CERVANTES, Ilocos Sur – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Ilocos held an eco-tour activity at the Bessang Pass Natural Monument in Barangay Malaya in this town on June 5-6.
Dubbed “Tara Kabataan, Lakbay Kalikasan,” the activity was part of the DENR’s information campaign to enhance awareness of the public, especially the youth, on the 15 protected areas in Region I.
Rosemarie Jornacion, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)-Ilocos Sur, said the eco-tour aimed not just to bring awareness but to give value to the historical and cultural relevance of these protected areas, inspired to awaken the youth’s appreciation of the natural treasures.
Jornacion said that participants of the eco-tour include students who are members of Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) in Cervantes town and Kids-to-Forest from La Union, together with the media and the designated information officers of DENR Region 1.
“The two-day activity involved a lecture on the history of the Bessang Pass Natural Monument and the biodiversity management, historical tour and a wild camp for the participants to appreciate the importance of preserving the natural resources,” Jornacion told the Philippine Information Agency.
This memorial commemorates the victory on June 14, 1945 by Filipino soldiers serving the United States Army Forces in the Philippines Northern Luzon over the Imperial Japanese Army in the Battle of Bessang Pass which led to Japan’s eventual surrender and end to World War II in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the provincial government of Ilocos Sur, in partnership with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, the local government of Cervantes, and the DENR, will celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Bessang Pass on June 14.
A simple commemorative program and a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Bessang Pass Natural Monument to honor thousands of Filipino soldiers who were killed and wounded in the battle against retreating Japanese forces. (April Montes-Bravo /PIA-1, Ilocos Sur)