Mummies in caves

Trip Start Dec 01, 2011
Trip End Jan 20, 2013

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What I did
Sumaging Cave Sagada
Read my review - 5/5 stars
The Hanging Coffins Of Sagada
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Philippines  ,
Monday, October 15, 2012

Sagada was a nice peaceful town that is also in the mountain province of the Philippines.  I came here from Bontoc, which is one hour by jeepney.  Bontoc is nothing but a city that is crowded and very underdeveloped, but Sagada seems to be more relaxing and in the mountains.  It is more like a village. 

I heard about Sagada, but don't have my lonely planet book, so didn't remember what was here, but I went to tourist information and found out that there are some Hanging Coffins, a cathedral and the Sumaging Cave.  The coffins was an interesting hike.  It was one 20 minutes from the city, I passed a church and beyond the church was a graveyard that was a bit spooky and finally to the viewing point of the coffins.  The coffins are across a canyon built into the rocky cliff mountains.  I don't know the meaning of putting the bodies into the cliffs, but I was in Peru 4 years ago and they had similar coffins there.  In Peru, they put the coffins into the cliff to prevent grave robbers (didn't work as they were still robbed) and also that they believe if you buried someone, they wouldn't be able to get to heaven or get their soul out of the dirt.  I imagine it is the same reasons here, but not positive.  The next day, I woke up and did a 30 minute trek to the Sumaging Cave.  I didn't know what to expect in this cave, but it was one of the freakiest things I have ever seen.  I walked into the cave and there were coffins in the cave.  The coffins were made out of trees that were hollowed out and the bodies were laid to rest inside.  They were stacked four to five high and when I went to get on top of a few of them to get my picture taken, one opened up and I fell on a bunch of bones.  It really freaked me out.  As I walked out of the cave, I got a bit scared and stayed that way for the rest of the day.  I pictured all the curses that went on with the mummies in Egypt like King Tut and hoped that coffin I stepped on was not cursed.  The wood was over 500 years old, but I didn't know it at the time.  Apparently the Spanish conquistadors arrived here in the 1500s and the coffins were still here when they arrived meaning these were 500-1000 years old.  It was definitely and experience even though it was freaky. 
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