Walk to Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins
The sun was up. It was a perfect day for another activity and adventure. Our plan for the day was to visit Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins.
But before we started our tour, we took our breakfast first. Some took their breakfast elsewhere while me and the rest of the group had it at the guesthouse.
We started our tour at around 10:00 AM. Since the places we just walking distance, we didn’t get a guide anymore. It took about 20 – 30 minutes from the town proper to get to Echo Valley. We passed by the Church of St. Mary the Virgin and the Sagada Cemetery to get there.
The church is a known landmark at the center of town, a vibrant Episcopal parish. In 2001, the Episcopal Church in the Philippines celebrated its 100th anniversary with much of the festivities centered on the town of Sagada. – wikipedia
From church, we walked up towards the gate and walked to the left fork of the path. For about 10 minutes we were able to reach the Sagada Cemetery. This is where the Panagapoy takes place. A tradition in Sagada wherein they put bonfire on the grave.
It’s an old practice of remembering the dead with fire, panag-apoy (literally, “to produce fire”), which remains an enduring tradition among the northern Kankanaey residents of Sagada. It is not a purely indigenous practice, but one overlaid with a strong Western religious influence. – gmanetwork.com
We resumed our walking and headed to the Echo Valley. Somewhere in the right-back side of the cemetery is the trail, the hill side to echo valley. Just follow the path and in 10 minutes you will be able to get there. But please remember that the path is cliff side so you need to be mindful when walking. Don’t take photos while walking or else…
And here’s a peek of echo valley. It could have been better if I have a panoramic camera to capture the entire view. Anyways, it was such called because of the echo it produces whenever you shout or scream.
Afterwards, we went down to see the Hanging Coffins. The path is downhill so one needs to be extra careful when walking.
We just followed the trail until we reach it. It was an exhausting trek downhill.
Hanging Coffins are coffins placed on cliffs. Sagada is famous for its Hanging Coffins. It was a traditional way of burying people but not anyone is qualified to be buried this way; one had to, among other things, be married and have grandchildren.
Though the surroundings is not hidden, it still feels like a remote and unfrequented place. Creepy with the hanging coffins. After a minute or so, we left the place and went back towards the Echo Valley. It’s a walk uphill which makes it more tiring.
We were all panting when we reached the top. It feels like it’s more tiring than Cave Connection.
It was already 12:00 PM. Me and some of my fellow mates will be leaving in an hour so we went back to our guesthouse and took our bags. Some stayed at the Echo Valley to rest for awhile. Then we’ll just meet at the town proper.
I was panting because of so much walking. Before we left, I still went to the Lemon Pie House to get the Lemon Pie I reserved last night.
We were able to get back to the town proper from the guesthouse at 12:45 PM. The rest of the group are already there waiting. Meanwhile, since the bus haven’t arrived yet, some checked out the Museum.
Then 5 minutes before 1:00 PM, the bus came. We embarked on the bus and bid good bye to Sagada and to our fellow travelers.
It’s hard to leave Sagada. 2 nights stay in Sagada seems short, and it’s actually was. I actually wanted to extend my stay but I don’t have funds anymore. Nevertheless, it was still an exciting and great adventure in Sagada despite of short period of time. As what I’ve always telling myself, there’s still more reasons to come back on this place and I will.
The Road Back to Manila
It’s a 6 hour bus ride from Sagada to Baguio. I only have PHP 200 less money in my pocket after paying the bus fare to Sagada, and good thing I already have reserved bus tickets from Baguio to Manila and I have chips and biscuits with me. We arrived in Baguio at around 7:00 PM. We took a cab to Victory Liner. I will be alone going back to Manila since I have my tickets reserved early. I used to like solo traveling but this time it sadden me. It’s hard and sad to go back home alone while leaving your friends behind. It sounds depressing. Anyways, I arrived home safely at around 3:00 AM.
It was a long ride back home. I felt down when I left Sagada. I’m back home now but it feels like I left home and I can’t wait for my return.
- The Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins are accessible from the town proper. I’m not advising not to get a guide but if you know the path or trail to get there, walk with your group.
- Please mind the trail as some trails are cliff side. Don’t shoot while walking.
- Pay respect to the place.
- Wear comfortable foot wear as there are downhill and uphill paths.
- Bring drinking water.