Tunnels, new attraction in Baguio

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


BAGUIO City officials resurrected a World War II Japanese tunnel at the Botanical Garden to further boost tourism in the Summer Capital.

Committee on Tourism, Parks and Playgrounds chairman Councilor Elmer Datuin said the local government as part of its tourism infrastructure funds allocated more than P360,000 for the lighting and improvements inside the tunnels stretching to parts of Pacdal, Outlook Drive and the presidential Mansion.

Datuin said the Japanese Tunnels at the Botanical Garden will be among the newest attractions in the city free for tourists to visit.

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The tunnels which branch out to various directions were paved with around 200 meters section illuminated with light emitting diode lights provided by the local government while pavements and diggings to widen the tunnels were conducted by the Filipino-Japanese community.

Datuin said the local government is still open to suggestions from tourists and residents on what kind of tour and displays are to be placed inside the tunnels.

"We opened the tunnels for the past three days and we were able to get a lot of surveys and suggestions from tourists on what to add to further improve the experience of entering the tunnels," he said.

The next step for the local government includes the provision of maps and signs for the tour inside the tunnel.

The councilor said that this must be completed as soon as possible to serve tourists visiting the city for the Panagbenga Festival up to the summer months.

Safety of those visiting the tunnels are also being taken into consideration by the local government which is why the local legislator said they will seal off other parts of the tunnel from tourists at night while assigning Botanical Garden security guards to bar visitors from entering the tunnels past the operating hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Tourism Officer Benedicto Alhambra said the local government has so far improved the Botanical Garden in partnership with various sister-cities that include Vaughn, Canada; Vallejo, California; Taebek City, South Korea and Wakkanai, Japan exhibiting landmarks seen in their locales.

Alhambra said other sister cities such as Gonju, South Korea and Honolulu, Hawaii are soon going to establish their exhibits inside the Botanical Garden.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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