Sugong Coffins of Sagada
Exploring the countryside around the hill-town of Sagada, visitors will discover Sugong coffins hanging from cliffs, lodged into karst fissures, and piled into caves. The unique burial ritual is still practiced today although locals have to pay a high price for the honor. Older coffins are quite short because the original animists buried their dead in the fetal position. But later coffins, influenced by Christianity, place the body in a lying position and are therefore longer. It’s amazing how many of the ancient coffins we’ve discovered just hiking around town on our own – very cool!
And while the region is crawling with missionaries who like to believe they have converted all the local tribes, signs of traditional animist beliefs can still be found, such as this skull fixed to a tree trunk, which we found in the forest just below Sagada. You go for it animist hold-outs! Don’t let the churches tell you who to worship.