I have been to Sagada, in Mt. Province, six times already and if our plans of traveling to this mountain retreat push through this weekend, I will probably be in seventh heaven then. I really hope the weather cooperates because it has been almost two years since I last set foot in Sagada.
It is absolutely one place that I don’t get tired of visiting because of the kind of solace that it offers to weary wanderers. I have friends who claim Sagada helped them put their lives back in order after suffering from a break-up or experiencing burnout at work. Come to think of it, Sagada probably healed me as well.
I first came to Sagada with my friends in 2007. After our four-day campus journalism workshop in Pingad, we took the two-hour bus ride to Sagada. Months before that travel, I was one restless soul who was mending a broken heart and was thinking of ending my promising career in Baguio. In some people’s vocabulary, it was quarter-life crisis that was weighing me down.
The whole universe probably felt it should put an end to my misery that nine hours before my 25th birthday, I got an important call from someone, I knew it was time to move on. I spent my day in Sagada like a new person. I reveled in the company of my friends who made sure my celebration went memorable.
We had a hearty breakfast at the famous Yoghurt House, saw the hanging coffins, visited some burial caves, braved spelunking in Sumaguing Cave, shopped at a local ukay-ukay store and got some stuff for free because it was my birthday, ate lemon pies, screamed our hearts’ out at the Echo Valley, and then met interesting people whose passion for community service was just admirable.
The night before, we set up a bonfire at the St. Joseph Inn while checking our students’ final papers in one hand and drowning ourselves with beer on the other as we made a countdown to my birthday. Well, I can assure you our students got the grades they deserved that semester. 😀
I got out of Sagada a different person. All the things that I worried about before coming to this retreat place disappeared and I felt like I had a new lease in life. Now that I am actually thinking about it, all my Sagada visits had been about seeking refuge, and, without a fail, I emerged out of it braver and wiser, or crazier and bolder.
Oh, Sagada. I long to see you again. 🙂
- First photograph taken with a Sony T90 digital camera during my last trip to Sagada in December 2010.
- Collage photographs retrieved from my Multiply account, taken during my first trip to Sagada in October 2007.