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‘New Zealand of CL’ closed for 2 months

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CUYAPO, Nueva Ecija – Two ecological sites, including the so-called New Zealand of Central Luzon in this northwesternmost municipality of the province that provided a breather for local tourists at the time of the pandemic will be closed for visitors for at least two months.

“Matapos po ang ilang linggong monitoring at pag aaral ng ating itinalaga na task force at technical working group sa pag aayos ng Colosboa Hills at Mt Bancai, atin pong pinagpasyahan na pansamantalang ipasara muna at ipagbawal na gawing pasyalan ang nasabing lugar sa loob ng two months or until further notice,” Mayor Flor Paguio-Esteban announced in social media.

The temporary closure, she said, will start on Friday, Sept. 18.

Colosboa Hills has been tagged by tourists, particularly motor bikers and hikers, as New Zealand of Central Luzon because of its picturesque mountain trails and natural green hilly landscapes.

Adjacent to the hill is Mt. Bancai, also in Barangay Colosboa, that provides a fresh and safe venue for adventurists.

Folkloric accounts said a number of Filipino guerillas who fought the Japanese forces were killed in the place thus called “bancai” (corpse). But others said it was because of the mountains original shape that resembles a lying body.

In her announcement, Esteban said one of the considerations in temporarily closing Mt. Bancai and Colosboa Hills to tourists is keeping the town free from Covid-19.

“Masyado nang dumadami ang nagiging bisita na mula pa sa ibat ibang lugar na karamihan ay may mga pasaway at di nago-observe ng basic health protocols against Covid,” she said.

They also want grasses, trees, and natural terrains recover from the damage caused by volumes of people and vehicles that come to those places amid rains.

The government, particularly village officials, shall also have to craft protocols and guidelines in coordination with private properties within their vicinities, she said.

“Bagamat kasiyahan po natin at ipinagmamalaki na may bagong tuklas na pasyalan sa ating bayan, humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa pansamantalang pagsasara nito upang higit pa itong maiayos at ma-preserve ang likas nitong kagandahan at para na rin sa proteksyon ng ating mamamayan ngayong panahon ng Covid pandemya,” the mayor said.

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