The Scenic and Endless Winding Road to Sagada

Originally, we wanted to go to Caramoan Island in Camarines Sur last May but typhoon Bebeng started rampaging across the whole Bicol region just days before our scheduled trip. Good thing we had planned for a Sagada trip as a Plan B. We only had less than a week to finalize everything but organizing a trip to Sagada did not seem to be a daunting task. Thanks to dozens of information all over the internet.

It takes at least 12 hours to reach Sagada from Manila by bus. Although there are no direct trips from Manila, there are three available options on how to get there. is a great website that has everything you need to know when planning for your do-it-yourself (DIY) Sagada getaway.

My friend and I chose the Manila-Baguio City-Sagada route. I know most people would leave Manila by midnight just in time to catch the first trip of buses bound for Sagada in Baguio. However, we didn't like the idea of sitting for at least 12 straight hours on the bus (6 hours from Manila to Baguio, another 6 hours from Baguio to Sagada). It would be our first time to travel that long by bus, if ever.

So off we went to Victory Liner terminal in Pasay and took the 11:00 AM trip bound for Baguio City. We decided to stay in Baguio for a night.

Gloomy sunset view from SM Baguio

Since spending a night in Baguio would mean an additional expense for our accommodation, we had to look for a cheap place to stay. We reserved a room at Safari Lodge prior to coming to Baguio City. The cheapest room costs P500 per night for two persons. The room is pretty basic. I like the bathroom though. :-) I was excited to use their wifi, unfortunately, it was not working during our stay. Wow, talk about unlucky.

Safari Lodge is located across the Botanical Garden so it's not that really far from the downtown. Contact number: 09167044697

Posing in front of Safari Lodge before leaving to Dangwa Bus Terminal

From Safari Lodge, we took a cab to take us to Dangwa Bus Terminal. We arrived at the bus station at around 5:50 AM and bought tickets right away for the first trip at 6:20 AM. Fare per person is P220. There are two bus lines that ply the Baguio City-Sagada route: Lizardo Transit and GL Trans. Take note that the last trip is 1:00 PM.

We actually woke up quite early because we had anticipated an influx of passengers since it was still summer time. There's only a few people in the terminal, however, when we arrived. We had some spare time so we decided to take a quick breakfast. There are eateries and restaurants in the terminal so you can first eat or buy some snacks to bring with you for the long ride.

Dangwa Bus Terminal is located in Baguio City downtown
so it's very accessible if you're staying around the area

The bus departed the terminal on time. After a few hours, we found ourselves traversing the zigzag and winding roads of Halsema Highway. I thought the mountain views I would normally see on the way to Baguio from Manila are awesome. Little did I know that the Halsema road offers more spectacular and breath taking views of the Cordillera mountains. I was completely sent to a state of awe. The views are really orgasmic! :-)

If you're asking which side of the bus to sit to best enjoy the view, I'd say both sides offer equally amazing views. During the first two hours of the trip, those seated on the left side would more enjoy the fantastic view of the Benguet mountains. At the middle of the trip, passengers on both sides of the bus would be treated to a visual delight of the massive Cordillera mountain ranges. Finally, the right side-seated passengers would have their chance to marvel at the sweeping panorama of the Mountain Province in the last two hours of the trip. Cool, what a fair visual treat for everybody! :-)

Winding road

Lots of fruits and vegetable terraces along the way

First of the two stops for restroom breaks and light snacks

This was my first time to taste passion fruit and
I think it tastes like "atis" or sugar apple

A jeepney filled with cabbages and other vegetables

Vegetable terraces...

...and more vegetable terraces

In the early morning the breeze could get very cold. Well, I ended up closing the window most of the time. The windows are transparent though so sightseeing would not be a problem. I would roll the window up only if I wanted to take some pictures. And oh, by the way, if you want to avoid the sun take a seat on the left side of the bus (that's if you're taking the early morning trip).

Aside from the magnificent views, what made the trip exciting was the scare the road gave. Every heart-stopping narrow turn and twist of the bus while approaching some narrow paths would make your nerves jump and your adrenaline rush. The ravines are too big, deep and pretty scary.

The only road block we've encountered - ongoing road pavement operation.
We had to wait for about 10 minutes to get the road cleared.
Fortunately, we did not face any land slide problems like what others had experienced.
Weather was good the entire time.

After six arduous hours of butt-numbing bus ride and sightseeing feast, we finally arrived in Sagada at around 12:30 PM.

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Byron said...

You have magazine-quality photos! Nice! You're lucky to witness the mountains on a sunny day!

We're going here after a month and I hope that the weather won't be too harsh on us.

Gabz said...

Thanks! Yes, very lucky indeed! :-) Typhoon Bebeng just left the country two days before we went to Sagada. It was drizzling in the late afternoon though.

Robbie said...

This is a nice documentation of your Sagada trip! The place will always be my fave destination. Been there twice and will come back this November (hopefully walang typhoons!)

There are still places I haven't seen there.

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