July 19, 2024

On our way to Sagada Blue soil, we were singing the hit song ‘Sidung’ by El Sarlipan. The relatable lyrics goes… Sik’ay iyak laylayden / Ngem adak amo nu sak’en tu met laëng / Mangidaw’tan sin layad mo / Ngem salamat tan sik-ay ësay sidung ko. The song sync’s beautifully with the soft sprinkle from the pine trees of the surrounding mountains. We passed through many wood cabins, coffee shops, and caves – such a wonderful day to spend our vacation last May.
We have various reasons why we left the city and rode our way to Sagada. Paul who was writing his dissertation bumped into the “writer’s block” so he spent few days in Sagada to focus and his find inspiration. My friend, Bob, is a school paper adviser, also needs rest after joining the division and regional presscon. The trip was his reward for the many sleepless nights. We were accompanied by our friend Giselle who teaches in Ankileng who kindly drove us around Sagada.
It was a clear day. We started at 4 a.m. and climbed a mountain to watch the sunrise. The splendid outburst of golden lights was flowing on a sea of clouds. Beneath it is a sight of green rice terraces and a quiet community rising from their sleep.
At the Blue Soil mountain, we bathed under the sun – Bob played with his drone and took photos of the cerulean mountain, the green foliages, and the many tourists who look like ants lining their way up. Giselle plays Igorot love songs on his loud speaker – later, he posted our photos on Facebook and captioned it “Finding solace in Sagada.” From time to time, we joined him in singing… San daya nae-tatabon sin likod di libuo / Saksakit di puso ay kaman iniipit di bato… in the famous song “Kamannina” while we frolic in the hems of the foothill.
Recently, the song “Sika Lang” is also going rounds in radio stations with its rock tune. I and Paul can’t help but sing along … Kaman singising di talaw / Layad ko adi malitaw / Kaman apoy di sëy-ang / Din layad ko maga’y enna panbaliwan.
We went to Pongas Falls and swam under its raging waters to drown our fears. We walked past rice terraces and watersheds. At the river, there were boulders where we climbed and took photos as if overcoming our trials and challenges in life. We watched how the twin waters from above cascades its tears along the mighty rock walls dotted with ferns and moss. It rained in the afternoon and we hid under big rocks and ran in the canopies of trees. Later that day, we went to Sagada Centrum and ordered the town’s coffee and choco-wheat bread. It was Saturday and we watched the market filled with goods from the neighboring towns, we planned to have sunset viewing but the clouds were low and foreboding.
At night, we travelled the border road to Bagnen, Bauko and met with a good friend, Mylyn. Their family was welcoming. We exchanged stories and reminisced our college days in the publication. Paul, Bob, and Giselle drank the night away. It was already midnight when we returned to Sagada, the country songs played in low tune. Everything including the mountains, the trees and the road melted away in darkness. It was a quiet night and our burdens are far from our hearts.
Sagada is not just a place to visit, it is a comfortable space for everyone. It’s intimate landscape heals the mind. Tomorrow, we will return to the city renewed and replenished. We have songs and memories with us to carry through.