THE tourism office of Kalinga noted a decline of tourists visiting traditional tattoo artist Apo Whang-od during the third quarter of the year.
Kalinga tourism operations officer I Dionica Alyssa Mercado said the municipality of Tingalyan recroded a decrease of at least 40 percent of tourists’ from July until September this year.
Tinglayan recorded 31,038 local and foreign tourists documented during the first and second quarters of the year but the number of visitors dropped to 8,962.
Mercado said the decrease can be attributed to accessibility and the eradication of marijuana in the area it is reported some tourists visit the municipality and buy illegal hemp.
Mercado added the municipality was also affected by super typhoon Lawin last October.
“Noong bagyong Lawin nagkaproblema sa access, may mga roads na bumigay at may mga structures na nasira. However tulong-tulong ang community, ang LGU, to rebuild kung ano man ang mga nasira na mga structures,” Mercado said.
“Kahit bumaba ang bilang ng turista ay nacha-challenge ang community. Naging mas competitive sila na humanap pa ng ibang kabuhayan. Sa Department of Agriculture (DA), nagbigay sila ng seeds ng coffee and mais at mga seeds ng gulay; sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ay kabuhayan at sa Tesda nag-offer sila ng mga for construction,” Mercado said.
Whang – od, who is being primed for the Gawad Manlilikhang Bayan Award after being validated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, recently turned 99.
“She just turned 99 on October 27. Yung health niya okay naman, hindi pa rin siya kumakain ng salty food tapos minimal ang kanyang rice, madalang din siyang magkape. Hindi tayo nagkulang sa pag-alaga sa kanya. May traditional na paraan kung paano niya i-maintain yung kanyang kalusugan. Nag-offer na rin tayo sa kanya ng PhilHealth,” Mercado ended.