We planned to surf the waters of La Union for the Holy Week, but ended up in Sagada. It must be Tadhana! (Haa, not!)
For someone who hadn't traveled north of the country any further than Baguio, Sagada would be a surprise in so many ways. I kept my expectations low, as I thought that the place was just hyped up, perhaps overrated, after being featured in the hit movie That Thing Called Tadhana. Haha! I must say that I have grown too fond of the mountains, and touristy Sagada surely didn't disappoint.
Sagada is a haven for soft adventurers and nature lovers like myself. I discovered that we have vast and lush Pine Forests, looking like those sceneries from Alberta, Canada. We drove for hours through narrow and zigzagged roads that sat on edges of huge boulders. Flowers grew everywhere, lush trees peeked through giant limestones, cozy cabin houses sat on top of layers and layers of rice terraces... and of course, Sagada offered the best food!! Meanwhile, I also worried as I somehow found the place to be vulnerable, given that it is being flocked with so many tourists and anyone could easily disrupt and destroy it anytime... This challenged me to travel responsibly - reminded me of the things I learned before from various community immersion - that we always respect the places that we visit - this could be as simple as not littering, as being sensitive to the locals and their way of life, where one must genuinely connect with them instead of disrupting them by our tourist activities, etc. These basic things are often forgotten (look at Boracay or even Baguio). I hope if you visit Sagada, you will remember this. :)) One tip, never visit on a Holy Week! Haha!
Sagada reminds me of traveling as vocation, more than just a vacation... It's one of those places that will bring you back to the very heart and purpose of traveling: to discover worlds far from your own, to satisfy your curious soul as you connect with communities and places, reach out to people and be enriched by the ever increasing desire to care more for others and for the world we live in. *Thanks the crowd & takes a bow :">* Now, enjoy the photos! :)