Sagada is famous for its hanging coffins
Located in the Mountain Province, Sagada is a fifth class municipality. Think of it as a small, slightly developed village at the heart of the Cordillera. Life here is simple. Agriculture is the primary driver of the economy, but tourism has been contributing significantly. The town’s three major roads are flanked by inns, guesthouses, and restaurants catering to tourists. It has a generally chilly climate year-round, much colder than Baguio, something that attracts domestic tourists. Aside from the cooler temperature, it also has a lot to offer to adventurers, sightseers, and history buffs alike. It’s best known for the hanging coffins, waterfalls, and a network of caves. The good news is, the local government and the residents themselves are environment-conscious and have enforced certain regulations.
Sagada is famous for its hanging coffins. This is a traditional way of burying people that is still utilized. Not everyone is qualified to be buried this way; among other things, one had to have been married and had grandchildren. Popular activities include trekking, exploring both caves and waterfalls, spelunking, bonfires, picnics, rappelling, visiting historical sites, nature hikes, and participating in tribal celebrations. Guides can be found upon registration at the tourist-office in Sagada Proper (the main town) for a small fee. Most of the guides are natives, also known as Igorots.
According to legend, Sagada was founded as an ili or village by Biag, a man from Bika in eastern Abra. The people from Bika were forced out of their ili by raiding headhunters. Biag’s family resettled in Candon but when baptism or the giving of names was enforced, Biag’s family chose to move back toward the mountains in search for a settlement. Along the way, he and his siblings decided to part ways. A brother, Balay, chose to return to Candon, a sister to Abra. Another brother settled along the upper Abra River. Biag pushed further to the east until he came to what is now Sagada.
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