Hanging coffins on a cliff in Sagada
Sagada is a sleepy municipality in the province of Mountain Province, Philippines, and is located around 140 kilometers from Baguio (or some 12 to 15 hours by bus from Manila). Many visitors to Sagada say that had the rapid urban development did not happen in Baguio, the city could have maintained the rustic charm of Sagada.
Aside from its pine-forested hills and cool temperatures, Sagada is famous for its “hanging coffins, ” a tradition that the local and current natives of Sagada no longer practice. Since Sagada is one of the few places that Spanish colonizers failed to effectively control, Sagada has preserved its native culture. Pre-Hispanic practices such as mummification of the dead were among the local practices that survived up to the late 19th century.
Adventurous travellers and nature lovers have a long list to do and see in Sagada as this mountainous town has a lot to offer such as caves, picturesque waterfalls, breathtaking, pine-dotted cliffs and ravines where one can explore, trek, spelunk or enjoy endless picnics.
Sagada also has age-old rice terraces although not in the scale of the more famous rice terraces complex in Banaue. Other places of interest are the Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves, Bomod-ok and Bokong Falls, Echo Valley, Kiltepan Tower, Underground River, Lake Danum, the Masferre Musuem and the Hanging Coffins.
Mabuhay ang Sagada!
Baguio City is the Filipino’s fav destination for a summer retreat. Foggy, mist-clad mountains, forests of pine trees, luscious strawberries and winding mountain trails are the main draws for the visitor.
But overpopulation, unplanned housing development and rampant deforestation are among the modern ills that have encroached and tarnished the reputation of Baguio as an idyllic summer retreat.
Still, this mountain-top city offers pleasant surprises to both local and foreign visitors, particularly its colorful main Public Market where traditional handicrafts, ethnic food and wares are to be found. Fresh flowers and vegetables are also well known products from this city, with a surprising range from sturdy and fragrant rose varieties to luscious examples of asparagus and broccolli.
The way to (and from) Baguio is also something for the adventurous with its narrow highways that snake down past steep ravines, cliffs and zig-zagging mountain roads. For the casual tourist avoid a trip during the rainy or typhoon season when road blocks are common occurences.
But for a quick retreat from the oppressive heat in the lowlands of Luzon, or simply an escape from urban stress, Baguio can still offer some pockets of solitude, and a glimpse of what could have been a serene Philippine mountain-top city if only modernity has not reared its ugly head.
Mabuhay ang Baguio!
Filed under Nature, Places