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.

READ MORE: Tea, trade and tears: the Muslim slave raids of the 18th-19th centuries

These structures have been spruced up and beautified by the Department of Tourism (from Muog) starting in 1984. Although now in presentable condition, the upper levels have been coated with cement and has faux rock outlines while the cavity was filled up and cemented. A streetlight has been mounted at the centers.

Barangay Pescador (the Poblacion) Watchtower

Guimbal watchtowers

The watchtower at Barangay Pescador at the Poblacion in Guimbal

An octagonal structure, the Barangay Pescador watchtower is the nearest bantayan (vernacular for the watchtower) in the town center and the old church. Located along the road and at the edge of houses near the sea. A steel ladder brings you to the top.

Guimbal watchtowers

Behind this poblacion watchtower, a steel ladder brings you to the top

Guimbal watchtowers

Atop the poblacion watchtower, they’ve filled it up and paved with cement.

Barangay Barangay Generosa-Cristobal Colon Watchtower

Guimbal watchtowers

The Barangay Barangay Generosa-Cristobal Colon watchtower is a few minutes walk from the Rizal Tuguisan structure

This watchtower is just a few minutes walk from Barangay Pescador and is just beside the coast. It’s a few meters from a barangay road. Like the other watchtowers, the base has been cemented, cleaned surroundings and lighted up. Unlike the Pescador bantayan, it is round.

Guimbal watchtowers

Closer look at the Barangay Barangay Generosa-Cristobal Colon watchtower

Barangay Rizal-Tuguisan Watchtower

Guimbal watchtowers

The bantayan or watchtower in Rizal Tuguisan, Guimbal, Iloilo which is just outside the Bantayan Beach Resort

Located near the Guimbal-Tigbauan border and just outside the Bantayan Beach Resort compound, it is similar to the one in Barangay Colon, which is also round. The two differs in how the top portion is formed.

Guimbal watchtowers

Closer view of the Rizal Tuguisan watchtower

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