Monday, February 24, 2014

Eat Explore Experience Sagada – Part 2

After the spelunking adventure in Sumaguing cave, a bit tired but overwhelmed with so much delight out of the new accomplishment, we walked back towards the town. On our way back, we're already deciding where to have dinner and the next set of activities. While the two went back to their Inn I also went my way back to Ganduyan to freshen up. I swear to the Goddess of The Mountains that was the chilliest bath I ever had. Brrrrr... After changing clothes I lie down and guess what’s next. I dozed off for an hour. Whoa!!!! I am so late for dinner. I checked my phone and have lots of messages from my adventure buddies. We had our dinner at Pinikpikan Restaurant and of course tried the famous and authentic dish of Cordillera mountains Pinikpikan. I don’t how to describe the taste hmmm but let me try my best: it's a chicken soup with veggies. Very tender and a bit salty. According to the folks in Sagada it's prepared by beating live chicken prior to cooking it. The beating bruises the chicken skin bringing out its blood that helped improved the flavor. The process of light beating or "pikpik" is where the dish derived its name from.

It is believed that Pinikpikan is merely a flavorful chicken dish. In reality its preparation is a ritual performed by Cordillera tribes to determine the appropriate courses of action and their fate. It takes hours of careful work to prepare an authentic Pinikpikan. 


So much of the food tasting done for the day. Exactly 9 in the evening we called it a day. Aside from being too tired, the town itself has curfew at 9pm so you don’t have a choice but to rest and sleep. 

Day 2 started very early, as early as 4 in the morning. Nyahahaha...oh come on! Waking up at 3 AM with freezing cold temperature is hellish. Bwahahaha but that's part of the adventure. Another challenging bath for me. Brrrrr.... At 430 in the morning I found myself walking in the quiet and cold town of Sagada heading towards the tourism center for our first adventure for the day. Sunrise Viewing at Kiltepan.  We hired a van to take us to Kiltepan, a hitch hiker again. Hehehe... It’s great if you have amiable attitude, you get to join group tours and share cost with them. This time, it's Faye and Company who contacted the Van and we just joined them. After roughly 30 minutes of wandering around the foggy way to Kiltepan we reach the viewing point. Fog here, there and everywhere. Good thing the lady who sells coffee already prepared a fireplace to give warmth to the tourist going up. She also has one of the best brewed coffee I ever tasted. We stayed in Kiltepan for more than an hour, patiently waiting for gleam of hope...but we failed. We never saw the sunrise so we had our Photo Ops instead and just enjoyed the cold temperature. FYI it’s freezing at 8 degrees today. No wonder why my bones were almost breaking down. 


After the Kiltepan View we had breakfast at Sagada Market RJays Eatery: noodle soup. Simple yet appropriate for melting our frozen souls up there. We then went separate ways to change outfit for trekking. This time we will be conquering the Pong as Falls. 

We were so tired when we got back from the trekking adventure in Pongas Falls so we stopped by the nearest store to grab something to eat and drink. Well, we don't have any service van to take us back so we leave our luck to the kind hearted tourists to let us join them. Prayers answered! Yahooo! There's a group who went to falls and they still have seats available in the van to accommodate us. Topping it all, they're heading to Manila the next day taking Sagada-Baguio route. Just my luck, the road I’m taking is the route I originally planned. I will be seeing the other side of the mountain taking Halsema Highway. As per research its one scenic view you shouldn’t miss. 

So there, after the trekking adventure we freshen up and prepared again for another set of activities: eco tour (hanging coffins up close, echo valley and the church) and will end in Lake Danum for sunset view and bonfire.Another food trip for late lunch at Masferre Restaurant. I ordered the Massferre Chicken with veggie side dish and a mango shake. Wallet Damage Php 270.00



The Cemetery


St Mary’s Church


Echo Valley


After that belly buster lunch, we then headed to echo valley and up close encounter to the hanging coffins of Sagada. Along the way we passed by St Mary's Church and the Cemetery. When we reached the echo valley, I shouted checking if its indeed true. Hahahah... Then we head down to the hanging coffins.  Eerie yet fascinating, the old Igorot tradition of burying their loved ones speaks highly of the tribe’s rich culture. The hanging coffins of Sagada may be awkwardly placed but for ancient Igorots, the bizarre tradition was meant to put their loved ones closer to heaven. It can be reach through an exhausting trek but the uphill one is the most challenging part.

Hanging Coffins


Rock Climbing


After that short eco tour we headed to Lake Danum for bonfire and sunset viewing and I actually don't know why the sun has been so shy lately. It didn’t show up as grandly as expected. We had a great time taking pictures nonetheless in Lake Danum. 

Lake Danum

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It’s our last night in Sagada so we won’t miss the chance to stop by and dine on the local resto we passed by when we went to Cave Sumaguing. Since I am a coffee addict myself we had dinner at Sagada Brew and of course aside from ordering a full course meal I got the Caramel Macchiato to complete the experience. The meal costs Php 200.00 you have a viand and a salad with dessert already, not bad. The macchiato is at Php100.00.

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We also passed by Sagada Lemon Pie house to taste the ever famous lemon pie. It looks like ‘brazo de mercedes’ as the white part is soft and sweet. The sourness of the lemon just supplemented the taste of the sweetness of the crust.  


I had a great time Experiencing, Exploring and Eating in Sagada. It's one hell of an adventure. I didn’t regret taking that challenge and embark a solo flighted adventure to Mt. Province. I survived Sagada with a smiling face, fulfilled soul and happy tummy. 


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