Korean hiker missing in Cordillera region

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Police and local communities have formed search and rescue teams to track down a Korean hiker who went missing while trekking Mount Amuyao in Mountain Province on the way to Ifugao province. 

Thirteen teams are looking for Choi Sungkyu, who was said to have arrived in Barlig town in Mountain Province on June 7, en route to Batad in Banaue, Ifugao.

The Mountain Province Provincial Public Safety Company (MPPPSC) of the Philippine National Police said Choi went missing as he trekked Mt Amuyao.

On June 7, Choi checked in at Halfway Inn and Restaurant at the Poblacion and told the proprietor that he would be going to Batad in Banaue. Batad is home to the Banaue Rice Terraces, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Choi checked out of the hotel on June 9, and was last seen in Sitio Chator in Barangay Latang, Barlig town, Mountain Province.

The last person who saw him, Miguel Lagkio, said Choi told him he was going towards Barangay Pula in Banaue, Ifugao. Police said that was the right path to reach Batad.

Nothing was heard of Choi until June 13, when a police officer contacted Choi at 5:30 pm, and asked for his coordinates. Choi only told him that he was in a place with many pine trees and that he was feeling very weak.

Choi also told the police officer that he had to turn off his phone as his battery was weak.

Barlig police later received a report that Choi was alive and was on a big rock in the mountains. Rescue officials, including police, went to Sitios Ammiw and Furud in Barangay Latang where big rocks could be found but did not see Choi.

Korean Embassy officials are coordinating with authorities and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the search for Choi. – Rappler.com