NUEVA VIZCAYA – An 18-year male student fell off a 50-meter deep ravine while taking selfies at the historic Balete Pass National Shrine but miraculously survived the incident in Barangay Tactac, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya on Sunday, a police report said.
Balete Pass National Shrine is one of the historic sites in Nueva Vizcaya which attracts local and foreign tourists. Balete Pass, also called Dalton Pass, is a mountain pass that connects the Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija provinces.
The victim Mark Genesis Balagtas, a student from San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, was proceeding to San Mateo, Isabela when he decided to drop by Balete Pass National Shrine to take pictures and take selfies.
Lieutenant Jefferson Dalayap of Santa Fe Nueva Vizcaya Police Station told Manila Bulletin that Balagtas may have fallen to the ravine due to dizziness.
“Nakatayo lang siya doon na kumukuha na photo at nagselfie at saka ang sabi nakaramdam ng pagkahilo saka tuluyang nahulog doon sa bangin,”said Dalayap.
According to Dalayap, they were busy along the checkpoint in the Dalton Pass when they heard a security guard shouting for rescue.
The Santa Fe Philippine National Police led by Dalayap and the police of the 3rd Maneuver Platoon 2nd Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Mobile Force Company, with Patrolman Gerald Etcobanez and Patrolman Vergel Lumauig, proceeded to the area where the victim was screaming.
“Nahirapang irekober ang biktima dahil sa tarik ng nasabing bangin ngunit kalaunan ay ligtas naman itong nai-akyat mula sa pagkakahulog gamit ang isang lubid,” said Dalayap.
Santa Fe MDRRMO, led by Nurse Allan Lazaro, immediately conducted first aid to the victim who sustained bruises in different parts of his body.
After the rescue, the victim was brought to his hometown in Nueva Ecija where he was advised to rest.
“Naglayas daw kasi ang binata at plano na noong pumunta sa kanyang tiyahin sa San Mateo, Isabela pero bumaba ito sa bus para magpapicture muna doon sa Nueva Vizcaya nang maganap iyong pagkahulog niya,” added Dalayap.
The family of the victim thanked the policemen who rescued Mark Genesis.