Travel Advocates ask tourists not to visit Sagada this Holy Week

Sagada Pa More? The Movie That Thing Called Tadhana has prompted many a tourist to head up to Sagada and reenact the scene where a heartbroken Mace (played by Angelica Panganiban) screams atop Mt. Kiltepan, “Ayoko na! Ang sakit-sakit! Ayoko na (I don’t want this anymore! It hurts so bad! I don’t want this anymore)!”. But some travel advocates and residents are appealing to the public to pour their hearts out elsewhere, at least during the peak season beginning Holy Week, as they expect an influx of visitors that might inconvenience residents as they compete for accommodations and water.

Ivan Henares said voiced out these concerns Wednesday, March 25, on his Facebook page.

“Huwag na maligo sa Sagada ngayong Holy Week. Kulang na ang tubig sa Sagada. ‘Yung tubig na dapat ay sa rice terraces, ginagamit na na panligo ng libu-libong turista (This Holy Week, don’t take a shower in Sagada. There is a water shortage in Sagada. The water meant for the rice terraces is now being consumed by thousands and thousands of tourists). Let’s support the local community,” he said.

On Tuesday, he warned, “Sagada is fully-booked this Holy Week! Kung may balak kayo pumunta, pakiusap, huwag niyo na ituloy. Sa ibang araw na kayo humugot. Maawa na tayo sa local community (If you have plans of going, please cancel them. Wallow on another day instead. Let’s have pity on the local community).”

Visitors might also want to read an online article by International Council on Monuments and Sites secretary Tracey Santiago as she lists things to keep in mind before they travel to Sagada. Cultural sensitivity is among these. Over 5000 Netizens have also joined the Save Sagada Facebook Group, where conversations on tourism, preservation, and laws, among others, thrive. According to some members, Holy Week was also a time when those working out of town went home for some peace and quiet, which they might not enjoy in the advent of mass tourism.
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