It was a request from a friend who worked overseas.

Can we visit Sagada when I’m back in the Philippines?

Of course. Of course.

We set it up.

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***

Sagada to me is a weekend off with friends to a quiet town up in the mountains, a long road trip.

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Sagada is a quiet room in some retreat. It is foggy mornings. It is the hike to see hanging coffins or waterfalls.

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Sagada is waking up at 3 in the morning, and hiking for about an hour to see the sunrise above a sea of clouds. It is tasting wild blueberries on the way back. It is hitching a ride on the back of a truck.

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Sagada is the comfort you get to have with people you’ve known for a really long time — since high school, in our case. High school ended 14 years ago. Sagada means more secrets shared and inside jokes. It is arguments and fighting. It is making up.

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Photo Credit: Marj Ann Lozada

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