I visited Sadanga to see Bekigan and Focong Rice Terraces. I thought I have accomplished that when I toured the sloped roads of Brgy Poblacion. Turns out, that was only Bekigan. If not for a fellow motorcycle rider, I would not have known of Sacasacan and the Focong Rice Terraces it is hiding high up on the mountain. Sacasacan is one of the 8 barangays of Sadanga, Mountain Province. Getting there was not easy at all.
They were paving the road with concrete which should be a good thing when it’s done but while it was still on-going the road was in pretty bad shape with all the construction materials dumped everywhere. So after the most grueling 100-meter climb I ever did on a motorcycle, I was stumped on my tracks as the road was blocked with a mound of sand and gravel. It seems the only way over it was to TRY to cross it where it was lowest. But there’s a catch..
The catch is that the lowest portion happens to be only a foot away from the edge of the mountain. The cemented barrier might offer a little comfort that somehow something is between the road and the cliff, but it won’t do a motorcycle any good.
I wanted to turn around. I don’t care if I struggled going up here and end up struggling even more downhill. It’s unfortunate I will miss the Focong Rice Terraces but sometimes, that’s just how things are. Then I remembered the proud Sacasacan resident who forced me into this predicament. I imagined how he would be surprised I’m back so soon and how he would be so persistent I go back up here and give it another try. That would be more stressful. Haha! I revved the engine a few times, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, the hit the throttle. When I opened my eyes, I was on the other side! Yaaayy!!
The road from here on out was surprisingly in excellent condition. It was still a roller coaster ride of course but it’s manageable. I continued for 2 kilometers until there was no more road. It ended on a basketball court in front of the barangay hall. And there it was…
Focong Rice Terraces! It looks a little different because it is as high as the view point. Rice Terraces are more picturesque if you’re on an elevated vantage point because you get to see the wavy ridges better.
What I was amazed at is how it survives in the highlands. The whole mountain has been “terraced” almost up to it’s summit. Where are they getting the water for such a vast agricultural land? It only shows how well the Igorots understand this craft.
A woman who obviously has some sort of government position requested I sign in their tourist log book but couldn’t find the key to the barangay hall. She summoned a few people to look for whoever has the key. She begged that I wait so I chatted with some of the residents as I seize the opportunity to eat a light breakfast.
I was almost ready to go but they still don’t have the key. I waited a little longer until they found the key. I gladly signed the visitor’s log. I find it weird that it was important.
Sacasacan is not only good for viewing Focong Rice Terraces but Bekigan too. Of course, that includes Sadanga Poblacion and Brgy Belwang. In fact, the view here is better.
On top of a hill I spotted a school. The steep zigzag road leading up to it looked fun.
There were some kids playing basketball and while I got them distracted by the motorcycle, I grabbed the ball and took the shot beyond the arc. Like a pro, I kept my arm up after the follow through as the ball sailed towards the basket. It fell short. Way short! I was so embarrassed, I left right away. Haha!
And then, here comes the return trip. Ahh, this is going to be nerve-racking.
When I got to that problematic 100-meter rough(est) road, I literally inched my way down. I would secure a foothold, let go of the brakes, and let it roll then secure a foothold again. On the third time, I failed to secure my footing and even with the brakes engaged I kept rolling. I let go of the brakes, and raced against a few stones rolling alongside me. I spotted a decent path without much gravel and stopped safely after a few meters.
Slowly but surely, I was able to negotiate (surprisingly well, if I may add) the problem areas on the way down. Sometimes, I question the “Yield to Uphill Traffic Rule”.
It was almost 11AM when I got back on the main road. I wanted to pick up the pace a little but the road kept forcing me to slow down. Plus, another UNESCO (World Heritage) rice terraces is beckoning.
HELP!! The mountain spirits are enticing me with magnificent views I am forced to stop again and again. They won’t let me leave the Cordilleras!