MOUNTAIN PROVINCE ..
If you don't have an invitation to stay with Dennis Faustino,
stay at St. Joseph's when visiting. From there it is an easy
hike to see the hanging caskets -- the main thing to see in Sagada.
My favorite part of the outreach
trip to Sagada was a cultural experience for the kids out into the
villages of the area. William Maske and his family were so
welcoming. William began our day with a hike to a waterfall.
He didn't tell us how far the hike was because he didn't want us
to decline. I knew how far the hike was. I had no desire
to hike it on a previous visit. I had no choice but to do
it with students. I kept thinking as we hiked, "Other
people hiked this before us carrying bags of cement to make these
steps!" There were 1,002 steps to get to the waterfall.
The climb down was exhausting but the waterfall was exceptionally
The next day everyone from
Manila climbed down a cave. In places we needed ropes to climb
down part of the 250 meters we explored. At the very bottom
of the cave was a pool of water. My boys assured me that the
waterfall the day before was much colder.
The return to Manila took 16 hours.
We had several stops along the way. At one place, I saw the
most disgusting thing I'd ever seen in the Philippines. It
was a local shop called McDoggies. Yes, there were roasted
dog heads hanging out front.