Friday, March 11, 2011

Banaue-Sagada Trip: Day 3


I had a cup of Lucky Me La Paz Batchoy for breakfast. And milk tea cereal. Frances and Nikko had chicken noodles, Jamie had seafood noodles. All instant, all laden with artificial flavorings. Delicious stuff.

We wash our faces, brush our teeth, get on the hired van, and fall into deep sleep again for the duration of the 2.5-hour drive to Mountain Province.


L1080082Except for the time when our tour guide Nora wakes us up for a photo op at the
Banaue Viewpoint. Yes, sightseeing in jammies is very, very cool.


banaue rice terracesHow the Banaue Rice Terraces was built. Too lazy to type. Please click to enlarge.


banaue rice terracesIt is the most magnificent thing I have ever seen at 8 o’clock in the morning


banaue rice terracesEven the Japanese tourists think so, too


IMG_9247We continue on the rainy journey to the town of Bontoc


IMG_9260The rain stops and I am surprised to see the impressive condition of the road


bontoc townThis photo of Bontoc reminds me of Baguio. Okay, it reminds Frances of Baguio.
I haven’t been to the place since 1980’s.


IMG_9255“Tindahan ni Gloria Labandera. Handog ni Gloria, bilihing abot-kaya”
Hi there, Gloria Labandera!


bontoc museumWe are not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, but you see, I am never one to follow rules


ifugao house and costume at bontoc museumTraditional Ifugao house and costume


bontoc house and costume at bontoc museumTraditional Bontoc house and costume


IMG_9280I love Kip Moore’s photo of this Bontoc man wearing Yale padlock earring


IMG_9282And I love the caption on this one


IMG_9285Now this is creepy. In Bontoc, a dead person is placed inside his home for 3-7 days before he is put into a coffin. “The corpse is placed in a sitting position facing the main doorway. Friends and guests bring food or money, sing and talk with the dead as if alive. This go on through night and day.” CREEEEEEEPPPYYYY!


bontoc coffinCheck out how small the coffin is. That’s my size 9 slipper on the side.
Yes, I have big feet and I will never ever fit into that tiny coffin, thank you!


IMG_9290Back strap weaving, Bontoc women’s hobby and livelihood


bontoc outdoor museumThe Outdoor Museum is a replica of a mini Bontoc village


L1080186Traditional Bontoc house for the commoners




L1080184Bedroom is upstairs


L1080167Dead man on a “death chair”
Imagine having him in your house and imagine talking and singing to him for 3-7 days.


L1080189“The rice granary is used to store rice, wine and farm tools and is usually set close to the fields. No nails are used in this construction.”


IMG_9311“The ‘Ato’ is the religious and political center of the Bontocs. It is where the council of elders meet and decisions for the village are made. Young boys when they reach puberty start to sleep here and receive their education from the elders. It is this Ato system that still gives the Bontocs so much unity today.”


IMG_9319Ulog or the sleeping place of young ladies. Bontoc ladies must be really tiny because
Jamie and Frances can hardly fit.


IMG_9349Museum Ethno Cordillera Library and Souvenir Shop


On display in the museum is the “Common Threads” Exhibit which aims to expose the common threads or connections that draw together the students of School of Design & Arts of De Lasalle - College of Saint Benilde Manila and Lasalle College of Arts Singapore. The students were immersed in the rich culture of the women weavers in Bontoc, Mountain Province and this inspired them to create the following artistic pieces.


IMG_9327My favorite is this piece by Shermien Koh and Jeanette Mok from Singapore


Others creations:

IMG_9330 IMG_9337 IMG_9338IMG_9341 IMG_9334 IMG_9347 



IMG_9354We then continue on the bumpy ride to Sagada


IMG_9363Human traffic light, hehe


masferre restaurant sagadaLunch is at Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant


masferre restaurant sagadaThe place is homey and the food is good, probably our best meal this trip


beefsteakbaked chicken
                                    Beefsteak                                                                     Baked Chicken


pork adobobeef adobo
                                Pork Adobo                                                                        Beef Adobo


lechon kawaliIMG_9392
                           Lechon Kawali                                                                              Rice


IMG_9399Yogurt with Muesli


IMG_9412I don’t know why our Ifugao driver Jun loves to drive very near the edge and
park very near the wall


IMG_9413So there, we are stuck


L1080287And these four guys have to carry the van with all of us in it. Oh, poor boys.


hanging coffinsNext stop is the Hanging Coffins


hanging coffinsZoom in 100%


hanging coffins sagadaZoom in 188%. SKULLS!!! YIKES!!!


burial cave sagadaNext next stop is the Burial Caves


burial cave sagadaIt is quite a nice walk along the pine tree-lined trail


L1080307That is, until the stairs. STAIRS AGAIN?!? SERIOUSLY???


IMG_1618Us at the entrance of the cave. Frances, Nikko, Me and Jamie. That’s the nearest we go. Except for Nikko (but she’s crazy)


burial cave sagadaCoffins and coffins and coffins and coffins…
The short ones with wooden pegs are much older ones. The long ones with nails are the newer ones, like 1980’s new. And they are for Christians. Until now, the people of Sagada still practice cave burial. They don’t, however, come to visit the coffins as they believe the spirit of the dead will go visit them instead.


burial cave sagadaI say the warning sign is totally unnecessary


burial cave sagadaThere are many, many more coffins inside the cave


hanging coffins sagadaWe see more hanging coffins on the way out


L1080353And more rice terraces on the way to our next destination


sumaging cave sagadaOur last stop for the day is the Sumaging Cave


sumaging cave sagadaAGAIN?!?!? SERIOUSLYYYYY?!?!?!?
Ugh. Okay.


sumaging cave sagadaI look up and I see stalactites


sumaging cave sagadaI look down and I see our guides lighting our lamps. I ask each of them one hundred million times how long the lights will last. They just smile and assure me they’ll last long enough.


sumaging cave sagadaThe steps are steep but Jamie seems to find it quite easy


I, on the other hand, am a total mess. And Nikko captures me in the awkward-est positions.



But I am proud to announce I am not the worst.

sumaging cave sagadaHello Frances! Hihihi! Smile with tongue out


L1080428Hold on tight to the rocks for the bigger steps


sumaging cave sagada bat pooBut be careful, they’re covered in bat poo. Ewww.


sumaging cave sagada elephant               Guide: This is “The Elephant.” See the trunk?
               Us: Ahhhh… Ooohhh… Oo nga noh, galing!


sumaging cave sagada the queen               Guide: This is “The Queen”
               Us: Huh?
               Guide: That is the queen lying down. That on top is her stomach and on the side are 
                            her thighs
               Us: Oh. Okaaaaay... *Giggles*


L1080462She just has to do this


L1080467Nikko contemplates on how to jump over


L1080471Sitting and sliding is the secret


sumaging cave sagada               Guide: This is a “Dinosaur Foot.” A dinosaur stepped in here.
               Us: OH, I think he means Dinosaur Footprint.
               Guide: Yes, Dinosaur Foot.


sumaging cave sagadaThe water is so cool and clear


IMG_1727I cannot resist a dip


sumaging cave sagada               Guide: This is the “Hiding Turtle.” The turtle is hiding under.
               Us: How cute!


L1080491Frances and I on top of where the Hiding Turtle is hiding


sumaging cave sagada               Guide: This is “The King”
               Us: Huh?
               Guide: This is what got The Queen pregnant
               Us: Aaaahhh… BASTOS!!!!!


L1080511Nikko and Jamie and “The Prince”
See it?


L1080501Oreo: Mommy, why do you have to bring me here?


L1080505               Guide: This is “The Chocolate Cake”


There are many more interesting rock formations deeper into the cave but it is almost 4pm and we are still a good 3-hour drive from Banaue.


sumaging cave sagadaSo we head back up and climb all these rocks like monkeys


sumaging cave sagadaSome are very slippery, so take extra care


L1080531We made it!!! Congratulations to us!


L1080538My hands are covered with dried bat poo. The legs and thighs, too.


sumaging cave man sagadaThank God for Sagada Cave Man across the street


L1080573We can take a bath for just 20 pesos.
(Really, I’d pay 2,000 to feel clean again)




L1080572Common area


L1080569Ladies bathroom


L1080545Our Sagada guides, Wenley and Madrid. Call SEGA at 09083900259 or 09184035384.


L1080585We leave Sagada at 5pm. This is what the road looks like at 6:40pm.


IMG_9423Dark and foggy. For the very first time during this trip, I am feeling scared.


Related Posts:

Banaue-Sagada Trip: Getting There
Banaue-Sagada Trip: Fairview Inn
Banaue-Sagada Trip: Day 1
Banaue-Sagada Trip: Day 2

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