May 13, 2017; Tactac, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya – The Local Government Unit of Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya together with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) observed the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Balete Pass, formerly known as Dalton Pass.
During World War II, the Balete Pass – Santa Fe – Imugan area was considered a critical region to defeat the Japanese defensive system. It not only served as the front door to the Japanese soldiers, it is the gateway to the vital source of supply, the Cagayan Valley.
Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos M. Padilla served as the Guest of Honor and Speaker of the said commemoration. In his speech, he reiterated the importance of remembering battles fought by our veterans, as this provides inspiration for the future generation to follow. He also challenged PVAO to produce a book on the Battle of Balete Pass to inform more people of the significance of the place and its important mark in the Philippine history.
PVAO Veterans Affairs Management Division (VAMD) Chief Alfredo S. Cayton, Jr. represented PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina who, in his prepared speech, emphasized his gratitude to our World War II veterans. According to the PVAO Administrator, our generation now must also do their share in upholding the legacy of heroism, valour, and loyalty to the country.
PVAO also set up a Help Desk at the event, which reached out to veterans of Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. Through this, veteran records were updated on-site.
Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya Mayor Liwayway C. Caramat, Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) Vice President William Esplana, and the members of VFP Nueva Vizcaya Chapter were also present during the gathering.