Wednesday, May 13, 2015

THE GRANDEUR OF SAGADA

Sagada is a very nice place to enjoy exploration and adventure in nature and activities. It offers an array of outdoor activities that will dare every guest’s courage, excitement and fondness.  The travel alone challenges you to excite the long crisscross upward road.  Trekking, spelunking, rappelling, and even swimming are just some to enjoy and stun.  But it is not just the physical activities, more than these is the nature itself that pride the place.  The serene Sagada offers a very relaxing atmosphere blended with its temperate weather.  The clear blue sky that domes above the greeneries gives a very pleasant to sight.  From its gigantic mountains surrounding the scenery in green, towering massifs, cliffs, and awe-inspiring caverns, the captivating charm of Sagada is jaw-dropping view and a striking image that captures every guest’s affection, addiction and perfection.  If you are looking for a peace of mind, meditation, or spiritual experience then Sagada is the right place because this place is too far from bustling mega city.
 It starts in the break of dawn to enjoy the breathtaking sunrise at Kiltepan’s perfect viewpoint.  Watching the enthralling sunrise fascinates every spectator to feel the mystique of nature.  It also inspires every eye’s beholder to feel the love of God that reminds another beautiful day has just given to enjoy.  While the sun is rising, the fog slowly moves floating in the air to give zero visibility.  It is artistry to see the falling rays of the sunlight passing between every twig of Pine trees down to the ground.  In morning, the temperate air kisses on your face and embraces the body and soul, a moment simply perfect to sip the hot beverage.  Mountain dew damps window glasses from the fog outside.   As the sun moves toward the 3rd quarter of the morning, trekking challenges everyone’s endurance.  Stunning Bomod-ok Falls nestling down the hill is a four-hour of non-stop and sweaty kilometres of hiking, walking on the green paddies irrigated by natural rainforest.  It is a long hour of trekking but once down there awaits the big waterfalls inviting to plunge the cold, pure and crystal clear water.  There, all the tiredness and sweat will be gone and will be rewarded by lessons of history and legacy.  Optionally but not recommended with fear in confined space, medical and health condition, accepting the challenge of cave exploration ranging the difficulty level from moderate to hard to very hard is rewarding when accomplished.  For usually four hour inside the cave, the aggressive and brave have to crawl thru small passages, take rope to climb or go down, walk the slippery descending and ascending trails and take short swim if needed.  It all happen in Lumiang and Sumaguing caves.  When endured all these physical and daring activities, the feeling is relief, accomplished, and successful.

But before these nature adventures, Sagada is known for the mystifying hanging coffin in the cliffs made of limestone and going there will never complete without witnessing this old traditional burial of Ifugao, making the place a mystical.  Behind a church is the graveyard while walking further is the solemn site of the hanging coffins.  It is always a strange feeling inside any forest or mountain, but the idea of knowing the place is burial ground, trekking the long way and the echo add the creepy feeling.  But once there, all weariness and fear will turn into admiration.  Hanging coffin is an ancient practice of the indigenous culture and burial tradition for more than 2,000 years.  It is the traditional way of burying a qualified individual, which should be an elder, by putting the dead body in a fetus position to fit in the tight space of the coffin.  It is believed that in this way, the deceased can still watch over their family, easier to raise and go with the Creator when the resurrection comes rather than burying six feet underground.

As the common byword of every guest that goes “I survived Sagada”, I am then now more than a conqueror.  To date, my visit to Sagada is the most daring and physical jaunt that demanded me the courage and confidence to do the extreme.  Sagada in my mind will always be nice place to live in.  Truly a magnificent, majestic, mystique and enchanting place, Sagada imparted me not only its physical features but also its rich culture, tradition, customs and history.   Apart from these, its tranquility, silence, cold weather, lavish greeneries and life simplicity attracted me most to regard Sagada as one of my favourite destinations.

By Alex V. Villamayor
May 13, 2015










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