Banaue and Sagada : A 2D1N Travel Guide on a Budget (Php2350 ONLY!)

December 05, 2018

The peak of Marlboro Hills | Sea of Clouds
I'm sure you've heard of Sagada a million times already, or you might have seen the movie That Thing Called Tadhana and you might have one day wanted to see what it has to offer. I know you did, because I did too. And today I'll share with you my 2 Days 1 Night Sagada Tour with Mga Princesang Lakwatsera Travel and Tours.

I had my Sagada tour booked at this travel agency that caters different joiner tour. I had my first joiner tour with them that's why I am already confident that they will exceed my expectation on any place I'd plan to visit with them. The entire tour including the van transportation from Manila to Sagada, Sagada to Manila, transient accommodation, tour guide fees and entrance fees are already covered at the amount of only Php 2,350 + Php 300 for Marlboro Mountain Tour (optional)! Yes, it is that cheap to travel in Sagada, and definitely the cheapest and most trusted travel agencies out there.

PLACES I VISITED IN BANAUE & SAGADA
1. Banaue Rice Terraces
 Upon arrival in Banaue, we had our breakfast with the beautiful view of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces. The price of the meals are a bit expensive for your regular tapsilogan karinderya, but I guess you're just paying for the view. The price of their silogs are ranging from 150-190 Pesos and is being sold in small servings. I would suggest bringing your own breakfast sandwich instead. You can still have the tour and enjoy the scenery without paying for an overpriced meal.





2. Sumaguing Cave
 After checking in at our homestay, we immediately had the caving trip at Sumaguing Cave. For someone who has tried hiking already, this one is an easy trek. For beginners, it would take about 45minutes-1hour to complete the short-cut trip. And that is already a back and forth trip. It was an amazing experience, except there are a lot of tourist on that day and our tour guide seems to be in a hurry that I was not able to take enough photos of the trip :(




3. Echo Valley Tour and Hanging Coffins
  One of the famous destinations when visiting Sagada is the Hanging Coffins. Just some fun facts: Anyone can be buried in Echo Valley for free. Since you all know that this is a cemetery, anyone, regardless of the person's religion, nationality and gender may be buried in it for as long as you wished you to. But if you wished to be buried in the Hanging Coffins, you must first meet the criteria of the people of Sagada. Which includes the following: Must be an FBI or Full Blooded Igorot, must have his/her own family which means you can't die alone or single, the cause of death must be natural death and not from sickness or being killed, and one must die of old age. There's one kid who was buried in the hanging coffins, which I forgot to ask how is that kid buried in there if they should die of old age. Please, feel free to correct me about this one. :)


4.Lake Danum
  I fell asleep in the bus when we get to Lake Danum that's the reason why I missed it. Here's a photo of my friend who enjoyed shooting in the location. Please don't be like me. Don't fall asleep on this trip because I regret it big time.


5. Marlboro Hills Peak
  This is my favorite amongst all of the location we've visited. It is an hour hiking from the road to the peak and it is worth it. The hike is not hard, it was very easy and the view is breathtaking. I am not sure how am I supposed to explain the feeling when I was there but I am pretty sure that these photos will speak for itself.




6. Blue Soil Hills
   Going to Blue Soil Hills is already the traverse from Marlboro Hills, and the hike is about an hour and thirty minutes long. It is a bit longer than what we have expected but the trail is not that hard. I suggest you go bring something you could eat while walking and don't forget to bring a jug or a bottle of water because it is surely tiring. Also, another fun fact, the reason why the soil is blue is that of the presence of copper in it.




7. Kaipitan Grounds and Limestones
   This is just along the way going to the Blue Soil Hills. We took time to take some photos, and I was not able to take good photos of the limestones because we're in a hurry. I suggest you take time to appreciate nature. It was beautiful indeed.

 8. Infamous Empty Bus
    I am not sure how this bus gets there, but there's this empty lot wherein this bus frame is located. There is nothing inside it, just the outside or frame. And it is painted and signatured by two graffiti pop artist called Fuse and Doom, thus the art.



That is basically all of the locations we've visited while we're in Banaue and Sagada. We also tried to visit Baguio before going back to Manila but due to time contains, weren't able to do that.

ACCOMMODATION
For the accommodation, I was not able to take photos so here are some from my tour guide. This is a homestay inn in Sagada. We occupied the whole third floor for the whole group. It has three bathrooms, both with its own heater so you wouldn't need to worry about the cold water. They also have a kitchen where you can cook your meals. It is very spacious for the rest of our group. They don't provide any toiletries so I suggest bringing your own.

Kitchen area where we stayed in Sagada | Down Town Resthouse

One of the bedrooms in Down Town Resthouse which has its own balcony and bathroom.

Where me and my friends slept for the night in Down Town Resthouse

MEALS
If you're wondering where to eat in Sagada, I would suggest you try the Cuisina Igorota, where we had the best Bagnet Kare Kare and Sinigang. Imagine having been able to eat something good after a long day. It is all worth it. Another one is the Ganduyan Inatep Cafe. This is where we had our dinner for the first night and you will also find the last Igorot house in Sagada. This is the legit one built by their ancestors and is being kept by the family. It has a huge cultural heritage, and the owner will accommodate you in their humble home. The story is fascinating so I wouldn't spoil you with it.
Bagnet Kare Kare at Cuisina Igorot
Bagnet at Cuisina Igorot


WHAT TO BRING
Here are some of the tips and things you could bring that would help you in surviving this trip. And these are my usual out of town what to bring a list.

  1. Sweater/Hoodie/Jacket - It is cold in Sagada and you wanna make sure you've got yourself covered, literally or you'll freeze and not enjoy the whole trip.
  2. PJs or Jogger Pants - I highly suggest to bring this because it is easier to move in it that in maong pants or shorts. You'll be hiking both days and it will be messy and tiring. You want your legs to breathe, so trust me on this one.
  3. Rubber Shoes/Trekking Shoes/Hiking Slippers - As you can see in my photos I have only brought 2 footwear. One is my sneakers and one is my hiking slippers which I got from Sandugo. It is one of the best purchase I had since I have been traveling nonstop this year. It comes very handy when you're going on a trek or hike, regardless if it's gonna be a sunny day or rainy one. 
  4. Neck Pillow and Small Blanket - You're either walking or spending your time in the van. Mostly in the van because it is gonna be a very long drive, about 10 hours from MNL to Sagada, and Sagada to MNL so you wanna be comfortable when traveling. 
  5. Food and Water - Trust me when I say you'll be hungry and thirsty because it is a very active trip wherein you'll be walking a lot. It is my first time to try the Tuna Paella of San Marino, and bitch, that food saved my life and my friends' lives from me because I'm #Annzilla when I'm hangry (hungry and angry). For drinks, you can go with Pineapple juice, it gives you sugar rush which will help you with hiking or gatorade. Thank me later.
  6. Drawstring Bag or Any Waterproof Bag - This will keep all your belongings dry especially when you go spelunking and swimming in Pongas Falls (yes, you can swim there)
  7. Mints and Candies - Make sure to keep your breath fresh if you don't have the time to brush. 
  8. Toiletries and Towel - This is one of the basic things you should bring. You know the drill.
  9. Camera and/or Cellphone - Please don't forget to take pictures when you're there. You'll need it, I promise. Don't do it for the gram, do it for you. 
  10. Omega Pain Reliever and your Medicine Kit - I will never go on a trip without my Omega. Call me a Tita but this one saves my body from all the serious body pain I'll be experiencing after such a long and tiring trip. You may also want to bring some paracetamol, loperamide and other medicines that could possibly trigger any sickness that you may have. Bring a bonamine and a napkin to save a life. I am certain that someone will be nauseous and will be starting their period. Regardless if you're a girl or a boy, bring these two. 
ABOUT JOINER TOURS:

Many of you have probably thought of joining a tour like this alone or with someone but scared because you're not sure if you could trust the agency or the person advertising it. You might also be scared by the fact that you will be traveling with strangers, but this is one thing I would highly recommend. Go book one joiner tour, doesn't have to be with Mga princesang lakwatsera (or MPL) but just go on an adventure and meet strangers, and go make new friends and discover new places. I am very sure that you will surely enjoy it.

Some of the tours may seem very tiring due to a number of activities so I would suggest trying something with lesser activities or locations to visit but little or less time. Just try to see the itinerary and if it's fit your interest go book them.

You can also join me on my joiner tours whenever I will have one so we can have an adventure together. I usually post it on my Instagram stories or my facebook account. Just hit me up, and I'll add you to my group of traveler friends and we'll take care of you. PS: I am not a tour coordinator/guide of MPL, just like you I just enjoy traveling.




I'm sorry if I was not able to share with you a DIY tour in Sagada, but I am hoping that this one will also be helpful for everyone who's thinking of visiting the place. I hope that you learned a lot today and I was able to ignite a fire inside you to travel more and never stop seeking for more adventures.

Just one more reminder before I end this post, be a responsible traveler:
Leave nothing but footprints.
Take nothing but pictures.
Kill nothing but time. 

Here are some more photos from the trip just in case you still need to see more.









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