SAGADA, Mountain Province – Twenty-nine (29) of the 30 foreign and local tourists who were trapped inside the Sumaguing Cave on Sunday were rescued on Monday night while rescuers are still on search for one more.

According to Inspector Cristine Gamboa, the missing tourist was Dagupan City’s native named Irene Manaois.

“Four separate rescue teams are now scouring the cave to locate her and we hope that they will be able to locate her alive,” Gamboa said.

Moreover, the companions of Manaois said that she has been swept away by strong current while inside the cave.

The Cordillera police confirmed in a report that among the rescued tourists were 13 Japanese, 5 residents of Metro Manila, 2 from Pampanga, 2 from Natonin town and Mt. Province, while 8 of them were local tourist guides.

In addition, four of the rescued were currently confined at the St. Theodore Hospital in Sagada including Vilma Pusao and Aiza Lifano residents of Natonin; Jun Bendiola and an unidentified resident of Metro Manila.

However, the Japanese tourists were discharged from the hospital after they were examined and have already returned to their respective hotels. The Japanese tourists were Atsushi Ito, 30; Yoshitaka Onoe, 23; Saika Furukawa, 21; Sakuda Hikaru, 28; Mutsimi Sato, 30; Koichi Sato, 33; Takuto Horita, 28; Ayumi Shimamura, 25; Keitaro Yuda, 35; Sayori Shirai, 23; Yuka Morita, 31; Yuka Nakamura, 32; and Naomi Yusakawa, 30.

Furthermore, Filipino tourists Nemoza Magsino, 23, and Jahnina Pamintuan, 20, of Pampanga; Mark Joseph de los Santos , 24, of Pasig City; Jeffry Alex, 21, of Makati City; Oliver Alejandro, 25, of Taguig City; and May Palatao, 24, of Manila had also returned to their hotels.

On the other hand, the municipal government of Mt. Province had temporarily cancelled all caving schedules until the missing tourist is found.

Mary Grace M. Gomez
ABCom Intern
Leyte Normal University