(Our bus to Bontoc)
How Did We Get to Sagada?
How to get to Sagada? You think it’s easy? Think again. It might be your luck to make something that is not easy to be easy, but I am expecting it would be an adventure to get there.
I have researched different routes we could take to get to Sagada as soon as we can, because we only have 4 days vacation leave (3 days for Jen) from work and I know it takes ages to get there by bus. I have checked Victory Liner’s schedule and discussed it with Jen and Joen since we were headed to Sagada straight from work as usual. As from the researches, I found out that it would take 14-16 hour bus ride it will be from Manila and I thought, but at least I’m trained from Laos’ bus travel (Philippine road and transport is better).
(One foggy afternoon on the way to Bontoc)
The Journey Began
When 1st of June showed up and we were at work, we were all excited. Jen(the skeptic if she’ll join us or not because of some family hassle, decided she’ll go with us), Joen, and I ran to grab our baggages. Jan was there with us walking up the Mc Kinley Hill and took photos of us on the road. Jen, is a veteran backpacker too, Joen on the other hand is the newbie to the adventure so when Joen asked what bus terminal are we headed? Jen and I were clueless. We thought we were going to Cubao Terminal, but then while walking we thought we should go to Pasay Terminal but then we ended u going to Caloocan Terminal! Just going to the bus terminal was adventure itself, so from Pasay, we board LRT to Monumento. When we reached the counter, it was almost 9am and the lady said the next trip is at 11am. I asked if there’s no 9am bus to leave going to Baguio and she said to check the 9am bus if they still have seats. Luckily, they have 3!
Manila-Baguio (6-8 Hours)
The bus ride to Baguio took us 6 hours with a stop over in Angeles City for a quick lunch stop and few bathroom breaks, we paid Php445 (just a lil over $10USD). In Baguio City, we were told that the next trip to Sagada is at 8pm everyday, it was 3pm that time. Jen asked a man about the trip to Bontoc at the terminal near the ‘Slaughter House’ because from Bontoc, it will just be a 45minute jeep ride. The nice guy told us how to get there, we took a taxi and the 3 of us paid Php20($.50USD)/each splitting the bill from the taxi meter.
When we got to the Slaughter House, there is this one ordinary bus (no A/C) with standing passengers in the middle with a board in front saying ‘BONTOC’. The guys we asked said, that is the last bus going to Bontoc that day, not prepared for that we took it rather than be stuck in Baguio for a day. Luckily again, gentlemen in the province still exist and we have 3 men gave up their seats for us! I tried to give them choco bars in return, they don’t want to accept it.
(Church in Bontoc I visited during my early morning walk)
(Mini rice terraces from the bridge in Bontoc)
They are awesome! Dude, the ride from Baguio to Bontoc is 4-6 hours, I paid Php212 ($5USD) for it. We had some stop overs along the way, when I’m busy snoozing by the cold chilly breeze from the window (we get higher and higher altitude so it gets cooler). I woke up at the last stop over we had, it was amazing seeing little rice terraces around and the fog slowly coming down. It was really foggy before we left that you can’t barely see the rice terraces anymore. Again, I slept in and since there were less passengers, Jen moved to the front seats, Joen moved to the other end of where we are seated, the back seat and so we shared half and half of it, I stretched my body a little to get as much comfort it would allow me.
(Me and Joen, on a topload ride to Sagada)
We arrived in Bontoc before 10pm, and stayed in a hostel called ‘Walter Clapp’ for the night since the jeepney to Sagada will be just in front of our hostel 8am. Paid Php200 ($4USD)/person. We ate the ultimate meal we have (Tuna Paella canned, bread and some snacks) before I went to have a shower and slept in.
(View from toploading)
Top Loading! Wohooo!
I woke up 5am the next day, enjoyed not so beautiful sunrise, had a shower, and since the girls were still dead, I went out at the balcony to take photos, went for a walk, went in to the church nearby again, took photos.
When I came back, the girls were getting ready. It was almost 8am, we checked out and ate breakfast downstairs. We had instant noodles, eggs, and coffees while waiting for the first jeepney to be full. Unfortunately, the ladies eating next to us just ran in when they noticed we’re about to go so we went on the next one.
I read about the topload ride adventure from Bontoc to Sagada, so I wouldn’t miss the experience. I told Joen I will be riding topload and she too wanted to try it even if she was shaking from her fear of heights. Jen, did not join us there. I sat down at the front top load so that I can see the view better, and my decision did not disappoint me. It was an adrenaline rush experience enjoying amazing view while you’re on top of the jeepney running high speed on a zigzag road, plus taking photos and videos at the same time was an awesome thrilling experience I would not exchange for anything! (If you decide to do the same, be really cautious! I don’t recommend it though). The jeepney ride from Bontoc to Sagada is PHP40 (little less than a dollar). And we arrived before 10am, walked around to find hostel, the cave guides, etc… Wait for more details of our adventures.
Top Load Ride Unedited (Edited Version)