Sagada Limestone Caves

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sagada Cave ImageUnderneath Sagada is a network of limestone caves and subterranean streams. These caves were created by water eroding whole limestone mountains over a period spanning thousands of years. Some caves are dry, as if the underground rivers that have created them disappeared. However, these caves are dry simply because the water has found another channel by seeping through the mountain and emptying through numerous small watery caves.

SUMAGING, aptly nicknamed as the Big Cave, was created by water erosion. Guides equipped with lanterns and ropes are necessary companions for exploring this cave as well as other big caves found in Southern Sagada. Visitors never fail to be awed by Sumaging's sheer size, fascinating chambers and rock formations, some of which are dubbed as the "King's Curtain", "Rice Granary", "Cauliflower", "Dancing Hall", etc...; all for their larger than life resemblances of the real things. A part of Sumaging known as "The Tunnel" consists of a series of tiny passages requiring limbo-like movements (read as c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g) to pass through.

During pre-Christian Sagada, these caves served as burial grounds for the locals. With the dead poised in the fetal position encased in a coffin carved out of enormous pine tree trunks, Sagada Igorots of yore may have though these caves to provide the final touch in resembling the environment of a mother's womb... a suitable final resting place.


Sagada Cave formation

A frog formation inside Sumaging cave.

Sagada Sumaging Cave photo

This formation is called the "pregnant woman" for obvious reasons.

Sagada Sumaging Cave picture

Beautiful shapes and colors deep inside Sumaging cave.


Anonymous June 1, 2011 at 1:52 AM  

i wanna go there soon...

Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 9:07 AM  

Sagada is so special and incredible may it always be protected from any foreign intrusion! I went to an incredible cave in 2001 and I do not know if it was this one. It seemed more remote and unknown, the path was narrow and steep. Thank you for creating this blog! May all the gods bless you.

Anonymous January 29, 2012 at 3:27 PM  

Sagada is one of the beautiful places here in the Philippines.. wow!!! i would say it is the best actually!! I love their caves even if it was very hard for me to visit their caves but it was all worth it!!! it was very beautiful for me and I am sure it will always be!! I would like to go there again and again and visit Sumaging cave and the Bomod-ok falls.. Actually when we visited Sagada I experienced wearing 3 pieces of Jackets because it was very cold that was January and they celebrated their Etag Festival. I suggest you visit Sagada and stay their for 1 week :)

Chris Ruttan July 16, 2015 at 3:52 PM  

These types of caves are prolific throughout the Cordilleras. I'm an American. Our family lived in the Philippines from 1963 to 1965 when I was 11 to 13. We took a trip to the Ifugao region of Banaue and beyond and visited some missionaries. They introduced me to two Ifugao boys about my age. They took me exploring in the caves there. I saw coffins of the dead much like you described in Sagada placed close to the entry of the cave but no further in than 100 yards. The boys took me far back into the caves. I didn't question it at the time but they certainly seemed to know their way around the caves. Why? I have often pondered this. Perhaps they had been looking for General Yamashita's gold.