I sat there in complete darkness and waited. It was 4:30 in the morning. Soon, the sun cracked and peeked through the mountains and clouds.
Colors changed slowly as the sky lightened. I was at the mountaintop, below me was the sea of clouds, and as the sunrays gently touched my face, the cold air embraced my whole body.
I breathed and sat still in this huge open space as I marveled at the breathtaking wonder of nature.
This was sunrise, right before my eyes. And with it, there was just silence and peace.
It is this priceless experience that makes me go back to Sagada time and again, no matter how arduous the journey to get there is. Every visit is distinct from the last time.
I think I have developed this curious hobby of collecting sunrises. I have built a trove of photographs of the Philippine sunrise, each one a different moment in time.
My last sojourn last month to the Mountain Province took me to four sunrises—one in Baguio, two in Sagada and one in Maligcong, Bontoc. Each was unlike the other. Each was spectacular. Each brought me joy, healing and strength.
When commuting by bus, it is best to stay at Salt and Pepper Lodge Inn since it is near the market and jeepney stations, leading to different tourist spots.
Aside from the more popular Kiltepan Peak, Marlboro Hills is my favorite. It’s not popular among tourists and you could be alone watching the sunrise and the sea of clouds.
In Bontoc, I stayed at Suzette’s Lodge. We climbed Mount Kofafey to see the Maligcong Rice Terraces below. Accommodation fee is P350 a night at Salt and Pepper Lodge Inn and Suzette’s Lodge. Other places to stay in Sagada are Rock Inn, St Joseph’s Resthouse, and Sagada Homestay Inn. —CONTRIBUTED