Saturday, April 30, 2011

Masferre and Alfred's Cabin in Sagada (Day 4 Part 3)

  • Lunch at Masferre Inn & Restaurant
                  Earlier at breakfast, we choose our lunch orders and asked Masferre crew to prepare them for us at 12:30 p.m.  Due to our prolonged caving, we arrived at Masferre at 1:40 p.m. They were expecting us and our food were immediately served.  We were all ate a lot because we were hungry and the food tasted great.  In fact, we were starving that I forgot to take some pictures.  I ordered their recommended Lechon Kawali and Vegetable Soup.  It was great.  The texture was different from all others I've tasted.  I It was very crunchy, tender and not oily.  the vegetable soup had brocolli in it.  Their bangus was cooked like tuyo despite looking like daing.  I also liked their chicken curry.  The fried chicken was okay and nothing special.  The cheeseburger with fries is also good.  Unlike other restaurants, they served white rice.  They were also selling imported chocolate bars like sneakers displayed along their counter.  

  • Fresh Blueberry muffins
After our lunch, we refreshed ourselves and check if there were  any other activities we could do.  To our dismay the River Rafting was not available due to the summer heat rivers water level was quite low.  We were advised to go see the hanging coffins instead but my relatives had already seen that during their first visit in Sagada so we decided to shop again.  We bought blueberry muffins (worth 15 php) from "Gabay Fruit Wines".  It was freshly baked and very delicious.  It was filled with their locally picked blueberries.  All the blueberry muffins I've tasted before were topped with canned blueberries so it was artificially too sweet.  This muffin had a natural sweet and mildly tangy taste which made it perfect.  
  • Salt and Pepper Souvenir Shop

We discovered a shop where old shirt designs were sold for only 100 php unlike the original price of 160 - 250 php.  So we bought we few  shirts and ref magnets to bring home as souvenirs.
  • Dinner at Alfred's Cabin
After the cave, my aunts and uncle have been resting that they did not notice the time.  It was already around 7 p.m. when they decided to have our dinner reserved but like the rest of the restaurants they were already closed due to the holy week rush  they were all tired and had to close up earlier than usual.  Luckily  Alfred's Cabin was still open.  We ordered their house specialty: Buttered Chicken (worth 120 php) , sauted mixed vegetable (worth 90 php), pancit canton (worth 100 php), vegetable fried rice and mountain tea (20 php).  I noticed they don't serve organic red rice but white rice .
Vegetable Fried Rich

House Specialty: Buttered Chicken

The buttered chicken was too strong for my taste but my cousins loved it.  I liked the vegetable because of the sweet and natural taste.  The pancit canton was ordinary.  The mountain tea tasted the same as all others served in Sagada

  • Massage
After dinner, some of us had our massage.  It was a service offered by the rest house at 250 php an hour.  It was a combination of shiatsu and reflexology.  Some of the pressure points were incorrect.  It also felt weird since our massagers were talking with one another in their own dialect.  They also had long nails which felt prickly weird.  Overall, the massage helped suited my muscle pains for the following days to come.  

Sagada Cave Connections (Day 4 Part 2)

We went to the Sagada Tourist Center to register us all.  (NOTE: There were no waivers or other safety measures aside from this) Each registrant is charged a registration fee of 10 php.  We also hired 8 tour guides because there were 19 of us who will be going through the Sagada Cave Connections.  Each tour guide has a service fee of 400 php.  Since there were too many tour guides we had to hire a van for them.  To our surprise, the cave was only a little further downhill from our location.  


Our guides told us to leave the rest of our belongings like towels etc. since they will only be extra weights to carry.  So we only brought water-proof bags, cameras and bottled waters.  It was 9:30 a.m. as we walked through the partially cemented trekking tracks going down to the cave site.  Our guide said it was cemented for the convenience of Senior Citizens (like my aunts and uncles) who want to enter the cave.

Entrance / exit of Sumaguing Cave

At this point I was expecting that we would be entering a simple and plain cave like what I see in batman movies.  Then when we reached the cave, we saw coffins and a warning sign not to go in beyond 5 p.m.  My companions ahead were already far down.  I was surprised that we had to go down the cave through the big rocks.  But I went along.  I was too curious to see what was inside the cave to be intimidated by some rock.  I went down one cautious step at a time.  When I'm uncertain if I can balance well, I would sit and crawl down on my back.  Its better to be safe and slow than to fall down and hit some rocks and injure myself.  The cave rocks were amazingly smooth though.

Guide instructing me where I should step
Soon, everything became dark and obstacles became harder and harder.  I had no idea of what lies ahead.  I just followed my companions and the listened to the guides.  Our guides carried their lamps to help us see which way to go.  They would instruct us where to go, what position to carry out and where to step.  Sometimes, I feel like my feet could not reach the rock where I'm suppose to step.  The guide told me I should trust him and push it even if I feel nothing and so I did.  I kept on stretching my legs more and more and somehow I managed to reach the point where my foot should touch.  I really had no idea that entering the cave would be like this.  I expected a walk through the park and just viewing rock formations.  I was misled by all the photos in the restaurants of the cave having people relaxing and smiling happily.

There were some parts wherein we had to enter a small crack in the rocks.  We had to listen to our guide so that we won't fall since we couldn't see where we are stepping. We kept on going downwards but we didn't notice it because we were too busy trying to accomplish one task at a time.  Soon we could see our companions already ahead and far below us.  We wondered how they were able to go down so far and so fast.  Then our guides instructed us to follow them and we did and then we ended up being where our companions were.  The guide told us to look up and we were surprise to see that just a few minutes before we were way up and now we have gone down quickly.

There was a part were we had to step on our guides shoulders and he would lift us up so we could grab the rope and climb up.  It was a bit difficult for me since I was not used to lifting heavy objects.  I had to lift my own weight to be able to climb up.  Perhaps because of my survival instincts or fear of falling into the dark abyss, I was able to accomplish such task.  After encountering many rock formations, we learned that sand colored rocks are good to step on especially when wet since your feet attaches to it while white colored rocks are very slippery and dangerous especially when wet.  During our caving, we noticed that sometimes the lamps of our guides get broken and they had to repair them manually while inside the cave.  We felt lucky to have many guides so that while others where repairing their lamps, our journey still continues.

The part I feared most in the cave were hanging through the edges.  This reminded me of the movie "Cliff Hanger" except that Sylvester Stallone had a muscular body and sometime had safety ropes attached to him and we don't.  I had to choose good sturdy holes to insert my hand and foot.  I had to secure myself otherwise I will fall.  There are no paths and no other way.  When I look down, I could only see darkness.


Along the way, we were awed by the rock formations we encounter.  They had weird names like pregnant woman, mickey mouse, curtains and rice terraces.  There was also a very large caulli flower in the middle of the cave.  We soon reached parts were there are cold waters.  We had to dip our feet in order to cross.  We had to go fast because the the cold water makes is painful to our nerves.  We also noticed that when you wet yourself smoke comes out from you.  When you breath fog also comes out from you. It also got a lot more slippery which made it more difficult to step on the rocks and balance.
At around 12:30 p.m. we were near the entrance.  One of the guides asked us if we wanted to go out already or continue towards an extension.  He said with our pace, it would take us an additional hour and a half.  We all said "Let's go there" and so we did.  The guides then asked us to remove our slippers (Flip-flops) and they threw them somewhere downwards.  We didn't see our slippers until later when we were near the exit.

This part was different from what we previously encountered.  It had more beautiful rock formations and it was always wet.  There was a part where I accidentally slid of the rope and splashed into the water hard.  Luckily, it was water and we really had to cross that water.  The water was waist deep and it was really cold so some of us even shouted when they submerged.  I was less fearful during these stages because it was water but even water was dangerous.  There were deep holes in the ground that you could accidentally fall on so you need to watch your step or stay by the rock side always.

I enjoyed most parts just stepping on sandy colored rocks.  But when we were near the exit, we were given our slippers back and climb a mountain sandy colored rocks.  It reminded me of the desert except that these were hard rocks we need to climb on.  After that, we had to climb large rocks covered entirely of bat poop.  My feet being wet and muddy from the bat poop made it slip through my slippers so it was very difficult to climb up.  I found climbing up more difficult and tiring than going downwards.

Stairs from the cave exit to the road

Entrance / exit of Lumiang Cave
After climbing different kinds of rock formations 1 even looked like a staircase we finally could see the light from the outside.  But the steps still looked endless. I was losing my stamina and so couldn't take my steps properly and balance so the guides had to assist me upwards.  After reaching the cave exit.  It was around 1:20 p.m. and we were so tired when we reached the top that we had to sit alongside the road.

The guides' van was waiting outside.  We gave them  tip for their excellent service.  After a few minutes, our ride came to fetch us too.  We were all so tired and hungry so our next stop was at Masferre Inn and Restaurant. 

 Tips: (Wish we had known before went caving in)
  1. Wear flip-flops that are not slippery when wet or have straps so your feet won't slip out of it when your feet is wet and muddy

  2. Don't bring anything except bottle water and cameras and if you can't carry them anymore, ask your guide to.

  3. Avoid stepping on white colored rocks they are very slippery like soap especially when wet.

  4. Don't wiggle the rope when you climb.  Keep your feet apart for more stability and climb one step at a time.  

  5. Listen to your guide.  Don't hesitate stepping on them.  It may be the only way.

  6. If you're out of shape, expect your muscles to sore after.

  7. Wear light clothes that easily dry (we wore board shorts and swim wears)

  8. Bring zip lock bags for your gadgets and money

  9. This is not an obstacle for the frail hearted 

  10. To avoid muscle pains, do stretching.  Had to stretch so much to reach rock to rock... (Don't be fooled if the guides seem to be relaxing themselves)

Easter Sunday Morning in Sagada (Day 4 Part 1)

  • 5:30 a.m. Easter March

               We woke up early to attend the Easter Sunday mass.  We didn't expected the inconvenience of having  a single restroom for 8 people.  I got my jacket and went out.  It was so cold and the area was misty.  It was already 6:30 a.m. when I reached the empty halls of St. Mary's church.  I still went inside to pray and pay my respects.  When I went out, I saw my relatives coming towards me.  They told me that the mass was not at St. Mary's but at the other church further uphill beyond the cemetery grounds.  They said they too were not able to attend the mass.  They also visited the church and paid their respects and then we went downhill to search for a place to eat breakfast.

  • Early morning walk
        We walked downhill and noticed that some of the shops were closed because of the Easter march.  We were also told that some store would open late because they were tired out due to the influx of tourists during the holy week.  We saw jeepneys getting ready to leave with both locals and foreigners.  
  • Breakfast at Maferre Country Inn & Restaurant 
         At 7:30 a.m., we decided to eat breakfast at Maferre Country Inn & Restaurant.  There were a selected breakfast variants.  Mainly either omelette's or pancakes.  All of us ordered ham, cheese and mushroom omelettes which came with wheat bread and a slice of mango.  We also had their native coffee (worth 20 php same price as their instant coffee).  It wasn't as aromatic as I expected it to be.  The coffee we had in Kafalig Coffee shop on the way to Sagada even tasted better.

Daftar Harga BB BlackBerry Mei 2011

Informasi tentang Daftar Harga BlackBerry Mei 2011. Mulai saat ini dan kedepan saya akan mencoba membagikan informasi seputar harga-harga gadget handphone BlackBerry perbulan. Daftar harga hp BlackBerry Mei 2011 ini akan selalu diupdate setiap bulan agar info ponsel BlackBerry di blog ini akan selalu di update tiap bulannya. Harga ini cuma sebagai patokan saja, belum tentu sama dengan harga sebenarnya di pasaran.

Berikut daftar Harga BlackBerry Mei 2011 :
BlackBerry Torch 9800 : Gr.Resmi:Rp.4.900.000
BlackBerry Bold 9700 : Harga Baru : Rp.3.850.000,- Harga Second : Rp.2.850.000,-
BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Harga Baru : Rp. 4,150,000,-
BlackBerry 9300 Curve 3G : Harga Baru : Rp. 2,550,000,-
BlackBerry Bold 9000 : Harga Second: Rp.1.850.000,
BlackBerry 9800 Torch : Harga Baru : Rp.4.900.000,-
BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Harga Second : Rp.3.000.000,-
BlackBerry Pearl 8120 : Harga Second : Rp.Rp.1.050.000,-
BlackBerry Tour 9630 : Harga Second : Rp.1.900.000,-

BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 : Harga Baru : Rp.3.150.000,-
BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 : Harga Baru : Rp.2.520.000,-
BlackBerry Storm2 9550 : Harga Second: Rp.2.450.000,-
BlackBerry 8320 : Harga Second : Rp.1.000.000,-
BlackBerry Gemini 8520 : Harga Baru : Rp.2.175.000,- Harga Second : Rp.1.600.000,-
BlackBerry Javelin 8900 : Harga Second: Rp. 1,950,000,-
BlackBerry Storm 9500 : Harga Second: Rp.1.800.000,-
BlackBerry 8220 : Harga Second : Rp.1.200.000,-
BlackBerry Curve 8310 : Harga Second : Rp.900.000,-
BlackBerry Aries 8530 : Baru: Rp. 2,150,000,- Harga Second: Rp. 1,600,000,

Semoga daftar harga hp bb blackberry terbaru mei 2011 ini bisa menjadi sebuah patokan apabila anda semua mau membeli hp tersebut. Semoga bermanfaat untuk semua yang membaca artikel ini dan sewaktu waktu harga hp blackbarry terbaru ini bisa berubah. Lihat juga daftar harga hp samsung, motorola, sony ericsson,  dan nokia.

Arrival at Sagada and dinner at Yoghurt House (Day 3 Part 2)

  • Route to Sagada
After a few hours, we finally saw a sign to Sagada.  We followed the sign into a dangerous dusty, rocky and steep path.  It was so narrow that I couldn't tell how it could be a 2 way road.  Outside our window, we could see how we could fall into abyss with just a slight mistake in driving.  After an hour, we saw a green wooden board sign "Welcome to Sagada" but it was only 20 minutes after that we entered the small town proper.

  • St. Joseph Rest House

It was 5:20 p.m. when we arrived at St. Joseph Rest House.  We had already reserved our stay for two nights for two cottages (similar structure) with the capacity of 8 persons each (worth 7,000 php x 2) two weeks ahead.  They have been texting us since 1 p.m. and were eager for our arrival.  We immediately entered into the uphill vicinity of the rest house.  We went to the reception area and were told that we were just in time since the receptionist had to leave by 6:00 p.m.  
  •  Stauton Cabin
We were guided to Stauton Cabin were we left all our belongings.  We were impressed how the cabin looked.  It was a two-floor cabin with four queen-sized beds.   It had a table on small dining area at the first floor.  It also had a sala on the second floor.  There was only one restroom but it was clean and the showers had heaters.  The cabin was cold even with the windows closed and without any airconditioner or fans.  

  •  Sagada Tourist Register
We were informed that tourists should register at the Sagada Tourist Register so we went there.  We looked at there tour packages posted therein and decided we wanted to try the cave connection (duration 4 hours)  It was too late to try anything because it was nearly evening so we were advise to register and go on a tour the next morning.  

  • Sagada souvenir shops

While my other companions searched for our dinner place, some of us went to visit souvenir shops.  All of the souveneir shops and eating places there were along the downhill road from the municipal hall and tourist register.  There were jams, caps, t-shirts, tea, peanut brittles, lengua de gato, wines, magnets, key chains, woven products and more.  I bought a T-shirt for Kurt for 160 php.   After having free tastes, we also bought large size of blueberry jams (worth 85 php) at "Gabay Fruit Wines".  We also passed by their market where my aunt bought fresh strawberries and passion fruits.  It looked like a an unfurnished two-story building.  We also passed by a cafe that says "Cosmic tea" and it got us curious but we never got to try it.

Do you know what is cosmic tea?
  • Yoghurt House

We ate dinner at Yogurt House.  The place was busy and packed.  They even had to decline foreigners who come in to eat.  Some of my companions ate at the second floor while we ate at the first floor.  The place was nice and simple.  It has a cozy western feel to it.  Foreigners prefer to drink their tea at the second floor balcony.  They are very friendly and greet all those who pass by.  While waiting for the food, some of us bought first their souvenirs.  The orders took so long that even after others went shopping, their food still hasn't arrived.  We also had to go to the counter to have additional orders and do follow ups since the waitresses were too busy to pay us any attention.  

Chicken in Basil Pasta
I ordered chicken in basil pasta (worth 130 php).  First thing I noticed is that it had lots of cheese.  It was delicious since the basil was not overwhelming.  It was perfectly blended to add flavor to the chicken.  I also enjoyed the chunks of fresh tomatoes which gave a sweetish sour taste.      All of their dishes (average price of 130 php) were delicious.  They serve their local red rice and their vegetables are fresh. 

Beef Salpicao

Vegetable Fried Rice
Roast Chicken on top of Potato Rosti (potato hash)
Strawberry, banana and granola yoghurt
For desert, we ordered Strawberry, banana and granola (all the toppings possible) greek-style yoghurt (worth 90 php).  I really liked it.  It was sour and the texture was just right.  But my relatives didn't like it as much since they were unfamiliar with the sourness and the texture.  

Mountain Tea
The mountain tea (worth 40 php) is very good too.  The leaves are only available in Sagada.  It tasted somewhat lightly minted and herbal.  It was very soothing.  


Being tired from the long travel, I was so sleepy I wanted to go back to the rest house as soon as I finished eating.  I forgot my small blue bag hanging in the seat that night.  It had all of my essential belongings even my camera.  I only realized that I forgot it around 2 a.m.  From then, I had a hard time sleeping.  The next morning, I knocked (despite them being closed) and the store keeper opened the door and I asked about it and luckily it  was still hanging at the chair.  The keeper said it a good thing no one noticed and took it.  I felt so relieved as well.  

*Photos by: Jewellyn, Angeli and Krizia