The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. Taiwan lies north across the Luzon Strait. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest separates it from the island of Borneo and to the south the Celebes Sea from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The capital city is Manila.
The origin of the Ifugaos is derived from the term Ipugo which means “from the hill”. According to Ifugao mythology, however, the name “Ifugao” is derived from Ipugo which refers to the rice grain given to them by their god Matungulan. Until the present day, this kind of rice grain is cultivated by the Ifugaos.
The generic name Ygolote, Igolot, or Igorrote was used by the Spanish conquistadores and missionaries in their writing about all the various mountain people. Later in the 1900’s, the American writers popularized the name Igorot. According to the eminent Filipino scholar Trinidad H Pardo de Tavera, the word Ygolote is derived from the Tagalog term golot meaning “mountain” and the prefix “I,” meaning “people of.”
The Ifugao inhabit the most rugged and mountainous part of the country, high in the Central Cordillera in northern Luzon, with peaks rising from 1,000-1,500 m., and drained by the waters of the Magat River, a tributary of Cagayan River. The area covers about 1942.5 sq. km. of the territory. Their neighbors to the north are the Bontoc; to the west Kankanay and Ibaloy; to the east the Gaddang; and to the south the Ikalahan and Iwak. There are 10 municipalities in the province: Banaue, Hungduan, Kiangan, Lagawe, Lamut, Mayoyao, Potia, Hingyan and Tinoc. There are 154 barangay, with Lagawe as the town center of the province.
After spending a day in Banaue, Ifugao while awaiting for the road in Bontoc to be open, we continue our journey in Sagada, Mt. Province to see the Sumaging Caves, hanging coffins in Sugong and the Bomod-ok falls.
Sagada is a 5th class municipality in the province of Mountain Province, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 10,930 people in 2,158 households.
It is located 275 km. north of Manila, 140 km. from Baguio, and it is adjacent to Bontoc, the provincial capital.
Popular activities include trekking, exploring both caves and waterfalls, spelunking, bonfires, picnics, rappelling, visiting historical sites, nature hikes, and participating in tribal celebrations. Guides can be found upon registration at the tourist-office in Sagada Proper (the main town) for a small fee.