Hanging Coffins

Sagada, Mountain Province

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

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    The Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Mountain Province is a mystifying spectacle that has attracted a great number of curious minds. This bizarre practice of placing the coffins on the face of a mountain was brought about by their belief that it puts the deceased closer to heaven. Some of the bereaved definitely took great effort and risk to follow this tradition considering how high above the mountains some of these coffins are.

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  • Falling In Love, Mountain Province, Sony A6500 Mavic Air

    Places visited:

    - Marlboro Hills
    - Bomod-Ok Falls
    - Bokong Falls
    - Hanging Coffins, Echo Valley
    - St. Mary's Cathedral
    - Gaia Cafe & Crafts

    - Banaue Rice Terraces View Point
    - Town Proper
    - Tam-An Village
    - Hapao Rice Terraces

    Thank you for watching! Happy Travel and be a responsible traveler.

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    Sagada Budget Travel Guide (With Itinerary Expenses And Top Attractions)


    Roughly twelve hours of bus ride from Manila, that's how far Sagada is. But is it worth a long journey? Read the blog and find out.

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    Sagada In Mountain Province Philippines

    Warning: Picture-heavy post!

    Sagada is known for its "hanging coffins" - the traditional way of burying people which according to their traditions only the married and who have grandchildren may be buried this way. Also, its sunrise viewing which was featured in the movie "That Thing Called Tadhana."

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    Sagada is a town in the Cordillera Mountains, within the Philippines, Mountain Province. Echo Valley's hanging coffins are displayed high on cliffs, while centuries-old coffins are stacked in burial sites like Lumiang Cave. The nearby Sumaguing Cave has unusual limestone formations. To the north, Bomod-ok Falls has a natural swimming pool. Rice terraces are carved into the area's surrounding mountainsides.