Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sagada venture

A PLACE approximately 5,000-ft above sea level, Sagada is a highland town in the Mountain Province. This scenic settlement in the Cordillera region offers the most spectacular view of mountains, cooler climate due to its high elevation and well-preserved culture.

It can recommend many exploratory outdoor activities and the cool mountain breeze makes you want to laze around all day, as well as experience lots of great eats. I have gone to Sagada more than a dozen times, but I always try to revisit nearby sites.

We had short stops at Kapay-Aw Rice Terraces, Sumaguing Cave, and Gaia Café for photo ops. According to our guide, the Lumiang Cave has at least 200 coffins that have been buried there for more than 500 years. It offers a glimpse of ancient traditions as the placement of the caskets was believed to put the departed closer to heaven. Going down was okay, but the uphill climb back to the road was quite a work-out.

Nobody goes to Sagada without visiting ST. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church which was built in 1904 by the American Missionaries. It has an old stone-wall with beautiful stained glass windows and charming blue doors whose minimalism complements the simplicity of the settlement.

Within the compound is a trail leading to Echo Valley. It requires a walk passing through Calvary Hill, Municipal Cemetery, and a narrow trail along the hillside. There is a cemented pathway so it was not too difficult for those with weak knees. Jagged rock formations will greet you and the famed hanging coffins can be seen from here. Try shouting and you will know why the place is called Echo Valley.

The Sugong Hanging Coffins is one of Sagada’s most iconic tourist attractions. If you want to take a closer look on these dangling tombs perched on high stones and cliffs - they can be reached by hiking deep down the valley below. It wasn’t an easy trek; you need to be extra cautious with every step to reach the site.

The trip to Sagada may be the ultimate challenge but it’s all worth the long travel. It is a beautiful place where tourists spend most of the time trekking, hiking, visiting historical sites, and food-tripping. This highland town of temperate weather, lovely people and good cuisine is also one of the best places to experience culture, nature, and adventure.


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