The Sagada Saga: Hanging Out With The Hanging Coffins

Sagada is probably most famous for its hanging coffins. As first time visitors, we couldn't leave without seeing them up close.

After some quick lunch at the Gaia Vegetarian Restaurant (good food!) we headed to Echo Valley, where the hanging coffins are. We passed through the public cemetery and stopped by Yamashita's grave. I like how cemeteries give you this feeling of peace and quiet.

We continued walking (look how I'm always waiting for everyone to catch until we got to the spot that gave Echo Valley its name. If you yell something out, someone from the other side of the mountain yells exactly the same thing! Amazing!

After a few minutes of exploring the wilderness, we finally arrived at our destination. It felt really cool and Indiana Jones-ish to be there. According to manong tour guide, this burial tradition has been part of their culture for about 2000 years now. They believe that we human beings should exit the world in the same way that we entered it, hence the bodies are buried in fetal position. Not all people are buried here, but it is said that the higher the coffin, the higher the stature of the person. Also, people there make their own coffins while they are alive.

Another interesting tidbit the guide shared with us was regarding the wake. They believe that a person is not dead until he is buried. Therefore, during the wake, the dead person is made to sit on a chair and people talk to him/her like a normal/alive person. This is a little bit strange to me (I can't imagine it), but it certainly is interesting. 

We didn't stay long because it was starting to get dark. We were tired and cold from the day's trek to Pongas Falls and Echo Valley and we were all excited to rest.

The next morning, we packed our bags and said goodbye to Sagada. 

And that wraps up our Sagada Saga. A lot of nice things have been said about this place and I don't think I need to repeat how much I love it. When are we going back???

Photos from Eliel Sarmiento and McBeau Babaan.


Read about the rest of our Sagada Saga here:
Food Trip
Stopover at the Banaue Rice Terraces
Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
Power Trekking to Pongas Falls
Hanging out with the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley