Is this a watchtower or small fort in Pitogo, Quezon?

For a time, I’ve been documenting not only churches and cemeteries but also fortifications that include watcthowers and forts built during the Spanish colonial era across the country. While most watchtowers are built in circular or octagonal form like in Guimbal, Iloilo, there are also squares (Doong Island or Ambakon in Oslob, both in Cebu) …

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The rape of Iskong Bantay

Iskong Bantay is the lone watchtower left in Atimonan, Quezon. According to the historical marker, there used to be seven built in 1752 which served the town as a lookout and defense structure from muslim slave raiders who ravaged these parts, and most of the Philippines. READ MORE: Tea, trade and tears: the Muslim slave …

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The unique triangular watchtower of Guinsiliban

Across the Philippines, and especially in southeastern Cebu, there are watchtowers built during the Spanish colonial era in an effort to avert Muslim slave raiding that was rampant especially in the middle of the 18th to the middle of the 19th centuries. These served as lookouts that alerted the populace whenever there’s a sighting of …

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The three heritage watchtowers of Guimbal, Iloilo

The coastal municipality of Guimbal in Iloilo has three existing heritage watchtowers that were probably built in the 19th century as a defense against Muslim slave raiders who, from the middle of the 18th to the middle of the 19th centuries were the bane of many Philippine coastal communities from Luzon to Mindanao that time. …

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The forgotten cemetery perimeter fence of Quipayo

For many locals that I’ve asked around while in Calabanga, Camarines Sur, they say that the church in Quipayo, now part of this municipality, is the oldest in the province. While I have no data to support this one, there is, however, an interesting but forgotten structure in this barangay that is dangerously hanging on …

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Camaligan’s original catholic cemetery

Camaligan, a few kilometers outside of Naga City in Camarines Sur has an old cemetery just around 50 meters left of the church, along the highway. Built with bricks, it has a low lying perimeter fence with a beautiful but simple entrance arch. The chapel is modern but its function as a cemetery has long …

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The perimeter fence of Baclayon’s old cemetery

The cemetery of Baclayon is located about a hundred meters from the back of the church, at a hilly incline and is one of a very few existing Spanish colonial era cemeteries in Bohol. It is known as kuta, referring to the stone fence and which, according to Ricky Jose, in his book, Visita Iglesia …

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The old cemetery of Daraga

The province of Albay in Bicol has its own share of interesting old cemetery architecture with the cemetery chapel in Tabaco City, one of the most beautiful in the country. Closer to Legazpi City, the town of Daraga has its share. It’s located around 400 meters from the hill where the old parish church is …

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Piddig’s Sta. Ana church decommissioned

In a news article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Sta. Ana parish church in Piddig, Ilocos Norte has been decommissioned due to deteriorating structural integrity. Engineering experts from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts declared the edifice as unfit for occupancy. The last mass was held last 14 September led by Laoag …

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Dauis watchtower after the October 2013 earthquake

The devastating 15 October 2013 affected both Bohol and Cebu with the former suffering heavy damage. In preparation for our launched coffeetable book, Pagsulay, I was able to visit Bohol in November 2013. Although Dauis church sustained heavy damage, the Dauis watchtower has sustained cracks and some dislodged stone pieces. READ MORE: The Dauis watchtower …

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16 lost churches in Cebu, Iloilo, Antique, Bohol and Leyte

The Philippines has a good number of Spanish colonial era churches especially in the Visayas. However, there have been a number of these structures that have been lost over time due to several factors like earthquakes, war, typhoons, natural deterioration and human intervention. This compilation, although not as exhaustive is an attempt to show what …

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