I first heard about Marlboro Country, Sagada while watching one of Howie Severino‘s documentaries on I-Witness. I have already been to Mountain Province four times when the episode aired so I was very surprised that no one has ever told me about the wild horses.
The story ends somewhat sad for these once proud steeds. There are only three of them left galloping along the meadows and hills of Lamangan – a barangay in Western Sagada. Most of the time, hikers won’t be able to see them. Their droppings would be everywhere though; it might puzzle most why so much dung is in the area considering there are only three horses around.
Due to the documentary, more and more people have asked to be brought to Marlboro Country in hopes of seeing wild horses. The horses aren’t exactly wild – they were once domesticated and were just released by their owner a few decades back.
The path to Lamangan is quite rough. Unlike in other areas of Sagada, it was virtually barren of any dwelling. There’s just a dirt path that’s flanked with mighty conifers that swing with the gentle moutain breeze. Walking this trail can be very calming despite the fairly steep ascent that hikers would have to make.
The thirty minute climb is very much worth it. While the trek can make one feel boxed inside a vast cluster of pine trees, all the foliage suddenly opens up to reveal a vast meadow at the top of a hill. Since it was also my first time to visit Marlboro Country, I was totally caught by surprise at how the panorama suddenly exploded out from nowhere. There was literally wall-to-wall of mountains, limestone formations, cliffs and rice terraces for as far as the eye can see. While the photographs may be quite breathtaking, I still feel that the 360 degree view will never be given justice by any two dimensional image.
We didn’t see any wild horses, but the view was simply spectacular. I can’t wait to go back to soak in every single second of the viewing experience. It was about to rain when we decided to go down the trail. This has got to be one of the best view points I’ve been in my life.
Photo credit: Lawstude