Travelling to one’s vacation place can be a tiresome and tiring wait. This is true even to those visiting the beautiful tourist town of Sagada. Sagada is on a remote location in northwestern Philippines. It is one of the smaller towns in Mountain Province. Until the late 1990s, travelling to Sagada from the Philippine capital of Manila can take as much as 16 hours. Conditions have improved so far, and with the advent of different choices of travel, one can now reach Sagada from Manila in as little as 2 hours. There’s a catch to that though. It can only be done via a helicopter ride.
As that can be relatively expensive and can not be afforded by majority of travelers, the next best thing is land travel. Sagada is accessible through different routes. For this article, I will be discussing the Manila to Sagada route via Bontoc.
Manila – Bontoc – SAGADA:
There are two bus lines going from Manila to Bontoc. Bontoc is a town adjacent to Sagada and is the capital town of Mountain Province. Cable Tours has a terminal at E. Rodriguez Blvd near the Trinity College. Trip schedules are on 8PM (Manila to Bontoc) and 3PM (Bontoc to Manila). Contact numbers for Cable Tours are (+63 74) 602 1068 (telephone number) and (+63 918) 521 6790 / (+63 921) 448 8814 (mobile numbers). Kasilen Transport is also another option for this route. The mobile contact numbers are (+63 917) 862 9574 and (+63 916) 360 3483. The travel to Bontoc is about 12 hours, and the fare rates are from P500 – P650, approximately $10 – $13. From Bontoc, there is a 45-minute ride to Sagada for the rate of P35 (Advantages of this Route:
Through this route, visitors may opt to see what Bontoc has to offer before proceeding to Sagada. There is the Malegcong Rice Terraces, similar to the Sagada Rice Terraces. Bontoc also offers some sites that are not available in Sagada. This include the Mainit Hot Springs. There is also the Bontoc Museum where one can get a glimpse of the past tribes from the town itself, from Ifugao and also from Sagada. If you are in Bontoc on the right time of the year, you may also be able to watch the Lang-ay Festival, the province’s most attended event. Visitors may also want to check the Bontoc Public Market and the Mountain Province Trade Center for crafts, souvenirs and items that are only available in Mountain Province.
One’s visit to Sagada may also be enhanced by a stop-over in Bontoc. Though these towns are just a few kilometers away, one can see the contrast between the two towns. Bontoc is warm, Sagada is cool. Bontoc is relatively crowded, Sagada is not. Bontoc has no natural tourist attractions, while Sagada has a lot. Even the way the people talk are different in Bontoc and Sagada.