We arrived in Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines looking for Dan Sibayan, who had guided me and some friends when we last viisted Sagada during Holy Week. Through careful interrogation of townsfolk, we discovered Dan is working in Japan.
So we showed up at the municipal hall to register as tourists and see if they could recommend a guide for us. We looked over the menu of options. A trip to the big falls (four hours round trip), a visit to the caves (six hours at most), a one-night trek, a few day hikes — this isn’t what we came for. Can we have a guide for a week-long hike into the remote parts of Kalinga and Abra Provinces, where there’s no electricity, little contact with the outside world, and where traditional ways of life persist? We’ll have to think about it, they told us. Come back the next morning.
Zach and I were so full of ganas that we set out on a little hike that I had done a few months ago with Dan as guide. We took a wrong turn and our little walk turned into a full blown seven-hour journey to Besao through jungle as the sun set on us.
At the time of this photo, we didn’t know that we still had another two hours of walking back to Sagada.