Our Top 10 Most Memorable Sagada Moment10. ...you'll miss out the enjoyment of giggling when you and your guide mischievously tease other tourists on the Echo Valley by answering back to their shouts.
Other Tourist: Hi!!!
Us: Hello..low..low (May echo effect parin dapat kahit fake lang)
9. ...you'll always need their assurance that what you're doing is safe.
One thing on my to do list is to dive from the highest rock of Bokong falls. I stood there for few minutes, hesitating, until the guide told me that it was safe to jump. If it wasn't for him, I'm still this itching daredevil who did not take the risk.
8. ...the experience can never get any more raw than hearing stories from the locals.
After our caving, we invited Erwin and Sotero for dinner. It was nice soaking all up their cultural stories. They have very interesting stories about weddings, in which they invited us to witness one, but it was 2 days from that night.
7. ...you're spontaneity will not be tested.
We were supposed to go home after that night but because of that wedding invitation, we decided to stay some more. We managed to fit our budget into four days, talk about real adventure! We did not witness the ceremony itself, but we joined the preparation, which was equally satisfying. A cultural immersion indeed!
6. ...you will always need their lamps/ flashlight/ ropes.
We've made a mistake of saving up 400 pesos by going to Lake Danum all by ourselves (there were only two of us). We knew sunset would be marvelous at that area, but what we did not consider was walking all the way back from Lake Danum back to our inn. It was getting dark and we were literally running because the of darkness will fall any moment, as in total darkness Imagine: rough road with no lamp posts. I wished we had Sotero's lamp/flashlight at that moment.
5. ...you'll miss laughing your ass off on some of the silliest yet funniest things your SaGGA might say or do.
I just find it hilarious when Sotero addresses Erwin's arms as "kahoy" whenever we need to step on them. Also when Erwin refuses to accept our apology whenever we uses parts of his body as step ladders, he says "makukuha ba ng sorry yun??" but of course not meaning it. But my favorite is that when Erwin says he rarely allows his photo taken, so I was glad we had our photo together, only to find out that only his headlamp was visible on the entire photo!
4. ...you'll never know Gareth and you will never notice his omnipresence.
We saw him for the first time in their office. After that we saw him just about anywhere, anytime. We saw him on the road, inside the cave, at the Kiltepan peak, at front of our inn, at the barbeque area, in front the store, inside his car, on his motorcycle, just about anywhere. But what's great about that is he never fails to greet us and ask how we are. It was indeed a warm welcome.
3. ...you won't have something to look forward to.
We got invited to the annual SaGGAs Bonfire Fest this coming December. It definitely sounds like fun!
2. ...you'll won't receive the coolest catch phrase "You're no longer a spelunker, you're now a caver!"
After our 3 and a half hours of Crystal cave exploration, that compliment totally nailed it.
1. ...you will have a chance of landing on genuinely kind-hearted persons like most of them are.
My heart melted when they popped out Gatorade and a bread inside the cave for us. They actually shared their food, drinks and even cigarette to us. I can go on and on naming their voluntary helps, big or small but let me just tell you, extending unpaid services is beyond what they're called for and yet they are more than willing to give it. Need I say more?
Hands up to you guys! More power and hope to see you and your beautiful land again soon.
Gizel and Pons
April 3-6 2011
April 3-6 2011