Written By (sagada genuine guides association inc). on Thursday, July 24, 2008 | 9:16 AM
home of the Hanging Coffins
The name of the place was taken literally from the bouncing of sounds unto the walls of the Sagada Limestone Valley. But the oldies from the place call it "Paytokan" (jump place :))
It is the Home to some of Sagada's Hanging Coffins. Its so unique that some tourists flock to Sagada just to have a glimps of that culture and leave the place right away.
*note: to those planning their Itinerary, pay particular attention to the sites that will be seen along when going to the echo valley to maximize your tour expenses, conserve time and energy.
starting to the municipal hall, you will need at least 25 minutes leisure walk getting to the jump off point "i mean" over the cliff look out.
But before that, you would pass by the community basketball and volleyball court.
Moving further, you will see a landmark of Sagada's history,
THE CENTENNIAL BELL.
Just a few click from the bell is the EPISCOPAL or ANGLICAN CHURCH of the PHILIPPINES.
You can request the guide if he/she could take you inside for some sight seeing.
Sagada is all about uniqueness, this is a one of a kind altar that was recently built in 2007, just in time to make its day view at the all soul day celebration. It serves as a symbol and an example of an integrated indigenous and christian culture.
A few meters from the main entrance of the church is the Softball ground. Named after the first and most popular game that every Sagadian know.
"yes way" its Baseball/Softball. "talking about uniqueness huh". Almost all residents know and enjoy this sport.
While viewing the Mission Compound, you can spot another white colored building south of the church. It is the Don Yuchenco building of Saint Mary's School. The first and only existing private High school in Sagada. You can also request the guide to take you there and take some sight seeing around the campus.
The ALL SOULS DAY celebration.
Situated higher to the echo valley is the CALVARY and the sight of the Globe telecommunication satellite dish and tower.
About 35 more meters and at last, the ECHO VALLEY.. LEY... LEY..LEY..
Shout if you can ("pancit canton") for a start. wahehehehe.
You might have already reached the sight but you can go down the valley for a closer look at those coffins. You will pass by a rough and difficult or rather challenging trail. While descending the trail, you will pass by a separate trail to the left. Leading to it, is another burial site.
Okay, back to the trail, move further, you will pass by the Rock climbing site.
And before reaching those hanging coffins that is seen on top of the cliff is another burial place, this time, is a pile of bones that fell from a decayed and destroyed coffin.
@left: walking up trail @ right: getting nearest to the coffins (photo by Sid @ Aiza)
Take 5 more minutes walk up the trail and you will reach the sight.
There is another sight. Tracing your trail back and turning right, you will see the Highest stocked coffin in Sagada. It will make you wonder how on earth would have they done that, considering a limited equipment and knowledge in rock climbing.
The trail would also lead to the underground river. A different story though. So do not continue for i end my story here. hehehehehe. That's the end of the Echo Valley tour too.
You can now go back and enjoy an ascending and grueling trail climb. bwahahahaha.
At the end of that climb, you can now get an idea and the feeling on how hard and complicated the villagers must undergo to bury a love one.
Although, you are given the liberty to go into that place and visit the place without a guide, I do not recommend you to go there without one. As Optimus Prime of Transformers said,
"THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN MEETS THE EYE".
The place is a sacred area, give it respect.
find out how they hang the coffin here...
We as guides are there for information and for safety.
Maybe some of you might say, your guides were not that kind of guides you expected them to be. well, next time, choose the right ones.. look for SAGGAS guides.. nyahahahahaha..
if you are not bored of reviewing this feature.. how about a video of Echo Valley..