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Touring Sagada’s Echo Valley

On our first day in Sagada, we decided to take the light route – a walk within town. After we setting our stuff at Residential Lodge, we took our lunch and then decided to explore on-foot the nearby attractions within the town-proper.

The weather was fine during that time. It was an hour past noon, yet, the sun was still too shy to show up. The cold mountain breeze was the break we needed from the warm Manila weather. One of the few things that you’ll love in Sagada is the cool climate. It reminded me of autumn in Kyoto.

Just about a hundred meters away from the bus terminal you’ll find the old church bell displayed at the back of St. Mary’s church which sits along the trail going to the Echo Valley. Several tourists go for a guided tour to Echo Valley but I guess it’s one of those few instances wherein you can do it yourself, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Walking past the church and you’ll find yourself in a cemetery on a small hill.  It’s quite interesting on how the locales remember their departed loved ones. Instead of lighting a candle, they use dried up dead branches of pine tries and other firewood to light up a small bonfire on top of the grave. Locales do this every all saints’ day and calls this tradition “panag-apoy“. I’ve only seen it in pictures but it should be quite a sight to see an entire hill in red flames.

A short walk after the cemetery will bring you to the Echo Valley. There are a couple of trails you can take should you wish to go down. For our case, we decided not to continue since it would have been cumbersome to take the trail back up to the hill. Few of the attractions that we’ve enjoyed from our location were the hanging coffins, despite our distance, were still visible from our location and of course, the scenic view of the entire Echo Valley.

We spent most of our afternoon at the cliff-side  playing card games while enjoying the cool climate and the scenic view. If you’ve gotten used to the bustling environment of the city, most likely, you’ll welcome the serenity the place can bring.

It wasn’t too late yet when we went back to town to freshen up and catch the sunset at Lake Danum.