One summer, in the midst of deadlines and chaos, I knew a long weekend was coming and I wanted a vacation where I could recharge. I went online and saw a photo of the Sumaguing Cave in Sagada, Mountain Province. Less than 5 minutes later, I signed up for a tour and after three days, my friend Alvin and I were on our way up to the mountains.
The secret to survive a very challenging exploration is to listen to your guide at all times, and to be honest with how you feel regarding difficulty, pain, etc. I felt like I was part of an Indiana Jones movie. The sights were magnificent. We encountered different rock formations and had to wade through underground streams. The experience lasted about four hours, and gave us a sense of fulfillment.
We also went on a short hike to Echo Village to see the famous hanging coffins. It is believed that the location and position of one’s final resting place may bring the deceased closer to heaven. It may seem eerie, but I was fascinated since it offers insight into the beliefs of the Igorot.
The major highlight of this trip would be the trek to Bomod-ok Falls. When author Greg Anderson said, “Focus on the journey, not the destination,” I couldn’t help but think he must have done this haul too. To get to the falls, one has to pass rice paddies, which looked like a sea of green when we were there. I was reminded to enjoy every step of the way. I did slip once or twice, but I was able to get back on my feet. The relaxation by the stunning falls was the reward for this.
The best way to end your trip here is to witness the sunrise at Kiltepan peak. I still can’t find the perfect words to describe it. ‘Magical’ comes the closest. I believe if everyone could see a sunrise like this every morning, then the rest of the day will be as beautiful.
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