TUGUEGARAO CITY — Sta. Teresita, Cagayan is attracting multi-national groups to map and explore the various caves in the town.
German national Michael Laumanns, team leader for the seven-nation Northern Luzon International Caving expedition, said that a former participant to the National Eco-tourism festival of the municipality the last two years have mentioned to him the Cagayan Caves in the area.
He admitted that without the information, his group could not have possibly learned of the existing caves in the municipality, 33 of which have been mapped, explored and provided with descriptions during the last four days last week.
Laumanns has organized expeditions to many African, Southeast Asian and Middle East countries.
“We’ll coming up a book of caves possibly next year”, he said.
He organized a team in Germany for another expedition in Sta. Teresita during the 4th national Eco-tourism next year.
The local government unit, led by mayor Lolita Garcia, sponsored the Sta. Teresita leg of the expedition after the caves of the municipality were slowly earning attention from the mainstream and social media.
On the other hand, Jean-Pierre Bartoleyns said his group in his native Belgium would simply published a full article on the expedition. Jean-Pierre is actively involved in the Karst and cave protection since the early 1970s in his country. He is in charge of the karst and cave and cave protection Department in the International Union of Speleology and one of its adjunct secretaries.
The team members included Helmut Steiner (Germany), Dominik Frohlich (Germany), Marc Vandermeulen (Belgium), Nancy Pitole (USA), Matt Oliphant (USA), roman Hapka (Switzerland), Livia Cordeiro (Brazil), Tafael Camargo (Brazil), Chadi Chaker (Lebanon) and Joey Abou Jaoude (Lebanon).
Members of the Sierra Madre Outdoor Club ,led by its President Nida Dela Cruz, and Balincaguin Conservancy played host to the team.
Mayor Garcia said the majority of the caves mapped and described with some corresponding names to boost, Sta. Teresita, were all set for the 3rg National eco-tourism Festival on Feb. 23-28, 2015.