Why Sagada Has Hanging Coffins
Last February, my husband James and I went to Batad Rice Terraces then went to Sagada for a two day exploration. It was a quick visit and was not originally included on my first itinerary. However after looking at our time table, I realized we can still squeeze Sagada into it and we did.
Our first day was spent exploring the tourist destinations, the top one was the Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins. It was a weird experience for me because I am not used to really going to any cemetery for tourist purposes, instead, I would normally go there when I have a deceased loved one's burial but for the sake of cultural respect, we did and learned a lot about what happens when one local dies in Sagada.
We came from the main town, drove through a cemented high way with our rented motorcycle then reached the entrance area for this tourist destination.
After paying the dues, we were entertained by our tour guide, Kuya Tito who is a local of Sagada, he has his own accent so I was really having a hard time understanding what he was saying during the entire time but I still got the keywords from what he was trying to relay to us.
We started at the tomb with a mirror, the video will show what was the story about behind that tomb. Then he showed us the tombs as well of the personalities from Sagada, a nun and a SAF member.
Then we went straight to the Echo Valley which showcase an overview of the town of Sagada plus the pine trees surrounding the valley. At the distance is the hanging coffins area which was visible from where we were standing.
The area was referred as Echo Valley because when one shouts at there, echoes are returned. As per Kuya Tito, when they are burying someone, they would shout specific good bye phrases to the deceased. This echoes back and somehow gives them a notion that they were heard by the loved one. It's a culture which still is being practiced till this day.
Then we went on and trekked for a few minutes until we reached the hanging coffins. It is indeed weird to see these coffins hanged and perhaps also a wonder to every tourist as to why they are positioned like that. Plus there were certain things like chairs, cross and names included in the coffins.
The story is that when one dies, he or she will be in a sitting position during their mourning, I forgot how long the mourning would be but then it takes days, perhaps weeks.
The dead body is positioned sitting on a chair or seated on a fetal position. Then the locals will be carrying the body wrapped with cloth going towards the Echo Valley area, certain construction is positioned so they can bring the coffins up, this is actually done this way so the deceased one is closer to heaven and that he or she can watch over his or her loved ones left on earth.
This was the story told by Kuya Tito and that is how their culture is, isn't it interesting?
Anyway, enjoy the film and hope you'll also learn something about it. Sorry to those who are not able to understand Tagalog. I have no time to add sub titles.
bitLanders user since 2015