A hybrid virtual celebration of the 76th Anniversary of the Victory at Balete Pass was spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya, the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) on 13 May 2021.
The four-part program of the virtual commemoration commenced with a wreath laying ceremony at the Balete Pass National Shrine. Wreaths were offered by Hon. Tidong Benito, Municipal Mayor of Santa Fe, and Col Marcelino Tacadena Jr, VFP Bayombong Post President, assisted by the Philippine National Police Santa Fe. Flowers were also offered by the Sangguniang Bayan members, Heads of Offices of the local government of Nueva Vizcaya and Santa Fe, and the veterans.
The events that transpired during the Battle of Balete Pass during the Second World War were revisited through an audio-visual presentation. Likewise, Sangguniang Bayan Member and Municipal Historian Hon. Alberto Dulnuan provided a brief historical background of the occasion.
A symbolic releasing of doves and balloons at the Balete Pass National Shrine was also conducted to pay Tribute to the Battle of Balete Pass Heroes. Both Nueva Vizcaya Governor Hon. Carlos M. Padilla and Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) President Dr. Cesar Pobre extended their greetings and congratulations on this historical day through recorded messages.
The Battle at Balete Pass was one of the significant battles that led to the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese occupation. The fierce battle drove the Japanese Army to Kiangan, Ifugao, effectively saving the greater part of northern Luzon from utter devastation and the lives of many from the retreating Japanese Forces. It is commemorated yearly as a tribute to the gallant Filipino soldiers and guerilla fighters who, together with the 25th Infantry Division of the US Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE), fought the Japanese Forces during World War II.