“Simplicity is indeed often the sign of truth and a criterion of beauty.” Mahlon Hoagland
395 kilometers from Manila; 12 hours drive via Manila-Baguio-Sagada route- long and winding road. Apparently, one would feel tired and uncomfortable reaching this place, but the reward one would get upon arriving this place is indescribable! The sight is heavenly and surreal. It is already passed twelve when we arrived; the town is celebrating their fiesta. There are numerous people witnessing the cultural parade. Local and foreign tourists seem to be engrossed taking pictures of the ethnic presentation of each tribe. We headed directly to George Inn, wherein we are offered a room that has a great view of verdant ricefields and pine trees standing tall in the mountain, that almost enveloped by mountain dews.
Cold breeze embraces, we just want to stay at our beautiful room but the itch to explore Sagada summons us. Just a stone throw from George is the Calvary Hill; a place where the tomb of the departed love ones of Sagadenos lie. More importantly, the famed hanging coffins of ancient people are seen from the Hill’s highest elevation. It has been a tradition and custom of ancient Sagadenos to place the remains to a wooden coffin that were later placed at cave’s cliffside.
We trekked through the rice terraces in the mountain to reach Bomod-ok falls for one hour. One could already determine that he is near the falls, because the sound of water falling down against the big rocks is apparent. And when finally getting there, the magical sight of Bomod-ok washes away the tiredness and restlessness. Just the sight of the falls provides a zest feeling and relieve one’s exhaustion. The water coming from the falls is extremely cold. This falls is the major source of irrigation and domestic water supply of the village people.
Curiosity leads us to Lake Danum, since part of the movie scene from Don’t Give Up on Us was shot here. To my mind this place is perfect for dreamy rendezvous. The lake is calm and tranquil as surrounded by tall trees in the mountain, buffalos and cattle grazing around the lake. On the other hand, a walk from the lake to a higher elevation, awaits a great view of sunset by the mountains of cordilleras.
Farming is the major source of livelihood in Sagada. Cabbage, cauliflower, string beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, and other root crops are grown in the village gardens and hillside farms.
What struck me the most is that life here is peaceful and simple. Sure it is hard to walk and trek through and through just to reach one’s destination; one has to wait for an hour before jeepney to arrive in order to reach town proper. The thing is village people lives with it without complaint. Our stay in this place reminded of the profound and basic truth in dealing with life that is -SIMPLICITY.