PIA Dispatch - Saturday, July 30, 2011

Caraga can boost historical tourism says DOT official

by Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, July 30 – The first US World War II submarine in Mindanao surfaced here in Caraga region.

This was pointed out by Department of Tourism Regional Director Letecia D. Tan in a press conference with the local media in preparation of the forthcoming 17-Caraga Business Conference jointly hosted by the Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (BCCCFI) and the Butuan City Government.

Tan said that this is just one of Caraga region's historical treasures that can be developed to boost local tourism.

Dir. Tan explained earlier in the forum that tourism industry encompasses other business or economic activities.

The theme of today’s gathering “Pushing for a Progressive Caraga" should be able to promote this thrust, she said.

Tan said that since 2009, she already had conceptualized and planned to launch in Nasipit town of Agusan del Norte of what she dubbed as “World War II Tourism.” But the concept did not materialize and had been set aside as it seem to fail to gain the attention of the supposed to be stakeholders of the place.

Tan said that she had wanted the project launched at the said municipality as the first US World War II submarine to surface in Mindanao, the USS Narwhal SS-167 happened at the seawaters of the said municipality. The submarine, according to her unloaded arms and logistics to the freedom fighters against the Japanese Imperial Army at that time and was also in a rescue mission of some entrapped American nationals.

Based on the USS Narwhal SS-167 Log for the years 1927-1945 (data gleaned from The Dictionary of American Fighting Ships) in a web site maintained by Harry Kholer, son of Harry F. Kholer, EMIc, of the said submarine; it was mentioned that on November 15, 1943 the USS Narwhal SS-167 loaded with 92 tons of cargoes under the command of Commander Frank D. Latta, USNR, as part of its 7th War Patrol docked at Nasipit, Mindanao to unload some of its cargoes to the tune of “Anchors Aweigh” played by a grateful Filipino band. The submarine then embarked 32 evacuees, including 8 women, 2 children and a baby destined for Darwin, Australia.

And that was not the last patrol that the submarine had engaged itself in this region. During its 8th War Patrol it came back with the usual cargo and 11 Army operatives and sails for Cabadaran, Mindanao. Then again on December 2, 1943 it arrived accordingly in Butuan Bay for disembarking and picking up of 7 evacuees.

And then on its 10th War Patrol on March 2, 1944, it delivered more ammunitions to Butuan Bay and embarks 28 passengers.

These will just prove, Tan said, the richness of our historical heritage which may cater to historical quests of our domestic or foreign tourists. She pushed for the Caraganon’s to exploit such and other historical facts and information which may be tourism attractive.

The official said that after some time of laying aside her “World War II Tourism” she was accordingly surprised that yesterday morning an executive officer of the Veterans Bank from Manila, went to her office together with a consultant and coordinated with her office as they had planned that on August 19, this year they accordingly will place a World War II Exhibit at Butuan City Regional Museum.

Tan said that this development may have a great implication to the region’s tourism industry as they can include this in every regional tourism package. She said that the right time had come for Butuan or Caraga’s history to be related also to the Second World War.

Mayor Amante for his part admitted that we don’t have so much tourism attractive places in the city as compared to the other places of the region. But we have a rich history and aside, also the access to the other places in the region. Visitors who would want to go to Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and even to the other provinces will be through passing by our city as we have the airport here.

So the call will be “One Voice, One Caraga” meaning what will be good to Butuan City will also be beneficial to the other places in the region. (PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano News: Testimonial parade sa 1st woman BGen sa Mindanao area, gilusad

BUTUAN CITY, Hulyo 30 – Gipahigayon kaganinang buntag ang testimonial parade alang sa bag-o ug unang babayeng heneral sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) nga taga Mindanao, dinhi sa Sports Complex sa dakbayan.

Sa eksklusibong pakighinabi sa usa sa mga sibyahan kang 1st Woman Brigader General Charito "Ching" Plaza, gilusad kaganinang alas-8 sa buntag sa Butuan City Sports Complex ang reservists’ assembly kundiin managtagbo ang tanang reservees sa AFP sa Caraga.

Tumong sa nasangpit nga asembliya nga mapakita sa mga Butuanon ug Caraganon ang kapabilidad sa mga reservists atol sa pakigbisog sa giyera og kagubot.

Gawas niini, gipahigayong usab ang testimonial parade isip pagpasalamat ni Brigader General Plaza human napiling pinakaunang babae nga heneral sa Mindanao Area.

Si 1st Woman Brigader General Charito "Ching" Plaza ang gibansagang "Mother of Caraga" atol sa iyang pagpanerbisyo isip kongresista sa Butuan City ug Las Nieves Agusan del Norte.

Siya ang nahimong principal author sa RA 9701, an act creating the Caraga Aministrative Region nga gilagdaan ni kanhing Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos niadtong February 23, 1995. (BR/PIA-Caraga)