Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I’m breaking-off with Sagada… for now.  Today, I have to get out.  It’s holy week and it’s going to be crowded so I packed some of my stuff and left for Baguio.  You might be thinking, Baguio is more crowded.  I know, right? Mad-crowd during this holy week.  But I’m not going to beat the rush.  I’ll stay indoor, perhaps near and around Burnham Park.  I’m going back to Sagada after the holy week so I just brought half of my luggage. 
The GL Lizardo bus left Sagada at exactly 9:00AM, their bus garage is just beside the St. Theodore Hospital before the big church.

After two weeks here (sad but) I’ve got to get away for a while.  The bus trip from Sagada to Baguio was one of the most picturesque I’ve seen in the Philippines.  If Banaue has its rice terraces, Benguet has its vegetable terraces.  No wonder it’s dubbed as the “salad bowl of the Philippines”.  Rows and rows of green cabbages and other vegetables line the layers of land carved on the slopes of the mountains.
The beauty of the landscape is further accentuated by the creeping white blankets of fog that made driving on its winding highways difficult.  The elderly woman sitting beside me is incessantly vomiting getting dizzy perhaps from the constant swerving of the vehicle that seemed like it’s gonna fall anytime into the deep ravine below. 

I was even petrified when at many times the bus tilt incessantly at every corner of the highway and I could see the side of the bus in needle distance with the concrete bend that stand safeguard between the edge of the highway and the steep valley below.  It suddenly gotten into me that I will be taking the same bus and the same dangerous dicey route when I get back to Sagada after spending Lenten week in Baguio.

When the bus made a half an hour stop in the municipality of Sayangan for lunch break, I immediately approached one of the mini stores to ask if there’s any accommodation, a guesthouse perhaps in any of the towns we passed by in Benguet, as I was charmed by the mountainous province.  Surprisingly, there aren’t any, that they know of. 

In fact, my eyes were constantly scanning for signs of guesthouses along the way but haven’t noticed any.  I made a comment with the store lady that the absence of tourist accommodations made it hard for tourism to flourish in the area.  I’d bet, just like me, there are many tourists, foreign or locals, who were mesmerized by the beauty of this province, who’d want to stop over.

I’m sure there are some sort of accommodations around the area between Buguias and Sayangan, so here’s what I discovered.  When I reached my accommodation in Baguio, I googled the places I passed by before reaching La Trinidad, found some contact numbers, one is Mr. Arthur Tolito listed as Municipal Tourism Action Officer for Bakun, one of the beautiful municipality the bus passed by.  He  informed me that there aren’t real hotels or guesthouses, BUT, that there’s some accommodations, for example, in Bakun for tourists passing by. 

One of them is at the old municipal building and the barangay hall which can accommodate people.  It isn’t some accommodation with beds and facilities but just a space where you can maybe use your own sleeping bags or perhaps a tent.  Although he told me you can buy food around the place or ask any staff there to cook food for your group at a minimal fee.

So there goes.  It’s possible to spend a night or two at the spectacular mountain municipality of Atok or Bakun, just don’t expect the comfort of Hilton or Holiday Inn. 
Today, I’ve heard there are guesthouses in Buguias.  I’ll find that out in few days from now, I’ll try if I can drop by this town on my way back to Sagada.

Bring barf bags (or plastic grocery bags) if you’re the type that vomit on a continuous dizzying zigzag bus route.

GL Lizardo bus from Sagada to Baguio
How to get there:
From Sagada to Baguio – GL  Lizardo direct route at P220, travel time is 5.5 to 6 hours.  Bus terminal in Sagada is beside the St. Theodore Hospital and the Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
Bus schedule: first bus at 5:00am, every hour until 10:00am, then 1:00pm - last bus to leave Sagada.

Up next  -  Camp John Hay.


Post a Comment