Mt. Province Adventure: Sagada

Our adventure today takes us 395.7 kilometers north of Manila to the municipality of Sagada in the province of Mt. Province.


Sagada History

Literally located in the mountainous Mt. Province, Sagada is known for the unique tradition of placing the bodies of the respected deceased elders in coffins that are hanged at the sides of the cliffs. Aside from that, it is also a famous destination for the brokenhearted because of the popularity and connection brought by the film "That Thing Called Tadhana".

However, before we talk about the present fame enjoyed by Sagada, it is better to know first its colorful past. 

Hanging coffins
Team Nicerio visits the Hanging Coffins of Sagada

Legend has it that Sagada was founded by a man from eastern Abra named Biag. His family was forced out of Abra by headhunters that raided their village. They resettled in Candon but left when the Spaniards enforced baptism and the system of giving names to the natives. During their "exodus", Biag and his siblings decided to part ways. A brother returned to Candon, another settled along the upper Abra River, while a sister returned to Abra. Biag went further inland and settled in what is now Sagada.

Old bell near Anglican Church
Team Nicerio's first time in Sagada

Due to its remoteness, the village was only visited by a Spanish Mission in 1882. Because of this, the people of Sagada managed to preserve their indigenous culture. It was during the American Colonial Period when Sagada was fully explored by outsiders. American missionaries led these expeditions opening the town to American culture and influence. Later on, the lumber business brought by the Americans boomed and transformed the town into a semi-modern community.

Sumaguing Cave / Sumaging Cave
Exploring Sumaguing Cave in Sagada

Today, the American Culture remains strong with the natives of Sagada. As a matter of fact, the natives speak better English than some call center agents in Manila. A number of them also belong to the Anglican sect that was introduced by the Americans.

Places to see in Sagada:

Hanging Coffins
Hanging Coffins of Sagada

Anglican Church, Church of St. Mary the Virgin
The Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Sagada Cemetery
Sagada Cemetery

Sagada Underground River
Stone piles near Sagada underground River

Orange Picking, Rock Farm Inn
Orange Picking at Rock Farm Inn Cafe

Ganduyan Museum, Sagada Museum
Ganduyan Museum

Lemon Pie, Sagada Lemon Pie House
Sagada Lemon Pie House

Sumaging Cave entrance
Sumaging Cave

Lake Danum
Lake Danum

Yoghurt House
Yoghurt House

Sagada Pottery
Sagada Pottery

Sagada Weaving
Sagada Weaving

Echo Valley
Echo Valley

Sagada Bell
Sagada Bell

...and also these destinations:
  • Lumiang Cave
  • Sagada Rice Terraces
  • Pongas Falls
  • Mt Ampacao
  • Marlboro Mountain
  • Fortune Express
  • Latang Cave
  • Mature Cave
  • Bokong Falls
  • Bomod-ok Falls

Things to do in Sagada:

Sagada Pottery pot making
1. Making your own pot in Sagada Pottery

Sagada Museum Kuya Lester Aben
2. Listen to Kuya Lester Aben as he walks you through Ganduyan Museum

Sagada cave exploration, cave spelunking
3. Explore caves
Sagada food trip, lemon pie
4. Go on a food trip

Sagada Souvenir
5. Buy souvenirs

Mt. Kiltepan sunrise viewing
6. Watch the sunrise at Mt. Kiltepan

Orange Picking
7. Harvest and eat oranges at Rock Inn and Cafe

Getting to Sagada:

From Pasay/Cubao ride a bus going to Baguio City in the province of Benguet. From Baguio City go to the old Dangwa Station (make sure that you go to the station early in the morning to avoid the rush of the commuters going to Sagada). Ride the non-airconditioned bus going to Sagada (fare is from P500 -600). Travel time is 5-6 hours with several stopovers. 


Overall rating


  1. Hi. Neil! Thanks for sharing a little bit of Sagada's history. I've only been to some of the rice terraces and this side will surely give me a different perspective on the Cordillera mountains when I had the chance to visit. I also liked that they have an orange farm! I didn't know that until I read your blog. Haha

    1. =) I'm really happy that my blog gave you a different perspective on the Cordillera mountains. You should try visiting Sagada with your loved one it would surely be a blast. =)

  2. I've been reading stories about Sagada travel and I am intrigue though the idea of going there seems a challenge to me. It was interesting to know facts about those hanging burials (do they still do it nowadays?).

    1. Hi Blair. Yup they still do pero limited nalang talaga sa mga elders nila. The last time one of them was buried this way was a few years back. =)


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