I love long trips! Although they require having a carefree mind, eagerness to explore and discover, and a lot of patience when things don’t go as planned or as expected.

My 79-hour trip to Ifugao, Mt. Province and Benguet happened on January 19 – 23, 2012. It was an a-little-bit-of-everything kind.

You may have commented mentally that this is already outdated. You are correct. Smile Facts may have changed as of the moment. But this is for my record, and you may compare how it was then and how it is now.

I may not be able to express what I actually felt when I personally saw the wonderful sights on that parts of North Philippines, but below is our itinerary that I was able to record the moment it happened, some comments and pictures.

January 19, 2012

2200H Leave Ohayami Bus terminal in Sampaloc, Manila

January 20, 2012

0300H Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya Zigzag road

0350H 2nd stop over

-Gas up worth P7500

-passed by St. Clare Monastery

0600H Ifugao Resource & Develop Center

0645H Welcome to Banawe!

-passed by Balawis Elementary School

-low clouds!!!

0830H Breakfast at People’s Lodge; I ordered Filipino breakfast.


-Check in at People’s Lodge; nice clean room good for 4 persons; P300/pax.

-We met Tessie, an “aggressive” tour guide.

0900H Dropped by the Trial Court, where we were able to find a tour guide and transportation for a nice deal.

1030H Passed by Uhaj Elementary school

1200H Hungduan Rice Terraces – stone-walled terraces

We wanted to experience walking through the pilapil (dike), so we had to go down via long cement stairs.


It was a bit scary because the walls were actually high, and the dike was narrow and slippery. IMG_3502

One difficult situation was when we had to balance ourselves and make sure not to fall because a lady carrying a load of vegetables on her head was going opposite our direction.


There were houses on our way back to the road, so we stopped by for some photo ops. Camille and I on the picture below tried to feel how it was to manually pound unhusked rice. The wood was heavy!

Bayo ng rice

We passed by Hapao.

Bgy Hapao

It is a remote place with several Ifugao huts, which is like a museum with all the handicrafts and artifacts displayed, all telling stories about the life and culture of the local people many years ago.

I was amazed by this 75 Kg platinum found in one of the huts. It must cost millions of Pesos!


Mang Noel, the caretaker and relative of the original owner of the place was friendly and accommodating. He gave us his calling card. They offer accommodation as well, if you want to experience spending overnight in the genuine Ifugao huts.


We were hungry by the time we went back to Banaue.

1420H Our guide brought us to his cousin’s carinderia for lunch.

1530H Siesta

1830H Power Failure!

1845H Candle-lit dinner at People’s Lodge


And there was light!

1945H FRIENDS bar with band.

2045H Go back to lodge and hang out with Omar and Ivan

2330H Light (almost) out

January 21, 2012

0645H Prepare for Sagada, Mt. Province!

0730H American breakfast at People’s Lodge

0815H Take van going to Sagada. Gas up first at Shell station.

0845H Stop over: Banaue Rice Terraces Main View Point. Souvenir shops were around.


The picture above is what can be seen in  1000 Philippine Peso bill.

how rice t was built

0945H: Welcome to Mt. Province!

Welcome to Mt Province

A big statue of the Blessed Mother can be found as well at Mt. Polis (stop over)

1025H Welcome to Talubin, Mt. Province! Somebody was assisting the meeting traffic using his red and green flag since road construction was ongoing.

1045H Brgy Samoki, Bontoc, Mt. Province

-passed by “Welcome to Gawis ay” sign

-passed by Mt. Province Polytechnic College

1050H passed by Dalican rice terraces

1055H Falling debris from the mountain before we passed

1155H passed by Kiltepan rice terraces, Sagada, Mt. Province.

I haven’t been dixxy in road trips ever. But the road from Banaue to Sagada was just an awesome zigzag road on mountainsides that I felt a slight feeling of throwing up.

1110H “Welcome to Sagada, Mt. Province!” sign

1115H Triple Point road: Southwest bound to Banaue, Southeast bound to Koliong, and Northbound to Sagada.

1120H passed by Gecko Inn & Café and Churya-a Hotel & Resto, the weaving houses, St. Theodore’s Hospital

1135H Sagada town proper at last! Proceed to Sagada Guesthouse.

1230H Lunch at Masferre’s Inn and Resto; food service was slow but food was yummy

1400H Walk around the place

-Sagada weaving where I bought a wallet, to replace the my old favorite, torn wallet given by Ma’am Ena one Christmas, and a big red knap sack bag.


-Josephine’s Antique Shop (where we used toilet); their house was actually a cave. It was cool!

– Trail to nowhere. We were looking for a short cut way to the Echo Valley. We took the trail beside this old gas station by the roadside.



But I guess we did not get the right direction.




So we went back to town proper and trod the known way to Echo Valley, passing Church of St. Mary the Virgin.



The trail to Echo Valley includes passing by a cemetery.


-Echo Valley, hanging coffins



-We went inside Ganduyan Museum in town proper. The owner was speaking very good English, a sign of American influence in the place before.


-Yoghurt House


-Lemon Pie House



The Lemon Pie House was closed when we arrived there. But the owner let us in when he saw us. They were closed early because they ran out of pies. We had photo ops inside and pre-ordered Lemon and Blueberry pies. That’s how best selling the pies of Lemon Pie House are.

– Souvenir shopping


2300H Lights out

January 22, 2012

0500H Wake up call; Omar, Camille and I cooked breakfast.

0630H Walk going to Lumiang Burial Cave



Coffins with mummified bodies were piled at the entrance. The last body buried there was in 1989. Other tourist hired a guide to explore the cave. We left without spelunking because we had to catch the 1 PM bus to Baguio City.

We instead hiked to Sagada Pottery.

Sagada pottery


No one was inside. We toured around, looking at finished and ongoing pieces of handicraft arts.


There was only one trip going to Baguio. Luckily, we were able to have seats.

1410H Stop over ay Maba-ay, Bauko, Mt. Province

1600H Sayangan Ayok, Benguet

1740H Baguio-Bontoc Tollgate

1800H DOST La Trinidad, Benguet

1815H Baguio City!

1830H Dinner at McDonald’s

2250H leave Baguio for Manila via Victory Liner


January 23, 2012

0500H Balintawak, Quezon City, Metro Manila

***Home Sweet Home***