Despite the influx of tourists in Sagada, its community is strong in advocating responsible tourism and is committed to preserving their culture and the natural beauty of their town. Here are some beautiful photos with gentle reminders of the locals to tourists. All photos are taken by Lauren Dela Cruz for Sagada Tourism.
Sagada as a community and not a museum
Please manage your expectations. Sagada is a community and not a museum. If you want to see how we live a century ago, we have excellent musuems that you can visit like the Ganduyan Museum and Masferre Photograph Museum.
Please respect our culture. Keep a distance from rituals or sites you are told sacred. Do not touch or disturb coffins or burial sites.
Please don’t think or say that we have “lost our culture” just because we no longer live in traditional houses. We are indigenous people and we are deeply attached to our culture and traditions. We are also modern, well educated people who are comfortable in any living or professional environment the world offers.
Ask permission before taking pictures or video of people especially elders. Please don’t expect any of us to pose in traditional clothing for pictures, because we don’t do that.
Please help us keep you safe. Sagada is a mountain town filled with caves, cliffs and forests. Guides are required for your safety. Please hire accredited guided. We do not allow our children to guide. So please do not hire children as guides for their safety and yours.
Walking town and transportation
Please walk whenever possible. Walking is an essential part of the Sagada experience. The views are spectacular and you’ll enjoy them on foot than crammed into a metal box.
Please be kind to the people in our kitchen. We do not serve fast food so please be patient. To get better service, order your food 3 hours before your meal.
Custom and manner of dressing
Please be modest. This is a small conservative town and we like it that way. Save the revealing clothing for the beach and the displays of affection for your private space. There is no commercial sex here so don’t waste time looking for it.
Natural resources – water conservation
Please conserve water. Sagada suffers from water shortages, especially during the dry season. This can lead to diversion of water from our farms and rice terraces, where it is desperately needed.
Please manage your garbage. Try to minimize the garbage you generate. What comes here with you should leave with you.
Sagada does not only boasts scenic views but a good local community as well. They welcome every tourist to share their town’s beauty while also working together to preserve its natural magnificence and culture. They actively take part in maintaining peace and order to ensure that it is a safe place to live for the locals and the sojourners as well. May every visitor of this remote destination be able to respect and follow the local community’s request to be mindful on being a responsible tourist. This would help them protect their land. This is their gift to the next generations who want to see the beauty of their mountainous town. May this commendable effort inspire others and be adopted in different towns as well.
All quoted messages are from the Sagada Community and Sagada Tourism.