My second day at Sagada started very early. I got up at 4:30 am, had a quick shower and packed my gear up.
The street below St. Joseph’s Resthouse was dark, deserted and deathly still. There were hardly any streetlights and I almost went past the designated meeting place. I arrived before 5:00 am; however, I was informed that our meeting with the guide was moved thirty minutes later. I passed the time sitting on the curb, reviewing my previous day’s shots and having a silent conversation with a dog lazily lounging by my side.
First stop for the day was the Kiltepan Viewpoint for the sunrise. The morning was fresh and misty; with towering pine trees by my side and green-layered rice terraces deep below the valley.
The viewpoint was just a quick drive from Sagada town proper and it was already packed with vacationers when we arrived. Everyone was patiently waiting for the sun king to show itself against the smog filled mountainside.
Smog at Sagada? Yes indeed. Some of mountainsides, pine trees and all, were being burned down by the locals to convert as rice terraces. I really don’t know if this is a good thing or not. But the smog was definitely blocking our view of the great valley below Kiltepan. The sun was also having a hard time showing itself against the thick blanket of white mist.
The sun finally broke through after a while, to the cheers of the waiting crowd. A golden disc framed against the trunks of the giant pine trees. It was already heading its slow way up to the clouds and was, however, quite subdued. Still, a beautiful sight nonetheless.