Pushing My Limits in Sagada, Philippines

Exploring Sagada

I’ve been through a lot of physical struggles in my life but Sagada has been the few that was worth the pain and exhaustion. During the 3 days that I spent in Sagada, I explored the depths of Sumaguing Cave, hiked for hours through Fidelisan Rice Terraces to reach the beautiful Bomod-Ok Falls, and reached the top of Marlboro Hills. If you’re up for adventure and be one with nature, this is definitely the perfect destination.

What to expect in Sagada? Chilly weather, lots of walking and physical activities, and street dogs everywhere. As someone who loves cold weather, Sagada’s temp hits my sweet spot. I looove bundling up in blankets and hoodies enjoying warm coco. Don’t forget to bring comfortable, durable and waterproof footwear! Pro tip: footwear with great grip is a plus! Since there are a lot of street dogs in Sagada, expect a lot of dog shit mines everywhere too so watch where you’re walking!

Sumaguing Cave

Image may contain: 4 people, including Jennifer Pallagud, Denzel Clarke Pallagud and Gogo Buenaseda, people smiling, people sitting, outdoor and nature

Ah, Sumaguing Cave. I discovered that day that spelunking was NOT for me. Exploring this cave was the scariest experience of my life. I looove adrenaline and adventure but this? I have never been so scared in my life. Image may contain: 1 person, smilingIf you choose to risk your life (I’m not even joking) in this cave, please make sure you’re wearing something you can move around in and can get wet. I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear footwear that has good grip. I was wearing pretty worn out flip flops and this made my experience 10x worse because I kept slipping on the already very slippery rocks. It’s dark, cold, slippery, and steep. One bad slip and you can seriously injure yourself or die. I’m not even kidding. It’s like dancing with the Grim Reaper down there. I know I may be smiling in the photo, but Lord knows how scared I am here. I’m very proud though that I made it through and actually got out in one piece. I know people who backed out and didn’t finish the tour. At the time, I didn’t know you could tap out. If I knew that I would’ve tapped out and stayed behind hands down. The rock formations were… vague? The tour guides told us to use our imagination to see the figures the rocks were supposed to be, but with all the anxiety and being scared shitless, I just couldn’t see what they were seeing. 10/10 would not try again.

Fidelisan Rice Terraces

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, mountain, outdoor and natureImage may contain: mountain, grass, sky, outdoor and nature

On our second day we went hiking to Bomod-Ok falls and one of the attractions of the route is the beautiful Fidelisan Rice Terraces. This breathtaking view made the 2 hour hike bearable. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor, nature and waterBomod-Ok Falls

The main destination of the hike was to reach the beautiful Bomod-Ok Falls. Prepare yourself for a 3-4 hour leg day! You’ll literally start at the top of a mountain, climb down, walk through the Fidelisan Rice Terraces before you’ll arrive here. At the start point of the hike, they’ll have long sticks available for use, take one! They help a lot. Pack light! Bring a bottle of water and pace yourselves. Take breaks whenever you need ’em, enjoy the views.

We were lucky enough to have the falls all to ourselves that day for an hour before other tourists arrived.

Marlboro Hills

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The sweet icing on our Sagada trip cake. The thing about our experience here is that we started hiking when it was still pitch black dark (so we could witness the sunrise on top) so we didn’t notice how steep the hills we were climbing! Mind games. Took us about an hour to reach the top and it was so worth it! I’ve had my fare share of sunrises but this one is my new favorite. Grab a cup of champorado and enjoy it.

Our trip to Sagada definitely pushed me beyond my limits. I’m not a fan of vigorous activities, but for adventure and views like this I definitely did my best and I wasn’t disappointed.

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