FBF: Baguio-Benguet-Bontoc Part 1

Hello guys! This is my fourth and second to the last post concerning my FBF series. :)πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­πŸ˜¬ I am seriously having mixed emotions right now. Lelz. Thankfully there are a lot of line ups to blog this month. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ *woot woot*

Enough of the blabbering, let me now share to you the first part of our Baguio, Benguet and Bontoc trip last May 2014. Like all trips we had, our family always visits a place where we have a good friend who lives there. In this adventure, we were invited by our good friend to come over his wife’s hometown. And we gladly conceded! 😁😁😁

For this trip, our family is joined by our host, his family and two of our good friends and their respectively families. As the saying goes, “The more the merrier.” πŸ˜†

We left Manila late on the eve and fetched our companions. We passed by the TPLEX as it is a faster route going to Baguio. By the time we reached our first stop it was around 8am. We had breakfast in our friend’s place. Then we are joined by our friend’s brother, as we will need an experienced driver on this trip.

We were told that it would be a looooong and bumpy ride. So I would suggest that if you get nauseous or are suffering from vertigo to be sure to take your medications and rest. Pee or respond to the call of nature (lelz πŸ’©) while you can in Baguio. Cubicles are provided along the way, though I would not vouch for their sanitary conditions. Ugh 😝. Also, don’t forget to bring snacks or be like me! A sleeping sloth when travelling. Haha.

Baguio and the Strawberry Farm

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Don’t mind my shirt! Mind the beautiful farm behind. Lelz.
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Thumbs up!!

For our first stop, we were brought to see the Strawberry fields. Though I wish we could’ve picked them. But since we were in a hurry, picture taking would suffice. And we got to try the yummiest strawberry ice cream! 😍🍦😍 After a few poses, we then began our journey.

Benguet and the Highest Peak

Highest Peak/Point

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Welcome to Mountain Province! We are nearing Bontoc finally.

Travelling throughout the province of Benguet seemed to be filled with endless curves & deep ravines. Thank goodness, that our friend’s brother knew the roads as we were passing by the infamous, accident prone Halsema Highway. 😨

Now the highway is not completely a bad road to go on. However with safe driving and God’s goodness, one can reach the destination complete and sane. πŸ˜› But during the trip, half of the time is spent on the road and the other half is halted by my parents to take pictures on the picturesque, scenic views below the Halsema highway.

I don’t mind taking photos. But the fact that most of my sleeping time are disrupted is truly causing more fatigue. 😝 Nevertheless, we do have lots of pics taken. Btw, the weather in Benguet was a lot colder than Baguio. This made me regret wearing shorts! Ha! πŸ˜…

In the journey, we were able to stand on the Highest Peak in Benguet. It is also called as the Philippine Pali. The place stands 7,400 ft above sea level :o. And is breezed with the coldest winds. (The Pinoy Explorer)

Bontoc and Sagada

Benguet to Bontoc seemed to take forever, but we did reach Bontoc before nightfall. My parents who were big thrifts went to buy at the market for dinner. We stayed in our friend’s place.

The house was what I could say, Hobbit like. Not that the owner was, but the house is filled with warmth and quaint coziness. Which could be seen in a hobbit home. We did enjoy our place there, as no electric fans we needed due to the cold weather. 😰

Not to mention that the water to be used for bath is extremely cold. I had to muffle the noises of my squealing mouth. Hot baths and showers are not really common. 😱. That eve, we all slept soundly as we were scheduled to visit the Sumaguing Cave in Sagada.

We rose and left early. From there we parked by a lot near an Anglican church and went to check out the Hanging Coffins. We were joined by my friend’s Uncle who is well versed with Sagada and its beauty. The road to see the coffins was a steep trail. Thankfully, we stopped by in a Rock Climbing activity in which I failed! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

After the strenuous activity, we reached The Hanging Coffins. These are coffins hanged on the walls, tradition tells us that the higher the coffins are placed the better are the chances of going to heaven. πŸ™„ Quite an interesting fact! We took tons of photos and off we went back to the parking lot where we had our lunch.

hanging coffins

After that we headed to the Tourism Office in Sagada where all tourists are required to sign up, pay for the environmental fee and hire a tour guide when entering the cave.

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The whole gang with some tourists.

We then drove for around 30 mins going to Sumaguing Cave. We had the tour guides with us so won’t be lost at all. In reaching the area, we were given clear instructions of the do’s and don’ts. Attires should be comfortable and flip flops were the only footwear allowed. I was well prepared to be wet, but since my camera and iPad weren’t I had to leave them. It was a good thing that our host’s phone was waterproof and so we had one to use for photos. πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘

The cave was truly a thrill seeking adventure. It was soo pitch black dark and hearing the bat’s screeches sends chills down my spine plus the running ice cold water ain’t helping! 😭😨😱😡

We were told to line up and since we were a big group of 8 adults, we had two tour guides. Each carried their own gas lamp. I tell you, that kind of lighting isn’t enough for me. Thankfully, dad brought his flashlight which was suited for those situations. So at least, we have some white light burnin’.

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The first part of the cave smelled of the bats’ you know what. Ugh 😝 then in nearing the end of it we were told to leave behind our slippers. I was like, “No way! My Ipanemas might go missing.” Haha but the tour guides explained to us that the stones need our feet to grip firmly and the slippers would only make it slippery.

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The second part of the cave is where the stench of the first part is gone. Plus the cold water running is actually refreshing. Here is also where a lot of challenges and obstacles would be done. Like a mini rock climbing, Β on a rushing cold water, tip-toeing your way to the next rock and so on. Here is where you also get to see the beautiful formations.

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On the third part of the cave is when you reach the end with a mini waterfalls. I tried jumping but according to my dad (who jumped) the water was sooo deep. 😨 I am a swimmer but jumping on uncertain situations will make me think twice. So I didn’t. Instead I enjoyed splashing on the cold, running waters.

The leg going back is quite easier since you know what’s coming next. Albeit, it was more tiring. My mom who was dire thirsty had to stop for a few times to rest and drink our bottled water. As soon as we reached the top, we took a bath on the shower rooms provided. I guess the cave trekking made us prepared for the cold shower bath, which has a separate payment πŸ˜›.

After it we headed back home, dropped off the tour guides in the town proper and to the market to buy dinner. Our bodies were so tired and weary from the trip. But we were told that this won’t be our last for we have another strenuous activity to do the next day.

So here ends the first part of our Baguio, Benguet and Bontoc adventure. Stay tune for the next!

Merci beaucoup et Γ‘ bientΓ΄t!

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