mountain Range. These people were devastated by the Typhoon Megi last year and it would get a great gesture to give them a pick-me-up on May.

Hi everyone!

It’s the second leg of K.I.D.S. Foundation’s, A TREK TO REMEMBER (Medical-Dental Mission) with our partner in Kalinga, the IDP Foundation. We would like to invite medical practitioners; doctors, dentists, nurses, nature lovers, travel geeks, or simply, those young at heart to explore another memorable trek going to Tanudan, Kalinga while getting a chance to know 3,500 pangol tribe & locals of 14 remote barangays of Tanudan.

A Trek To Remember – is a bi-annual trek of the K.I.D.S. Foundation that, distributes books and school supplies for public schools in far flung places. This trek-for-a-cause brings the trekker back to nature and assures the participant of a different kind of high that one can only feel when one shares. This month of May we would like to continue this journey and we will be trekking to two (2) barangays; Baccong and Bawak of Tanudan, Kalinga that will serve the fourteen (14) barangays: Ammaboy, Magtoma, Lay-asan, Burninan, Liyang, Cabugao, Gombowoy, Sabila, Allubaggan, Darulog, Pagugo & Mabaca to bring not only school supplies and books but, a Medical and Dental services and conduct a gift-giving in preparation for the opening of the school year. Tanudan is a 4th class municipality of Kalinga province.

What: A TREK TO REMEMBER VII: Medical-Dental Mission & School Supplies Gift-giving for Pangol tribe & locals of Kalinga

Where: Tanudan, Kalinga (right next to the picturesque town of Tinglayan)

When: May 20th – 24th (ETD for Kalinga at 6PM of Friday – ETA in Manila 5AM of Tuesday)

Registration starts today.
Registration fee is Php3,000.00 (meals, transfers & accommodation). Deadline for Registration is on April 30th and Payment is on May 10th. Kindly, send your registration form via email:

In case you want to experience the adventures in Kalinga here are the extra fees that you have to consider for the R&R or explore in Tabuk, Kalinga after the medical mission (whole day of Monday):

- White Water rafting Php2,500.00
- Kalinga purse & bag Php 30.00 – 500.00
- Kalinga wall decor – Php1,000.00/pair
- Kalinga blend Coffee – Php120.00 to Php150.00/box

In addition, we need to bring medicines & medical supplies and we are also willing to accept cash donations to be used to purchase primarily the vitamins for 3,500 children for the medical mission.
We are hoping for your kind response. You may also call K.I.D.S. Office at (02) 708-KIDS (5437), (02) 348-2109 or 0922-854-3733 for questions or clarifications. Look for Rox and June.

Diether Ocampo
Karina Tanega
Mondo Castro
Tinette Cortes
Bene Go
Rapa Lopa
Darius Hizon
June Hamoy
Rox Oquendo

Thank you and See you all!

Roxanne T. Oquendo
Programs Manager
K.I.D.S. Foundation, Inc.
Ground floor, # 20 G. Araneta Ave.,
Brgy. Santo Domingo, Quezon City
Telefax: (02) 708-KIDS (5437)
(02)3482109 / 09228543733

Realizing a Child’s Dream Today
Kabataang Inyong Dapat Suportahan (K.I.D.S.) Foundation, Inc.
DSWD Registration Number: NCR-2007-R-035
SEC Registration Number: CN200600126
TIN: 243-359-313-000

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ February 23, 2011 - 5:09 pm

Sagada by the numbers by We Are Sole Sisters

Chin of the wildly entertaining and now emerging We Are Sole Sisters blog recently published a very light and somewhat inspiring piece on Sagada. She went up on a whim and ended up (as expected) falling in love with the place. Keep visiting their blog to see how Chin chronicles her stay in Sagada.

The next post is going to be on “5 things I did in Sagada that you should never ever ever tell my Daddy”. That sure sounds like an intriguing read, right?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ February 5, 2011 - 11:08 am

Log Cabin Bar and Cafe – Saturday buffet with Chef Aklay

Log Cabin is easily the most highly-regarded restaurants in Sagada. It’s located just a little up hill relative to the bus terminal – right in front of Strawberry Cafe. This establishment is best known for their Saturday night buffet featuring the cooking of French-native (and now adopted son of Sagada) Chef Aklay. The menu always changes because it is highly dependent on what inspires the chef during the weekend market. The food has always been impeccable and the desserts are plated and prepared to absolute perfection.

During other nights, customers may sample the great food from the Log Cabin menu Meals start at around 150 and go to as high as around 280 per plate. It’s a bit pricy for a plate of food up in Sagada but it’s really good. They are also one of the few establishments with a decent selection of wines. You have to place your order before 3PM to be entertained for the dinner service.

To book your seats for the Saturday buffet, call or text +639205200463.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ February 2, 2011 - 11:53 am

Taking a bus to Sagada – various routes through Baguio, Banaue and Bontoc

We’ve written on this topic extensively, but I think this post needs a bit of revisiting. We have notes on Baguio, Banaue and Bontoc.

1. Which one is the best option?

If you’re coming from Manila there are four factors that you have to consider

  • Do you want to arrive early in Sagada? If you’re going via Baguio, the earliest you’ll arrive in Sagada is around 1130 AM.  This is because the first Lizardo Bus leaves Baguio at around 6AM. Going through Bontoc will allow you to get to Sagada relatively earlier – even before 9AM.
  • Do you want to see Banaue? Banaue is on the opposite side of mountain range relative to Baguio. Banaue is on the eastern side of Luzon while Baguio is closer to the west coast.  Baguio and Banaue are actually 8-9 hours apart so this is a major consideration if you’re thinking of a non-circuitous route.
  • Do you want more flexibility with your bus schedules? Simply put, there are more buses from Manila leaving for Baguio. There are also seven buses leaving for Sagada from Baguio. Contrast this to just ONE bus nightly from Manila to Bontoc and Banaue.
  • Are you going to be comfortable staying in the same bus for 12 hours? The Bontoc bus takes 12 hours so you’re in for a long trip. If you’re comfortable sleeping in buses, this should be a good option since this is an all nighter. You will need to take a jeep from Bontoc to compete the trip (30-40 minutes). The Baguio-Sagada route cuts the trip into 6-hour halves – six hours each on two buses. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ February 1, 2011 - 4:32 pm

The best time and month to go to Sagada and other weather concerns

The short answer to the question “When is the best time to go?” is “any time when it isn’t raining too much”. Sagada is a good trip all-year long as long as the weather cooperates, really but since Sagada is in the middle of Luzon, there are micro climates that makes the weather a little bit harder to predict.

I’ve been to Sagada almost all months of the year and this is how I felt about it:


The first month of the year is probably one of the best times to go. January usually isn’t peak season for tourism so you’ll the town to yourself. The weather is still cold so the early evenings and nights can be quite an experience. From what I remember, it rarely rains during this month; if ever, it would only be in the afternoon.


This month is a lot like January but the big clincher here is the town fiesta during the first week. It’s a big local celebration so it would be a good idea to check it out to see another side of the town’s personality.

March and April

It gets hot real fast. I personally don’t like the summer months for two reasons – the amount of people in town usually doubles or triples instantly and the weather just becomes too similar to the warmer parts of the country. The road to Sagada gets a bit too dusty and it will be a challenge to people with asthma.


I’ve been to Sagada three times during May and it’s a mixed bag. The other two trips were unremarkable and very enjoyable weather-wise, but the latest one (2008) was absolutely rained out. It could be a bit risky.

June and July

The Aguid village near the Bomod-ok Falls (Big Falls) usually close the trail to the waterfall around this time. The exact date of closure is NEVER known in advance so you could be missing out on your chance to check out the waterfalls. The rains start to get more regular around this time and in this region, rain equals landslides. These roadslips can certainly slow down your transit time – especially from the Baguio side.

August, September and October

This is typhoon season. Fortunately, Sagada has not been heavily damaged by the last two super typhoons that has hit the area (Megi 2010 and Parma 2009). The towns around Sagada were devastated though and it made traveling to the area next to impossible. Power could also be unavailable in town during times of severe rains and typhoons. I went to Sagada August last year and the Baguio-Sagada trip that was usually 5.5 hours ended up being longer than 7 hours due to road repairs. It’s frustrating because the section that usually gets bad rock slides is in the barangay of Gonogon – just 40 minutes away from Sagada.


It starts getting cold around this time. Late November is a really good stretch to consider going – there aren’t a lot of people in town yet and the weather is probably as perfect as its going to get.


Early to mid December is a lot like November but a little bit colder. Late December is awesome if you like being in large groups. The annual bonfire activity is held every December 28 and its easily one of the biggest parties that the town hosts every year. If it’s okay for you to share a packed town that’s filled to the brim, December is the perfect time to go. I’ve gone the past three years and it’s been nothing short of a great experience.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ January 31, 2011 - 10:24 am

Visit Sagada turns three

Around three years ago, a group of guys got together to create a website that would help people find their way to Sagada. The internet was still pretty bare when it came to having good websites that would be useful in providing information and tips on how to go about planning a trip to this sleepy mountain town at the heart of the Cordilleras. Travel bloggers already had their take on their Sagada adventures but it was still quite a challenge to consolidate the information. When I tried going back in 2006, I had to rely on Pinoyexchange (the Philippines’ largest online forum) for directions and hotel recommendations. This is how I discovered the then still unnamed and unpainted Residential Lodge – my home now for most of my 16 trips to Sagada. (more…)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ - 4:28 am

Sagada’s Civet Cat Coffee (Cafe Alamid)

kape alamid

This is kape alamid or civet cat coffee. You’re probably wondering why in the world a cat would have something to do with the making of coffee but if you let your imagination really run wild, you would probably figure out that the coffee is actually made from the droppings of the alamid. The digestive process supposedly gives the resulting coffee a very distinct taste.

I tried kape alamid at Bana’s Cafe last year and I think it’s the only establishment in town that has a wide assortment of coffee products – truly deserving of its self-declared title of cafe. It had a very mild flavor – almost like chocolate with a faint hint of caramel at the end. It was quite an expensive cup of coffee (150 pesos ~ 3 USD) for a place like Sagada but you have to try these things at least once, right?

If you don’t feel like drinking coffee derived from something that came out of the rear end of a small animal, you could always go for their other brews. The arabica and robusta on the menu are pretty good and they do pack a punch.

Photo: Tet Grajo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Benj @ January 24, 2011 - 12:47 pm
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