MANILA, Philippines – Two people visiting Casaroro Falls in Valencia, Negros Oriental drowned on All Saints’ Day, authorities said.
The victims were identified as 22-year-old Darryl Lim and 23-year-old Mark Anthony Pataxel, both employed by the Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative (DCCCO).
One of the victims’ companions, Maricel Austria, said they arrived at the falls past 8 a.m. on Thursday.
At around 10 a.m., Austria said she and another colleague, Lyn Salvoro, left the two victims, who were taking pictures at the top of the falls.
Austria said the two then went missing and their bodies were recovered hours later. She noted that both were still wearing their clothes, an indication that they did not go swimming.
According to the rescue team who responded to the incident, Pataxel must have slipped while moving around a slippery area where a lot of stones were covered with moss.
Lim must have tried to rescue Pataxel and drowned in the process, said authorities.
Austria said they did not have a local guide with them when they went to the falls.
Casaroro Falls, which is nearly 100 feet high, is one of Negros Oriental's most famous tourist destinations. -- Report from Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas