Solo Walks in Sagada

While it’s fun to wander with friends, I find traveling alone immensely gratifying. No predetermined itineraries, no prolonged debates about where to eat and what to do next. It’s just me, my thoughts and my instincts.

And should you find yourself rearing to have a go at traveling solo, Sagada would be a great starting point.

To begin with, the trip – a 5 hour bus ride going to Baguio and another 5-6 hour ride going to Sagada proper – is (well at least for me) already a contemplative experience. In between fits of sleep and consciousness, I got the chance to think about what’s been happening in my life, while making a mental note of the things I should be working on.

And then there are the long, meandering and picturesque walks, which, if I may add, are completely safe.

I crossed a basketball court for a leisurely stroll to one of Sagada’s well-known landmarks – St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. I got there just in time, before it closed for the day.

As I walked further I chanced upon a community’s family day where adults and children were playing and dancing to the beat of gangsas (traditional percussion instruments) and enjoying the cool and crisp air. A wonderful mix of the old and the new.

Then there was the stop at Echo Valley, where, apart from hearing your voice reverberate in the wind, you can get a glimpse of the hanging coffins wedged in the limestone walls.

I ended the day at Lake Danum, a one and a half hour walk from the town proper. I shared the lake with these boys who were my guides.

During the next day’s more energetic excursion I found myself traversing  a network of limestone caves 1.5 kilometers below the ground. It begins at Lumiyang Cave, once a burial place for women who died from childbirth.

Whether you find solace in a church, in the rhythmic beat of gangsas, in the breathtaking outdoors, or in meditating on mortality, Sagada offers you that and so much more.  She might be the only company you’ll need to find calmness to prep you again for the madness of the city.

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