An old photo of present-day Poblacion, Sagada.
Taken from the files of Hilda Yamashita Tadaoan; circa 1917. (c/o Dako Bagano)

Short Geographical Description

Sagada geographically lies between 170 02’6.79” to 170  11’ 52.93” north latitude and 1200  51’34.54”  to 1200 56’50.50”  east  longitude.   

It  is  located  on  the  western  part  of  Mountain Province,  bounded  on  the  north  by  the  municipality  of  Tubo,  Abra;  on  the  east  by  the municipality of Bontoc; on the south by the municipalities of Sabangan and Bauko; and on the west by the municipality of Besao.


The municipal territory of Sagada is a tributary of the Chico River and Abra River.  It has two major rivers.  Amlusong River on the eastern part of Sagada originates from the mountains of Aguid in northern Sagada, traverses the eastern barangays and connects to the Chico River.  The other  river originates from  Bangaan also  in  northern Sagada  and  traverses the central barangays down to the south-central and southern barangays until it joins the Chico River at Sitio Malitep, Balili, Bontoc.  On the northwestern area are the creeks feeding the Buasao River that is a tributary of the Abra River. Aside from the major rivers are small portions of the municipal territory/ancestral domain along the boundaries that form part of sub-watersheds within the adjoining municipalities. 


Sagada has a mountainous terrain.  Its topography ranges from nearly level areas (18% slope and below) comprising about 953.87 ha or 8.61 % of the total area; gently sloping to undulating (above 18% to 30% slope), 894.71 ha or 8.07 %; rolling to moderately steep (above 30 to 50 %), 3504.79 ha or 31.63 %; steep slopes (above 50% slope), 5728.18 ha or 51.69.  Elevation ranges from 750 meters above sea level (masl) on the eastern part in Tetep-an Sur to the Bontoc border, up to 2,318 masl at Mount Kaman-ingel.


Based on cadastral survey approved by the DENR in 2013, the total land area of Sagada is approximately 10,970.7112 ha.  This forms 4.4 % of the provincial land area of 246,702.83 ha.  This  municipal  land  area  includes  portions  along  the  borders  with  overlapping  claims  of adjoining municipalities, which add up to 3,315.546 ha or about 30 % of the municipal land area.  


Owing to its sloping terrain, 99.14 % of Sagada’s land area – equivalent to 10,876.36 ha – is classified by the DENR as forestland, while 0.86% or 94.35 ha is classified as alienable and disposable (A and D) lands (FLUP, 2013).  This means that all of the municipality, except the A and D lands and those issued with land tenure instruments, are public lands.  A few individuals or family owned lots were issued with land tenure instruments, namely, four ancestral land titles covering a total of 6.08 ha and three titled lots covering 28.64 ha and a title covering the Mission Compound. There are two declared communal forests within the municipality that are located in Balugan and Fidelisan covering a total of 166 ha.  Civil reservations include school sites and the municipal building site for a total of 2.178 ha.  

Of  the  classified  forestland  22.67%  or  2,465.65  ha  comprises  the  residential  and agricultural lands that may be proposed for reclassification into A and D if a bill currently under deliberation by the Congress will be approved into a law.

Although Sagada is classified as forestlands, it is nonetheless the ancestral domain of the iSagada  indigenous  communities  that  inherited  the ili –  that  now  comprise  the  Sagada municipality  –  from  their  ancestors.  The  DENR  issued  to  the  Kankana-ey  indigenous communities of Sagada Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) No. 039 on 14 March 1996 recognizing the iSagadas’ ancestral rights over 8,698 ha of their ancestral domain, but the communities have not yet applied for a certificate of ancestral domain title or CADT.  Only four families  obtained  certificates  of  ancestral  land  title  or  CALTs  of  their  private  lands.  Nevertheless, notwithstanding the forestland classification and even without a CADT, customary land and resource ownership and access rights continue to prevail, interplaying with legal tenure arrangements.  



Sagada consists of 19 barangays clustered into five zones.

Patay, the poblacion or town center, where the municipal hall, a private hospital and most of the commercial establishments are located is considered the only urban barangay of Sagada although other barangays are growing and may expand further.


As of 2017, Sagada has a population of 12,313 – disaggregated into 6,327 males (51.4 % of the municipal population) and 5,986 females (48.6 %) – based on the actual population data of the Rural Health Unit (RHU).  

The RHU data recorded an increase in the population from 2012 to 2017 by 14.2 % from 2012 to 2017.   This was used as basis for the computation of the population projections.    Sagada has a relatively young population; 0-29-year olds comprise 58 % of the municipal population.  The senior citizens aged 60 and over comprise 10.1 %.

For more information regarding the content laid out in this page, you may contact the Municipal Planning and Development Office.