LANDING SITE. A historical marker sits in Barangay Caunayan in Pagudpud town, Ilocos Norte province to commemorate the first landing site of the USS Stingray submarine in this undated photo. To develop the area and promote its historical value, the local government unit of Pagudpud is seeking for the site's inclusion as a registered cultural property of the Philippines. (Contributed)

LAOAG CITY – The local government unit of Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte is eyeing the declaration of the landing site of the USS Stingray submarine in a quaint village of Caunayan as an important part of Philippine history during World War II.

For the people of Pagudpud, the historical site can be an added attraction for tourists visiting the area as it gives them a glimpse of history, connecting the past to the present.

On Tuesday, a resolution from the local government unit of Pagudpud has been forwarded to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, declaring the Stingray Memorial of Sitio Bimmanaaw in Barangay Caunayan as a cultural heritage and endorsing it further to the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) to be registered as a cultural property of the Philippines.

According to reelected Mayor Rafael Ralph Benemerito II, the historical site can be developed and promoted in support of Pagudpud’s booming tourism industry. “We hope that our government authorities will recognize its historical value for our future generation,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

Sponsored by the Philippine Veterans Bank, a historical marker of the Stingray Memorial has been installed in a secluded and quiet Caunayan Bay where the first successful landing took place in this northern part of the Philippines during World War II. The marker is made of marble, stone, and pebble, topped with a 500-kilo anchor.

The marker pays tribute to the bolomen and guerrillas of the Philippines and the crews of the 20 special mission American submarines that supplied them with materials.

The USS Stingray surfaced off the Maira-ira Point in Pagudpud town on August 27, 1944, and unloaded 15 tons of weapons and supplies for the Ilocano guerrillas who fought the Japanese with the help of American forces.

Based on the testimonies of war veterans, the first landing site fueled the determination of the bolomen to fight the Japanese occupation forces. (PNA)