A Sagada story

We’ve spent a fair bit of time exploring the Philippines without resting. After we had rested a good night and day at Georges Guesthouse (Tripadvisor review here), we were ready to get back on track again. There was just one problem… we were running out of cash. We didn’t cash enough money while in Baguio and there are noΒ ATM’s in Sagada. Which meant two things; Not getting back to Manila or some scheme not to pay for anything. Since we’re not really the ‘dark’ type of traveller, we decided something else; be greedy as hell and find a cheaper place to stay – backpackers style.

Sagada Homestay Inn, Sagada, Philippines

Sagada Homestay Inn, Sagada, Philippines

‘Hello, we have a very important blog on the internet and we would like to see your cheapest room available’
We decided to pretend to be very important persons, with a fancy camera and a notebook, looking for the best place to stay in Sagada. We used the same sentence over and over again and after that the owners started to get really excited and friendly towards us. I (Johanna) asked them questions while Vincent was being the professional photographer. I asked them all sorts of questions like someone from Lonely Planet would, at least that’s what I thought while writing down prices and room names.

”What is the cheapest room available?”
”Do the prices differ in low- and high season?”
”Why would this place be the best one to stay in Sagada?”

And so on, and so on.

So we spent a whole morning photographing hostels and homestays trying to be perfectly serious at all times. There were times we really needed to hold in that burst of laughter while talking to the owner and taking photo’s. We didn’t want to be disrespectfull either, we were just having fun and looking for a cheap and neat place to stay in a creative way.

The Green House Inn, Sagada

The Green House Inn, Sagada

When you’re ‘important’ or when you make yourself important, you can really achieve so much more. We realised some people who really do this for a job (or pretending to be) get free nights in a hostel/hotel/homestay to review it. That’s not what we aimed for but it would have been a fun experience. After all we didn’t have to pretend to be someone else to ask for the cheapest rooms, but we kind of rolled in this situation and figured it was fun. We saw another view on things and had different interactions with owners and staff members. A mindset for the situation is all you need.

Sagada Home stay Inn view

Sagada Home stay Inn view

Child moving and playing with her toys

Child moving and playing with her toys

This roll-playing did show us the best place to stay in Sagada overall. The owner of Homestay’s Diner/Homestay Inn was the most enthouasiastic of all, showed us ALL her rooms.. literally all the rooms. She was so nice and had the best view of all the places we visited (and bonfires!). So she deserves a visit when you’re in Sagada someday ,because she has the best package overall and the prices do not differ that much from the other places. In the end prices were rated around P300-400 / €4,91-6,55* for a double room or dormitory per person per night.

Sagada Homestay Inn, Sagada, Philippines

Sagada Homestay Inn, Sagada, Philippines

Sagada Homestay Inn, Sagada, Philippines

Sagada Homestay Inn, Sagada, Philippines

IMG_2887

We didn’t end up staying there because we found one place that was slightly cheaper and we really valued our time in Sagada more than a cuter place to stay.

Interior

Interior

Interior

Interior

So we ended up staying at Residential Lodge. There we met Nathan, an American travelling/living in the Philippines. When we met him he was already feeling sick for a while, but our short period of time with him was very inspirational. Our conversations were mostly about mindsets: you should never think that anything is impossible. Next to that we mostly talked about friendship, travelling and life itself. Nathan is a source of inspiration and he told us his ways of travelling, experiences and how he funded himself through smart ways. He also shoots awesome photos and has his own website: http://www.idreamedofthis.com It’s worth to check out, especially if you’re interested in the places he has been and in the stories he has to tell (and he has a big one to tell about the Philippines!)

Blue Building: Residential Lodge

Blue Building: Residential Lodge

After this acting and moving to another place to stay, we decided to go out for a walk… what happened then will be featured in the next post!
Stay tuned and see you then.

* Note: all the prizes are according to the exchange rate at the time of travelling

– Vincent & Johanna

17 Reacties op “A Sagada story

  1. Ooh, the place is beautiful. I’ve been to Sagada recently and my companions and I stayed at Sagada Guesthouse. It was ok but based from the photo, Residential Lodge has more character. I love the landscape of Sagada Homestay Inn, very “instagrammable.” That was a smart idea you got there to find the best but cheap place to stay. I do notice too that establishments staff and owners tend to be extra nice when they find out you’re a blogger.

    By the way, I discovered your blog through Nathan’s fb page. Hope that someday I’d be lucky to meet him too just like you guys did.

    Liked by 1 persoon

    • Hi Marjorie, thanks for sharing your thoughts and taking your time to look at our blog. Of course we haven’t experienced the ‘Sagada Guesthouse-feeling’ as good as you did. Thanks for pointing that out. Residential lodge indeed has more ‘feeling’. It’s more cosy and feels more like a home. Especially the sala near our room with the tv and fluffy stuffed animals. Really reminded me of my own Filipino family experiences. Haha I’m (Johanna) still laugh when I think about what we did that day. Anyway, it broadened our view about things.

      Thanks again for visiting, and Nathan is an inspirational human being and we’re very grateful that he wanted to share our stories πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. I am originally from Manila but I have been living in the U.S. for over 20 years now. I have never heard of Sagada but because of Nathan and now you , I am very introduced learn more. I’m almost embarrassed to be learning about my country through foreigners blogs. Looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 persoon

    • Hi Maria! Thanks for visiting our blog. I (Johanna) was also born in the Philippines, in Iloilo city and I have lived there until I was 6. I have so many great childhood memories and longed to go back for a very long time. So through the internet, movies etc. I wanted to explore on my own and introduce this country to my best friend and soulmate! And also to myself quite frankly.. I have only been to Panay and Manila until then.
      Although we were there for some time (1 month), I would travel different and WAY longer next time to really deepen myself in the different kinds of people. Maybe we’ll come across some day while traveling, would be fun! TC!

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  3. I miss Sagada! Been there a couple of times and the experience is always fun and memorable. I like the fun times you did while looking for a good accommodations. Tita Mary of residential lodge is very kind, she and her family welcomed me there when I had no place to stay in a stormy day.

    Liked by 1 persoon

    • Thanks Darwin! Sagada is really one of our favorite places right now. Sagada just has this ‘something’, not describable. Maybe you need to feel it. Good to hear you had a good time too. Wish we could have stayed longer to get to know Tita Mary, heard very good stories about her family from Nathan.
      We’re definitely planning to go back when our study allows it, hopefully we can meet her then!

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  4. Hello,
    Im Jhun, a fellow traveler. I was born and raised in Iloilo city and Ive been to several parts of the Philippines. I visited Sagada with some friends way back 2005. Infortunately at that time water from the famous waterfalls was diverted to irrigate the fields, also the Crystal cave was close for tourists. I wonder if you were able to go there during your recent trip, and how was it… Thanks

    e
    for tourist. I wonder if you have beem there during your recent trip, and how was it.. Thanx

    Liked by 1 persoon

    • Hi Jhun, how nice! I (Johanna) was also born in Iloilo city. The waterfalls, at least the one i’m thinking of (forgot the name) was open and not touristy at all.
      I’m not sure if the Crystal Cave was closed or not, since we haven’t hear of it before and it wasn’t really ‘advertised’. But I did some googling for you and I did find some travel stories about the cave around 2011/2012. So I’m guessing it’s open!

      I’m very curious, if you ever go back, if Sagada has changed much since you’ve been there.
      Take care πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Hope you would not mind if I intercept. I had the chance to visit the Crystal Cave last 2011. It was really stunning, the rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites were really beautiful as compared to those in Sumaguing Cave. When lighted, the crystals are shining brightly. Though going there is a bit challenging esp when muddy and wet. I think its open to the public now because the guides mentioned about it when we went there last December 2013. hope I was able to help you Jun.

        Liked by 1 persoon

      • No not at all Darwin, we think your being very helpful. It’s always better to hear it personal from someone. Too bad we didn’t know about this cave. Definitely going to experience that one next time!

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  5. hi johanna & vincent,its nice to read your blog..its good that nathan allen mention you in his blog so we got here..by the way,mary rose here..

    Liked by 1 persoon

    • Hi Mary Rose, thank you for stopping by. Yes, we are very very thankful for that. It’s a whole different kind of blog, written by different people; different background, travel history and age. But we hope people will still enjoy it :). Thanks again and take care, if you’d like to follow up on stories you can easily like our Facebook page to keep in touch.

      Like

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