Tourists asked to maintain Sagada’s integrity

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Baguio City (CNN Philippines) — The local government of Sagada, Mountain Province reiterated its call for tourists to maintain the cultural and aesthetic value of the town's attractions as the number of visitors arriving in the province are expected to spike in the coming months.

Sagada tourism officer Robert Pangod said the town experienced several disturbances of its natural and cultural attractions last year which has resulted in damage.

Around 25,000 tourists a month visit Sagada during the peak season of November to June.

The Sagada Tourism Office has recorded at least 114,000 tourists last 2015.

According to Pangod, a white, century-old burial jar, presumed to be of a child due to its size, was stolen from the newly opened Balangagan Cave last year.

The Lumiang Cave, which is also a burial site, was also made into a venue for a pre-wedding photoshoot without consent from the community, earning criticism online.

Pangod also urged tourists to keep tourist attractions, pathways, and lanes clean.

Bad luck and other ill effects can come to the community if sacred sites such as burial caves are damaged according to elders in Sagada.

Pangod said the “no guide, no tour” policy will also be strictly implemented not only to assist the visitors in going around the town but to help in the monitoring of tourist sites.