A vacation to a faraway locale would not be complete without the usual souvenirs, and Sagada has a multitude of stores catering to just those stuff that would take a good half of your day to check through.
The last few hours of my Sagada trip were spent browsing through such stores; checking out shirts, ref magnets, keychains, furniture, wood carvings, hand-made papers, bags, colorful fabrics and all sorts of thingamajigs.
I ran across a very unique Sagada t-shirt store on my first day here and promised the girl watching over the makeshift boutique that I would buy from her on my last day. A local Sagada artist owns the store and the shirts they sell are really quite different in that they are all painstakingly hand-painted, each one taking about two days to finish.
Their shirts cost a bit more at Php300.00 each (they were tagged at Php350.00, but they sold it to me at that price) than the usual Php180.00 to Php200.00 silk-screened ones, I guess that’s the cost of having an exclusive one-off shirt. They also sell a few paintings at around a thousand plus pesos per masterpiece.
It’s a tradition for me to get a ref magnet at every place I visit. I, however, was a bit disappointed with ones being sold at Sagada. Most were just laminated photos of the local sights and I had to make do with a generic wine rack type with a SAGADA marking written across it.
I also really wanted to buy an I Survived Sagada shirt as I really felt that it sums up the whole Sagada experience. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a design I like.
With the check out time at the St. Joseph’s Inn and my again slowly dwindling funds, I had to cut short my souvenir-shopping spree. For a thousand or so pesos, I was able to buy some ref magnets, hand-woven bags, and a one-of-a kind shirt; just enough for my already heavy luggage and soon to be empty wallet.