The North and 2014

Thank the universe that most things in life are not meant to last. Like this godawful year. A few days before 2014 ended, I went to Sagada with a couple of friends, hoping to let go of the pent up anger (accumulated in Q3 and Q4, thank you very much) that’s been incapacitating me. Unfortunately, a retreat isn’t enough. And I figured, the only way I’ll ever fix this sorry state, is by going away. For real.

So this 2015, I am determined to go, no matter what the cost. Yay!

Now on to happy thoughts! Here is what transpired in my recent trip. Sagada is one of the few municipalities in the Mountain Province, popular for breathtaking views of rice terraces, caves, hanging coffins, coffee, and most of all (well) weed. Going there was quite an adventure. Our bus stopped at Benguet, and from there we braced for another three-hour jeepney ride with two viewpoint stops.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThis is my friend M. and her girlfriend G. All cheesy and flowery and shit. Haha!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAnd this is a new friend I met along the way. What up, dawg! 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetWe stayed at the Rusty Nail Inn for three days–and despite a few challenges like a fluctuating water supply–the experience turned out pretty well. This is the view from the inn’s cafeteria. On our second day, I spent about two hours looking at this, while drinking local wine and smoking, until it got dark.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetSpeaking of! Here’s another one from the second viewpoint.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetThe Sagada town proper is rather small, meaning everything is pretty much walk-able. And you’ll see a lot of nice things along the way like this beat-up jeep with horns.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that most people went up for the Sagada Bonfire Fest. Fire dancers, world music–baseline hipster shit. The first night was fun, the second, not too interesting.
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But I think the highlight of the trip is caving. None of us (in our small group of four) has done it before so we were all noobs . weaklings. We went to the Balangagan Cave, which is one of the fairly new (and ‘easy’) destinations, opened just last November. They say that the difficulty level is 4/10 versus the more popular Sumaguing Cave at 7/10. What the hell. It was tough enough and I almost died, and I probably stepped on a lot of bat shit. So when they say ‘easy’ don’t take it to heart.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetOh look! Coffin!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetOh look, another wooden coffin.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetOh. A human thigh bone. Nice. 😐
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetBut if you think caving is too much, then just enjoy the view on the way–mountains and vegetable gardens.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetGiven the choice, I would’ve stayed here for at least two weeks. But we all gotta go back to real world. So, shame.

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3 thoughts on “The North and 2014”

    1. I’ve read your blog and saw other user comments. I quite agree that Travel Factor wasn’t all that great in terms of organising the trip, so I just planned my own itinerary and made the most out of the free time. Haha.

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