Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Sagada V.2 - Life in a northern town

I intended to rest my mind and spirit for this trip. No inebriation. No fanfare. I want to meet the Sagada folks and get a closer glimpse on how they live. I figured the best way to do it is to walk the paths they tread. From the paved roads of the town center, my feet took me to the rolling terrain of Ambassing. Wandering further, I found the road truncated at Suyo where I met Cesar near the Episcopalian chapel. As is normal with my interface with people from all over, we had a chit-chat on everyday matters as some of the folks gather dried-up mountain palay into sacks. He promised to find me a guide to explore Balanga'an caves next time I drop by. He said it was even more spectacular than Sumaguing. I surely look forward to it.

As it was still early in the day (3.30pm), I ventured beyond Suyo and followed housewives walking back to the more remote barangay of Taccong. They walked the better part of over two hours just to buy stuff in Sagada. And another two hours or so to go back. It's long and arduous - literally climbing hills and mountains just to get merchandise. Thinking aloud, they told me of their hopes of someone finding a more convenient way for them to travel these parts. I commiserate with them and at the same time marvel at how hardy, how resilient they are. And how hospitable they are to a stranger, a lowlander like me.


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