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Benguet mummies now off limits to visitors

By Delmar Cario
Inquirer Northern Luzon
First Posted 13:03:00 04/10/2010

Filed Under: Tourism, Culture (general), Travel & Commuting

BENGUET, Philippines ? This town?s centuries-old mummies are fast deteriorating and local officials are alarmed that their condition might earn the ire of their ancestors? spirits.

This has forced Mayor Faustino Aquisan to declare Timbac Cave in Barangay (village) Pacso and Bangao Cave in Barangay Gusaran off limits to visitors pending measures that the National Museum would enforce to arrest the damage on the mummies.

?A visit to the caves was always a part of our summer treks to Mount Pulag. But this time, we decided to impose a ban to enable us to save the mummies,? Aquisan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Saturday.

Berry Sangao, the town?s tourism officer, said the deterioration of the mummies has reached a critical stage.

?The bones and the skulls? skins are fast decaying. The body parts of the mummies are [falling off] while most are being feasted upon by insects and rodents,? he said.

Sangao said National Museum experts who assessed the mummies? condition told him they were suffered from fungal and other bacterial infections.



Copyright 2014 Inquirer Northern Luzon. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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