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The Hanging Coffins of Sagada

After nearly 6-7 hours of ride through countless mountain, we finally make it to Sagada, a small town that we going to spend our night next. Once we reach the township, it started to looks very foggy around, for a split second it remind me of Silent Hill story. Based on arrangement, we are to meet our AIRBNB host at a famous restaurant here, the Yoghurt House to complete our check in. There was a sub scene here during this time, in which the travel agency that MJ and Max work for had arrange a full day tour guide for us to explore whole Sagada, without our agreement. Due to long ride that we went through to reach here, we only plan to have a short walk to the famous hanging coffins here and have a early rest afterward, but the guy keep insist that we have to take his service as he had been dedicated to for that arrangement. To prevent any unhappy scene, I personally apologize to him and give him some tips as token of appreciation, only then he is settle with it and get off.

Houses along the main road via Sagada.

The famous Yoghurt House restaurant, above average rating from me.

Our accommodation, Macbas Apartments was a very modern feel, well decorated wooden house. The house consist of 2 rooms upstairs with a living and dining space downstairs. Moreover, it was an ideal location on the main road, and is within walking distance to bunch of restaurants and shops around the area. Check out the link to this properties here.

The second floor of the apartment, with two bed rooms.

Stairs case to the ground floor.

The living area, which I spend my night.

The dining area and the kitchen.

Once done our check in and lunch via Yoghurt House, we continue as per agreed plan to have a walk by our self to visit the hanging coffins. One of the location was at the back of Church of St.Mary the Virgin, which was only around 10 minutes walk from our accommodation. We head on to the valley direction after sight seeing around the church, but unfortunately we are stopped by the workers station there, mentioning that we must hire a local guide in order to enter the Echo Valley. Without a choice, I have a walk back to the Tourism Center to register and hire a local guide to escort us in.

We have to walk slight up hill direction towards the Echo Valley.

A well maintain basketball court, even in this small town!

An antique bell, dated A.D. 1921.

On the way to Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

The exterior view of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

Prayers ongoing in the church.

Our guide did talk a lot, but his pronunciation is kinda weird hence most of the time we can't understand what he is trying to tell. After a short walk, we first pass a modern cemetery, which the local people buried here after they pass away. However, for the elders that still want to practice the ancient way, their bodies will be put into the coffin and hanging over the cliff across Sagada area. This is how the Hanging Coffins culture being maintained, but sooner there won't be any new coffin anymore as all the younger people will go for the modern way.

The walk through the valley until we saw the Hanging Coffins, to be exact, was creepy. There are a lot of people visiting the place, but it does not make me feel comfortable even so. Hence, we not staying long there, and heading back to the entrance of the valley. On the way back, our guide even bring us to visit his grandfather coffin, which is hidden in a small cave which located on an off route road. The coffin is broken somehow, and we can even see the skull!

Weather turn cold at night, hence the ladies reluctant to went out for dinner. Hence I walk out over to Sagada Lemon Pie House to buy some famous Lemon Pie to share as dinner. Although it was not extremely tasty, but we do satisfy with it.

Modern cemetery at the back of the church.

A tomb dedicated to soldiers sacrifice defending the country during World War II.

A view over to the township from the valley.

The Echo Valley, felt creepy walking along the trail.

Hanging Coffins from a distance.

There is a new coffin hanged few days before our visit, but I can't recall which one.

There is one coffin hidden at the back of the rock, can you see it?

Sagada - Philippines

February 2017

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