Demystifying Sagada!

I think this chronicle is long overdue. Wala na ang thrill L. But, its worth it naman to post it here You might be surprised why I chosed this title. Allow me to use this as I would like to share the many delights of our Sagada Adventure.

Our trip to Sagada (was a bit surprising daw) for others (uhm! dont know if it was) since holding the e-Learning Reloaded: Program Assessment and Review Workshop in ATI-CAR, La Trinidad, Benguet last March 29 to April 4, 2009 (was for me) an obvious invite. Most specially that the training management included in our reminders to bring (short pants) though optional because the activity includes team building.

When our in-house activity at ATI-CAR (from March 30-31 and April 1) was over (as in) all done! The Training Team gave us the detailed briefing and itinerary for our remaining days as per scheduled. April 2 (Thursday) Our call time heading towards Bontoc, Mt. Province was at 3am (so that we could pay a courtesy call to the provinces Governor). However, we were not able to depart on the dot for reasons.

Most of us (Bisaya speaking mortals hahaha!) was at Rosa Coaster (though) some of us (including me) were assigned to be transported to other utility vehicles.

Nobody wanted to take the other vehicles because (most of us) really wanted to be together (you know why?) as if were siamese twins inseparable.

Rosa Coaster made two stops (tire problem) somewhere in Benguet still. We don't clamor because (most of us were first timers) were given the many opportunities to capture scenaries (take note! We even took pictures from the CR the cold breeze didn't hinder us (though) instead, it swayed and pushed us to go out what our eyes can see are not spared with our camera clicks (according to dennis boyd! Mga camera shy daw ang taga e-learning).

When the tire burst again (for the second time) Dodoy and Dennis asked Mariel to transfer at the back seat for she might be the reason Mariel as bubbly as she is, vehemently countered by saying grabe naman kayo kuya ha? coincidentally, when Mariel transferred we had a smooth ride. (wink)

First Stop. Lang-ay Festival

With this year's theme festival: Living Tradition: We Care and Share was indeed a great experience. Clad in their native costumes The beating of the gongs, the playing of bamboo musical instruments, and the chanting drew in the locals, actually expressing pride in their ancestors successful resistance against foreign invaders. The Spaniards failed to colonize the natives here, even as they held sway in most parts of the country for almost four centuries.

Lang-ay means cultural fellowship among tribesmen and is associated with offering of locally produced wines and butchering of pigs and chickens.

Most of us were first timers and were grateful to have witnessed this annual festival. The taste of their red wine was so energizing plus the warmth of the people made our visit a feat of a lifetime. And I was glad to have bought a nose flute intricately designed with the signature motiff of the north.

Second Stop. Bontoc Museum

Bontoc Museum is near the plaza and basketball court which is accessible for first timers. Were too early for the 1:00 pm museum opening, thats why most of us were yawning Looking at the museums architectural design is inviting. It resembled to an Ifugao House. This was founded by a Belgian sister whose aim is to preserve the varied collection of authentic artifacts and archaeological objects excavated inside cordillera caves and photos depicting the culture of the mountain tribes. At the back of the museum is a simulation of a typical Ifugao village. There, we had the privilege to take pictures no angle was spared. Each has her/his own choice where to pose. But the most interesting part of it all was we learned a lot and the bonding intensified.

Third Stop. Sagada.

We went to a shop in Sagada and bought tee-shirts as souveniers. Some got the same designs while others just wanted to be unique Then we went to the municipal hall to fetch our tour guides. On our way towards Sumaguing Cave, we made a lot of stops to hanging coffins and to some very interesting sights.

Fourth Stop. Sumaguing Cave.

On our way down we had a lot of things in our minds. Personally, I cannot imagine myself trekking the dark, slippery and breezy cave. Our sole source of light was the petromax (Petromax actually is the brand name, for paraffin lamps that use a mantle, they are as synonymous with the paraffin lamp on the continent as Tilley lamps in the UK and Coleman in the US. (Paraffin is called kerosene in the USA.) plus! The very friendly guides (uhm!) Far below. Sumaguing Cave have so much to offer. It is one of the most popular cave in Sagada which is commonly known as the Big Cave due to water erosion. Historically, the cave was the hiding place of our Filipino soldiers and Guerillas during World War II. But prior to the war, this was the haven and eventually became the burial grounds of our Indigenous People of the Cordillera.

Our visit was indeed exciting. Varied emotions and expressions were in our faces. Some were questioning, others were excited but majority were afraid. (this might be the reason why Lyn of Region 8 back out) But, our visit was really worth it. We were able to see different forms of the cave rocks where they give names such as pig pens, pregnant woman, frog pool, elephant formation, the king, the queen, the princess and the prince plus a lot more. The most exciting part of our caving was the steep rocks (as if its very slippery) but setting your foot bare on it was like a suction because the rock is flat and rough. The challenge Most of us were challenged there was even a proposal from the group about the e-survive shirt dont know if this proposal is still active. However, the shirt will be given ONLY (daw) to those who were able to go below the magnificent waterpool but! (sigh!) how about us wink! Whatever Mam Niet and Ms. Pam decides about this that remains to be waited Finally Demystifying Sagada! The most interesting part of this trip was demystifying Sagada by none other than Rhoda, Olive and Mariel (am I correct?) They were able to exercise their wits and was privileged to gave an e-pin to a westerner whom I forgot his name! but his voice was enticing they even promote Ms. Prime! (which at that instance still poised and in control) sorry Ms. Prime ha! This chronicle would not be complete If I delete this portion I know I missed a lot of things but what made this trip worth remembering was the bond and the unwinding opportunity

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