In late 2019, the city of Baguio opened an St. Francis Xavier Bamboo Forest as part of its commitment to contribute to the Philippines’ ASEAN pledge to reforest 20 million hectares of bamboo by 2020. Conveniently situated in Liteng, Pacdal, only 15 minutes away from the city center, the bamboo forest soon began to attract rows of tourists, who noted its resemblance to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto.
Yet, not even a year since its opening, the bamboo park has been closed due to vandalism.
A Facebook post made by the Edgardo Manda, president of the Philippine Bamboo Foundation, said that they decided to temporarily close the site, as ““Some visitors do not respect the place and have defaced bamboo culms (or poles) by engraving their names and relieving themselves along the pathways.”
TO THE VISITING PUBLIC: WE ARE TEMPORARILY CLOSING THE BAMBOO ECOPARK IN BAGUIO CITY DUE TO VANDALISM. Some visitors…Posted by Edgardo Manda on Monday, November 9, 2020
The foundation, along with the Commission on Environment, Diocese of Baguio, serves as the stewards of the site.
The incident was first exposed in a November 7 Facebook post by Vagabond Igorot, whose photos showed the extent of the damage to the poles.
It’s not yet known when the foundation plans to reopen the attraction.
Prior to closure the bamboo park was accessible to all tourists daily. No fees were collected whatsoever.