Sagada caves opened after cleansing rituals

THE Sumaguing and Lumiang caves in Sagada town in Mountain Province were opened two days after they were closed to tourists following the death of a 15-year-old student.

The town's elders performed the "daw-es" or a cleansing ritual to rid the caves of bad spirits after the death of the 15-year-old, an eighth grader from Ambasing town who fell while playing inside the Crystal Cave Monday, April 3.

Sagada tourism officer Robert Pangod said mandatory death rituals were also performed as per tradition and belief for the victim.

Police reported earlier that the boy did not use the main access point, which is located at the Sumaguing side. He used the back entry to get into the cave.

Pangod said since the locals use various entry points that are not used by tourists, the municipality must impose stricter measures to ensure safety.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, has been working with the town in putting guidelines and crafting a responsible tourism plan.


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