“My Baguio Trip”

An excerpt from an e-mail of Hella
July 19, 2009 (Sunday) 8:39A.M.

Hi teacher,

How have you been? How is your work going? Any new students? Well talking about me,
I am ok. I got here in Manila safe on Tuesday and I had a trip to upper Luzon as I planned. On Wednesday night, I left Manila for Banaue. I took the night bus and it took 10 hours. It was raining all day but I had to take this rice terraces tour right I got there. Even though I was really tired in the morning, I took this tour. It takes one and a half hour to get to Batad, where the rice terraces are. There starts the hiking. Because of the rain, the road was really slippery and water blocked my eyesight and it was really foggy. The road is so steep but my tour guide and I made it.

Rice terraces are really amazing. It is bigger and wider than I expected. There were only few tourists but we were all amazed by the fantastic view and the 2000 years of work. They are really old and the people there are keeping this tradition for thousands of years. I am sorry I can't show the pictures now. I will send them to you when I get back to Korea. After this tour, I was exhausted in the evening and I fell asleep as soon as I finished eating my dinner.
The next morning, I left Banaue for Sagada but there isn't any direct bus for Sagada. So, I went first to Bontoc and there I transferred to another jeepney via Sagada. Because of the rain for days, the road was all damaged. There were so many puddles and it was a disaster. There were so many land slides all over the places. It was really dangerous. Actually, it was a crazy idea to take a trip during this time but you know sometimes I become stubborn and must stick to my old decision.

Sagada is known for its coffins stuck in the cliff and cave tours. When I got there, it was noon. I didn’t have lunch, so I was very hungry. I got my dorm and started this tour again but this time with a Filipino couple. I know I have to be careful with strangers but I loved them. They were really nice, kind and helpful. Because of them, my trip became more meaningful. Anyway, I saw some coffins hung in the cliff and some coffins at the entrance of the cave. I didn't dare to go farther because of this damn rain.

The next morning, I wanted to go back to Manila. I was really sick and tired of the rain but the problem was there weren't any buses going there. The road was closed due to land slides. Usually, tourists go to Baguio and then move to Manila. But this time it was impossible. Instead of taking the ordinary route, I decided to go to Bontoc to take a cable tour bus that takes a different road. It takes twelve hours to travel back to Manila but I didn’t have a choice.
In the middle of the road, we encountered a land slide right in front of us. It just fell 50 meters before us. We could have been dead! Thank God we stopped and there we waited for help and assistance for one and a half hour. European tourists got really excited to see this. They seemed to enjoy this disaster. Well, I did too…., a little bit.. kkk… After around two hours, we started off and I got here in Manila four in the morning. I shared the taxi with an American guy and I got to my pension house safely. It was the toughest trip I've ever had but I really enjoyed it.
Well that's all for now. Today, I will have a relaxing time in my room. I miss you and your journalism class. That was the best thing I had in CELI. Thank you for everything you did for me.

Hella