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Northern Philippines • Sagada Sunrise

Fresh out of the shower I see Xopau and Stef talking by her room door and they asked if I wanted to tag along with them for a late night dessert. Seeing as I didn’t feel like sleeping or being alone, we all went together to the Sagada Lemon Pie House.

Guess what we had.

The pie was pretty good, but there wasn’t much going on at the place, so we left and walked along the town’s main street looking for other places of interested and we ended up at another dessert place, Sagada Brew, which unlike the Lemon Pie House did all their desserts in-house and had a wider selection.

So all three of us went in for a second round of treats, making sure to get a different one so each could taste something different. Apparently our small recon mission had switched to a “stay up all night twitching with the sugar shakes” type of deal.

Interestingly enough, we also stumbled upon the group of kids from the Porn Cave. We sat on the table next to them and somehow during our conversation Stef grabbed hold of one of the kids and ended up arranging that we meet with them early in the morning to see the Sagada sunrise at Kiltepan Peak.

To be honest, I was so tired at the time, that I could have easily passed, but the kids on the other table were pretty fun and everyone was egging me to go. Later I would find out they were encouraging me because a few of the kids in the group were actually gay and one of them kinda had a thing for me, which I never noticed until we were back at the hostel that night. My gaydar is the worst.

The next morning we woke up at around 4 and were met by the kids in their 4×4 truck. They were riding along with the guide who knew how to get there, a 16 year-old skinny kid who also happened to be the town’s weed dealer. Suddenly I was glad I didn’t skip on this.

We were freezing for a bit and it took a while to see the sun come up, but the bottom line? Pretty hot sunrise, I give it a 9/10, would wake up early in the morning to see it again. See for yourself!

Northern Philippines • Sagada Sunrise

After two days in the mountains, Stef was moving on and said I could come along if I wanted to. Seeing as I was still clueless about what to do I agreed to follow her, but sadly, Xopau had to part ways with us since she had to return to Manila for work on Monday.

Suddenly I felt like the glue that kept us together was dissolving and I feared being on a trip with Stef while she was on Terminator mode. Luckily, that wouldn’t be the case at all.

As soon as Xopau left for her room, we agreed to get our things ready and check out of the hostel. Stef already had most of her stuff set up, so she went to the Yoghurt House to get some breakfast. Seeing as things were already getting a bit tense, I decided not to join and instead buy some things to eat on the road at the many groceries stands in town.

I went up and down the main street a few times, first to get money at the only ATM by the post office and then to check out what I could buy. The whole time I could feel Stef’s gaze leering from the balcony of the Yoghurt House, like a hawk trying to figure out if she’d kill me in my sleep or let me live.

To my surprise (and relief) once we met back at the hostel she said a new travel buddy was tagging along with us. Apparently they had met each other right there at the Yoghurt House and this person was also on the way to Banaue, but didn’t have anyone to tag along with. Stef said we had to hurry and meet her at 11 a.m. by the post office.

A few minutes later, we started walking towards the town entrance and out of the side of the road pops out a platinum blonde girl with a huge smile and a huge backpack and huge sunglasses covering her eyes. Now I’m stunned like an idiot and all I can do is nod when she says “hi, I’m Paulyne”, with her playful French accent.

This trip was about to get even more real.

Welcome to The Big Journey. Where a Panamanian roams the Earth in search for purpose, adventure and answers. Part of the Pateando Calle series, find the archive here. Thank you for tagging along.

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