Sagada, Day 3
The plan for our last day in Sagada was to just take it easy, wander around town, and buy some souvenirs. After having breakfast at Salt and Pepper Diner, we walked around the town for a bit then headed to Ganduyan Museum in the town center.
When we arrived, the owner, Christina Aben, was just getting the place ready and invited us in. Make sure to take your shoes off before heading up to the museum. The museum itself is small, but the collection is impressive, featuring accessories, clothing, home furnishings, and weapons, among many other things. It’s a good way to learn more about Sagada and the Igorot culture–you’ll learn about headhunting, how they clean their food bowls, that Igorot men used to carry very sturdy bags with handy compartments, how the rich and the poor differed in terms of their clothing, accessories, and home furnishings, and how they got their hands on ceramic pottery from China, among many other things. Ms. Aben is more than happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to ask away.
Afterwards, we went to have a look at the very pretty Church of St. Mary the Virgin because it was already on our way to Echo Valley. The church was closed though, so we didn’t have a chance to look inside.
Then we went to Echo Valley. Various blogs describe it as an easy hike, so we figured that fell right in our plans to take it easy on our last day. A group was heading there the same time we were, but TJ and I ended up going left down some random path instead of right and up to the Anglican cemetery like we were supposed to. We wound up on a cow path riddled with cow dung and featuring a handful of cows who were eyeing us suspiciously. So we headed back where we came from, still walking along a cow path, then went up to the cemetery. To get to Echo Valley from there, just follow the downward trail. That’s when things get tricky, because you have to scramble down some rocks. By this time, TJ and I developed a habit of spotting random paths and following them in case they led us somewhere interesting. We stomped up a steep, narrow path which appears to be seldom traveled. We emerged on the other side of the hanging coffins, not very far from the usually traveled path.
The climb back up was difficult because by then, the sun was beating down on us; I actually got sunburned as a result. Afterwards, we dragged ourselves to Misty Lodge again for lunch, aching feet and all. Then after lunch, we dropped by Sagada Weaving and a bunch of other souvenir shops.
TJ thought of going back to Lumiang Cave to get better pictures. The trek was much easier than the first time and a total breeze compared with Echo Valley, so we were down by the cave in no time at all. We spotted light further down into the entrance to the cave system and figured that there must be a way down, except we thought better of it. The place, while awe-inspiring, is, for lack of a better word, creepy, as it houses coffins that are hundreds of years old.
Afterwards, we headed back to town for dinner at Pinikpikan Haus, where I had my first taste of, yup, pinikpikan. We rounded out the day with a snack at Yoghurt House before heading back to Kanip-Aw for an early night, because we’re heading home the next day.
Next: Sagada to Manila