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Warning to fellow parents: I think it is a must for each and every parent to first go to Sagada and go to the actual treks themselves before involving any other children or even spouse. See for yourself, take pics, videos, experience the trek before you get your entire family to jump in. Honestly, if I had gone trekking by myself to all the 3 treks… Pongas Falls, Balangigan Cave and Marlboro Country… the only child friendly trek would be Marlboro Country… I would not have taken my kids to Pongas falls nor Balangigan Cave. I would have waited until they were teenagers.
The rewards after having experienced and survived the risks. Our 8 year old 2nd son survived a 10 foot fall in the rice terraces… luckily no injury! (If that fall happened in the waterfalls, he would have died.) Again that 8 year old 2nd son and our 7 year old young daughter in the relatively safe Marlboro Country hills… almost had a tragic accident if it were not for my parental presence of mind. These 2 children were competing against one another on who gets what wild strawberry the guides and other grown ups point to. There was one particular instance when there was a strawberry bush in front of me and someone pointed that out. The 2 young kids scrambled, running almost diving to compete to see who gets the strawberry first… if they were left all to themselves, would have fallen to their DOOM as this was at the edge of a CLIFF they could not perceive at their short stature. But the cliff was evident to me as their dad at adult height. So I shouted out loud and was able to grab a hold off both of them! And showed them the folly of their ways how they may have fallen off hundreds of feet down.
The rewards? It’s the human mountain life experience. We urbanites have been sheltered for too long in the city with every attempt to make things safe and convenient for us. There are no tricycles, no jeeps, it’s all walk up and down. We are woken up to the true nature of things in the mountains. There are no life guards, there are no police men, there are no safety engineers… danger is everywhere, cliffs are everywhere and you must use your brain to learn it all… and the natives of Sagada have it in their instincts. Their children grow up strong and hardy and smart… those who survive, that is.
So coming to the end of our Sagada trip, what do I think of Sagada? Awesome! I love it. I want to come back, relax, take leisurely Marlboro Country type safe treks, adults only… maybe for planning, for recharging, rest and planning sounds good. Maybe next time check in to a hotel with broadband internet connections.
I make no excuses for my need for an internet connection, I’m a network administrator and I do need internet to manage servers that may require my attention.
End of 3 parts.