Quake damaged some cultural treasures, historic sites in CAR

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BAGUIO CITY (PIA) — The Department of Tourism reported that several cultural treasures and tourist destinations in the different parts of the Cordillera region were damaged following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Luzon on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
Based on the DOT report, in the province of Abra where the epicenter of the earthquake was recorded in Tayum, two churches which were declared as “National Cultural Treasure” by the National Museum of the Philippines were damaged.
The Sta Catalina de Alexandria Church, commonly known as the Tayum Church, was a 19th century baroque church while the San Lorenzo Ruiz Shrine in the capital town of Bangued, was the oldest and largest church in the Cordilleras.
Two properties managed and owned by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), also sustained damages.
The Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel in Ifugao reported partial collapsed riprap and ceiling while Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mt. Province also reported collapsed ceiling in the fireplace and lobby area and several damaged hotel decorations.
The Banaue Hotel was temporarily closed after it incurred damages during the July 7 flashfloods in Banaue while Mount Data Hotel recently reopened to the public following its rehabilitation. Mount Data Hotel served as the venue of the peace accord signing between then President Corazon Aquino and the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army.
In Baguio City, two accommodation establishments, the Lafayette Luxury Suites Hotel and Crown Legacy, reported minor cracks and other damages in their buildings.
All bookings are canceled in the affected hotels until thorough assessment has been undertaken to ensure the safety of personnel and guests.
Several ancestral houses and churches also sustained notable damages due to the earthquake.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco directed the DOT regional offices to coordinate with their respective local government units to determine the extent of damages, and to immediately submit the report for appropriate actions and assistance.
The Secretary assured that the DOT will extend whatever help it can to tourism stakeholders and establishments that have been directly affected by the incident.
Frasco also directed the TIEZA, the DOT’s infrastructure arm, to explore the assistance that the agency can extend particularly on the cultural and heritage sites affected by the intense quake that rocked northern Luzon.
“We will request TIEZA to prioritize assessment of the cultural treasures affected by the recent earthquake recognizing the need to protect and sustain our heritage and cultural treasures for the benefit and welfare of our future generations,” Frasco said in a statement.
“Our resilience as a nation has already been tried and tested in the past. I am certain that this can be strengthened by the essential collaboration between our national agencies, local governments, and crucial stakeholders as we conquer our challenges,” she added.
Meanwhile, the DOT-CAR Regional Director Jovita Ganongan said that no tourist was reported harmed during the earthquake. She advised those with travel plans to the Cordillera should take all necessary precautions. **JDP/RMC- PIA CAR


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