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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

 

Feature: Balete Pass: Nueva Vizcaya's historical and tourism landmark

STA. FE, Nueva Vizcaya, January 24 (PIA) -- Foreign and local tourists and commuters who passes through the Cagayan Valley region cannot escape the sight of the boundary arch between the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija.

With the structures built on top of the mountain and with a weather similar to that of Baguio City, curiosity lures many travellers to learn more about the landmark.

The marker does not only stand as a welcome structure for commuters but also represents one of the fiercest battles of the allied American and Filipino soldiers against the Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.

The mountain top also features a view deck with cottages, a Japanese Shrine and an obelisk where the marker containing the information on the historical site can be read.

Currently known as the Dalton Pass, it has now become a tourist spot.

General James Dalton

The historical site was originally named in honor of General James Leo Dalton II who commanded the 161st Infantry Division during the New Georgia Campaign in 1943 and Battle of Luzon in 1945 before being promoted and reassigned as assistant commander of the 25th Infantry Division. He was killed by a Japanese sniper during the Battle of Balete Pass on May 16, 1945.

Though Dalton was buried at USAFE Cemetery No. 1, Santa Barbara, Luzon on May 18, 1945, the pass where Dalton died was named after him. Dalton was one of 11 US general officers killed in action during World War II.

Renaming the site

Nueva Vizcaya Representative Carlos Padilla filed a bill in congress renaming the historic landmark of the province into “Balete Pass” to formally earn its mark from the National Historical Institute(NHI) as the historic site of the battle of the allied American and Filipino soldiers against Japanese forces.

“By renaming it into Balete Pass, it will become a reminder and recognition on the bravery, courage and identity of those involved in fighting their own side of history, whether they be foreigners or Filipinos,” Padilla said.

The bill is now in the Senate, pending approval. Once approved by the Senate, Padilla added, the bill will also support and reinforce the resolution passed by the local government of Sta. Fe to formally name the marker as “Balete Pass.” (TCB/BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)

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