Mt. Kiltepan, Sagada: A Sea of Clouds and Dreams

by - 1:00 PM

Nothing beats the quiet anticipation for the glorious sun to cast its first rays of light amidst a sea of soft rolling clouds. I wouldn’t get tired of waking up with this kind of view outside my window so getting to witness this even just for a day made me so much happy and appreciative of my life and what I have.

It all started on a cold and foggy November morning. I had set the alarm at 2:30 am but I woke up before it could even go off, even before the roosters start to crow. We didn’t have a definite plan on how to get to Mt. Kiltepan as the guides we spoke with yesterday didn’t send us a confirmation on whether they could come pick us up on a ride. 

Clad with a thick sweater and a bonnet to warm the ears, we stealthily made our way in the dark from Kanip-aw Lodge to the town center. The streets were deserted and all we could hear were the distant rumbling of a passing vehicle or the occasional rustling of the leaves with the cold wind brushing against our face.

Mr. Sun slowly peeking behind the mountains.

The SAGGAS (tour guide association of Sagada) office was still close so we just sat outside, taking turns in yawning and jumping to keep warm. Soon enough, lights were slowly turned on in nearby inns and we could hear sleepy people shuffling their feet as they walk their way to Mt. Kiltepan. We would have walked our way up too if not for the laborious 6 hour caving we had scheduled at 8 am on that very same day. We figured, if we would walk to and from Mt. Kiltepan (about 1.5 - 2 hours each way, 4 hours total), then we won’t have much energy to spare for the next activity. 

The quiet anticipation for the sun to rise is pretty much like our dreams in life - the best way to enjoy it is to watch it unfold one step at a time.

We waved hi to about 3 groups of  people already when we started to get a bit worried, where was the guide and the jeepney that will take us up the mountain? We must have had that worried look apparent on our faces that a kind old woman asked us what we were doing sitting outside in the cold. We told her our dilemma and asked her if she knows someone who has a jeepney that could take us up to Mt. Kiltepan. Without a fuss, she told us to follow her and she’ll try to ask her friends. The kind old lady was persistent to get us up to Kiltepan peak so after all the walking and asking around we finally found someone who was willing to set aside his warm cup of coffee to take us up the mountain.

Another take on the majestic sunrise.

At around 4 am, we were driving through the fog on paved and rough roads, passing by the other groups who seem like they were sleepwalking and reached the peak when there were just 5 people around. After buying a cup of coffee from a small store near the top, we found a nice and comfortable spot, propped up the camera and just waited for the sun to rise.

Soon enough throngs and throngs of people, either walking by foot or riding a jeepney or a van, clamber their way in search of their own perfect spot. The once peaceful and quiet place became noisy and crowded in just a matter of minutes. Somehow, the decision to ride a jeepney became a favorable decision for us since we were able to secure our own spot to wait for the sunrise.

Francis being contemplative while watching the sunrise.

Little by little the fog cleared and out came the first few rays of the sun peeking behind the mountains and like magic slowly transforming before our very eyes, the once blinding darkness became a glorious symphony of soft hues amidst a sea of rolling clouds - no longer a dream but a reality I got to experience for the first time in Sagada. 

What a wonderful world. :)

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