We woke up early the next day since it will be a long day for us. We walked from our transient house to the town proper and bought siomai, wheat bread and coffee for breakfast. We asked the owner of Misty’s on how to get to Bomod-Ok falls (our first destination for the day) since we are not hiring a van (it is expensive because we are only three).
He told us that we can ride jeepney going to Banga-an which cost us 20php each (one way) compared if you are going to hire a 700peso private van (budget traveler here eh). After 20 minutes,we arrived at the jump-off point which is located at Barangay Fidelisan. We immediately registered and paid the guide fee. Apparently, during that time, the usual road going to the falls was closed.
According to our guide, there was an ongoing ritual ceremony at the village. We hired a jeepney, together with the other 3 foreigners to get us there using a different way. I’m not a first timer when it comes to trekking going to the falls. I went to Tappiya Falls in Batad Banaue and when I saw the trail I know what to expect already.
From the tourist center, they gave us walking sticks and I knew it would be a lot of help so I didn’t hesitate to get one. The trail is mostly downhill and the only thing you have to worry about is the intense heat of the sun. You’ll never mind about it for sure once you see the beautiful rice paddies you’ll pass by after the small village of Fidelisan. It took us an hour to reach Sagada’s Big Falls.
Nature never failed to amaze me, that’s what I said to myself the moment I saw Bomod-Ok falls. My cousin and his girlfriend was brave enough to swim and enjoy the cold water while I just sat and immersed my feet because I’m too weak for the cold water. LOL! After a few minutes, we decided to leave the falls and start trekking back to the jump-off point. This time, it took us more than an hour.
The trail wasn’t that hard, but if you are not used to trekking, hiking or even running I guess it would be a challenge. We rode on top the jeep going back to Barangay Fidelisan. Upon reaching the jump-off point, the jeep going back to Sagada town won’t leave at a specific time; we decided to have our lunch at one of the “carinderia” there.
HANGING COFFINS, ECHO VALLEY
We went back to our transient house right after Bomod-Ok falls to clean up and change clothes. We walked again from Misty’s going to our next destination which is Sagada’s famous HANGING COFFINS. On our way there, we passed by St. Mary the Virgin Church, one of the oldest church structures in Cordillera.
Before you can proceed to the coffins, everyone is required to have a guide. We paid the corresponding fees at the tourism center along the entrance of the trail. We continued our walk to the cemetery behind the church, which is known as the Calvary Hill, then another narrow trail leading us to Echo Valley. We did what our tour guide and most people do upon reaching this part of hike- shouting to the wind then listening to the echoes of our voices. (I really wanted to shout “walang forever” but then I opted not to, baka isipin nila bitter ako haha).
We hiked the narrow path leading us to see the hanging coffins up close. Our guide told us the story behind the hanging coffins as per Igorot’s tradition.
During their ancestor’s time, they were responsible in making their own coffins. Before the corpse is placed inside the coffin, the body is positioned, seated on a chair with big fire at the back for a few days as means of preservation thru smoke. Kankana-ey doesn’t embalm their dead. Before the funeral, which happens at the break of dawn, the coffin will reach the cliff area one day ahead. The corpse (wrapped in cloth) will be transported by passing it via a line of people (from his/her house) going to the cliff. Whoever gets a spill of blood over their clothes will receive good fortune and whoever drops the body, even by accident, bad luck will befall. The same chair used in the ritual is hung together with the coffin. Another reason why I love to travel here in the Philippines — I am learning a lot. I was really in awe when I found out the story behind this. In fact, I shared the story practically to everyone I talked to the moment I was back from my trip! LOL!
This is another must-visit place when you are in Sagada. The Sagada Pottery not only sells finish products, but also demonstrates pottery making.
To add up to your experience, they can also teach you to mold your own masterpiece. Since I am there already, I tried making my own and I really had fun doing it, of course, with the help of their potter.
I’m not new to weaving since I saw and tried it when I went to Palawan. Sagada has been weaving quality products from bags, slippers, souvenirs and even apparel since 1968. Those men and women working there are the most patient people on earth. They have to do it manually and the process, believe me it’s not as easy as it seems. I have so much respect for these workers.
It takes patience, hard work, heart and passion for them to create such beautiful products. Another thing I learned from traveling is not to haggle especially if you are aware of how much effort they have to put in to finish a certain product.
How to get to Bomod-OK Falls
Via Private Van – 700pesos Roundtrip
Via Public Transportation: Ride a jeepney in front of the municipal hall of Sagada going to Banga-an for 20pesos (one way). Tell the driver to drop you off at the jump-off point going to Bomod-Ok.
How to get to Sagada Weaving and Pottery
Private Van that you can book at the tourism center for 700 pesos Round Trip with Sunset at Lake Danum (soon on my blog)
Tour / Guide Fees:
Bomod-Ok Falls – 500 php (for 5 pax)
Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins – 200 php (for 3pax)
Sagada Pottery – 100 php (If you would like to try making your pot)
For more detailed information about my Sagada Trip, check on the link below: