Sagada – where time stood still


It’s like time stood still in Sagada. Perhaps the distance (about 400 km north of Manila) and lack of transportation during the Spanish Era has allowed this small town in the northern part of the Philippines to preserve its culture. And perhaps it is for this reason that some Igorots, a minority group, still practice the ancient funeral custom of burying their dead by either hanging them by the cliffs or by placing them outside cave openings, a practice that is not typical Filipino.



Hanging Coffins

Apart from practical reasons of preventing animals from desecrating their dead, Igorots believe that spirits could easilly travel to their destination when they are hung by the cliffs rather than being buried six feet under.



Lumiang Burial Cave

They also believe that the dead should leave this world the same way they entered in fetal position, hence, the size of the caskets. There are a lot of stories about the cave. One story relayed to tourists is that the cave is considered a sacred place and only the privileged can be buried there.







Although the traditional practice of burying the dead in the Lumiang Cave is waning – the last burial was in 1986, the ritual of hanging the coffins by the cliffs still continue to this day. A national treasure, it is a place everyone should visit and help preserve.



Getting there:

There are no direct bus trips to Sagada. There are three routes that visitors can choose from: the Banaue route (9 hours from Manila to Banaue, 2.45 hours from Banaue to Sagada), the Baguio route (6-8 hours from Manila to Baguio, 6-7 hours from Baguio to Sagada), and the Bontoc route (12 hours from Manila to Bontoc, 45 minutes to Sagada).

Florida Bus Line has regular trips from Manila direct to Banaue. It leaves Sampaloc, Manila (Lacson St. cor. S. H. Loyola St.) at 9 p.m. From Baguio, KMS Bus Lines and Ohayami Trans leave for Banaue at least twice daily. Visitors can get transportation from Banaue to Bontoc then onward to Sagada via public transportation or hire a private vehicle from Banaue direct to Sagada.





~ by Happy Sole on September 6, 2011.

9 Responses to “Sagada – where time stood still”

  1. Sagada…. been there… done that… we stayed at Igorot Inn.. thanks to Kuya Egbert, our guide… He was so kind to let us taste his creation of different fruit wines…

    • one more place off the list ba? Mababait talaga majority of them. Meron lang dun isa na tindera ng kinainan namin, ang taray. Na-insecure ata sa mga beauty namin. hehehe happy travels!

  2. this looks amazing!!

  3. Love to go back to Sagada this Nov 1. I miss reading at Yogurt House and I certainly want to go caving again!

  4. […] • Stairways to Heaven: Hungduan Rice Terraces • Banaue Accommodation: Banaue View Inn • Sagada – Where Time Stood Still • Playground of the Gods: Bomod-ok Falls • Six Feet (and more) Under – Spelunking at Sumaging […]

  5. very extensive!

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