NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
Water is a basic resource for Sagada. It is used for domestic consumption in the households and for economic activities such as rice and vegetable production, livestock grazing, and also for the local tourism industry. Water sources or springs for domestic and irrigation supplies are spread out in Sagada.
Springs, creeks, and rivers are being tapped for household use and irrigation purposes. The rivers do not only provide and convey water for irrigation but they are also sources of edible freshwater products like eel, mudfish, and crabs. Rivers are also sources of aggregates for local infrastructure projects. In addition, river stones are used in the rehabilitation and maintenance of stonewalls in the municipality.
Sagada is a tributary of the Chico River. There are two major river systems in Sagada: (1) a major river system which starts from the northern area of the municipality and runs through the Bomod-ok Falls and passes through the eastern area. The Mabileng Irrigation, the largest irrigation system in Northern Sagada is sourced from Bomod-ok and irrigates the payeos in Aguid, Pide, Fidelisan and Tanulong; (2) a major river system which starts from Bangaan then traverses the westcentral barangays through the southern area and eventually connects to the Chico River at the junction in Malitep. It is the main source for irrigation and domestic water supply for the west-central and southern barangays. Both rivers drain into the Chico River. (Ancestral Domain Management Plan (ADMP), 2004).
Along the municipality’s tributaries, there are also spectacular waterfalls such as Bokong falls, Bomod-ok falls, Bomayeng twin falls, Mabileng falls, and Pongas falls. The municipality is also home to remarkable caves namely: Natividad cave, Latipan cave, Crystal cave, Billiing cave, Balangagan cave, and the Sumaging Cave, which is the largest.
B. Forest Resources
Sagada’s forestland is rich with resources: these include the wood lots, herbal medicines, mushrooms, wild fruits, and the mountain tea. The forests in Sagada are classified into three types: (1) Mossy Forest, (2) Pine Forest, and (3) Other Wooded Forest. The mossy forest has a mixed vegetation of various tree and plant species, that mostly grow in high elevation areas. On the other hand, the pine forests are dominated by the Benguet pine species.
Unlike the kallasan that are naturally growing, many of the pine forests near the settlement areas today are the result of the sacrifice and deliberate effort of the ancestors of the people to plant and propagate the pine on mountain slopes near their villages in the early 1900s. The effort of their ancestors to plant pine trees in their surroundings has produced the present timber for housing and fuel needs. (FLUP, 2014)
C. Mineral Resources
Part of Sagada’s forestlands are also rich in gold, such that one of the livelihoods of the people on the northern areas is mining. Aside from gold, numerous resources can be found in the municipality including pyrite, copper, stalagmites, stalactites, and limestone. Dominant mineral types in the municipality also include sand, gravel and boulder aggregate, and calcium.
D. Cultural Resources
Most of the lands in Sagada are declared as ancestral domain, which are covered by the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims (CADCs). Some of the cultural resources the municipality takes pride on include rock and limestone formations. The cultural assets also include sacred areas which cover their spiritual and burial grounds. Sagada is known for its burial caves and hanging coffins, Patpatayan and Babawiyan.