How Sagada got its Name

Sunday, November 22, 2009

During the Spanish regime, Sagada was settled by a group of peace-loving people. It was covered with forest, mostly pine trees. These early people of Sagada found some small people known as Negritos hunting in the forest. They drove the Negritos away and began a settlement in the lower part of the valley. These settlers wore the bark of trees for their g-strings and were otherwise entirely naked. They cleared the forest and began to raise camotes, a little rice and vegetables - just enough for their own use.

They increased their fields more and more till the forest was all cleared away but still the food which they raised was not enough for them. From time to time they were so hard up for food that it was necessary for them to import food from other places outside the valley. They had to import rice, salt, sugar and clothes from the lowlands. There were no roads in those days, so it was very hard for these people to bring food up from the lowlands to the Mountain Province. They were like animals going to the lowlands and bring up heavy loads of food.

Their chief occupation was fishing. They had a net called sagada for catching fish. This net is common here even now. The people came to think that it was necessary to call this place Sagada because it imported almost everything it needed.

(As told by Santiago Lominio)

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