By: Francis B. Degay
Sagada, Mountain Province- More than 100 tourists, both domestic and foreign, queue at the Kiltepan viewpoint to observe the marvellous sunrise every weekend and holidays.
Another venue for the sunrise watching is “Marlboro Country” which takes about 45 minutes to one hour depending on the pace of guests.
Kiltepan is an acronym of Kilong, Tetep-an and Antadao, barangays of Sagada located at the Eastern side. Accordingly, the name “Marlboro Country” was given to the place due to the presence of several rocks.
As early as 4 o’clock in the morning, some guests are ferried or walk from their hotels to either Kiltepan or Marlboro Country to observe daybreak before they proceed to other destinations.
While waiting for the sun to peep, visitors may enjoy sipping coffee or eating simple breakfast of noodles in cups, boiled eggs, bread and cookies. For some, puff cigarettes or squat nearby a piled of burning pine logs to warm their bodies. At Kiltepan, one permanent structure and three stalls display these food items. According to the three store owners, during the lean season each of them can earn an average revenue of P300.00 for a period of one to two hours and more than P1, 000.00 during peak season.
The stall owners started the business last December. In the past, they observed that tourists need coffee and food to take in while waiting for the sun to rise. They only put up the stalls during weekends and holidays. According to them, the revenues generated have great effect especially in procuring food and allowances of their children.
As the sun starts to peep, the fogs and clouds that seemed to serve as curtain slowly disperse and the magnificent green mountains and Kiltepan rice terraces appear.
Sagada town is a famous traveller destination in northern Luzon. Amid caves, waterfalls, rice terraces, the place has cool climate, fresh and natural environment and culture that is worth enjoying.