January 24, 2017

Where to Eat in Sagada

Sagada is just a small town where you can explore the tourist spots even just for a few days. You will never go hungry too because there are so many restaurants in the town proper. During our first day, we asked the tourism staff what are her recommendation for restaurants and she said, “lahat po masarap”.

Although there are several choices, we have our own preferences when it comes to food and one thing that concerns me is the rice. I prefer white rice and most of the restaurants served red rice. Well, the taste is not bad but I like the texture of white rice. 

It was funny because when we ate breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio, I was really surprised when they served red rice. Wala pa ko sa Sagada, umpisa na ng red rice. Hehehe! If you are not a fan of red rice, don’t worry because there are restaurants that serve white rice too.  

Sharing with you the restaurants that we have tried during our 4 Days Trip in Sagada. I have a list of restaurants that I wanted to try but the problem is some restaurants open so late and some are only open during dinner time. Take note that cash payment only so make sure you bring enough cash for your food trip. 

Masferre Country Inn and Restaurants 

This restaurant is just a few meters away from the Tourism Office so this is the first restaurant that we have tried. It is like a fastfood where you order and pay your food first. We ordered liempo, nilagang baka, vegetable, rice and iced tea.

P100 - meat 
P80 - veggies 
P20 - rice 
P50 - iced tea 

We were all satisfied with the food and I wanted to try their desserts but we’re so full already so I told myself that we will go back na lang but when we went back last December 31, closed sila for lunch. Waah! 

Salt & Pepper Diner 

After our Echo Valley Walking Tour we ate our lunch at Salt & Pepper Diner. My son was very happy because there is pizza on the menu. We ordered Longganisa meal P150, Kid’s Pizza P390, Sinampalukang Manok P180, Rice P25, Coffee P25 and Hot Choco P30

It took them 15 minutes to serve the drinks and almost an hour to serve the meal. So if you want to eat here, make sure that you are not that hungry because it takes time to prepare the food. You have to consider that they only have a small kitchen and few staffs so manage your expectation. 

We were surprised when we saw the pizza, I thought kid’s size lang so we were not able to finish our order. If we only knew that they have a big serving, we just ordered Sinampalukang Manok and Rice. We take-out our leftover and nakain pa namin ng dinner. Hehehe! We liked the food here, actually my son wanted to eat here every meal because of the pizza. 

Cafe Bodega at Rock Inn and Cafe 

Most of the time, we just ate breakfast in the lodge. We brought cup noodles, bread and coffee so we can save money. But for a change, we went to Rock Inn and Cafe to eat our breakfast. The cafe is so far from the town proper and if we don’t have a ride, I will not go here.

Rock Inn and Cafe is a farm, lodge and restaurant, so if you will stay here you can enjoy bonfire and orange picking activity. But during our visit, no more orange picking activity, ubos na ang orange. 

Here is the Cafe Bodega Restaurant.

Upon seated, the staff gave us the menu. We ordered Homemade Ham P220, Farm Rice with Pork P205, Pancakes with Maple Syrup P115, Brewed Arabica Coffee P40 and Hot Chocolate P30. I’ve read before that it takes time to serve the food so we were surprised when they served our order after several minutes. The taste is just ok for us. 

Opens at 6:00AM to 10:00PM 

Sagada Brew

When we went to Sagada Pottery, we saw Log Cabin and Sagada Cellar Door sign, but they are only open during dinner and by reservation only. Sayang! So we went back to Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant for our lunch but it was closed, we walked all the way to Sagada Lemon Pie House and same fate, closed din so we ended up in Sagada Brew.  

We ordered Roast Beef P200, Pork Sinigang P200 and Extra Rice P25. Again, there is no white rice. The taste of the food is just ok for us. 

French Crepes 

The owner of this store is French so you will really enjoy their crepe. We tried the Milk Chocolate Crepe for P100 and the serving is big so my son was not able to finish it. I'm happy to eat his leftover, yummy crepe!

Sagada Bilza Resto 

We stayed in Sagada Bilza Lodge and they also have a restaurant so even it is far from the town proper, you will have no problem with food. We tried their breakfast meals for our New Year’s Eve dinner. Hehehe! They have New Year’s Eve buffet dinner but since we will sleep early, we just ate dinner. 

We ordered TocinoSilog P100, LongganisaSilog P100 and Beef Tapa Silog P115. Taste is good and I think this is the cheapest meal that we had in Sagada. If ever you will explore Sumaguing Cave, you can eat here after the caving. It is just a few minutes walk from the cave. 

The two restaurants that are on my list but haven’t tried are Yogurt House and Gaia Cafe and Crafts. Remember that there are restaurants that are closed during December 31, in preparation for New Year’s Eve and there are restaurants that are open during dinner and by reservation only.

January 23, 2017

Day 4: Goodbye Sagada

We started our first day of the year in Sagada, as much as we wanted to extend our stay. We had to go home so we could still rest before going back to work and school. 

We’re so glad that electricity was back to normal so we can take a bath any time of the day. (kung kelan pauwi na, hehehe!) Since this is not a hotel, we had to wait for the staff to open the lobby so we could check-out. While waiting, we just ate cup noodles and we planned to eat breakfast at Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant but unfortunately, closed sila. 

Waah! We did not expect this na sarado lahat so we have no choice but to continue with our journey. We cannot afford to wait because it will take 11 to 12 hours before we reach home. Going back to Manila is not easy because of the fog and drizzle. It was so cold that I cannot even feel my fingers.

After 3 hours of traveling, my son vomited, we took bonamine before our trip and he did not vomit when we went to Sagada so I was not expecting that he will vomit on our way home. I’m not sure if it is because of the zigzag road, pagod or puyat. Good thing that we were close to Highest Point so we had stop over. 

Yehey, we had our chance to take a photo with the Highest Point Marker. Walang kaagaw at mga tulog pa tao. Hehehe! Smile kahit nanginginig na kami sa sobrang lamig. There is a mini sari-sari store here so we ate balut. 

Highest Point Marker is situated in Atok, Benguet, this highway is 7,400 feet above sea level and it is the highest altitude highway in the Philippines. You will see this if you choose the Hanselma Highway route or Mountain Trail

Check the video of Hanselma Highway here

We had a quick stop at Good Shepherd, ube jam is our favorite so we will not go home without buying one. Drive thru for our lunch and we met my brother in the church so we could pick up our gifts. 

After 11 hours and 30 minutes, finally, we’re home. This is the longest land travel that we have experienced, lahat na yata ng expressway dinaanan namin. TPLEX, SCTEX, NLEX and SLEX. Hmmm, carry na rin kaya namin ang pa-Bicol.

Day 1 in Sagada
Day 2 Echo Valley Walking Tour and Sumaguing Cave
Day 3 Sagada Pottery and Lake Danum
Sagada Bilza Lodge
Where to Eat in Sagada

January 20, 2017

Day 3: Sagada Pottery + Lake Danum

On our third day in Sagada, no Sunrise in Mt Kiltepan again because it was raining and no hot water again so “we woke up like this look” ang peg namin. Hehehe! Off we went to Rock Inn and Cafe. 

We always passed by Lumiang Burial Cave, this is also the start of the cave connection but we did not check it anymore. 

Cafe Bodega at Rock Inn and Cafe 

We were advised that there is no more orange picking activity but still we went to Rock Inn and Cafe to see the orange farm and of course to eat our breakfast. We already saw the Rock Inn and Cafe sign before we reach the Sagada town proper on our first day. Yes, it is far so if you have no car, it would be a loooooong walk just to reach the restaurant. 

The Rock Inn and Cafe also offers accommodation and they have a nice bonfire in the area. After eating our breakfast, we checked the orange farm, wala na nga maharvest. Sayang! 

Sagada Pottery

Then we went straight to Sagada Pottery but it was still closed so we went back to our lodge. We’re so glad that we can already take a bath. We texted the number and we were advised that they will open at 10AM. So before 10AM we went back to the Sagada Pottery and we waited for several minutes. Past 10AM na nag-open. 

We have visited Pagburnayan Jar Making when we went to Vigan so I already have an idea how they mold and shape the clay but we did not experience it. That is the reason why I wanted to visit Sagada Pottery because you can experience how to make your own masterpiece for P100. My son likes playing play dough so I thought he will like this activity. 

But I was wrong, he doesn’t like to touch the clay because it is dirty daw. Hmmm, pag play dough pwede? I still paid P100 for my son even he did not do the activity, sayang. 

After the experience, I can definitely say that it is not easy, your hand should not be stiff and you need to be gentle when touching the clay. It takes week also before you can see your finished product because it takes time to dry the clay. You can watch our hands-on experience here.

Lake Danum 

Next stop is Lake Danum, we asked directions from the staff of Sagada Pottery but still, we got lost. Lumagpas na pala kami so we stopped for awhile, one car stopped beside us and she gave us the directions. She said, you cannot see the lake along the road but look for the waiting shed. Thank God for good samaritan. 

We parked the car beside this landmark and we walked towards the lake. Sunset at Lake Danum is one of the tours in Sagada but if you have your own car, just go here. I’ve read that there is nothing special about the lake but we’re already in Sagada so we still paid a visit. 

Well, if the weather only cooperates, we can kill our time here. We can have a picnic or kite flying. But since it was wet and muddy, we did not stay long. We went back to the town proper to eat our lunch. 

The rain had stopped so we planned to explore the town proper and have a food trip. But unfortunately, some restaurants were closed last December 31. We checked Log Cabin but they are only open during dinner time and it was already full booked for New Year’s Eve. We went to Masferre Country Inn and Restaurant but they were also closed and will be opened on New Year’s Eve buffet. We walked to Sagada Lemon Pie House and again, it was closed so we were not able to taste the famous lemon pie. 

We ended up in Sagada Brew and the taste is just ok. On our way to the parking area, we bought crepe at French Crepes. Then we went to Sagada Weaving

We were not able to see the weaving area and I did not bother to ask kasi parang ang sungit nung staff dun, parang di pa siya natutuwa na may customer siya. Hehehe! We bought pashmina, dream catcher and coin purse for souvenir. Good thing we already watched the cloth weaving when we went to Vigan Loam Weaving and Easter School Weaving in Baguio

Since most of the shops and restaurants were closed, we just went back to the lodge to rest. My husband and son played kite while I’m busy packing our stuff.

There is New Year’s Eve buffet at the lodge but we did not avail it anymore and we slept na lang. Tahimik ang New Year sa Sagada kasi nakatulog kami, konti ang fireworks. Finally, no more brown-out, for the past two days kasi we had no electricity before 7PM. There is a generator for the light, good thing it was fixed before New Year. 

Read: Day 1 in Sagada
Day 2 Echo Valley Walking Tour and Sumaguing Cave
Day 4 Goodbye Sagada
Sagada Bilza Lodge
Where to Eat in Sagada

January 19, 2017

Day 2: Echo Valley Walking Tour and Sumaguing Cave

No matter how you plan your travel, there are things that you cannot control. You should learn how to accept, adjust and deal with it. There are so many things in Sagada that we did not expect but it happened. 

First thing is the weather, I was not expecting that it would rain in Sagada but unfortunately, it rained. So we were not able to witness the sunrise in Mt. Kiltepan

Second, when we woke up, we have no electricity except for the light that was run by the generator. According to the owner of the lodge, it is not always the case, may problem lang talaga. We cannot take a bath without hot water, ayaw namin mag-ice bucket challenge. 

We did not want to waste our time waiting for the electricity so we went to town proper. We’re just waiting in the car while eating our breakfast. We are hoping that the rain will stop so we can start our tour, but two hours had passed and we still can’t see the sun. So my husband bought raincoats for us so we can start our Echo Valley Walking Tour. Rain or shine, go sa walking tour. 

Echo Valley Walking Tour 

There are three types of Echo Valley Walking Tour and since we have a kid in tow, we chose the short hike which is Echo Valley Hanging Coffins

Guide fee is P200 + P10/person access fee

You can finish this tour in less than an hour because you will only visit the St Mary the Virgin Church, St Mary the Virgin Cemetery, Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins. I have very limited pictures on this tour because of the rain but you can check the Sagada Echo Valley Tour video here

We skipped the church and went straight to the Sagada Anglican cemetery. I was looking for William Henry Scott coffin but I was not able to locate it. I asked the guide but he was not aware of it. Well, William Henry Scott is a famous historian who was settled in Sagada in the year 1954 and was buried in this cemetery on October 10, 1993. 

Then we continued our journey to Echo Valley, remember the movie of “That Thing Called Tadhana”, so this is the valley where you can shout your feelings. I tried it, kaso nakakahiya din pala sumigaw pag madami tao. Hehehe!

We can already see the Hanging Coffin from where we stand but if you want to see the coffin up close and personal, be prepared in challenging and slippery walk. I don’t want to take the risk of going down with my son so we just stayed. My husband and the guide went down to see the coffins. This will be added to unique cemeteries that we have visited in the Philippines. 

Read: Unique Cemeteries in the Philippines 

After the tour, we went to Salt & Pepper Diner for our early lunch but it took them so long to serve the food, so just in time for lunchtime na. Hehehe!

We went back to our lodge and finally, we can already take a bath. Taking a bath is a new luxury. hehehe!

Sumaguing Cave 

Aside from the Echo Valley Tour, the famous attraction here is Spelunking. We asked the guide if he thinks my 8-year-old son can do the cave tour and he said yes, “kaya naman daw”. I believed him but I don’t want to take the risk so again, babysitter na naman ang peg ko. Huhuhu!

Our lodge is just a few minutes away from the Sumaguing Cave so my husband just met the guide at the cave. You can also do the Cave Connection but my husband just chose the short course cave which is more or less two hours. 

Read: Sagada Bilza Lodge

My husband brought waterproof bag, waterproof phone casing, lamp and bottle of water. Since I was not there, I will just share his pictures. Guide fee is P500.

Waah! I don't have pictures inside the cave. I'm pretty sure that we won't visit Sagada in the near future, I hope when we go back I can still do spelunking. Baka di na kaya ng powers ko, lol. #signsofaging. 

Read: Day 1 in Sagada
Day 3 Sagada Pottery and Lake Danum
Day 4 Goodbye Sagada
Sagada Bilza Lodge  
Where to Eat in Sagada