The Japanese fortress in the neighboring municipalities of Sibalom and San Remigio in Antique is being eyed as a heritage site.
Antique Vice Governor Edgar Denosta, in an interview on Tuesday, said the Provincial Board has supported his resolution requesting the provincial tourism office to conduct a study or validate the Japanese fortress so that it could be preserved and declared as a heritage site.
“Based on the narrations of the local folks in Barangay of Bongbongan I in Sibalom and Sitio Cabigunda in Barangay Carmelo I of San Remigio, their place used to be where the Japanese colonizers had their copper mining activity,” he said.
He added that there are concrete infrastructures, which are remnants of World War II, that are still intact when he visited the area on Jan. 14.
“There were military armory, foxholes, approach bridge, lookout tower, and about four tunnels that still exist there,” Denosta said.
He said that his resolution, sponsored by Board Members Errol Santillan and Noel Alamis, also intended to document the historical account of the place.
“Bongbongan I used to be referred to as ‘Bongbongan City’ during the Japanese occupation,” he said.
The Provincial Tourism Office is expected to conduct the study in the coming days as his resolution was unanimously approved by the Provincial Board on Feb. 4.
With the declaration of the area as a heritage site, he said it could also become one of the tourist destinations to be visited by people interested to see WW II remnants.
The mountainous barangay of Bongbongan I, Denosta said, is one of the 76 barangays of Sibalom that shares common borders with Barangay Carawisan I of San Remigio, and Buenavista of the municipality of Belison. (PNA)