Map of Kabayan Mummy Burial CavesLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
The Kabayan town of Benguet Province in Northern Luzon boasts two possible UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Mt. Pulag National Park, and the Ibaloi fire mummy burial caves - the latter I visited early November 2015.
Five cave sites are open for viewing; I visited three - Opdas cave, Timbac cave and Tenongchol cave (pictured here). According to locals, many other burial caves are found all over the Kabayan valley - and I support the decision in keeping them secret. A number have been stolen and sold in the black market, and those in the five cave sites are in dire need of conservation.
The property was one of my choices for graduate thesis, proposing to study: "aspects determining the geographic locations of the burial sites, i.e., identity and social status of the mummy, surrounding landscape, access, elevation and orientation of cave entrance, and alternative locations for burial."