Mt. Province: Hanging Coffins of Sagada

Located in the municipality of Sagada in Mt. Province, the Hanging Coffins of Sagada is a traditional Igorot funerary practice of "hanging" coffins together with the remains of respected elders by the sides of the cliffs and mountains of Sagada.

This sacred practice was said to have started thousands of years ago and is still being practiced to this day. Just to give you a backgrounder about this sacred custom, not everyone is given the chance to undergo this funerary practice. It is reserved only for the respected elders of the community. As part of the tradition, these elders prepare for their death by making their own coffin and choosing the part of the mountain where their coffins will be hanged or inserted.
Please be guided accordingly

Can you see the hanging coffins? Nope?

Then let's go down and take a closer look

When they die, they will be placed on a chair so that his/her body can be arranged to the fetal position. This is due to the belief that a person should exit the world the same way he/she came in. The chair used will also be hanged next to the coffin of the deceased.
Do you wonder what those chairs are for?
The coffin below the Bomit-Og is the newest addition to these wonders

To date, the last to "avail" of this sacred burial custom was laid to rest (safer to say "hanged" to rest) last December 10, 2010. It is the coffin under Bomit-Og.

These are other coffins found in the area
With the popularity of Sagada to the lowlanders, a lot of people flock the town to catch a glimpse of these hanging coffins. In the positive perspective, people got firsthand education about the rich culture of the people of Sagada. It also brings in income to the locals. However, this popularity also bring in several negative things too like pollution, crime, and several culturally deficient people who would go "preaching" the unbiblical act of this tradition.
One of the river crossings going to the exit
The path leading to the underground river cave.

Check out those rocks

Regardless of this, Sagada remains a place to add in your travel wishlist. I got to see the Hanging Coffins of Sagada during the Sagada Tour that my wife and I availed. Overall, it was a perfect destination for those who wish to see how culturally diverse the Philippines really is. Oh and by the way, visitors would surely enjoy the Echo Trail (prepare to get muddy during the rainy months though.)
The exit of Echo Trail... yup beside a local gasoline store

Getting there:

From the town center, you can ride a tricycle to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. From there, walk towards the jump off point. Make sure that you avail the services of a local guide. Not only will this help the local economy, he will also ensure your safety (some areas are slippery and there are some areas where you might fall if you are unfamiliar.)

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