Nueva Vizcaya’s historic site now a national shrine

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya — The historical “Balete” Pass in Barangay Tactac, Sta. Fe town in Nueva Vizcaya has been declared as a national shrine and is expected to boost tourism and economic growth in the province.

“Its declaration as a national shrine will bring in more developments in the area wherein our local government unit can also benefit from,” Representative Carlos Padilla said.

He said with the declaration, the Balete Pass, also known as Dalton Pass, will be fully developed as a historical tourism site in Nueva Vizcaya.

The Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Tourism (DOT), along with other concerned agencies, will jointly help in the development of the site to boost local tourism in the province and Cagayan Valley region as well, Padilla said.

Balete Pass served as one of the major places of fighting between the combined American-Filipino soldiers and the Japanese Imperial Army led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

It was also named after General James Dalton, commanding officer of the U.S. soldiers who was shot by a sniper during the assault in World War II.

At present, the Balete or Dalton Pass serves as a burial ground for the Japanese soldiers killed during the second World War.

It is being visited yearly by Japanese tourists claiming to have filial ties with those buried and killed in the historical shrine.

A mural of names of the Japanese, American and Filipino soldiers killed during WW II will also be constructed in the historical shrine, Padilla said. PNA/northboundasia.com