Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Road Trip to Sagada, Mountain Province with a Stopover at Bontoc Museum

When the opportunity to visit Sagada in Mountain Province presented itself about a month ago, I immediately agreed to go. I knew it would be a great adventure and it was! The trip happened after  we've visited several organic farms in Benguet

Last week, our group of bloggers traveled to Sagada to visit several sites. We left La Trinidad around 4:30 am for the 5 -hour travel. The van stopped in Atok at around 5:30am so we can take pictures of the sunrise.

Unfortunately, I have a weakness for cold weather and scrambled back to the warm comfort of the van after just a few shots. I couldn't stand the freezing cold wind that suddenly greeted us along the highway.

The temperature went up a little 30 minutes later when we made a stop at the highest point in the Philippine highway system. We posed for more pictures there and ate our packed breakfast along the road side.

I love the views that keep getting better as we near our destination. Contrary to what I knew, rice terraces are not only found in Banaue! You can also catch glimpses of them when you travel up to Sagada.

Before we reached Sagada proper, we made a detour and visited The Bontoc Museum. It houses a lot of interesting stuff such as really old artifacts, including an old wooden coffin! Too bad, visitors can't take pictures inside so we contented ourselves to posing for photos outside where prototype of native houses where displayed. 

Oddly, the houses were constructed very near the ground. Perhaps it has something to do with the cold weather. There were various types including a hut that only young women could enter. We even got to see how a pigpen looks like with a real live pig inside!

Beside the museum is a gift shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and check out more artifacts displays.

Later, we also dropped by Sagada Weaving, a store that sells bags and other products made with handwoven cloths. At the back of the compound, we found several women doing actual  weaving.

It was fascinating to see how they can make bolts of beautiful cloths using the huge manually operated machines. It looked very complicated to me and I'm sure it took them a long time to master their craft.

I asked one of them how long does it take to just set up the threads before they can actually start weaving and was told 2 days! Then it will take them about a whole month to come out with an 80 meter bolt.

Thus, I understand why the bags are kinda pricey after seeing for myself how much effort is expended to make those beautiful cloths.

Three of us bought this kind of bag in different colors. They sell for P478 each. I think it's already a good deal knowing that we helped a little in the livelihood of the people who made them.

Next, we dropped by the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. It was closed so we couldn't see the interior but there are lots of beautiful areas outside that are great venues for photo opportunities. 

Before we left, I saw a group of carefree little kids whose game was to roll down a grassy slope, get up, and do it all over again. I couldn't help but smile knowing that they may not have access to the latest gadgets that children in big cities have, but they are able to find ways to keep themselves entertained through simple activities like this. 

It was such a delight that I got to capture a shot of these two kids who even hold hands every time they return to the point before they started to roll :)   

Stay tuned for more posts about Sagada including our unforgettable caving adventures. In the meantime, please backtrack and read the past few days' posts about our organic farm tours in Benguet. Like me, you just might realize that we need to eat healthier by consciously supporting organic agriculture!

* Please view more Sagada photos here.

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