December 3, 2023

The Department of Tourism-Cordillera said heritage sites in the region did not sustain severe damage from Typhoon Egay.

May mga nasira lang na native hut sa Uhaj pero nagpapasalamat tayo at wala namang severe damage lalo sa terraces,” said DOT-Cordillera Director Jovi Ganongan.

Uhaj is a populated community at the Battad rice terraces in Banaue, Ifugao, a Unesco heritage site.

Ganongan said the huts are already being repaired by locals as of posting time.

No damage was also recorded in Sagada’s burial caves, among the most highly visited sites by locals and foreign tourists.

Ganongan said while there were no major damage, some local governments opted to close the destinations for safety reasons, with threats of possible landslides and flash floods.

“They know better, especially when it comes to safety. We leave the decision to close and when to reopen to the locals who are more knowledgeable of their needs and the conditions in their areas,” she added.

Mt. Pulag in Bokod and Kabayan, Benguet; the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, and the Strawberry Fields in La Trinidad, Benguet have been closed at the height of the torrential rains brought about by Typhoon Egay.

Most of them are now open based on the announcement of the local government units.

Despite the typhoon’s effects, tourists still pushed through with their plans to visit Baguio City and other parts of the region, with hotels recording full occupancy from July 25 to the end of the month.

Mataas ang occupancy rate natin sa Baguio, talagang dumating ang mga turista at nagpahinga sa mga hotel natin,” Ganongan said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of tourists were stranded in Sagada, Mountain Province at the height of Typhoon Egay, including a large group that was in the area for an anniversary celebration.

The LGU said the stranded tourists were cared for while in the town. – PNA