Holy Week escapade: Inns, homestays in Sagada fully booked
275 kilometers north of Manila, the town of Sagada has successfully engraved its mark in the Philippine map as one of the best tourist destinations for its mystical caves, waterfalls and towering mountain peaks.
Sagada’s tourism arrivals as well as Baguio City were further boosted with several movies like Mike De Leon’s Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising in 1977 starring Christopher De Leon and Hilda Coronel featuring unpaved roads and pine log cabins.
The latest movie was Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana starring Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman featuring the Kiltepan view site offering a beautiful site to the Kiltepan rice terraces and a perfect view during sunrise. (READ: The Baguio, Sagada tour inspired by 'That Thing Called Tadhana')
But Alma Louise Bagano, a resident of Sagada, advised as early as March that all rooms in the registered inns and some home stays were already fully booked.
“So that you will enjoy your long weekend with fewer frustrations, plan your vacation somewhere else and come to Sagada next time by making reservations as early as two months before your vacation,” Bagano said, for the benefit of those who have not made bookings yet.
In an interview with Robert Pangod, municipal tourism officer of Sagada, he confirmed that indeed the 54 inns and pension houses in the town can no longer accommodate visitors as they are fully booked. The inns and pension houses have a total bedding capacity of 2,600 individuals excluding 40 homestays that are being utilized during peak seasons.
Pangod said that Poblacion, Sagada, where most of the accommodations facilities are located, has a carrying capacity of 3,500 visitors but this population would already cause road congestions and water shortage.
“Sometimes we cannot contain the number of visitors during holidays, especially walk-ins, so we endorse accommodations outside the town like inns and hotels in nearby Bontoc, Mt. Province,” Pangod said.
In the past 5 years, at least 20,000 tourists visited Sagada annually but in 2014, the Municipal Tourism Office recorded a total of 54,970 visitors. From January to February this year, Pangod said there were 23,000 tourists monitored by his office. – Rappler.com