The route: Dad put this together to help me explain it after I told him all about the trip:
And then there was another church before evening, the one in Busao, where Ma'am Bridget is from:
We stopped at the church right before sunset, then headed over to Ma'am Bridget's aunt's house, which was free for the night. Her aunt and uncle are currently living in the US, so any time family shows up back in Busao, they stay over at that house or with others at the family compound.
The next day was exploring Sagada. First up, caves! Now, I didn't get any pictures of within the cave I went climbing in, because I knew better than to take my camera in and expect anything to come out. So instead, here's a picture of me with my guide after we came out, both soaking wet from the water running through the cave system:
They stopped and bought me some spare clothing so I wouldn't be walking the rest of the day in soaking wet jeans, and then we went to the church in Sagada, which has an amazing altar:
We also went to the museum in Sagada, which was full of artifacts of the Cordillera region and the Igorot lifestyle, but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside. Suffice it to say, it was an anthropologist's dream, all collected by one woman over the course of 30 years, and the museum was only started after she fought off cancer.
The next day was Sunday, and we took the long way back to Baguio to stop at Banaue Rice Terraces, something which used to be the 7th wonder of the world:
We stopped in a few gifts shops, and had the day of the hats:
And also a picture of a wooden scooter carved to look like a dragon, because why wouldn't you take a picture of that?
We also stopped at the Kiangan Shrine, where the last Japanese in the Philippines surrendered after WW2:
By mid-afternoon, we were driving through some of the lowlands as we circled back to Baguio, and ran into this resort:
We also visited our driver's family farm, and got bananas for an afternoon snack:
We were almost back to Baguio when we made our last stop, at the hydro-electric dam that powers half of Northern Luzon:
After that, it was driving through the dark back up to Baguio, and getting all of us out and back to our homes. I think all of us slept for a good chunk of the following Monday.