Caves,Waterfalls and animal sacrifice

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sagada was a great, small mountain town. Everyone told us this was a must see, but after reading that it was famous for caves and waterfalls I was wondering how many more of these I could really enjoy. I was proved wrong!
The caves here were simply massive. We hiked around in the pitch black for 3 hours with only small headlamps. We were told we needed a guide but not wanting to pay for one we decided to ignore that little rule. There was a river running down this cave and it formed into awesome, swimable pools everywhere. As you can see from the pictures they were also really interesting to look at. We passed guides with their groups here and there but they did not really mind that we were alone. That is until one guide towards the end of our time decided to get crazy on us for not taking one. "You're very foolish tourist! Fuck you! You could die down here and no one would know!" He just kept repeating this. The funny thing was that we knew all the people in his group so after he yelled at us and we played the dumb card we went and shook hands with the people that were paying him. Thus making him look even more foolish, HA!
Later that day we went to some cliffs to check out the hanging coffins. This is a place where a certain tribe puts their dead in coffins afixed to the side of cliffs. The first coffin we came across was so old that that the bones of the dead guy had fallen through the coffin onto the ground below. That afternoon we hiked to a nice swimming hole and jumped off yet another waterfall.
That night we heard of a tribal festival for a good harvest that takes place two times a year. We ended up following a group of villagers back through a massivs maze of rice paddies back to their village. They had sacrificed a pig and a chicken and hung the bones on their hut. We sat around the fire drinking the mixture of soup made from the sacrificed animals out of an iron cauldron. All the while the villagers were dancing around the fire with gongs and drums. The vodka was flowing as well as the bettle nut. The tribe was happy to let us join in the dancing and gonging around the fire until the early morning.
After leaving the festival Dave and I got miserably lost in the maze of paddies in the night. All this while be persued by yet another ladyboy who had taken a liking to us.
We finally found our way home only to find that the ladyboy was staying next door to our room.
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gringograss on

nice trip!
im filipino, and i havent done this yet. Sagada is definitely on my list! one thing you've missed, though, is palawan. check it out some time.

aLie on

though it's really a great adventure spelunking is also dangerous, even with a guide... what more if you don't have one? if i'm a guide there, i think i would get annoyed as well... getting a guide is for your own sake. besides, it's not only for the money/payment that they want - it's for your safety... and if ever something bad happened to you it will be bad for the place's image... they wouldn't want that to happen...

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