Noontime on my third day at Sagada; sadly, it was time to go back to the noisy streets of Manila.
For my way back, I decided on trying out the Sagada-Bontoc-Manila route. It’s a thirty-minute jeep-ride from Sagada to Bontoc, then an eleven-hour bus trip to the metro. The jeep fare costs Php40.00 and those who have adventure tattooed on their foreheads can ride on the jeep’s roof for a more scenic and heart-thumping view. Just be sure to wear a bandana across your nose and shades for your eyes though as the road can get quite dusty. From Bontoc, it costs Php650.00 for an aircon bus via Cable Tours.
The Bontoc to Manila route passes through the famed Banaue Rice Terraces, the bus does not stop there though. I had to resort to shooting through the glass windows. This route is less elevated than the Baguio to Sagada one, but it is far more scenic than my previous Baguio-Sagada route.
The Cable Tours bus is not that new and a bit small compared to the Victory Liners sweeping across Baguio but it definitely cuts your non-aircon ride from Sagada by five and a half hours. Their bus may be old, but their aircon still gets quite cold, so bring a blanket or a jacket.
Our first stop was at a small market at Mount Pulis. Interesting name for a mountain huh. According to the driver, during the Marcos era, the place was a hotbed for government insurgents and there were quite a lot of military personnel in the area, thus the moniker.
There is a grotto of a twenty-foot Virgin Mary near the stop and it really looks beautiful with the misty clouds passing right by it. You can literally see the clouds sweeping right by the road up to the mountain, making the region really really cold. Perfect for a hot lumpiang togue being sold at the stop. And I had two by the way hehe.
The rest of the trip was spent viewing the Banaue-Ifugao sceneries pass by; my iPod set on repeat to my Jack Johnson playlist.
It was an adventure-filled vacation for me at the sleepy town of Sagada. I arrived there; expecting a mountain retreat for soothing frayed nerves but instead got a nerve-wracking day after another. If you want a meditative retreat, a chill-out relaxing location, Sagada is definitely not that place.
This town equals non-stop climbs through trails and mountains, body bending crawls through caves, and everlasting walks from one place to the next. No wonder there are so much bistros and restaurants at Sagada, gotta fill up all those lost carbs.
After going through this rugged mountain escape, I really felt the byline of the T-shirts being sold at the local souvenir shops; I indeed Survived Sagada, and will definitely be back for more.
Cable Tours Bus Line
Address: E. Rodriguez Q.C near Trinity College
Bontoc Landline: (074) 602-1068
Mobile: (0918) 521-6790 | (0921) 448-8814