Mountain Province: Sagada’s Cinematic Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint

Sunrise over at Kiltepan Peak in Sagada, Mountain Province
Sunrise over at Kiltepan Peak in Sagada, Mountain Province

I was amused when I saw this dog from Rock Inn, the place where we were staying,  running in front of our jeep as we rode up the dirt road towards the Kiltepan Viewpoint. He was panting heavily with his tongue ridiculously hanging from his wide open mouth when we got there but I thought it was really nice to have a dog as a personal escort. It was already bright when reached the viewpoint and I saw the dog continue on to the cliff-side of the peak where a few people were already waiting for the sunrise. He soon sandwiched himself in between a couple as they waited for the sun to reveal itself behind the mountains.

Arriving at the scene bright but before the sun shown itself
Arriving at the scene bright but before the sun shown itself

The Kiltepan Peak, found east from the town center of Sagada rises to 1636meters above sea level, making it an ideal spot to watch the sunrise. We arrived with the light already bright even before 5:30 in the morning, just a few minutes before the sun actually rose. When the sun rays began to spread on the landscape, it was a cinematic delight as nature unravels before our eyes.

Amazing mountain gradients and clouds settling over the valley
Amazing mountain gradients and clouds settling over the valley

Billowing clouds rolled into the valley like velvet covering the lower portions of Kiltepan Rice Terraces and nearby hills and plains. As soon as the valley was illuminated, clouds slowly rose to reveal mysterious shadows, misty hills and dramatic treeline. The scenery was like a part of an epic Chinese movie wherein some shaolin monk or samurai warrior waiting to jump off from tree-to-tree.

The dramatic clouds lending cinematic misty scenes
The dramatic clouds lending cinematic misty scenes

Our local guide, Gareth, who is also a pure blooded Kankana-ey, said if it rained a bit, it would have been wonderful, like the sea of clouds seen at the peak of Mt Pulag. For me the view was gorgeous as it was. The group has a shaky start trying to shoot the scene in part of our late arrival, but as soon as they were comfortable in their places, numerous camera shutters could be heard.

The clouds slowly lifting to unravel the beautiful terraces below
The clouds slowly lifting to unravel the beautiful terraces below

As always, when I find myself in a Photo Tour, much like we do in Backpack Photography, I seldom find time to really shoot personal shots since most of the time, I’m there to assist participants. But with scenery as nice as this, it’s hard not to take a really bad photo. The challenge is finding the right frame at the right moment to capture this fleeting scenery.

A lone tree and rice terraces pattern
A lone tree and rice terraces pattern
Rootie (or sounds like it) a photo tour participant from Israel
Rootie (or sounds like it) a photo tour participant from Israel
The rest of the photo group, Robbie, John, Viv and Anietra
The rest of the photo group, Robbie, John, Viv and Anietra

13 Responses to “Mountain Province: Sagada’s Cinematic Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint”

  1. Impressive shots Ferdz! No wonder even foreign visitors join your photography class.

    I want to go up Kiltepan Peak next time I visit Sagada. Do you need a permit to go up there?

    Reply
    • Hi Nomadic Pinoy! This is Jim Cline’s International Photo tour led by Karl Grobl. I’m their local guide and photo mentor assistant on the Sagada – Vigan leg. :)

      No permit needed to go up to Kiltepan :D

      Reply

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Powered by sweet Captcha