08 May 2016

Lighthouses in Batangas: Safety Beacons for Seafarers

Image sent in by Jigger Gilera, MD.

Lighthouses are beacons of light that shine in the dark and serve as “navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or inland waterways.” They “mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbours, and can also assist in aerial navigation.1

The Global Positioning System (GPS) and other modern navigational technologies have rendered lighthouses somewhat obsolescent. The Philippines being an archipelago, however, lighthouses even in the present day continue to help ships manoeuvre through the country’s “narrow straits and channels, pointing out safe passages and leading vessels to their destination ports.2

Several of these are in Batangas, some still actively guiding vessels to and from international waters or ports south of Luzon. Others have been consigned to the pages of History, no longer beaming their lights but bore witness as the story of our nation unfolded.

Here are some of the lighthouses of Batangas:

Arenas Point Light

Arenas Point.  Image credit:  Google Earth.

A fairly recent navigational light found inside the grounds of the KEPCO Power Plant at the Arenas Point close to the Batangas-Lobo Road. The light flashes every 5 seconds and is directly opposite the Verde Island Light.3

Bureau of Customs Light

Image credit: Batanggenyong Online.  The beacon sits atop the BOC building.

Probably not a lighthouse in the way most people envision one to look like, but more a beacon of light that sits atop the Bureau of Customs building at the port area in Batangas City. The light coming from the beacon flashes every 15 seconds.4

Cape Santiago (Punta de Santiago) Lighthouse

The historic Cape Santiago Lighthouse.  Image sent in by Jigger Gilera, MD.

Found in Calatagan, Batangas, the Cape Santiago Lighthouse is also sometimes referred to as the “Punta de Santiago” (Santiago Point) “Faro de Punta Santiago” (Santiago Point Lighthouse). It was built in 18905. In 2007, the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary proposed to restore the lighthouse and adopt it as its regional headquarters. The lighthouse’s beacon flashes every 10 seconds.3

Culebra Island Lighthouse

A lighthouse guides vehicles in Batangas Bay from Culebra Island.  Image credit:  Google Earth.

Culebra Island is a small islet part of the Municipality of Tingloy. It is alternatively known as Bonito or Balahibong Manok. A lighthouse that flashes every 10 seconds guides seagoing vessels in Batangas Bay.3

Fortune Island Lighthouse

The Fortune Island Lighthouse.  Image captured from video uploaded by Jun Villegas to YouTube.

Fortune Island, offshore from the town of Nasugbu, is regarded as a notorious hazard for ships northbound to Manila. A lighthouse strategically located at the island’s highest point warns ships of this danger. A white light flashes from the lighthouse every 10 seconds.3

Malabrigo Point Lighthouse

The historic Malabrigo Point Lighthouse in Lobo.  Image credit:  Google Street View.

Historic but still active, the Malabrigo Point Lighthouse in the Municipality of Lobo, built in 1896, is a favourite destination among visitors to the town. The lighthouse was refurbished and solarized by the Philippine Coastguard in 2004 and is in fairly good condition. The lighthouse is well situated overlooking the Verde Island Passage and its beacon flashes three white lights every 15 seconds.3

Matoco Point Lighthouse

The Matoco Point Lighthouse.  Image sent in by Jigger Gilera, MD.

Seen by passengers along the Batangas City-Mindoro route, the Matoco Point Lighthouse is located on an elevated promontory approaching the eastern entrance to Batangas Bay. It is a white aluminium tower that flashes a white light every 8 seconds.3

Nasugbu (Wawa) Lighthouse

A lighthouse is at the end of the pier at Barangay Wawa in Nasugbu.  Image credit:  Google Street View.

The lighthouse at Barangay Wawa in the town of Nasugbu is a slender concrete structure surrounded by a winding staircase leading to the top. From the top of the lighthouses flashes a green light every 5 seconds. The lighthouse is located at the end of the pier and serves as a guide to fishermen.3

Parolang Patay

The Parolang Patay in Calatagan.  Image credit:  Jasmin Caisip.  Image sent in by Jigger Gilera, MD.

The Parolang Patay is an inactive lighthouse in front of Balitoc in Calatagan, Batangas.

Verde Island Lighthouse

Verde Island lies between Batangas Bay and Mindoro.  Image credit:  Google Earth.

The Verde Island Lighthouse is a white concrete structure with an external ladder to reach the top, and is open to visitors. The lighthouse flashes a white light every 3 seconds.3

References:

1 Lighthouse, Wikipedia
2 Lighthouses in the Philippines, Wikipedia
3 Lighthouses of the Northern Philippines, online at the Lighthouse Directory
4 Batangas Customs House, online at Marine Traffic
5 Calatagan Lighthouse Punta de Santiago, Online at Batangas-Philippines.com

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