Sagada travel photography – Philippines

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Sagada is a town located in Northern Luzon. It belongs to the Cordillera Mountains. If you are coming from Batad, you need to take the jeepney back to Banaue leaving at 9am. Once in Banaue, take a minivan to Sagada. This minivan is most likely to stop in Bontoc. You will have to take the jeepney from Bontoc to Sagada. If this happen, you need to negotiate the minivan fare down and pay the jeepney from Bontoc to Sagada by yourself.

Even though Sagada is mainly known for its centuries-old hanging coffins, there are a few other things to explore in the area. While the Bokong falls, the Lumiang cave, the Sumaguing cave and the Kiltepan peak are within walking distance from Sagada, both the Pongas falls and the Bomod-ok falls are far from the city center. You can easily manage to see everything within a day. Just be aware that you need to get a guide for each activity. Since you will get more history insights reading a travel guide than listening to the guide, just assume that these are entrance fees. This tourist business somehow kills the interest of exploring Sagada!

Sagada counts over 200 coffins which are either hung along limestone cliffs or stacked in burial sites. Some of them are over 500 years old. Before the Spanish colonial period, adults who passed away from natural causes were placed in a fetal position inside hanging coffins. It was a symbolic way of getting closer to heaven. Pregnant mothers, babies and adults who passed away from illnesses were believed to bring bad luck. In this case, they were not allowed to benefit from this ritual. Coffins were hung first then the wrapped bodies were placed inside the coffins. It is believed that anyone getting a blood drop from a wrapped body would be a lucky person. Blood was considerd as the symbol of fortune. While this practice is now forbidden by law for sanitary reasons, it is said that a few people perpetuate the hanging coffin tradition.

 

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