DURING the end of February and during the Panagbenga, I would always pass up from it. Avoid the crowds and surely traffic too. In Sagada, we will always go. It has been nine years since that I have always found respite in Sagada.
This year, we would learn that the parade has been moved to a later date.
We, however, would continue on to get there. It would be in some way, a way to connect to the area where friends are, Sagada that is. Be it known that many from Sagada are in Baguio and that Baguio is somewhat a Sagada too.
Anyway, for this year especially, I will find it important to be there. In fact, they were quite happy to learn that I will be returning hopefully to public office. It has been also nine years that I have not taken part in any political exercise. I am glad to find that they are quite excited for a comeback, that is if I get the chance, with their help and endorsement of course.
Anyway getting there was quite an adventure in itself. We pass by Northern Blossoms, a pass of P300 per person but well worth it. I had to pass on Sabangan and the pass was far. If I had to pass it I would, but I had no choice. Typhoon Ompong and Reming passed by and created havoc. Roads and bridges closed. Pass somewhere else.
We eventually passed and reached Sagada but after sometime. Just in time for me to get myself introduced to some friends, the endorsement was enough.
After some time there I would ask for some clear directions on how to avoid any passage that would take some time of my schedule. I am driving and it would be better if there was a better way. The usual passage had some construction areas that made us wait for at least 30 minutes in each occasion three times.
The usual pass also included many tourist vans that all speed up, all heading to Sagada. I cannot get it why speed up and race ahead of each other since every Juan would just end up all in the same place.
After our stay in St. Joseph Resthouse and Blue Mountain Cabins we head for town to get our orders of lemon and pizza pie. Some bread and cheese too. Since there was no parking allowed along the street I decide to park in the town hall.
Here I was met by a friend, we talk Baguio politics, and while waiting for the orders of food, he mentions for me to try and take a different pass from which I took previously. It was highly recommended in fact. I take directions and get convinced that this is the best pass for this time.
This was the Cervantes-Tagudin pass. From the Mountain Provinces to Ilocos Sur. It seems longer in distance but a time saver in fact. I am convinced and we head towards it. I was told that it will take two hours to reach Tagudin. Another two hours to Baguio. Not bad. Indeed a better pass. I will not pass up on this. I take it.
The pass took me to a place I have never been before. I was made to pass Bessang Pass. Here I am so excited to drive over a place I just hear about but never really had the chance to take. It is scenic and historical they say.
It is long and winding, just my type. There’s no Juan else in the road, just us. The roads all paved. We stop every time for pictures. A wildlife park we find, another stop before the Bessang Pass landmark we find. We will not pass up on this. 10 pesos was what it took for us to pass by and find the story to this pass.
I am happy. Not at all tired, I am glad for not passing up on this pass. I now know where to pass next time. We pass by Bahay na Bato in Luna and then dinner by the beach in San Juan before heading back up the mountains. In Baguio I am tired but glad to have not passed up on this pass. To my kids I pass the test for this one. We will not pass up on this ever. The best ang pass.