Now I know why only a few dares to climb down and see these hanging coffins up close.
Patayan na talaga sa pagod, lintik sa tarik!
Right after the Big Falls Trek, we went to see the Sugong Hanging Coffins & Echo Valley. My knees and legs, still so sore, did not fail me as I was able to still go down the Hanging Coffins. Blardy hell, it was 10x worser than the falls trek. As in matarik! It's like one wrong step and you're doomed, GAH. But hell, that IS what I love ! ! T H R I L L . Just perfect.
Us very much ready for another trek.
Going to the old world burial site called the Hanging Coffins involves a short hike but one thing more interesting is that you will have to pass by an American influenced cemetery which is located on a hilltop called Echo Valley.
We passed by Echo Valley first. The sun was as its peak yet the air was so chilly. Echo Valley, got its name from its soundboard echo that it produces, is one of the most accessible tourist spot here in Sagada. The path continued forth for another 10 minutes until we encountered a stone stairway that reminded me of Baguio’s Wright Park. We headed on up and turned left to a winding pathway. Hugeeee pine trees lined the track, it became a lot more colder.
Calvary Hill cemetery , this will lead you to the Echo Valley.
This is the part wherein the trail becomes hairy too.
The place was not called Echo Valley for nothing. It's one of those few places in this world where shouting is a freedom,
cursing is allowed and apparently…. enjoyed, hahah!
The trail continues off at the right side of the burial ground. The foot width of a pathway, no handrails, people with fear of heights should steer clear from this trek. We were still as stubborn and yes we asked the guide to bring us down to the Hanging Coffins. Die Die I must come down haha. No fear, as always!
From this view, it looked so easy peasy going down eh?
One thing I have proven to myself when I was hiking:
I am still fit for this kind of horrendous activities, yay!
Off the face of the cliffs, we can see a few hanging coffins that Sagada is so famous for. The guide told us that only those that reached old age and those who died peaceful deaths were given the privilege of being buried there.
So we took another plunge and we had a closer look at the coffins by going down the base of the cliffs. We reached through a down trail. Our guide was just brilliant. He told us he knows a shortcut but warned us that it's a much more dangerous trail. I gave my big YES! The trail was fast yes, but he was darn right. I'm used to doing hiking but that time it was much more difficult. The rocks were like prickin' the sole of my shoes all throughout as if it wanted to burn a hole or what- i dunno, daaangg!
So there, we made it again hah! It's really different seein' it up close.
As per our guide, the coffins are made of hollowed out log normally carved by the elderly Igorots before they die. Then each of the cadaver were smoked throughout their 5-day pre-burial feast to avoid fast decomposition. The Igorot ancestors believed that the higher your body is laid – the closer they are to "heaven".
I was curious and asked our guide what the eff is that chair for? He said that THAT chair was the exact burial chair. The body was curled up like a fetus during the burial and when they are nestled on to the hanging coffin wall, the chair was also attached. This tradition is still on going you know. This 2,000 year old tradition still remained a mystery for me though.