Do you remember the movie That Thing Called Tadhana? We must admit that when Mace (played by Angelica Panganiban) cried and screamed her lungs out at the gorgeous sea of clouds seen from Mt. Kiltepan, it made us want to pack our bags and get on the first bus to Sagada for a much-needed break. We wouldn’t mind feasting on a healthy vegetarian meal and a cup of brewed coffee at Gaia Cafe and Crafts, too.
Sagada has undeniably gained more foot traffic in recent years and it’s now one of the go-to places for a vacation. After you’ve taken a tour of Sagada’s Hanging Coffins, gone spelunking at Sumaguing Caves, or channeled your inner Mace at Mt. Kiltepan, one of the things you can take home with you (besides a camera full of picture-perfect moments) are all the delicious food for pasalubong.
Here are the different Sagada specialities you can buy in this small town:
1 Lemon Pie
If Laguna is famous for their buko pie, Sagada is famous for its lemon pie. You can find this tart pie with a fluffy meringue layer at Sagada Lemon Pie House. Make sure to buy this on your last day as it is a perishable food item that has to endure the 9 to 12-hour drive back to Manila.
Sagada Lemon Pie House is located at South Road, Sagada, Mountain Province.
Most of the restaurants in Sagada serve rice meals with brown rice, red rice, or heirloom rice. You can find these special types of rice at a more affordable price (compared to Manila’s supermarket prices) at the public market or bayan, located below the tourism office. If you’re on the hunt for fresh produce, you can also find cheap fresh fruits and vegetables here.
If you’re looking for quality coffee, one should look no further than what’s already abundant in our land! There are tons of coffee plantations in and around Sagada, some of which even offer a tour of their plantation. You can find locally-grown Arabica coffee beans. Plus, there’s also the infamous civet coffee which you can find at Bana’s Cafe and Restaurant.
Bana’s Cafe and Restaurant is located at South Road, Sagada, Mountain Province.
4 Mountain Tea Leaves
Sagada is known for its cool climate, which makes drinking anything warm a thousand times more enjoyable. Aside from coffee, you can also enjoy a cup of hot mountain tea in most of Sagada’s cafes and eateries. The public market and souvenir shops offer this in packs that you can bring home with you. You can easily prepare this by steeping the leaves in hot water and add a bit of honey or sugar.
What’s a Sagada trip without the exhilarating ride along Halsema Highway? This road is known for its access to a spectacular view of the mountains and driving above a sea of clouds. If you have a private vehicle, you can make a quick stop at the stalls along the highway that offer fresh produce, like lettuce, broccoli, potatoes, and cucumber. Just make sure to wrap and store them properly!
6 Sagada Oranges
A famous Sagada activity is orange-picking at Rock Inn and Cafe’s orchard. Oranges are best harvested around November to January, the coolest months of the year. You can spend an hour or two of your morning or afternoon picking oranges at this inn, plus you can also eat them while you’re picking them, too!
Rock Inn and Cafe is located at Staunton Road, Sagada, Mountain Province.
Etag is a slab of pork preserved by rubbing it with salt and then letting it smoke-dry or sun-dry (it’s like the Cordilleran version of bacon). This is usually used for a regional dish in the Cordillera known as the pinikpikan. If you want to explore the different types of dishes you can do with etag, you can find these in the public market.