The Hanging Coffins of Echo Valley in Sagada are picture-perfect sight more impressive than any horror fiction. Within the dark corners of the Lumiang Burial Cave lay a stack of coffins which enclose some of the oldest Igorot ancestors. A number of coffins, however, are placed in the highest corners of the cave walls. These coffins are suspended from the limestone cliffs via ropes and strong wires ...
Local tourist guides assure visitors that the position of the coffins signify how much loved ones cared for the deceased. In other words, the higher the coffin, the more valued the deceased was. The coffins were made by hollowing out logs that are apparently smaller than the actual size of the dead. As a result, the body would assume a "fetal position"??"a preferred technique believed by ancient Igorots as a way to bring peace to the departed's soul.
Sagada hanging coffins are a gem that one can only reach through an exhausting trek. During the Pre-Hispanic era, relatives and loved ones of the deceased would travel the beaten path in order to place the coffin inside the Lumiang Cave. Prior to that, a 5-day pre-burial ritual was required during which the body was preserved using smoke.
The hanging coffins of Sagada may be awkwardly placed but for ancient Igorots, the bizarre tradition was meant to put their loved ones closer to heaven. Sadly, even dangerous heights have failed to stop some tourists from doing bad deeds. Reports said that the bones within the hanging coffins were stolen either as souvenirs or for other purposes God only knows.
Perhaps its about time for the local government to employ all efforts to preserve these unusual yet marvelous reminders of our past. Sagada hanging coffins are not just a tourist spot but also vanguards of history that highly deserve protection.
Hanging Coffins of Echo Valley News
Aerial bird view of Philippines Sagada by DJI mavic pro drone.
When my dear friends Tom and Kai told me they wanted to spend their honeymoon in the Philippines, the first places that came to mind were El Nido and Boracay. A place where newlyweds could bury their toes in the sand and sip cocktails all day sounded like the right place to go. But when Tom told me they were looking for adventure over Sex on the Beach (pun intended), I knew exactly where to take them instead Sagada.
It was past noontime when my friends woke me up from my sweet siesta inside our homestay in Sagada. I could still remember the feeling of cool blanket touching my skin, the sound of wintry breeze coming from the window and the songs of the birds chirping in melody on a sunny afternoon. I was rejuvenated from my short sleep which was perfect for our next adventure. Veering from any delay, I immediately stood up and prepared.
I have been to Mountain Province and Ifugao before (Ive also blogged about them: click each province to read about them in detail) but there are always good reasons to go back. From wonderful sunsets and sunrises atop the mountains of Maligcong to the cold, dark caves of Sagada (both of which I was not able to do before) up to the impressive terraces and amazing falls of Batad, its always great to go to these Cordillera travel destinations. This is a travel guide on how to enjoy these places in 4 days with tips, suggestions and recommendations.
The Philippines has spectacular sights, beautiful islands and natural landscapes to visit. After countless trips to various beaches, our family thought of doing a Mountain Province adventure for an exciting change. My hubby Dennis planned the long but scenic road trip to Sagada, Bontoc and the Maligcong rice terraces.
Leaving Manila early in the morning, we reached Baguio City in time for a tasty Pinoy breakfast at Caf by the Ruins. And then we continued our trip to Sagada, arriving in time for lunch.
This was my first time in Sagada and I was excited to visit the famous Sumaging Cave an ...
Sagada is a small town in the mountain province of Luzon in the Philippines. Many visit for its cool and refreshing climate, beautiful caves and hanging coffins as well as the serene mountains. Take enough cash with you, when you visit it. The whole town only has one ATM, which is not always working. Although exchange rates are quite bad.
Mandatory Tour Guide Clarification: Contrary to what all the tour guides will tell and post to tourists. Tour guides are not legally required in Sagada. You will not be arrested, fined or in trouble with the police in any way, if you choose not to hire a g ...