There are two routes to Sagada. Because I had never seen the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces, we decided to go via Banaue instead of Baguio, and apparently, it is the shorter way. Our Florida Bus left Manila promptly at 10:45PM on 11 June 2011, Saturday. Ticket price was PHP500 per person one-way. Although our bus wasn't a sleeper, it had a toilet. That was good enough for me.
There were three or four rest stops. I was conscious for only the first one. The rest of the trip I conked out. When I finally opened my eyes, it was a little after 8AM on Sunday morning and we were in the mountains.
First, some breakfast.
I'm so glad that we ended up at People's Restaurant. It was cozy, clean, cheap and woah, what a view!
Welcome to Banaue, pipols! Happy Independence Day. Breathe in that fresh and free Cordillera Mountain Range air.
Banaue (sometimes spelled "Banawe") is a quiet little municipality in Ifugao province, population 21,448. Even though it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, there's a laid-back, time-stood-still quality about the place.
Our first mountain stream. I'm not sure why, but we were quite excited to see it.
Breakfast was pork tapa with fried egg and red mountain rice.
And some porridge with sweet milk and sliced bananas.
Washed down with freshly brewed mountain coffee while sitting on the restaurant's balcony, staring at our first Banaue rice terraces.
What a way to start the day!