Planning a trip? Those who love to travel know the essence of all travel is about you and your enjoyment. Travelers know that the destination is a major part in planning a trip, experiencing and delving deeper into an unfamiliar places, people and culture is paramount.
Expand your horizons and set your sight to the Philippines, an off the beaten path travel site! An undiscovered paradise made of thousands of islands and white sand beaches all around! A tiny dot in the map of the world, and yet a haven for travelers, backpackers, retirees and even passersby.
It offers awesome tourist attractions, magnificent beaches, hot spring resorts, colorful festivals, hundreds of scenic spots and world-class hotels and facilities. Not to mention the tropical climate, the affordable prices as well as the friendly and hospitable, English-speaking people! You will be glad you came, and we’re sure, you WILL come back for more FUN in the Philippines!
TIMBAC BURIAL CAVE
Some of the best mummies that may be viewed by visitors are a long hike from Kabayan town to Mt. Timbac – the fog-capped third highest peak of Luzon – lording over the hamlet. Aside from the mummies, the grueling climb from Kabayan town to Timbac caves entertains hikers with majestic views of the Agno river valley and a stopover at the Tinongchol Burial Rock, a three-storey high boulder where ancient Ibaloi carved out holes to inter their dead in wooden coffins.
Believed to be 500 to 1,000 years old, the Kabayan mummies are entombed in oval and rectangular-shaped hardwood coffins hidden away within “caves” – actually cramp rock shelters – along steep mountain slopes. Some of the coffins have anthropomorphic and geometric designs etched on the outer surface. And traditional tattoos have been preserved on some mummies. The Ibaloi people mummified their dead by smoking them dry, hence, the nickname “fire mummies”. The World Monuments Fund website explains the mummification process: “Dying members of the tribe drank salty mixtures to begin the process. After death, their bodies were cleansed, rubbed with herbs, and heated while their mouths were filled with smoke. These steps were performed continually over a period of weeks before the deceased were placed fetal position into oval-shaped wooden coffins with decorative carvings. These practices endured until the arrival of Spanish colonialists in 1500 and the caves themselves remained untouched until the 19th century.”
Unfortunately, many of the mummy caves have been vandalized or looted to be sold in the black market. To protect them, the locations of the 50 to 80 caves are known only to Ibaloi elders. According to recent reports, the mummies are also being attacked by natural agents such as water, rodent mites, insects and mold. Tribal beliefs hinder the transfer of these mummies to another location to prevent their further deterioration. Some Timbac mummies were on display at Kabayan National Museum, but “asked” to be returned to their original site, our Ibaloi hiking guide explained. While mummification is no longer practiced, present-day Ibaloi consider the mummy caves as sacred and still perform rituals in the area.
Read More on Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Read More on Benguet Province – Salad Bowl of the Philippines
Read More on Natural Points of Interest In Benguet
Read More on Interesting Sites in Benguet Province
Read More in Colorful Festivals in Benguet
Read More on Having Fun in Benguet
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“The Rough Guide to the Philippines” is the ultimate companion for exploring this stunning Southeast Asian archipelago. Discover the Philippines’ highlights in full-colour with information on everything from the sun-kissed islands of the Visayas to the lagoons of Palawan and the tribal villages of the northern Cordilleras. This guide includes detailed listings and essential information on where to stay – regardless of budget – where to eat the best Filipino food, where to see the most exuberant festivals and the best places to drink, dance, surf, trek, kayak and sail. You’ll find updated in-depth coverage of major destinations and new details on emerging destinations in Mindanao. “The Rough Guide to the Philippines” offers an informative background on Filipino history, culture, society, music and politics, and comes with new maps and plans for every area, to make sure you don’t miss the unmissable. Make the most of your trip with “The Rough Guide to the Philippines”.
Unearthing Prehistory: The Archaeology of Northeastern Luzon, Philippine Islands (bar s) – This study attempts to synthesise past and current archaeological research in the northern Luzon, as well as to present new findings from archaeological investigations in the Penablanca caves. Overall the book proposes a general cultural history of the area from the late Pleistocene to the mid-Holocone period.
The Scientific Study of Mummies – Mummies are studied to answer questions about the health, social standing, and beliefs of past human populations, and to reveal the lessons that they present to modern populations. This authoritative reference work explores the reasons why people mummify bodies and the mechanisms by which they are preserved. Arthur Aufderheide details study methods and surveys the myriad examples that can be found worldwide. In addition, he evaluates the use and abuse of mummified bodies throughout the ages, and discusses how mummified remains can be conserved for the future.