Saturday, August 2, 2008

OOOPS! I did it again!

Sagada, Mountain Province is more than a tourist destination for me. It was where I was born... Well, not physically... But it is the place that awakened the adventurous side of me.

When I set foot in Sagada, Mountain Province with my Holy Week friends way back in 2000, I know nothing of the place. "It's just above Baguio" was the description given to me. Wanting to get away from too much work and take advantage of the long holiday, I readily joined them. To wherever we are going, however we are going, and whatever we are doing, I couldn't care less. I was too excited to even care.

Sagada is a tourist destination for all levels of adventure enthusiats. The spelunking, trekking, climbing, and God-knows-what activities that I did there were all a first for me. But despite the dirt I had to put my hands on, the scratches I had to get used to, and the muscle aches I had to endure, it had been a great trip. Not only did that trip brought friends closer, but it also became the basis on how we would plot out our later trips during the Holy Week.

So when the idea of going out-of-town came to my co-freelancers' minds, I immediately suggested Sagada. There were several supporters to the place, but in the end, only three came: Jane, Val and Yumi. The brave ones, I must say.

Our original schedule was to leave Manila via Victory Liner in Cubao on July 31. But due to heavy rains and still some unfinished work in our projects, we postponed a day later. Finally, by 1am early this morning, Jane, Val, Yumi and I met at the bus station.

The bus schedule we got that would sit all of us in one row was already at 2am. Not bad, we would still be able to get to Sagada during day time.

The bus ride went smoothly and on schedule. By 8am, we were already in Victory Liner Baguio City. We immediately hailed a cab to get to the Dangwa Terminal. When we got there, we were lucky enough to buy tickets for an 8:30am trip. We took a quick breakfast before boarding the non-aircon bus.

The bus ride to Sagada was way better than what my Holy Week friends and I had 8 years ago. Since it was peak season then, all hell broke lose just to get a seat inside the bus. Although my friends and I got to seat together at the end row, it was quite difficult to get to our seats as we needed to pass by loads of baggages, chickens (yes, chickens!), and other passengers seated on the aisle. This time, though, it's a whole lot different. There were seat numbers being followed and there were jump seats on the aisle for other passengers to seat on. Surprisingly, there were no chickens this time.

It was a little before 3pm when I saw such a familiar sight, the Sagada Weaving shop. It was where I bought my only-used-thrice woven backpack on our way back from the Kiltepan Tower. Used only thrice as I didn't want to wear it out. Yeah, that's how special Sagada is to me. I still remember those small details.

For several years now I've been dreaming of going back here. Back to where it all began. And that day has finally arrived. We have finally arrived in Sagada. I just can't wait to do all the spelunking, trekking, and climbing, combined with dirt in my fingertips, scratches and muscle aches, all over again.

Drumroll, please... And let the adventure begins...