"They left an evidence to let us know they once existed but the complete details on why they have to do this is a thing only known to them."

The Cordilleras is so shrouded with fascinating events from the past that have made their way to survive and show up in our contemporary age. Time might bury the memories of the past but the early mountain inhabitants were just intelligently resilient, enough to allow the future generations to still learn about their ways in the past. It is a battle of the mortal and the immortal. To date, these artifacts have crossed the realm of immortality when it survived the infinite power of the timelessness of time.

Jar Burial practice in the Philippines

Spotted! A jar in the grave

One intriguing discovery I encountered in #BONTOC


FAST FACTS: The capital town of Mountain Province, #Bontoc hosts majestic ancestral rice terraces, a prehistoric village, burial caves and the melting pot of culture in the province.

Photo: Palali Rice Terraces @ Alab Oriente, Bontoc
is a mass grave with evidence of jar burial. In fact burial caves in the Cordilleras is not uncommon. However, burial caves with evidence of jar burial is unusual.

This burial rite, though a bit unusual in the Cordilleras has also been practiced by the ancient people in some parts of the Philippines like in Palawan (Manunggul Burial Jars).

Jar Burial practice in the Philippines

Jar surrounded with pine coffins

It is mysterious why the early inhabitants have to bury the dead with earthenware. My guide told me that the dead person placed inside this jar must have been special.

Of course, I didn't want the opportunity to just pass by me. So I have to get up close with this special jar to see what's inside it. Whoaahh! Skeletons...

Jar Burial practice in the Philippines

Jar with skeletons!

The person placed inside this jar is thought to be someone who is special, with special role in the society: could have been a leader, or a person with great influence. Well, everything is just a theory. No one can seem to puzzle this mystery accurately.

The ancient past will just give us a glimpse of what have happened during those times. But the rationale behind these events remain as a question. They left an evidence to let us know they once existed but the complete details on why they have to do this is a thing only known to them.

Jar Burial practice in the Philippines

With the jar inside the Ganga burial cave (background)

Jar Burial practice in the Philippines

The burial jar still in good shape

It was a great fulfillment for me to be able to discover, learn and understand the ways of the past. Doing this is completing the missing link in my life. 

I have just learned and discovered a lot in this village and I believe I am still going to discover more. I left Ganga Caves fulfilled, contented and tired but another site is actually, still, waiting for me. 

It is a stone house, no longer a cave, also located in the mountains of Alab Oriente. There are huge stones, impossible (or almost impossible) to carry in our time even if we use machinery, shaped like a pyramid standing on a steep, hidden portion of the mountain. Uh! I am so overloaded with mysterious things! There are even formations, made up of rocks piled over the other that is showing a message, and a BIG mystery, again... and again! /to be continued...


Alab Oriente, Bontoc | An Ancient Village with Sacred Grounds

TEASER: "Prehistoric mountain dwellers inhabited this place leaving a mark that became an evidence of their existence."
| 2

Mt. Gotong, Mt. Data | Hiking the Mountains of Myths and Urban Legends

TEASER:"...there is still a little regret in me that I didn't just even notice the summit of the first real mountain I ever climbed." / Photo: Photo: Mt. Gotong | Bontoc, Mountain Province
| 3

Alab Petroglyphs | Prehistoric Etchings, Mind-Boggling Patterns

TEASER: "It was carved inside a space of time from another dimension of civilization even far from the dawn of Christianity..."
| 4

Finding Shelter in Alab's Mt. Data: Happy Memories with Strangers

TEASER: "By time, I may forget them, so, I have to write a story about that experience that I may still remember those precious memories every time I do the recalling of happy moments."
| 5

Ganga Burial Caves | Mystical People, Mysterious Grave

TEASER: "I experienced goosebumps upon entering this area of dead bodies that made me feel I was in a different dimension."
| 6 | 7

Ganga House, the Ruined Pig Pen and Goodbye Mystical Mountain

TEASER: "Still, it is significant because it is an ancient mark, an evidence of prehistoric civilization. The trek continues..."
| 8

The Last Generation of Overt Igorots in the Cordilleras

TEASER: "Each second counts, and each second that has passed means losing another second of their generation."

Bontoc #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of #Bontoc

Click map to view latest articles covering Mountain Province


Unscripted Off-Road Back-Riding to the Chocolate Mountains

TEASER: "This is no longer a part of the script but it is essential to make the story worthy. This is purely an escape and a beautiful way of getting lost!"

The Most Beautiful Town Hall Location I've Ever Seen

TEASER: "As I leave this town, I know by myself that I will always cherish all the memories it gave me. I don't know when should I be back but I am sure, San Quintin has been written in my heart."

Iriga City | Cool Militarized Tricycles from Nora Aunor's Hometown

TEASER: "I call them militarized not that they are under a military command but because their designs were just so cool which looked like a military vehicle before my sight!"

Urdaneta City | Jeepneys, Tricycles Fully-Booked

TEASER: "...next time you want to commute in this part of the city, never attempt to get one. Although they are empty, they are already fully-booked."

Rice Terraces | Turning to Vegetable Terraces Too

TEASER: "...no time is wasted, their limited farming fields at the slope of the mountain become productive all year round."

Palm Sunday Trade | Buying 'Palaspas' on a Holy Week

TEASER: "Around 50 weavers were situated along Liberation Boulevard waiting for cars and motorcycles to drop by along the street and purchase directly from the vendors without going out their vehicles."

Rice Field at the Middle of the River | Battling the Drought

TEASER: "This place is I think the most popular site along any highway traversing Ilocos Sur. It is about 20-30-minute drive from my city Vigan."

Manabo Bridge | Bridge of Stupidity in Abra

TEASER: "The question is when are they going to wait? It will be finished soon. But how soon is soon?"



Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at admin@edmaration.com.

Post A Comment:


  1. galangpusa | Indeed! Thanks for dropping by our blog :D

  2. Even in school whenever the topic about burial jars is mentioned, I can't help but wonder why they chose such a ritual. You are in a very interesting journey of discovery.

  3. It's amazing, something like this ought to be protected. Hope these never get stolen.
    Somehow, this post reminds me of a Pinoy classic horror movie, something about "banga" (can't quite recall exact title).

  4. Teresa Martinez | That's why the Philippines has a rich cultural heritage :D

  5. The Nomadic Pinoy | We really have to protect these treasures. They are just priceless. :)


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