God’s intervene ~ new Friends

We are lucky to found new friends along the way… in our journey… in our travels… especially when we were bound and intertwine for a reason.

This goes my story meeting new friends in Sagada.

Upon arrival of Ohayami bus in Banaue, we planned to hire tricycle for our Banaue viewpoint/s trip. We walk and search for a tricycle, but heat and exhaustion knock us.  Since we arrived late, we decided to continue our trip straight to Sagada. A jeepney in front of our Ohayami bus call out for passenger bound directly to Sagada, luckily we were discounted for a tricycle fare bound to the bus and jeepney terminal and energy for commuting to Bontoc then to Sagada.

The passengers consist of 3 groups, a solo man and a child. The child will be drop-off to a town which is 3 towns away from Banaue. A solo man from Bataan (overheard) goes straight to Sagada. The 3 groups consist of 1 – me and my companions (6 pax), 2 – Essel and her friends (4 pax) and 3 – a group of 7-8pax (not sure since they were in the top of the jeepney or what we call Top load).


I and my husband sit beside the driver, and his 2 brother, his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend sits inside the jeep. Jon (my husband’s brother) chats a little with Essel group – they discussed our schedule for departing Sagada and our route. Our plan is the similar; we will both leave by Saturday via baguio.

When we arrived in Sagada, we separate ways; and then we were informed in the Tourism information that there will be no buses travelling bound to Baguio on Friday and Saturday (in relation to Holy week). We decide to take chances and try our luck; we thought of going to Bontoc then Baguio. Our second option is to hire transportation direct to baguio but this will be expensive for us. We finalized ~ come what may or we will cross the bridge when Saturday comes.

Reasons why we have to reach Baguio in Saturday:

  1. Lea, my husband’s cousin’s girlfriend has an exam on Sunday. She’s a nurse and I can’t remember what type of exam she’s dealing with.
  2. Sagada is full of holy week tourist so we don’t want to get crashed in long lines of chance passenger and difficulty with transportation nor expensive fare to reach Baguio
  3. Same with Sagada, baguio is over crowded with tourist, we need to get out within Saturday or we have too endure long lines of chance passenger in Bus terminals and a jam pack traffic going to manila in Sunday

We come across with Essel group in Sumaguing cave but didn’t have the chance to talk since we were too busy with our picture taking.

Later on, we were regretful for not even asking for their number since we come up with the decision to rent our transportation to Baguio and not risk in taking chances going to Bontoc. After our spelunking adventure, we hope to see them again and inform them our new plan that will match with their plan too – going to Baguio on Saturday. Until we finished our dinner in Masfarre and head toward our lodge, we wish to see them again…

The next day, we were bound for Kiltepan viewpoint for sunrise sightseeing. And the thought of seeing them their missed our mind – we focus on the cold morning, the sight of sun rise in front of us and the large crowd blocking our way not mentioning the car that blocked our van.

We continue our escaped to Bomod-ok falls, and the meeting was intertwine. Essel group is enjoying their bath in the cold water of Bomod-ok falls, and I arrived and immerse immediately.  We looked into each other and recognized that we were the same group, both looking for each other, with same plans – renting a van to transport us.  I instantly asked for Essel’s number and chat for a while then we continue our individual bath.

After Bomod-ok falls we returned to our lodge for a proper wash-up then have our late lunch and continue our tour. Jon texted Essel for meeting so that we can discuss our plan. They agree to have a dinner together, but later on were cancelled since they ate already. We met again in Echo Valley while we both have our separate tour. And finalize to meet again tomorrow by 5:30 am in the Municipal hall.

Come to think of it, when we were hoping and wishing to see each other, faith did not allow us. But later on we bump each other every now and then.


Our plan happened next day, and we travel from Sagada to Baguio for 5 hours (almost). We were lucky that the driver is willing to stop-over in the highest point of Philippine highway system for photo op.

We chat and have our different stories inside the van while we head toward Baguio. We both love traveling and the irony of working as priority that conflict our travel schedule most of the time.



Again, we met for a reason…

Mary Essel Moral Ocampo
Joan Miranda
Francies Chu
Rowena Toledo

Till next time…


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