Solo Walk to Sagada Pottery and Lake Danum

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The last activity I did during my first trip to Sagada was to visit Lake Danum. Checking out the lake is the least activity being done by people traveling to Sagada since they only focus on spelunking in the caves, trekking to the falls, witnessing the sunrise in Kiltepan and restaurant hopping. Only those groups who trek to Mt. Ampacao get to visit the lake.

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Panoramic shot of Lake Danum. “Danum” means water in the local dialect.

Since the group I joined for the Sagada tours decided to go home ahead of time, I decided to walk the distance between Sagada proper and the lake which is about 3 hours back and forth including the time spent in dropping by at Sagada Pottery.

Before embarking the trek, I dropped by at Ganduyan Museum, however, they didn’t allow me to enter since the curator was out. I asked some locals on how to get to the lake. Some told me that if I’m going to walk, it will take me 4 hours in total, while others said it’s only 1 hour per way. The owner of Alibama Inn told me that I can charter a habal-habal that could bring me straight to the lake, but asking for the rate which was 300 if I remember it right, I just decided to walk.

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Ub Ubbo showcases the magnificent works of the Sagada potters.

From Sagada proper, I just traced the cemented way going up passing by the Log Cabin. I’m a bit nervous walking along the street since there were no people, and I’m alone. While walking, a motorcycle being driven by an American passed me by. I thought of hitch-hiking if ever he’s also going to the lake, but I am determined to trek it all the way.

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When I remembered that Sagada Pottery is along the road going to the lake, I started to search for any sign. After a couple of minutes, I saw the small mark leading to the pottery. And to my surprise, the American having the motorcycle was also there.

As I climbed the way up to the pottery, a lady, whom I found to be Siegrid, got off the jeep from Sagada. She asked me to go inside the pottery and check out the collections. The American was already interviewing one of the potters as I stepped inside the pottery house. He was asking about the types of soil being used, the length of time for it to be soaked in water and others.

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I just went around and checked their wonderful crafts. They have a collection of vases, jars, pots and different wares having various sizes and shapes. Ub Ubbo is the name of the in-house collection with the tagline “Working and Sharing.”

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Kiln used to bisque-fire the jars, pots, and vases.

When I already got enough photos, I asked her on how to go to Lake Danum. Since there are no available marks, she just instructed me to, “Just go on with the road, if you reached the cemented path (the road from Sagada to the Pottery and a kilometer more is not cemented) just go with it and the first cemented road on the left will lead you to the lake.” She also told me that it will take me 45 minutes more before reaching that road. I thanked her and bade goodbye.

I found myself trailing the undeveloped road. Some buses and jeepneys going to Besao passed by that road. I wanted to ask the drivers if they’re going to pass by the lake but I’m still determined in discovering it on my own.

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Sunset is best viewed here, but it was cloudy that time.

After a thousand steps, I reached the said road. Bushes of plants and trees flung at the sides and made me nervous that someone might get out there and grab me. I reached the lake with a group of people enjoying the view. I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to them since they already left when I got there. After taking some pictures, it started to rain and I was the only person in the lake.

I just tried to appreciate the view for a moment and decided to leave. Going back to the main road, the rain suddenly stopped. I’m so glad. But by the time I reached the pine trees on a part of the road, the rain fell so hard.

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View of the Sagada proper from a higher point.

Luckily, I was under the pine trees which I used as a shelter to avoid the hard pour of the rain. I was praying for it to stop so I can continue my trek going back to Sagada proper. After a few minutes, the rain stopped. I continued my walk and thanking Him for it. Since it was the day before my 22nd birthday, I was able to reflect with regards to what I’m doing with my life for the past years. Few years ago, I went to the metro to find the perfect job for me. I started to travel and it widens my horizon which is now a way for me to breathe, enjoy life and appreciate every moment of it.

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