Our Town: Sagada, Mt. Province

Here’s a video of Sagada courtesy of Luke Abeya Torrevillas. The video has some really great scenes of Sagada’s cloud-kissed mountains, a few scenes from the town market, and some footages of iSagadas celebrating at the A-7 House, one of the town’s several guest houses.

I’m sure you already know that Sagada is a fairly famous tourist destination. It is the third most popular tourist draw in the Cordilleras after Baguio City and Banaue. Not unexpectedly, tourism has been both a blessing and a curse to the town and its people.

The blessing would consist mainly of the income realized by tourist guides and businesses which cater to tourists. The opportunity for iSagada’s to have cross-cultural encounters with tourists would also be considered a blessing. These encounters, I believe, help locals to be a little more open-minded and to develop a little more sophistication despite the fact that they are from the boondocks. I can’t think of any other rural town in the country that would have that little bit of cosmopolitan feel that Sagada manages to have despite its remoteness and its small population ( about 11,000).

On the other hand, tourism has had some negative effects to the community. The obvious ones would be drugs and garbage. Some tourists go to Sagada precisely to look for marijuana. I’m sure they can easily find what they are looking for. Meanwhile, practically all tourists generate garbage while in town which they then leave behind when they head off for some other destination. The iSagadas, the ones left behind, would have to do the cleaning. Picture this: A tourist would throw her napkin into a river; it then heads downstream to where Sagada kids are learning how to swim. The actual picture may not be exactly as described but its occurrence is not impossible.

Garbage and drugs would be the obvious negative effects of tourism. A listing of the not so obvious ones would have to include the contributory effects of tourism in the erosion of the iSagadas indigenous lifeways. We hope to explore this further in a future post.

RELATED POSTS: And Then the President Came to Town (Part 1 and Part 2); Other Our Town posts: Asipulo, Ifugao; Bucay, Abra; Sta. Marcela, Apayao; Bakun, Benguet. VIDEO CREDIT: Luke Abeya Torrevillas.

10 thoughts on “Our Town: Sagada, Mt. Province”

  1. Impressive video! Bill, have Sir Luke provide us w/ more showing also, Besao, Bauko, Sabangan and Kiltepan. More power to him.
    Off topic: Bill – yes, there is a person named Junifer, younger brod of Jupiter, the mayor of Sabangan.
    I grew up with him along w/Lulu Tabanda (ex-vice mayor), and Danny Farinas (ex-vice mayor also). Goodhealth to all….


  2. Hi TruBlue,
    Ang galing no? I think the one who made it is a professional documentarist/film maker. I don’t really know him but will be on the lookout for videos that he will upload at Youtube.


  3. ahh, yes…. Sagada. I’m planning to be there in about 9 months for a family reunion in kilong. hey, if you’re in the area, we might run into each other. sabe me you’re from sagada, di ba? 😀

  4. It’s always a dillema when such a prestine place like Sagada is shared with the rest of the world, it’s always the outsiders that come and trash it. I hope to visit your town someday, I’ve heard such lovely comments about it. Thanks for dropping by our site and your comment.


  5. Hi Wil,
    Actually I’m based in Quezon City but I do occasionally go home to Sagada. Nine months from now would be December right? Then we might run into each other cause I think I will go home around then. Let’s have Pidlisan coffee in town 🙂

    Hi Babot,
    You are correct. It is really a dilemma. On the one hand, it’s good because some locals have a source of income. On the other hand, there are social costs to tourism. But it is a good place to visit, so I hope you will visit it someday.

    Thanks for dropping by too and for the link 🙂

  6. halo admin. First, i have to admit that i am still in letter ‘a’ in my computer literacy. How come that i can not view properly the videos here. palalo’y nabayag ya santo pute-puted pay. Has it something to do with the pc i’m using or what kaya??? please help. I wish also to look at them. thanks.

  7. Hi Sak-en,
    Hehe, I’m also clueless when it comes to the technical side of computers or the internet so I can’t say kung ano ang problema.

    But if you are using a modem (dial-up) like me, mabagal talaga to watch videos especially if your internet service provider (ISP) is slow. What I usually do is to double click the video and this will lead me directly to youtube. It goes faster a little bit. If it stops without loading the whole thing, I just click at the reload button.

    But the problem could also be your computer.

    You might want to try this video here, it’s only 19 seconds so it would take a short time to play. If it works, baka mabagal lang talaga ang ISP mo.

    Hope this helps. Remember though that hindi din ako knowledgeable sa mga bagay na ito. Sana some readers would have some ideas/suggestions.

    Thanks 🙂

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