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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sagada – Banaue Adventure Part III

We started our 3rd day journey at Sagada in the wee hours of the morning because we wanted to witness the beautiful sunrise in Kiltepan Peak but weather didn’t permit us to see Mr. Sun. Still, we continue the trip and even in the middle of the fog we saw the beauty behind the clouds, it's overlooking a river and rice terraces. 

Pine trees + cold breeze = perfect place

So foggy

pardon me for this blurry photo

Fog on the trees

And since we arrived at the viewing station with gloomy weather and high fog, we just took pictures in the area then proceeded to our next destination, the Lake DanumLake Danum is not that far from the town. It is located in the borders of Sagada and its neighboring municipality Besao. It looks like a big pond than a lake, however, one cannot deny that it's one of the most beautiful places to visit in the region. Feels like you're in a foreign land while staring at its enchanting beauty. The water in the lake turns into different color depending on the season, sometimes brown and sometimes green.

Lake Danum

Lake Danum

Lake Danum

Enchanting beauty of Lake Danum

After cam whoring at Lake Danum we then proceeded to our next destination, the Lumiang burial cave. We travel for about 15 minutes from Lake Danum and stopped over at an observation deck offering a view of Echo Valley and  panorama of its jagged limestone rock formations. From the viewing deck you can also catch some oldest hanging coffins in Sagada with skull in the middle coffin. 

  Jagged rock limestone with hanging coffins in the middle.                                              Closer look.

From the drop off point, we trek down 30 minutes of slippery slope aided by a steel railing up to the cave’s entrance. Even if it’s raining a bit, we enjoy trekking down because of great lush green scenery and sounds of the humming birds. 

Amid pine trees (Sagada)

going down

Magdagdag ng caption

refreshing (Sagada pine trees)

After arriving at the cave the feeling is so eerie, as more than 200 wooden coffins that is about 500 years of age are exposed and stacked up at the very entrance of the cave. Once you’re there you will notice that the coffins are a little small for a full-grown adult. According to our friendly tour guide Fred of SAGGAS, the coffins are carved out of pine tree trunk and dead should be forced to a fetal position in order to fit in the coffin. Addition to that, we saw some coffins with gecko carvings which Fred described as a guardian spirit for highly-respected leaders. The place is so sacred and only the privileged can be buried here. People of Sagada believe that the higher they are physically buried, the faster they will reach heaven.

lumiang cave entrance

Stack of Coffins in Lumiang Burial Cave

Lumiang Burial Cave

Coffins in Lumiang  Burial Cave

Bones! - Sneak shot in a slightly opened coffin

Coffin arrangement in Lumiang Burial Cave

Close look of coffins in Lumiang Burial Cave

Sagada's Lumiang Burial Cave

What’s really creepy on our trip is upon reviewing our photos and videos back in Manila, we noticed an unusual howl while trekking down the cave. We don’t know if it is a kind of bird (but too loud howl for a bird) or something else. Maybe some element is welcoming us to the place. But in general, the trip to the Lumiang Cave was really worth it. Given the chance, I will surely go back in here with my friends. You will not just enjoy the scenic view along the way, but you will learn a bunch from Sagada's majestic tradition. A dream come true for us and it is so fulfilling!

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