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.
It was named after the chief defender of the town, named Francisco Tandas, popularly known as Iskong Bantay, who saw action during the raid in 1872 (this information is contained in the historical marker attached to the watchtower wall.) In 1948-1951, it was repaired.
In 1995, under the so called beautification project of then Mayor Remedios Diestro, the current look of Iskong Bantay took form. The interior of the watchtower was filled and was leveled at the top to become an elevated park. Most of the wall surface, except the back was irregularly patched with cement. A cement staircase was built in the middle. Where the stairs part, is the head of a carabao.
Tacky. Badly done. the landscaping and beautification doesn’t give justice to the proud structure that defended the town. And what about that parting stairs with a carabao’s head and a Japanese/Chinese garden in the middle? What about those faux cement bamboo at the side? The idea on paper or in the minds of the project proponent might have been good, noble, in fact but unfortunately, why do people let the tasteless do the beautification?
Poor Iskong Bantay.