Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012
8
A good view of odd rock formations at the forest
One does not go to Sagada in the Mountain Province once. It's almost always inevitable that follow up visits happen. And tourists visit the place for so many reasons.

Unlike most people who had exciting itineraries with their vacation in the Northern Philippine municipality, I took to Sagada one sunny August for a much needed respite from the daily grind of work. This is why for my first visit (Yes. I will be returning soon for a different purpose next time), I chose the very secluded Rock Inn Resort as my accommodation. It's situated in the middle of the Sagada forest, away from the busy activities in Sagada's town proper where all bus commutes from Baguio end.

The 6-hour trip from Baguio City's Dangwa Terminal was already a treat because I was able to see breath-taking views of Benguet's farming mountains from my non-air conditioned bus. The European tourists inside the bus were also as astounded as I was by the beauty of the mountainside. Ours was the first trip of the day which left the Baguio City station at 7:15 am.

The resort owner fetched me with an SUV from the town proper after being dropped off by GL Transit. I chose to have a quick view of the busy market and various shops after the drop off. Rock Inn Resort was still 2 km from the municipal hall where I waited for my pick up.

Aboard GL Transit; At the resort junction

On our way to the resort, the manager shared that she had a friend from New York stay at the inn one time but had a hard time adjusting to the total silence. I experienced this for myself but the effect for me was a healing kind of peace and quiet. Rock Inn rooms do not have television sets or radios to let guests commune with nature instead.

The inn smack dab in the middle of the quiet forest
My Rock Inn Resort room was pure therapy for me. The sweet smell of Pine wood was prominent inside the room and my window view was nothing but lush green and the spectacular rock formation that serves as the resort wall. And because my visit was during an off-peak season, I was the only guest that day. I practically had the whole inn for myself!

I appreciated the long trek from the inn to the highway because the pathway was surrounded with trees and the weather was pleasant during my visit.

I was able to spend a few hours walking around the town center where the action was. I ate a slice of lemon pie which tasted nice. I also sipped the traditional Sagada hot chocolate drink (make sure that it’s not Milo before you order). I also tried the yoghurt treat that’s famously served there.

 One of the highlights of my stay at the inn was visiting its orange farm. Unfortunately, though, the picking season was to be in October which meant that the farm did not have enough ripe ones yet during my visit. However, whatever they were able to harvest that day, I had it as lunch drink. Reminder only: request for sugar because the citrus kick would definitely be strong.

Fortunately, I was able to sample the Cordillera Region's famous Pinikpikan dish (chicken broth) at the inn. The version served to me, however, also had pork in it so it was like tearing into two separate dishes in one.

Leaving the town of Sagada was not difficult as buses were dispatched by the hour. The last trip was at 3:00pm that time because it’s highly dangerous traversing the highway along the mountains in the afternoon.  As a matter of fact, I saw nothing but fog when I was leaving the place. The low visibility in the mountains made me very nervous returning to Baguio. 

All in all, I visited Sagada for the first time to commune with nature and I got what I set out for -- nothing but peace and quiet.

The view from my room
Sagada town proper
The entrance to my Rock Inn room
Orange juice produce straight from the inn's orange farm
Rock Inn's orange farm

The quaint outdoor bar of Rock Inn
A Sagada resident who offered her tour guide services

The pathway from the highway to the inn
What me and my European bus mates marveled at
Going home, this was not visible anymore from the bus due to the fog.
A typical house in the farming mountains

CHECK THESE OUT:
My travel stamina partner, Laminine   +   My personal blog, New Self    +   Pasig City Natin

8 comments:

  1. ang hindi ko nagawa na gustong gusto ko is mag orange picking sa rock inn... nakaka miss ang Sagada... :)

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  2. I agree. Sagada will always invite us back over and over again. Me, especially, because I have not immersed yet in the town proper and other areas for more experience.

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  3. Thanks Chochay88. The place makes most photos nice-looking.

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  4. Hi Karl,

    Awesome post. 'Tis true. Sagada is not a place you visit once then cross off your list. I've been there twice and I'm planning to go back in March with a friend who wants to celebrate her big three-oh in Sagada. Rock Inn looks really inviting, but I think my friend would prefer staying at one of the inns at the town center since it's be her first time and she'd want to go out a lot and do the Sagada activities. :) But I definitely wouldn't mind staying at Rock Inn and do nothing at all in Sagada (except lounge around at the cafes too maybe).

    The Manila-Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada route is worth taking too. 'Different scenery from the Manila-Baguio-Sagada route.

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  5. wow pang-milestone experiences (the big 30) pala talaga ang Sagada, Aiyo. Yes, you're friend will probably love the rugged activities that Sagada offers if her mindset is for that experience. Maybe I will try that other route you suggested for my 2nd visit of Sagada.

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  6. hongganda ng terraces! The view from the inn is in itself, a treat. I haven't been there but I hope not to experience the foggy road you mentioned. Pero malabo ata mangyari na wala ang fog ano? ehhee

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  7. I experience picking those Sagada oranges last October on my first time visit... actually those sa ponkan and dalanghita not really oranges. I love the weather in Sagada... definitely it is one of the things that will lure me back to the place in the future.

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