TEN hours from Manila and navigating through a long stretch of dizzying, insanely scary zigzag road, Sagada is not for the faint-hearted traveler. I am not at big fan of long trips and I felt sorry that I brought my two daughters Minka and Meira to this volunteer mission because the seemingly endless ride punctuated by sharp twists and turns caused them to upchuck a couple of times.
But once you’ve reached Sagada, it seemed like you’ve stepped on holy land. God has generously blessed Sagada with a natural beauty that is beyond description. Marshmallow clouds set in perfectly blue skies, lush verdant rice terraces, sparkling water falls, quaint coffee shops and restaurants—they all work together to instantly drive away the stress from the long trip. Add to that the cool temperature which makes it hardly surprising for foreign and local tourists to explore Sagada as an alternative summer tourist destination.
We’re perfectly good by just gazing around the awesome beauty of Sagada but this mountain village offers so much more, so we learned:
For the adventurous spirits, they could go and explore the Sumaguing Cave and the Lumiang Burial Cave or take a dip in the icy cold waters of the Pongas Falls or the Bokong Falls.
For those who opt to marvel at the Sagada landmarks, the Banga-an Rice Terraces, the Hanging Coffins and the Kiltepan Tower are must-sees.
Get the spiritual lift inside the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, the place of worship of the people of Sagada who are predominantly Protestant. Get the authentic Sagada vibeand immerse with the artisans in their weaving and pottery crafts. We could just camp out at Calvary Hill or in Kiltepan and it would have been simply amazing but we discovered an even better option—the pink Misty Lodge and Café.
Originally built as a family home in 2011, backpackers would often knock on the doors asking if there are spare rooms where they could stay for the night, prompting the owners to convert it into a lodge that could accommodate up to 30 guests in seven rooms. My two daughters and I shared an attic room with two beds, comfy pillows and soft fleece blankets. Bathroom was spotless and (thank God) had hot and cold shower. The café itself was a work of art with charming eclectic decors and a pretty fireplace.
Room rates at Misty Lodge are very affordable at P250/person per night on off-season (June to September) and P300/person per night (October to May). Food at the Misty Lodge is superb with home-cooked meals from breakfast to dinner. They also serve incredibly sumptuous pizzas, burgers and yogurt. Their bestseller pizzas—margherita and allmeatza—are to die for. Freshly-brewed coffee, sinfully delicious blueberry and strawberry jam and the freshest picks from the veggie garden are must-try.
Trivia: When the owners were thinking of what color to paint the house, they noticed that the pink begonias in the property were all in full bloom and that’s how the pink color of Mystic Lodge came to be.
Check out Misty Lodge and Café and find out for yourself why it has been endearingly called by travelers as “our home in Sagada.”
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