Touring with Mei: A cold vacation in Northern Luzon (Part 1 of 3) | SunStar

Touring with Mei: A cold vacation in Northern Luzon (Part 1 of 3)

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Touring with Mei: A cold vacation in Northern Luzon (Part 1 of 3)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

(Photo by Reuel John F. Lumawag)

LAST February, I had the opportunity to work with US-based blogger Meileilan Usin-Mattinson (www.colorsofmei.com) for her Philippine Tour 2017. During the 10-day tour, we visited Sagada, El Nido, and her hometown, Zamboanga City.

We did not only visit Sagada for the first part of her tour but also the Batad Rice Terraces, one of the five clusters of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a Unesco Heritage Site.

The views were plenty on our way to Sagada. We stopped by a couple of view decks, the Kennon Road View Deck in Baguio City and the Highest Point View Deck in Atok, Benguet. Both decks featured beautiful views of rolling mountains with lush green forests.

When we arrived in Sagada, we first stopped by the Sagada Pottery, which showcases beautifully made potteries by the locals. Here you will be able to learn and have the chance to make your own pots.

The highlight of the trip for me was the visit to the Batad Rice Terraces, which I want to talk more about.

From Sagada, we traveled to Banaue and from there we proceeded to the rice terraces. Our vehicle then had to stop at the end of the highway, where vans will park. Then we had to hike our way towards Batad.

The hike there was truly an experience for someone who has not trekked or hiked on a mountain before. The road leading to the small village was muddy and slippery due to the drizzle so we had to be extra careful going there.

When we arrived at the village we were greeted by the beautiful Batad Rice Terraces, which is part of the Unesco Heritage Site, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras.

The site was truly breathtaking. It is amazing to see the amount of workmanship and ingenuity of the Ifugaos to make this agricultural wonder.

For our third day in Northern Luzon, we woke up at dawn to catch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak. One of the great things I love about this place is that it has small stalls where you can buy some food for light breakfast like champorado or lugaw. I had the black rice champorado, which was amazing!

Some of the locals have also set up a bonfire to keep some of the visitors warm.

By the way, the place is quite crowded so be sure to come here early, around 4 a.m. so you can get a great spot while waiting for the sunrise.

Even though we were not able to witness the actual sunrise, since it was a bit cloudy in the horizon, the view from Kiltepan Peak was definitely stunning.

After enjoying the early morning at Kiltepan Peak, we had a quick breakfast near the inn we were staying. Then we visited the Echo Valley and the Hanging Coffins of Sagada.

The trip in Sagada with Mei was definitely a treat. I really enjoyed the trip and I like how cold it is up there in Sagada and Benguet. I also love how fresh the air is!

Check Mei's website to know more about the trip. For more about the food we ate, you can also check my Kape Diaries blog (kapediaries.wordpress.com).

Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 19, 2017.

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