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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Booking A Ski Lodge

Set Dates & Schedule – Before you book any trip, you definitely want to know when you’ll be taking the trip and what type of schedule you’ll maintain during your trip. While this is important for all trips, ski getaways are massively popular, which means if you’re not really on the ball, you may not have a booking available.

Get Input from Your Family – Being able to form a trip schedule means knowing what activities you want to be a part of while your away. Get your family together and see what types of things everyone wants to do. You may find that you’re on the same page. Even better, ski lodges have great websites showing their amenities, a tour of their facilities, and a breakdown of things to do during your stay.

Plan Your Packing – This is mostly a note for parents who want to make sure their kids are packing what’s needed. However, if you’re a person that tends to be bad at packing, you might get some practice in, especially if you’re packing a little differently for your lodge.

Rent or Buy Gear? – If you’ll be doing skiing or snowboarding, for example, you might want to find out if it’s better for you to rent your gear or buy it. If you buy it before you leave, remember that you’ll have to figure out how to travel with it.

Decide How You Will Get Around – You only have so much time for your vacation period, so make the most of it. If you’re still trying to decide on a lodge, take into consideration how long it takes to travel there, whether you’ll rent a car there, and how far away from things your lodge stands. If too much time is used to travel & move around, it may not be the lodge for you.

Types of a Passport Holder

Jacket cover

The jacket cover is the next option. This type looks much-like a book sleeve to give proper protection to the outer surfaces of the passport. The jackets come in a variety of materials, such as plastic, vinyl and leather. The jacket cover in leather can look very stylish and is certain to give a decent amount of protection from everyday wear and tear.

Portfolio holder

The portfolio holder is a great choice to ensure the cover and inside pages are fully protected. They are available in plenty of hard-wearing materials including leather, nylon and vinyl. The larger holders can even include space for holding other travel documents like tickets and boarding cards. However, this type of holder is quite large and best kept in carry-on luggage like a bag or briefcase.

Passport wallets

The passport wallets are a bigger option with the ability to hold many different travel documents in a single holder. They are likely to appeal to the frequent travelers that regularly carry their passport. In fact, it can even replace a standard wallet and accept the essentials like bank cards, cash, ID and the passport. Even thought they are a little larger than the standard wallet, they are still compact enough to fit in a pocket. Typical materials include real leather, vinyl and nylon.

Document case

The document case is a practical option for frequent business travelers. They are built to hold a wide range of travel documents in a single space. The leather cases are the most attractive and stylish can be a little cumbersome and bulky. The best lightweight alternatives are made of vinyl and nylon.

Traveling to Sagada

On our way home, we also took Coda Bus Line for P700 one way. I suggest to buy a roundtrip bus tickets beforehand. From Sagada Town Proper, look for the jeepney going to Bontoc provided by Coda Bus Line because the bus terminal going back to Manila is in Bontoc. No additional payment needed in the jeepney as this is included in the bus payment. Riding their jeepneys is one of the fun parts in Sagada. If you’re one of the adventurous people, challenge yourself to seat on top of the jeepney. Yes, you read that right! Seat on top of the jeepney besides the bags of the passengers. Most of the people who did it was men but some ladies are brave enough to try. I always thought of it as a scary thing since you’ll be seeing the cliff from above. But if you focus on the scenery, you’ll be thanking God for the amazing view. It’s like a postcard brought to life. Another good thing about this bus is, you have a stopover somewhere with zero visibility to buy veggies and other delicacies and another stopover in Banawe Rice Terraces for picture taking.

We stayed in Misty Lodge Hotel and Café – 2km away from Town. It may seem far but we didn’t regret staying there. The hotel is very much cozy and they serve the best food in town. Upon entering the house, you will see a pretty decorated Café with a Chimney on the side. They have one room at the ground floor, 4 rooms at the second floor, and 5 rooms at the attic. The rooms are good for a soloist to a bunch of four people per room. Since we’re a group of eight, composed of four boys and four girls, we requested for two rooms abreast. Fortunately, the available rooms are located on the attic, facing each other. The room for four people have 2 beds with a side table and cabinet. Their second floor has a living area with deck of books that you can use for your spare time while the attic has a hangout area at the center of the rooms for peeps who wants to play board games. The house is filled with books and games that guests can use for entertainment. The hotel is highly recommendable though they only have a shared bathroom. They only have two huge bathrooms for the whole house so, you might want to wake up early as expected to avoid the lines. Another good thing in this hotel is that, they don’t turned off the lights at night. You also have to note that they turned off all the lights, even the street lights, at 10:00pm.

I also know some people who stayed at Rock Inn Hotel. It’s also a nice hotel but farther from Town than in Misty Lodge. And another one is at Residential Lodge. Residential Lodge is already located in Town so you don’t need to worry walking long distances in a very cold street after the activity or after eating. But since it’s in Town, they follow the lights curfew hence, turning off the lights at 10pm including the room lights. So you can’t do anything beyond 10pm aside from sleeping.

There are tons of activities in Sagada, though most of them requires hiking. So, if you’re traveling with seniors or kids, select only those that are safe for them and make sure to hire a tourist guide. Here are some of the activities my friends and I went to.

Mt. Kiltepan
We arrived at 7:00am in Sagada Town and had our breakfast in Misty Lodge Café since we also need to check-in. Unfortunately, we can’t have an early check-in, so we decided to leave our bags at the receptionist and went to Mt. Kiltepan. From Misty Lodge, it’s a 2km walk to the entrance of Mt. Kiltepan and a 20-30mins walk to the top and you can go there even without a guide. It’s a safe place; just be careful when you stand on the cliff. You can also take your car or rent a jeepney to go on top. This mountain was featured in the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” where the lead actress released her feelings by shouting. Though in the movie, they went there to wait for the sunrise while we went there at 10am and the view is still amazing! A clear view of the proudly Filipino made Rice Terraces. I guess no other groups ever thought of going there unless it’s sunrise well, we have the place all to ourselves. We took a lot of great pictures without rushing. But if you want to see the sea of clouds, you have to go up there at 4:30am and wait for the sunrise. I’ll tell you, it’s totally worth it.

Echo Valley Tour -> Hanging Coffins -> Underground River -> Bokong Falls
On our 2nd day, we decided to rent a guide for an Echo Valley Tour for P500 for a group of 10 people. This tour is composed of many routes, depending on your last destination and here’s ours. We first went to the church and the hill of cemetery where we listened to the history of the places and their traditions. Then we walked to the Echo Valley, a place where if you shout, you will hear it echoes. It’s amazing! Then we went down to the hanging coffins. It’s not scary, it’s somewhat puzzling especially those on the middle of the rocky mountains. How did they even managed to bring it all up and push it inside the mini caves? Still disturb, we hiked until we reach the underground river where we needed to lights our torch inside to see where we’re going. You have to be careful inside due to some of the stones are so low, you might hit your head. When you reach the end of the river, it means you’ve reach Bokong Falls. It’s just a small falls but it’s lovely. There, we enjoyed our lunch and swimming. Afterwards, we took a different route heading back to Town. It took us almost 4 hours on this tour but we enjoyed it.

Sunset in Lake Danum
Feeling pump, after our Echo Valley tour, we have a little snacks of barbeque and hotdog then we rented a shuttle for P600 to drive us to Lake Danum. A lot of tourist went there to time lapse the sunset. Sadly, the sun was covered with clouds so we haven’t really see it clearly. But still, it’s a nice place to have picnics. I also recommend buying their instant coffee (Organo Gold coffee) or yogurt while waiting for the sunset. It’s really delicious!

Marlboro Hills
Since we already went to Mt. Kiltepan, we decided to hiked up in Marlboro Hills to see the sea of clouds. We started hiking at 4:00am on a Sunday while the sky drizzles. We hiked up for 1hr and 30mins and it’s getting colder and colder. It’s higher than Mt. Kiltepan and it is not that advisable if it’s raining due to the ground gets muddier. It’s zero visibility up there and make sure you have you’re fleece jacket on.

That’s all our activities during our stay in Sagada. We also have another trip to Bomod-OK Falls but it was canceled due to their ongoing ritual on that day. Other than that, you may try going to Sumaguing Cave, Blue Soil, Lumiang Cave, Ganduyan Museum, Pongas Falls, and to the famous Sagada Rice Terraces.

If you’re looking for something to replaced your burned calories after the activities, Sagada have heaps of restaurants that you will not forget. Of all the places I’ve been, Sagada is the only place where all the foods they served have veggies. You don’t have to request for it, it is given. Not just that, their veggies are fresh and delicious. Their dishes are tasteful and the cheesy pizzas & mouthful burgers are those that you shouldn’t let go of. Of course, don’t forget to try their famous creamy yogurt. It is their specialty because of its creaminess and freshness of fruits flavored in it. I recommend you try eating in Misty Lodge Café, Sagada Brew, Salt & Pepper, and Gaia Café. Those are some we’ve been to and it’s a must! Especially Gaia Café, this place has a view of Banawe Rice Terraces and it’s best for their coffee and muffin. Also, it is better if you try their local foods that you can buy in the streets such as wheatbread with chocolate/cheese, dirty ice cream w/ Hershey’s syrup, and yogurt.

Wondering where to buy souvenirs for your loved ones? Well, you don’t need to ride far away since the Town is a small place and have lots of souvenir shops. I suggest that you hoard their red wine. HAHA Just kidding! They sell one of the best wines and my favorite is Charlina Bugnay Red Wine that I only bought for P150-P160 per bottle, depends on what store you bought it. Aside from that, I’ve also bought a pack of mountain leaves for P10 and turmeric tea for P150, which is very good in cleansing the body.