BAGUIO CITY -– Rescue groups in Sagada, Mountain Province remain hopeful they will find the tourist who went missing inside the Sumaging Cave last August 18 at the height of typhoon “Labuyo,” the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said Thursday.
Jojo Valera, the operations chief of the OCD here said even village elders performed native rituals in the cave as part of efforts to find Eufrosinia Irene Manaois, a native of Dagupan City.
Manaois was among the 30 local and foreign tourists trapped in the cave. All her companions at that time, 13 of whom were Japanese nationals, have been rescued.
Because of the mishap, the Department of Tourism (DOT) through Regional Director Purificacion Molintas has requested all local government units in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to safeguard tourists in their respective areas especially during inclement weather.
Visitors are not usually allowed to enter Sumaging Cave during bad weather.
However, it was not raining hard last August 18 in Sagada that many visitors were allowed to enter the Sumaging Cave, which has a multi-colored dome with a swimming pool-like structure in one of its huge chambers.
The sudden rise of water inside the cave was unprecedented.
According to Valera, the efforts to locate Manaois will continue, like the search for Monching Paquidan who was last seen along the Chico River in Bontoc, Mountain Province; and Rosalina Calantay, who was also last seen along Abra River in Tubo, Abra.
”The three went missing on the same day, August 18. We still hope to trace where they are now,” said Valera. PNA