Travel Tip #1: Travel at night time, so you'd have a whole daytime exploring, saves you time. No need to file leave if you don't have a work on a Saturday. Sohoton could be a weekender adventure!
So what to do in Sohoton? What to expect when in Sohoton?
First stop, Sohoton Gamay entrance to Bolitas Cave.
|It's the climb!|
|At the entrance of the cave, these lovers are a great subject!|
|Just like other caves. 🙂|
Next stop was Lagoon Tiktikan. There's a lake where you can take great pictures!
|It's hot but it's cool!|
|She doesn't want to pose, how bout a stolen shot?|
|I was able to force her to pose! Haha hello there! 🙂|
|At the monumental seat!|
|Can't stop smiling and clicking 'eh?|
Next stop is Sohoton's Bucas Grande Island, this is where you'll ride the banca going to the non-sting jelly fish area.
After we went to the non-sting jelly fish area, we went back to Bucas Grande (quasi-port), then proceeded to a restaurant nearby, to order our lunch meals.
Travel Tip #2: You need to order ahead of time, preparing your food is about two incredible hours if you're lucky!
After we placed our orders at the Cafe, we sailed (naks! actually we head) towards the Sohoton Cove, I can't exactly remember the name of the place, but it's still Sohoton, we needed to duct at some area. See my video footage below.
This is where I had the longest eight seconds of my life. In one of the areas, you'll have to dive into the deep blue-green sea water in order to get to the inside of the cave and see the stalactites and stalagmites.
After the longest eight seconds of my life, (I was the only one who dared swim towards the inside of the cave) we proceeded to another cave, where we have to climb up, and if one decides to go inside, climb, one is left with no choice but to finish it off with a jump in a fifteen feet (15 ft) cliff (diving spot).
Next to the nerve shaking jump, is our sumptuous lunch!
Then, we decided to go Island hopping after lunch. One of the islands we've visited is Bobon Island (not sure with the spelling), but we did enjoy the white sand shore of the island (islet), it's ours to explore since there's only us left to explore the entire island. Wow!
|The star and the starfish!|
After the island hopping, we decided to go back to Club Tara.
Some of us were itching to take a bath after a long day of adventure, some were still motivated to go kayaking.
At night, Club Tara has a pool area where guests can gather, talk, chitchat, and chill out.
It was a day of many adventures, beautiful, sweet, amazing adventures!
It was a happy way of connecting to the universe!
There's just so much we've experienced, and there are just snippets of the entire adventure weekender trip! A must-visit place in Mindanao. Choose Minda-NOW!
Special thanks to CDO Travel and Tours and acknowledging the good service of Tomas one of the staffs of the Travel Agency. I'm giving you my unconditional 5/5 rating for the Travel Tours. Thank you for the fantastic experience!
If you want to contact them, you can reach them at the following information:
mobile: 09228658481 or 09261717570
They also have a page on facebook where you can follow for more travel tour packages and promos at CDO Travel Tours Facebook Page
Come! Explore Mindanao. Choose Mindanao, choose MindaNOW!
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #laagAsia #laagPinas #suroyWorld #SurigaoPh #SohotonPh #SurigaoDelNorte
I was picked up in my hotel at around 8:30 A.M. it was a seat in coach van tour so, it's very convenient. #1 The first stop was at the Palace of the King (see photo above). It's a grand place, the palace being at the top of the place. There are guards outside the gate. The traditional guard who doesn't move even if people takes photos with them.
|Looks like a traditional outfit in the Philippines. Our Maranao brothers/sisters would resemble some of these clothing designs.|
|I saw something like this in Sagada, Philippines! Although, in Sagada, it was a bit smaller because the dead were buried in a fetal position.|
This was the food that I ordered. The chicken was so tender and the taste was distinctly delicious. The fries, is like a normal fries. But you can put a twist on it, by playing with their sauces.
Have your way with sauces, depending on your taste, we tried the two below.
I enjoyed the Wild Herb Peri-Peri Sauce. I like how it has the sour taste and the texture is smooth, filled with spices/herbs. Weirdly tasty!
Of course, we couldn't let the moment pass without the evidence. Here's our photo as we dine.
The place is soooo cool! We had linda as our servers, she talks very fast, but she's very friendly!
In the paper bag that they used, I like how Nando has promised something! It's a good one!
"My father taught me that nothing is more important than keeping your promise. The Escudo is a symbol of my promise to give you excellent quality and flavor that you you can expect from Nando's."
Nando's is one of the places I had a decent meal in Kuala Lumpur! Haha because, most of the time, I just buy burgers, or street food, and it sustained me for couple of hours. The meal I had at Nando's was one blog-worthy experience!
To Linda, we were not able to say "thank you" so here goes my shout out for taking our orders well, and for welcoming us into Nando's place.
Review of the Experience:
Service: 4.5/5 quick service I'd say.
Sanitation: 5/5 everything was neat and clean. Cool place to dine.
Price: 5/5 it's worth it! It's not expensive.
Food: 4.5/5 I enjoyed the taste. I'm a rice eater, and there's a little rice! HAHA but yeah, it's good! Must-try!
Below is the photo of the Restroom. It smells so good, I wanna take a bath as I entered.
They have as usual, cold and hot shower. And a cabinet for some of your things to settle in. Inside the cabinets, were the bath robes and of course the disposable slippers.
If you don't want to be disturbed, you can put this sign! Haha PRIVACY PLEASE! 😀
In their ad, their location is opposite the Twin Tower. I looked outside my room, and it's true. I can see the Petronas Tower from the view in my window.
- Clean face towels,
- body wash,
- tooth brush
- stitching paraphernalia
- disposable slippers
- bath robe
From KL Sentral you can also take a train to Batu Caves. As to how much, I didn't know. Thanks to the sponsorship and generosity of Pam! 😀
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #laagAsia #suroyWorld #AsianCountries #KualaLumpur #BatuCaves #MalaysiaTrulyAsia #MalaysiaTour #solotravels #KLSoloTravel #MalaysiaTrip
|It's me pulling the rope to fetch my colleagues and bring them to the floating restaurant!|
|Yep, you guessed it right! It's yours truly, haha #feelingpro|
|Panoramic view of Davao City|
Why do I travel? "I travel because I want to make memories all over the world."
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. To travel is indeed to live!
- I went home to Camiguin Island and I wrote something about it here.
- I went to my other home Tandag, Surigao del Sur! Visited my Sister who came home from Canada!
- I went to visit my sister in Dipolog City and wrote something about it here.
- I also went to Davao's Samal Island and shared my visit here.
- I also traveled to Cebu and shared about our Canyoneering here and other activities here.
- I was also able to visit Sagada and posted something about it here.
- Then finally I capped 'em off with my Surigao del Sur Summer Escapade of which I will be writing about now.
After couple of minutes, we headed to the destination! Sarsoza Ponta Cave!
The caving photos may look like we had fun, we did but there are things I want to highlight.
- There is scarcity of tour guide? We lost couple of minutes waiting for the cave's tour guide.
- Very poor tour guiding service. No stories, no pick up lines, no nothing. Just plain and simple guide where you should go, where to put your feet first, and where next. It appears that the tour guide are not really trained for basic tour guiding.
- They said, they wanted safety for all those who would enter and do the "caving" but when my friend asked if the guide had any "first-aid kit" he boldly answered "nah, wala raba", meaning he doesn't have one.
- Head gears are not required, so you expose yourself to risk when you go inside without a gear. Although there are head gears/helmet available for hire at the entrance.
- Since the cave is occupied by bats as you can see in the photos above, you'd have to expect that it's gonna smell, or you're gonna smell when you go out.
- If you are not that adventurous, this is not a recommended activity.
Thank God we were able to finish the caving and got out of the cave! Yehey! But look at the this? Haha
Then we headed back to Enchanted River where we wanted and we soaked for a swim. We experienced its being enchanted. Indeed the fish are just there as you swim. They are not afraid of people swimming around them, maybe because they are already used to it.
Schools of fish comes out at around 11:30 A.M. and you would have the privilege to watch them swim with you in the cold fresh water of Enchanted River, but if you go there during summer, expect to have a competition with other tourists. 🙂
After swimming for couple of minutes or in an hour, we decided to have our lunch.
Lunch are pre ordered. Before you go to Enchanted River the tour guide would ask the van to stop at the store/tiangge/palutuan where you would order your food, as there will be no stores or restaurants within Enchanted River vicinity. The establishments' staffs then would deliver the food to the cottages where you would be assigned. The picture above was our candid picture while eating our much-awaited and hungered-for lunch.
Then we traveled to Tinuy-an Falls. We saw the wondrous multi-falls. One of the pride of Surigao del Sur. But when it's summer, the water wouldn't create big splash as it falls, the water wouldn't be as splendid as it is if it's rainy season. But yeah, traveling on a summer is also way sooo fun!
I am sharing some of the photos we were able to take as we witnessed the beauty of Surigao's #Tinuy-an Falls!
To see the falls' water source you have to climb. See it for yourself up close! So we climbed up and as we head back down, took some stolen shots!
Below was the view at the top of the falls! Isn't it amazing?
After our brief visit at Tinuy-an Falls, we went directly to our respective vans and prepared for the travel to the International Doll House. Yes, you've read it right! House built by DOLLS! Some fun photos we took as we entered and checked it out.
This was a picture we took in one of the Islands in Britania! Such an amazing view!
The Victory POSE!
Selfies and photo-ops everywhere!
While on board!
When you travel, you try different food! This right here, is a must-try! Haha
Of course, if I go on Island Hopping, wouldn't it be amazing if you jump off the boat and swim all your might? haha A fun photo below capturing the experience!
And we saw some people doing, groupfie, why would we not try it?
On the bridge going to the boat! Cameras are at work!
You can also go shopping some great items! Things Chef K wants!
And the beach is perfect with the heat of the sun, white sand and friends!
Fun things happen when you take pictures and you didn't know what pose to make! Wacky or formal? Or what?
As we head back home and got nearer to our residences, we stopped and clicked some more for the group to have a souvenir picture with the van and the tour guides!
Thank you new friends! Sisters! Java Travel and Tours and Chef and Engr. for the fun and crazy travel! Had a great time!
I did not give up! Thanks to my very supportive friend Mr. A.M. for pushing me! haha
I was able to travel earlier than 1:00 A.M still, riding the bus, initially intended to travel by 2:00 A.M. because again, it got all filled before the scheduled time.
I arrived in Baguio at around 7:30 A.M., and guess what!? The bus going to Sagada is fully booked again! The next trip to SAGADA is by 11:30 A.M! Wow! Although there is a trip to SAGADA at 9:30 A.M. but the available seats are center seats. The trip is for 6 long hours from Baguio, so don't choose center seats unless you don't have a choice because of the schedule. Before the 9:30A.M. came, we've already left the terminal. Again, because it's full!
We arrived in SAGADA by 3:00 P.M. There are I believe 3 bus stops that Lizardo bus usually makes their stop. Or should I say, their drivers stop. So you can be sure you can have somewhere to buy your food, if you didn't bring anything with you. But I am a light meal eater when on travel, so every bus stop I just usually pee and not really eat. I don't smoke, so I usually just use the time every stop for site and sight-seeing.
Upon arrival in SAGADA there's the Town Hall, but that's not where you register. Go to your left where there is a Municipal Hall, register as a guest. Pay your environmental fee of P35.00. If you haven't booked a travel agency or guide yet. Ask for a guide there. Also, ask for a map! They have one to give to each guest/visitor/tourist.
Because it's already late. I went to find a hotel. I walked couple of meters away from the hall, and all hotels were fully booked!
Another tip: If you haven't booked ahead of time, you have internet, and credit card, use www.agoda.com! They have room for everyone.haha because I was afraid I couldn't find a room for a night, I did browsed through Agoda. Thank God, there's a room available in Masferre for US$36.00. Few clicks, and my booking was confirmed.
I walked couple of steps from the hall, and yeah! It's Masferre Inn! I asked for my booked room (just a couple of seconds earlier). Then I was ushered to my room where I left my things.
I lost no time to freshen up. Went out, asked for my guide. And off to my first SAGADA adventure!
My first adventure is CAVE Connection. According to the guide the adventures starts with a 40 minutes walk from the town center to the entry point at Lumiang/Burial Cave. Wedged at the entrance are piles of coffins. Deeper into the cave are awesome rock formations to satisfy your eyes and some rock climbing, and crawling for those thirsty for a more challenging physical activity. the exploration usually takes about 4-5 hours, ending at Sumaguing/Big Cave. I took this cave connection and just made it to the end within 1.5 hours only. Quite fast.
Last entrance to the cave: 4:00 P.M.
Dokiw Hanging Coffins viewpoint
Lumiang Burial Cave Entry point
As shared to me by my guide, these are small coffins, not because the people before have heights less than 4 ft. but because these people buried here, are put in the coffin in a fetal position. They believe that when a person dies, he/she goes back to how he/she came into the world, thus the fetal position when placed in a coffin. He also added that the burial in this area was a festive and happy one. The people buried in Lumiang Cave are those who died of old age. There are different places for different categories of death. People celebrate when a person dies out of old age. When he's accumulated several grandchildren and wealth, that's something to celebrate. For them, it means, they've lived their life well.
Inside the cave you'll have several physical activities including rock climbing, crawling and even rappelling.
But it's worth it, as you'll see nature at its best under the cave!
Sumaguing Cave exit point
Rice Terraces view point - this is something I only read about in my geography class. Not knowing, I'd come here at least for once in my life time!
Guide Fee: P800.00 for 2 visitors or less and P400 for each additional visitor.
After the Cave Connection I asked my guide's contact number for another adventure the following day. Mang Lacsim was happy to help and tour me around SAGADA. He suggested we go to Kiltepan Peak for the sunrise early in the morning, then to any of the tourist destinations afterwards.
I went back to Masferre and relaxed! I had a long day of travel and adventure! Thank God, Masferre serves delicious food! It somehow relieved me of the physical exhaustion I've had for the day's activity.
The following day! Mang Lacsim called me at around 4:30 A.M., he's already outside the hotel to fetch me. Yeah! The sunrise! On our way to Kiltepan Peak, where sunrise can be seen magnificently along with the aerial view of the rice terraces and mountain ranges. It's best to go there on summer. However, on the day that I went there, it's very cloudy. And we haven't really witnessed the beauty of sunrise at Kiltepan Peak.
I saw, however, the "kubo" where Angelica Panganiban (That Thing Called Tadhana) shoot the scene with JM De Guzman. The famous #hugot (#whogoat) place!
The movie started the phenomena of #whogoat which also features SAGADA as the best place to relieve one's heartaches and pains with the place's scenic and serene views! As my guide put it, "Jan po sumigaw sigaw si Angelica sir!" (That's where Angelica shouted/screamed sir!). Pointing at the "kubo".
Because it's summer, tourist flocked to SAGADA like ants in a colony. They are just everywhere. Even in Kiltepan Peak. You could barely have a space for yourself. It's hard to take a selfie. Everyone is just every where.
I asked my guide to usher me back to the hotel as I will be having breakfast. I asked him if he already had one, he said he's going to have it too but outside the hotel, I asked him to join me and I'll take care of the bill, he gladly accepted! I had Filipino Style Breakfast with Native Longanisa while he ordered Filipino Style Breakfast with Boneless Fish (Bangus).
After breakfast, it's time to decide where to go! I have a lot to choose from. But very limited time. I asked him which water falls would have lesser people and that it's possible to go there and be back by 10:00A.M. he said it should be Pongas Falls in Anikeleng, Sagada, Mountain Province. I told him to bring me there as I would be going back to Baguio before lunch.
On the way to Pongas falls, are greeneries. It's a refreshing place to be in. You will see different crops, it somehow had me revisit my childhood days, memories in the past when I see almost every day these kinds of view.
These are newly planted cucumber. They just can't stop planting. They plant after every harvest. The guide told me that their guide services are in demand only in the summer, but after the summer they'll all go back to farming. Sagada's local population is mostly comprised of farmers, whose income mainly depend on agriculture.
I also have to stop and take a picture of this great scene! Green leaves of "palay"/rice. With the great mountains on the background!
These are peanuts! Since I've been seeing different crops, I was looking for peanuts, and yes, the guide gladly told me that there are peanuts! Here they are!
Of course, this is the plant/herb that made our family's living possible. I remember back in my childhood days, I will walk for couple of miles to get ready to consume bananas! I can't let it pass. I have to take a picture, as my brain traveled fast back to my childhood days!
There's corn too! Corn has been an alternative to rice for my family. Back when I was a child, we cannot always afford to have "rice"/palay in the table. They're just so expensive. While "corn rice" are way cheaper. So as an alternative, for a rice eater, we will have steamed "corn rice". And they said it's good for health. Maybe, because we remained alive and grew up! haha
Closer look at the almost golden seeds of palay!
I am also not surprised by the presence of sugar cane in the field.
In the middle of the trek, we stopped by at the what the locals call as the "Bad-ay", my guide expertly explained to me what it is. Bad-ay is a the place where the locals (native) specially, back in the old days, convene, discuss, try a case, and socialize. It's also the place where they perform rituals, during planting season and harvest season (both are festive events/rituals). Bad-ay is also the place where the men, back then, sleeps. Because their houses are very small, it can only accommodate the women, and therefore, men choose to sleep outside or in their tribe's "bad-ay". When we visited, it's evident that a ritual has recently been performed. My guide showed me the evidence.
The trek going to Pongas Falls was enjoyable as those above were present, however, it's also challenging as it's a climb! Up to the falls, would be several thousand steps. There are stairways and hanging bridge.
Then when we reached Pongas Falls, there's only me and the guide! My solo experience of Pongas was amazing! You need to climb up to the top to see the majestic beauty of the falls. Up there, is the small pool, where you can get soaked, wet and sun-kissed!
I've not been to a falls where I am alone, or atleast it's just me and the guide. The guide happily watched me be amazed by the beauty of this falls. It's not well marketed yet, not yet well advertised so it's not populated at 9:00 A.M. I was thankful I chose to visit this place over Bomod-ok. Although, when I get back to SAGADA, I'll definitely, visiting Bomod-ok.
I didn't stay longer in Pongas, as much as I'd want to, I need to catch up the bus trip by 11:00 A.M. So after getting all the positive energies of the universe through this falls, I went down with the guide, and head to the hotel.
When we get to the hotel, I paid the agreed price for the guide, and fetched my bag at the hotel, then went directly to the terminal. A few steps from my hotel. In my arrival, bags are already lining up for the bus trip. Indicating that a person has reserved a line for a slot of seat in the bus.
I also took advantage of the waiting time, trying to document the fact, that foreigners (non-filipinos) are also in Sagada, specially this summer, they are all around! (welcome to SAGADA!) of different nationalities. Of course, our favorite neighbors and co-asian Koreans are also here! 🙂 While filipino tourists are also flocking in to SAGADA!
Traveling alone to SAGADA was a rich experience for me! I became more aware of time, direction, and even had the chance to reflect and be thankful of all the things that God and the universe has allowed me to enjoy!
Some more scenes I took to and from SAGADA I'll be sharing below.
I will always treasure this first trip to SAGADA, and I am definitely coming back here!
What I haven't visited or done in SAGADA yet, will be my priority on my next visit. (According to their publish map and travel guide). Use this as a guide for your complete SAGADA trip! Complete guide including trips schedules, fees and transportation, accommodation, etc. When In Sagada, What To Do? How Much for Which?
1. Balangagan Cave Spelunking - Also known as "Marcos Cave", it boasts of fine pure white flowstones and stunning stalactites. Be prepared to climb up its chambers or crawl along tight passages. The rock formations inside the cave are delicate and sensitive. Please avoid touching the rock formations.
Last entrance to the cave: 4:00 P.M.
Guide fee: P650 - 4 visitors or less.
Transport Fee and Schedule: P650
8:00 A.M. - 20 pax
10:00 A.M. - 20 pax
12:00 N.N. - 20 pax
2. Bumayeng Twin Falls - the trek to the falls starts at the drop off point in Barangay Bangaan, and will pass through some rice fields through natural trails/pathways.
Fee: P2,500 - 5 visitors or less (includes guide fee and packed meal).
Hike duration - 3 hours or more, one way
Transportation - P650 two-way.
3. Bomod-ok - 3 hours hike (back and forth) from Bangaan drop off point to the falls, passing through rice paddies and natural trails.
Fees: P500 - 10 visitors or less
Transportation - P650 two way vehicle hire via Aguid P500 two-way vehicle hire via Bangaan.
4. Bokong - one of the favorite picnic areas in central Sagada, it's swimming pool was carved by nature.
Fees: P200 - 10 visitors or less
Transportation: P250 two-way vehicle.
5. Eco-tour 3 hours ofloop hike to Echo Valley Hanging Coffins, Sagada Underground River entrance, St. Mary's Church and Bokong Natural Swimming Pool passing through small river, valley/canyon, rice fields and Sagada Weaving.
Guide fee: P600 - 10 visitors or less.
6. Adventure Trail - 3 hours trek to Echo Valley Hanging Coffins passing through St. Mary's Church, enter the Underground river, forest trails, river crossing, Bokong Swimming Pool.
Guide fee: P1,000 for 10 visitors or less.
7. Echo Valley Hanging Coffins - a short hike to the view point and a challenging, slippery walk to have a close-up view of the coffins.
Guide fee: P200 - 10 visitors or less.
8. Camp by the fire - includes a Boodle Fight Dinner at any preferred campsite (Kiltepan Peak or Danum Lake). Arrangements may be done at the Municipal Information Center.
Minimum of 4 for only P1,800.
Inclusions: meals and shuttle back and forth.
9. Lake Danum/Sunset - the lake is a venue of some legendary tales, which includes how Sagada got its name. Drop by the Sagada Stoneware Pottery on the way to the lake.
Leave for Lake Danum at 4:30 P.M. 30 minutes drive from town center.
Transport fee: P550.
10. Mt. Ampacao Traverse - A loop hike from town center to Lake Danum view point then to Mt. Ampacao and down to the village of Demang or Ambasing or vice versa. This will take around 3 hours or so depending on your ability to walk on natural/mountain trails. The Ilocos Range and a hazy outline of the Ilocos coast can be viewed along the way.
Guide fee: P800 - 10 visitors or less.
11. Grassy Land/Marlboro - 2-3 hours of back trekking. It is also a camping site and a sunrise viewpoint. Rice terraces and limestone formation can be seen along the way.
Guide fee: P600 - 10 visitors or less
Shuttle fee: P650
12. Langsayan Danum Traverse - 3 hours hike or more, passing through mossy and pine forest. The area overlooks 2 municipalities and a vast view of mountain ranges, rice terraces.
Guide fee: P1,000 - 3 visitors or less.
13. Mt. Sisipitan - The highest mountain in SAGADA, it is 2,200 meters above sea level. It is an excellent area for a day hike.
Guide fee: P2,000 each.
14. Mt. Polis - is nestled between Mt. Ampacao and the "Grassy Land/Marlboro". It provides a good view of Sagada.
Guide fee: P1,500 - 3 visitors or less.
15. Marlboro Hill - Blue Soil Traverse Trek - 4-5 hours trek passing through rice terraces and limestone formations.
Guide fee: P1,800 for 3 visitors or less.
Transportation fee: P1,350
16. Sagada to Mainit Hotspring rek or travel by jeep to the minicipality of Bontoc to enjoy the natural hot spring in Mainit. A trip to experience the Maligcong Rice Terraces can also be included in the itinerary.
Guide fee: P2,500 each visitor (for trekking)
Additional fee from the hot spring to Maligcong.
REMINDERS FOR CAVING:
- shirt (loose t-shirt), shorts/loose pants
- rubber sandals/flipflops/rubber shoes
- Optional - gloves
SCHEDULE OF REGULAR TRIPS
SAGADA-BAGUIO (GL/LIZARDO BUS)
Bus fare: P220.00 5-6 hours
1st Trip: 5:00 A.M.
2nd Trip: 7:00 A.M.
3rd Trip: 8:00 A.M.
4th Trip: 9:00 A.M.
5th Trip: 10:00 A.M.
6th Trip: 11:30 A.M. Depending on availability of bus
Last trip: 1:00 P.M.
***Trips usually start ahead of schedule if seating capacity is full.
***No booking/reservation. First come, first serve.
Jeepney fare: P45 - 45 minutes.
1st Trip: 6:00 A.M.
2nd Trip: 7:00 A.M.
3rd Trip: 7:30 A.M.
4th Trip: 8:00 A.M.
5th Trip: 8:30 A.M.
6th Trip: 9:00 A.M.
7th Trip: 10:00 A.M.
8th Trip: 11:00 A.M.
9th Trip: 12:00 N.N.
Last trip: 1:00 P.M.
***Trips usually start ahead of schedule if seating capacity is full.