In a period of less than thirty days, it has already been my second time to visit Sagada. Other than the fact that a good friend of mine has decided to stay there for good and find the good life she longed for, Sagada as my destination is what I have considered sui generis. Although there may be more beautiful or adventurous places to go to, I find it the only one of its own class, unique and different in its own.
I was born and raised in the province, hence, the affinity to escape to rural areas. Still, I fell head over heels in love with Sagada. Although, both places (where I was born and Sagada) have that rural element of having a small community, slow-paced lifestyle and closeness to nature, still however, only Sagada had invoked in me that feeling of connection to everything. It had awakened in me something that I only experience fleetingly whenever I’m up in a plane looking down at the islands seeing how amazing the natural creations of mountains, seas and forests are. In return such perception akin to having seen before me a work of art, also presents to me that reality that I am only a dot and minute being compared to those massive natural structures that exist before my very own eyes.
When I went to Sagada, that fleeting moment became a day to day reality. Even if I only stayed there for less than a week per visit, I couldn’t escape that pervasive feeling of being conscious of the natural creations brought to me. That by virtue of such, I cannot deny or escape that responsibility to take care of it with all my being as the same with a person who is in love.
Yes, I have fallen in love again. This time with a place. And although I still have a lot to learn about it, I have committed myself to it: that I’d read more about it, take care of it and to make sure that its beauty which made me fall in love with it in the first place will never fade away.
To quote my six-year old godson, “hopes and dreams never die”. Hence, I fan with fire my dreams and hopes for Sagada, constantly thirsting for more of it because I have found that sui generis. The only one.
I do not plan to let go.
Article and Images by Atty. Chi Padayao