Sunday, August 14, 2016

SAGADA - Underground River

Travel Date: November 29, 2015

Sagada Underground River Entrance
When I learned to our guide that he include the underground river on our sight seeing tour I dint make an argument because we cannot go back to the route we cross from Hanging Coffin, instead we proceed to this place expecting nothing because as I've mentioned before this wasn't part of our activity.

as of writing I've never read any blog inside the sagada underground river, well underground was mentioned but no one wrote about what to see inside this place.

waiting for others
We took hours of non-stop walking from Hanging Coffin some are complaining but we just took the positive thinking of doing some Exercise and what we are doing that time was for the benefits of our health

 Along the way we met the Israeli Couple coming from Bokong Falls, when I heard it I thought we are already near but again I am WRONG!!! we had a little chit chat with them while catching our breath
Chitchat with Israeli Couple
On this route we need to climb and push each other up while our guide take a pull each one (sorry no pictures for that , we are too much concentrating on pushing each other up)
When I heard the rushing river, I thought it is already the Bokong Falls and we are all smiling but the guide says not yet we are too far from it (lag-lag balikat ang mga beauty namin) we took our 10 minutes rest on this rocky road
I thought we are already near at bokong Falls

10 minutes rest

taking some rest
 after 10 minutes we proceed on our never ending walking (be sure to wear proper footwear because the rock is quite sharp and slippery)

Approaching Underground River

 After the Long Walk, we finally reach the underground River, each of us has questions and our guide told us to follow him and so we obliged even there are a lot of hanging questions in the air.

Finally We reach the Entrance of Underground River

Into the Light

Inside underground River
You can noticed some lights, but when we started the walk, we are consumed with darkness and the only light we had is from our Cellphone and flashlight from our guide and go pro.

But when we started to cross the above knee deep cold water, we put all our gadgets inside our bags (naniniguro lang). The Water is too cold and according to Kuya, it was good thing the water is not rushing and I said 'WHAT?!!!"

Scared for my companion and for our safety I kept my silence I just thought that this is just part of the unforgettable experienced and pray hard to God for protection for all of us.
the Only Clear Pictures we had inside the underground River Before we came out to this Cave
Despite using Night mode of our DLSR, we failed to capture the beauty of underground River, all was blurred :(

Then the very dangerous path was when we need to climb one by one in a wooden ladder which I though it about to break, the water is rushing too hard that time and most of them exclaimed their fear and doubts, there is no other way according to Kuya Guide, and so one by One we took our courage to cross the weak wooden ladder

If you think that is the end of our dilemma you are definitely wrong, because once you step out in a small exit from wooden ladder you need to cross the sharp stone and one wrong move, you might hurt yourself badly and so what we did is we crawl our butt for safety.

(no pictures of this activity because our main concern is our safety)

I realized then that 1 over 11 people is not enough for this tour.

After an hour of darkness, we finally saw the light

waiting for others to come out from

Groupie: We Survive Underground River
Again, we thought we already cross the very hard path but again, its a no no, from this point, as the en-route to Bokong Falls, we need to cross the rushing river...

Next Post: Sagada Bokong Falls


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sagada - Echo Valley Tour

Travel Date: November 29, 2015

From Echo Valley to Underground River to Bokong Falls and our Last Stop is Sumaguing Cave

As we arrived in Sagada and heard about the congested tour in Sumaguing Cave and No Tour Guides anymore we Check-Inn first in Residential Lodge and Thank God, the favor is in us the moment I got in SAGGAS a guide came and I manage to deal with Kuya guide and after the swift event of everything the Echo Valley Tour Began.

We paid P35.00 each for Tourism fee at Tourism Office, always keep the ticket with you because you need to present it for every activity except Kiltepan Peak.

I mentioned to Kuya Guide that we will just visit the Echo Valley and Bokong Falls as we don't have any idea what to do in Underground River besides we are all tired and weary from 12 hours bus ride just to reach the Sagada.
Cemetery - A traverse route going to Echo Valley

Echo Valley Tour

A Road from Cemetery down to Hanging coffin
down down down....
Rest for Awhile
The enroute of the Hanging Coffin is the Cemetery from there you will traverse the Echo Valley (they called it echo valley because it bounced back the sound once you shout and we tried it for stress release) the place is also packed with tourist and some just came from Hanging Coffin back to Town and we thought that we are going to do the same but no... because of the mis-understanding of our guide from Echo Valley to Hanging coffin we just continue our trek down then that's only the time I asked him where are we heading and why we are not coming back he then told me that we are going to Underground River, surprised then explain to him that underground river is not part of our activity but we cant go back anymore my companion though exhausted agreed to push through nandun nalang din lang ituloy na though I don't have any idea what to see in underground river.

After the never ending walking we finally reach the hanging coffin and of course you need to hurry taking pictures because of huge tourist arrived that time and taking a good spot is hard.

Finally the Hanging Coffin

After the hanging Coffin, we proceeded and that's the time I asked questions where we are heading because I thought we are going back to Cemetery like what other tourist do but our guide told us that we need to proceed going down and even though confused we follow him.

As we reach this place we celebrated we thought we already reach the underground river but to our surprise kuya guide told us not yet and then I approached him and asked him again where we are heading because some of my companion are asking too and very tired and we want some rest before we proceed to another activity, he then answered me that we are going to Bokong Falls passing underground River I said what? but I don't have time to argue I just go with the flow and looking to the road we took I though it would be best if we proceed like what he had planned, then I explained to him that underground river is not part of the activity he then realized that there was a misunderstanding but I didn't argue all I want is to rest my feet .

Note: I don't recommend this activity if you have health problem such as High Blood and if you don't used to do some exercise because this is very very tiring and exhausting.
We had a hard time for this activity as we are not prepared for this kind of trekking, we just console ourselves that it just like having exercise with scenic view some are complaining already but we just laugh at our complains (wala naman kaming magagawa diba) we just choose to enjoy the view despite of our sore body.

We met a Spanish couple along the way and we had a little chit-chat with them and turned out that kuya guide is their tour guide yesterday activity, after few minutes we were shocked on the road, we need to climb and most of us is heavy and no exercise but we manage to push each other to get to the top because that's the only way (sorry I don't have pictures of that).

As of writing, I really cant imagine how did we survive that activity but still thankful to God that we made it.

We thought this is the Underground River as we are looking for entrance
hehehehe..  :)

we need to climb this one to reach  the other side

A little rest before another walkathon

Afraid of the dare? yes, we were all afraid because the only source of light we had is from our cellphone and from the flashlight of our guide but the moment we cross the knee deep water we need to secure our gadget on our bags because the river is very cold and slippery, and the only light that helps us then is the light from the go pro and kuya guide flash light.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Travel Date: November 28 - 30, 2016

My first visit in Sagada was 2014 and from there I learned a lot from this trip and so when I decided to invite friends to visit the place again last year 2015 I know I need to assure our accommodation and secure the roundtrip ticket to avoid hassle.

My Friends, Classmates and Co-worker tag along with me on this trip because all of us wanted to escape even for a little time in the stress of work and traffic chaos in Metro Manila.

My previous transport service that I used was Ohayami Bus Line and thanks to google we bump to one site of a blogger forgot the name and found about Coda lines which cater directly from Manila to Sagada, and because of our constraint time, all member agreed that we will no longer visit the Banaue as part of our side trip on this journey.

My Previous Visit in Sagada was kinda relax yet when I get there I encountered problem which I manage to solve with the help of our Almighty God.

Now let me update you with the new transport mode in Sagada if you are coming from Metro Manila. (NOTE: Manila is different from Metro Manila just a bit of information, Metro Manila or NCR is a region in Luzon while Manila is one of the City in Metro Manila).

Manila Office: (+63)(02)516-0501 / 0917-561-7344 / 0927-649-3055
Banaue Office: 0905-881-4361
**Better call them for their daily trip schedule for Manila to Banue, they will answer the call from 9:00am to 5:00pm only beyond that time, you need to visit their Terminal lacated at Sampaloc Near Florida Bus Line.
Estimated Travel Time is 9 hours

Please refer to my Sagada 2014 Visit if you opt to stop in Banaue.

Manila Office: 0927-559-2197
Manila to Sagada with Banaue Side Trip (view point only)  travel time is 12-14 hour

I think that is enough information for you to get to SAGADA and lets begin our story.

Friends, Classmates, Housemates, Officemate except soulmates visit SAGADA last November 2015 and with a Challenge of P3,500.00 each for 2 days 1 night.

After making reservation for our Roundtrip Bus Ticket and for our One Night Accommodation in Residiential Lodge ( 0919-672-8744 - Tita Mary ), we began make a list of activities that we are going to do and considered our budget for everything including food.

Here we go.
November 28 (Saturday)
After Office Hour, two of my co-worker headed to Coda lines to secure our seats while 5 of us will just wait at Balintawak for pick up. Coda Lines was delayed for about 30 minutes departing from the Bus Terminal but it was okey because we are not chasing time this time because the Bus will go directly to Sagada.

Past 10:00pm pick up by Coda Bus, after settling our seats and bags, we say a little prayer of God's protection and for the Blood of Jesus for covering from any works of the enemy and I even ask God to give us the strength and enjoyment to see His wonderful creation for this trip.

Fortunately, we were able to sleep for the whole night and when we opened our eyes we are already in the boundary of Banaue, We made a stop over at Banaue View point but unfortunately, we weren't able to see the Rice Terraces because of the fog surrounds the area but we manage to take a picture on the road and
Banaue Viewpoint
forgive me for not editing this one from my screenshot but this is the only
pictures we had inside Coda Line Bus Using Go Pro

Because we failed to see the Bananue Rice Terraces we ask the Bus Driver to stop in this place for photo opt

I suggest that if you are a fainted heart I don't recommend you to seat on the window side because of the road is too risky and steep. My friend besides me keeps holding her breath while the driver carefully maneuver.

view on the road

A couple asked to join us when ate loisa hear that it was my second time in Sagada, my friends agreed with is so we can split the cost of all the activities.

We made our last stop in Bondoc, and at that time, I really can feel the coldness in my bones, hungry and tired I just bought coffee and milk, others bought cup noodles as their breakfast, while me I just ate one piece of bread from my friends and sip my hot coffee to awaken my sleepy body.

Exactly 9:30am arrived in Sagada a total of 12 hours travel from Manila, I asked the driver where could I get the ticket that we reserved back to manila and while talking to the Coda Line Conductor I heard that SAGADA is already congested because of the long holiday and no tour guides available.

My travel buddies was worried as they don't want to waste time waiting because we only have limited time.

As I mentioned before, I visited SAGADA last 2014 and I had some little knowledge about it and so just to ease their worries I told them to check inn first at Residential Lodge, the moment I put my bags I run fast going to SAGGAS to get a tour guide, the in-charge person told me that there are no guides anymore and the Sumaguing Cave is congested and there are a long que of line, when I heard it I prayed to God and He listened to me some guide came and lay down our activities, he told us to prepare for only 15 minutes but I ask him to give us 30 minutes because we need to eat first and change and our room is not yet ready and so we agreed.

I run back to Residential Lodge and gave them the good news, then ate only noodles and tita mary was kind enough to give us rice for a fee because we don't have any time to go to the nearest resto, fortunately ate loisa has a pack lunch of adobo and rice and she share it with us. Thank you Lord.

After quick Brunch and change our clothes the guide arrive with and the long day of activity began...

our first stop is the Echo Valley

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Calaguas 2015

Calaguas – Second Time Around in the Paradise ^_^
Travel Date: May 1, 2015
 **  Back in your Arms Again Calaguas  **
My Calaguas First Visit to this paradise was last 2014 Holy week with my Family and friends, we took the Package from Biyahe Lokal because I find their all in package hassle free, transaction with Sir yani is very smooth.

Where to begin?

My other friend envied me when she saw my pictures in Calaguas and she keeps on insisting to visit the place with her and so we reserved with Biyahe Lokal again (our original date was Holy week but due to personal reasons I had to cancelled it and also there was a typhoon  coming to Bicol Area).

10:30pm depart from Manila and arrived at Vinzon Port around 6:30am. After buying some stuffs (Milk, Gatorade, etc.) we headed to the port, we are 12 including the Coordinator. This time the Bangka is a little bit small and because of the traffic (yes, expects to experience this thing in the port because of flocking tourists in the area going to Calaguas). We encountered problem because the coast guard did not allow us due to lacking of Life Vest. The captain has to find additional life-vest. I think we waited for about an hour, some of our companions had their pack lunch, so they eat their lunch while sailing.

We arrived there almost 12:00pm and no chance to get the good spot for our tent, we were sleepy and hungry and yet we can’t have our own rest, I even requested to change the position of our tent but to no avail, the sun is really shining bright that it hurts our skin so much. After waiting for about 30 minutes our sumptuous dinner arrived and the other group also shared their local “laing” pack by one of their companions, after the sumptuous lunch, we stayed in the nippa hut and bough Ice Candy to freshen our inner body
year 2014 we are the first to arrive in the island, this time, we are the last and because we are the last we also have to worst tent position for three days.

systematic tent accupation because of huge numbers of tourist
My friend was so irritated while I’m grinning at her and mouthed the word “I told you”. Before this trip I already informed her about the inconvenient thing that we could encounter for our 2 nights and 3 days stay there that Calaguas is not like Boracay.
We stayed with locals in their nippa hut while preparing the goods for our Dinner and made a little chitchat and some of them recognize me, and I requested them to grill us a squid and fish (of course you need to give them to money to look for fish and squid) just give them extra once departed from the island as their service though they won’t ask for it.

I met biyaherong barat turned out be one of the coordinator of biyahe local  ^_^

Difference Between Boracay and Calaguas

Like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Boracay and Calaguas have its own uniqueness when it comes to beauty, they can be comparable but unique on their own.

Boracay offers convenience, fun and lots of activities to choose from while Calaguas offers only her beauty and virginity, Calaguas has a “mountain” top hill where you can capture a good shot of the Island, overlooking of the pacific oceans.

Boracay has a long and wide stretch of different kinds of sands from Station 1 to 3 while Calaguas has a short stretch of shores to explore with a very captivating view of the ocean and a good spot for photo shots (this is my subjective opinion about this two)

As for the night life (which I’m not fun of it) Boracay offers a wide variety of bars and restaurant while Calaguas you can be contented to what you have packed on your bag and enjoy all of it.

For me Calaguas teaches you on how to interact with nature while in Boracay teaches you how to socialize with different types of people with difference races and I just hoped that the tour operator would be responsible in handling business, because as I see it, Calaguas is being raped and torn and few more years, this paradise can become like a Puerto Gallera case in Mindoro wherein her beauty fade away because of the irresponsible actions of humans.

And that’s the end of my story about this “HIDDEN PARADISE IN NORTHERN BICOL”

I can’t find anymore words to describe this island and hopefully these pictures will justify my adjective view about Mahabang Buhanging in Camarines Norte known to many as Calaguas.

I agreed to accompany my friend because I wanted to visit the Mountain Hill Top of the Island and I'm glad that I did it.
now let me show you some of the pictures that I had on my second visit on this charming Island.

Crystal Clear Water of Calaguas
took her time to swim
Powdery Sand of Calaguas

its a must picture :)

you need to climb and jump from sharp rock to another in order to get on spot

Crystal Water of Calaguas on the other side of the Island near Waling WalingResort
The overlooking view of the Mountain Hill top

a pathway going to the other side of Mountain

over looking view of Pacific ocean


Day 3 : Going Back to Manila. Good Bye Calaguas See you again when I see you.
Recently my friend invited to go to Calaguas again but due to my busy schedule I decline the Invitation.
I wanted to visit the Island wherein there's no huge tourist flocking around, I wanted to experienced the Serenity that other blogger tasted on this place, if you read my previous post about Calaguas, I really experienced sleepless nights on those two time visit I had.