A Trek to the Hanging Coffins in Echo Valley

One of our itineraries while in Sagada was a little hike to the Hanging Coffins in Echo Valley. It was the fifth spot that we visited on new year's day. We get past the church and the local cemetery. Going there for the second time after over 2 decades is kind of surreal. I did notice certain improvements.

For one, the trail is now paved and is a lot better than how it was before. There were safety barriers that have been installed too. I'm loving it already while we were just starting the trek. The concrete footpath can be slippery though especially when wet and with pine needles scattered all over so it's best to wear the proper footwear when going there.

Nothing beats the fresh scent of the green mountains. You can imagine those pine trees smell heavenly! They are a good source of cool relief too when the sun's heat can be too much. It was gloomy that day though so it's a bit cold. And thankfully, it wasn't breezy.

My companions walked fast ahead. But being a slow walker has its perks too you know, because you get to enjoy an unimpeded view and take photos without anybody blocking any subjects you'd wish to capture, lol!

The footpath slowly descends, some almost flat. It isn't really an exhausting hike unless you have been walking all day.

Some 5 minutes later, this view of the town nestled between the mountains met the eyes. It was a fortunate time that the fog gave way so we were able to sight the little valley from the distance.

My nephew and niece including the farmboy climbed on top of the rock for a photo op which I wasn't keen on doing. My knees simply cannot handle the heights. Oh, excuses, lol! Yet to conquer that fear.

Here's a clearer top view of the rock formations courtesy of Google Map. (No copyright infringement intended).


After taking photos, my companions followed the steep and narrow descending stairway. My feet and legs were already feeling numb and aching so I opted to stay to rest and just wait for them to come back since I've already seen the suspended coffins before.

These are some interesting rock formations that the husband photographed along the path down there.

Walking a little farther, there's the glimpse of the coffins hanging by the cliff.

The husband went a wee closer for a better view and to capture these photos too.

It boggled my mind how they were able to bring those wooden coffins up there considering the circumstances way, way back. But then again, people have their own methods of doing things. History states that some of the coffins are already well over centuries old and others may have already fallen off the cliff.

Apparently, the indigenous people have a certain belief that by hanging the coffins high above the ground, they were releasing the spirits of the dead to the afterlife and helping them reach there more easily.

The practice also served as a way to protect the dead from wild animals and avoid flooding in the caves where the coffins were usually placed. The tradition is still practiced today, although it is now more symbolic and is used more as a way to preserve the cultural heritage of the region.

It is advised when going there to remain respectful of the place and view the coffins at a respectable distance. In addition, it's best to avoid screaming. They call that place "Echo Valley" because when you scream, you'd hear your voice echoing back.

I overheard one of the local tour guides explaining to his group before they headed down to the coffins that no one should be screaming there because it means being disrespectful of the dead.

Anyway, after spending some 10 minutes down there, my companions started the trek up. Here's to share more captures of the mountain across the cliff and the last one along the path as they came back.

We spent some more time on the spot where I was resting then headed back to the church grounds which I will be sharing some time in the near future.

Happy new week everyone!

Photos my own and others of the husband. 16012023/09:00ph

Smile... laugh often... love more... be happy and grateful always!

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