There were no street lights but the driver was able to navigate with ease

At around 2 or 3am, we sped down a dark and misty uphill road to chase a beautiful sunrise view on top of a mountain. There were no street lights but the driver was able to navigate with ease.

Jeremie and I sat in the front seat and had a conversation with the driver. He seemed to have a distinctly American accent for someone who grew up in Sagada.

Things I learned from him:

  • There used to be a lot of hippies from the US who traveled to Sagada in the 70s.
  • Most people in their community believed in animism. This is the belief that when people die, their spirits roam with them in this world.
  • Non-locals can’t purchase property in Sagada. This is to ensure locals can own property in their own land. However, some outsiders purchase property through marriage. I haven’t, however, verified if this is accurate or not.
Group shot and play with light Before sunrise

The place suddenly felt too crowded as soon as more vans arrived. It was getting really hard to move without bumping into people.

Disappointment came when we realized there was no sunrise since it was too cloudy.

Everyone's all smiles despite the disapppointment Grand mountains
House swallowed by plants
Restaurant lights Restaurant interior

Our next destination was to an orange farm to do some orange-picking. And in another stroke of bad luck, they ran out of oranges for people to pick.

Nothing seems to be going our way, so we decided to grab some breakfast and get the bad vibes out of our system.

Restaurant interior Restaurant interior Restaurant interior
Wood cladding Wood cladding
Bacon that's too saggy and sad Scrambled eggs French toast?
Having fun with the natural light
Adrian the lumberjack Adrian the lumberjack
Tool shed

Afterwards, it was time for a 2-hour morning hike.

Mountain view
Before the hike

We learned our lesson from the other day and got a guide from the information booth so we don’t get lost this time.

Information booth
Beginning of a long hike
Tiny humans in a vast ocean of grass
Hiking through terrace fields Narrow trail

Wait for me guys! I think I might get an award for being the slowest hiker.


We reached the waterfalls. It was crowded with people so we didn’t go swimming and headed back to the starting point.

Waterfalls at the end of the road
Spirited away moment

It was exhausting and sweltering, but we survived the hike.

Jeremie and I survived the long hike