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  1. #101
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    Tourists registering at the counter


    More tourists/yuppies


    To be continued. Caving adventures to follow...

  2. #102
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    Excellent thread Katie, cheers. Never made it to Sagada or the northern Fil's in general, but a backpacker mate did and considered it a highlight.

  3. #103
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    Thanks for the greens and the lurv.

    @sabang: Thanks for the note. Yes, I think that Sagada would appeal more to backpackers than the mongering crowd. I know that most of the members here are past the backpacking stage, so probably won't be interested in the adventures that Sagada has to offer. Besides, it takes a lot of travel time to go to Sagada, and if a person has limited time, then going hiking or caving might not be on his/her list of things to do on a holiday. Still, I'm posting these pics in case a random person is interested in Sagada and he/she will have an idea of what's in store.

    I accidentally deleted a pic, so here's the pic again of the blue skies & sea of clouds.


  4. #104
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    After having breakfast and registering at the Tourism Office, we went back to the Saggas Tour Guides office to wait for our guide. This is the map of the places of interest in Sagada, and their relative locations. The junction of the T is the city center. My friend and I had just finished the Echo Valley trek (small ellipse on the east) and we were about to embark on the Cave Connection adventure, which is the larger ellipse on the south. There are still many places to explore in Sagada, so I'd like to return there soon, while I'm young and have the strength & energy!


  5. #105
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    Some pics along the way to the caves.. still near the town center


    Saw this backpacker couple


    Selfie time for this local couple! Yoghurt House was where we had dinner previously.

  6. #106
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    Office of Saggas Tour Guides plus Salt & Pepper Diner/Inn


    Saw this silver fox (I think he was the only foreign silver fox that I saw), plus a solo backpacker guy. His backpack was in front, which I found a bit weird. However, he was walking uphill, so maybe he found it easier to walk w/ the heavy backpack in front.

  7. #107
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    More pics of the town. The silver fox is on the left and that's our guide on the right. Most of the young Igorot that I've seen have short, compact & wiry bodies. Then they also have similar facial features (probably their gene pool is less diverse than those of lowlanders, where there's more mixing of genes).



  8. #108
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    As I've mentioned previously, lots of construction along the way.


    Shamrock Tavern & Inn

  9. #109
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    Cute kids



  10. #110
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    Hidden Hill Inn (it was certainly hidden!). There are many inns & guesthouses available now, so one doesn't have to bring a tent. Besides, tents are not allowed anymore, I think. My friend said that in 2009, there was an area uphill where the local gov't allowed tents to be put up.



  11. #111
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    This is a beautiful viewpoint and a nice place stop & to have your photos taken. You can see the limestone rocks in the distance.


    There are hanging coffins among the limestone (lower right). Here's a closer view. I used a small P&S camera, so this is the maximum zoom already. If I had a DSLR, the zoom would be better (but IMO it would be impractical to go caving with a DSLR, but there were some people who did!)

  12. #112
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    In the area below the limestone rocks, this land was planted with vegetables.


    Moving forward... glad that we're on the right track.

  13. #113
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    More mountains...


    Our guide spoke with some locals. We didn't understand since they spoke a different dialect. That's a typical sari-sari (mix-mix) or mom&pop store. They sold woven backpacks too!

  14. #114
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    More signs


    This was off the main road already

  15. #115
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    We asked the guide about the holes on the road. He said the road is to be widened (which is good!)


    This part of the road was not paved, just had gravel.

  16. #116
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    There are small stores in case you need to buy some stuff before you descend to the caves


    In case you need fruits or flip-flops The walk from the Saggas Office to this point was ~30 min.

  17. #117
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    At this store, our guide filled up his lamp with kerosene.

  18. #118
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    Entrance to the Lumiang Burial Cave.

    A few reminders:
    Lumiang Cave is a burial ground. Thus, it is a sacred place. Its mouth is full of ancient coffins. Most are placed inside hollowed trunks of pine wood and stacked one after the other on the cave walls and floor. Respect the sanctity of the place. Leave nothing, take nothing. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

    As mentioned before, the Igorot have different tribal customs and beliefs. When asked, our guide said that he preferred to have a hanging coffin than to be buried beneath the ground, when that time came. For me, it's important to respect other peoples' customs or traditions (as long as they are not unjust or insane).

  19. #119
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    Time to descend to the caves!


    I liked the contrast of his red jacket with the green trees. His presence also gives a sense of scale to the surroundings.

  20. #120
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    Another good spot to stop & take photos


    More steps going down. For those with knee problems, it might be a bit bad...

  21. #121
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    At last, the entrance to Lumiang Cave!


    As it was a Saturday and end of May (summer, peak season), there were a lot of tourists there before us. This was prolly ~10 am.

  22. #122
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    At this point, we could see that some people were having difficulty in maneuvering the rocks


    Came across this foreign silver fox and his gf/wife (local), they were part of a larger group. They gave up and didn't attempt to enter the caves anymore, once they saw what's in store (more rocks & more difficulty!).

  23. #123
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    You could look down through a hole and see more people inside.


    Our guide lit up his kerosene lamp at this stage. I noticed that all other guides had kerosene lamps as well.

  24. #124
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    There was this coffin at the entrance, with a gecko engraved on the lid. The gecko is to honor the departed person, who was a village elder. The coffins may seem small; it's because the departed are placed in a fetal position (same as the hanging coffins).

  25. #125
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    These are the coffins stacked on the cave walls and floors. That's my fugly face.

    For caving adventures, I found it best to dress in leggings and covered arms, as one may get scratched from the rocks. (I also advised this to some friends/colleagues who plan to go to Sagada soon.)

    Please do not copy or quote this post. If you must refer to it, refer to the post number. Thnx!


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