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) or triangular ones like in Guinsiliban, Camiguin.
But when I saw the one in Pitogo, Quezon, in the Bondoc Peninsula, I was not sure if it was actually a watchtower or a small fort. First, it has two storeys. The second storey is smaller in size than the first. Second, its not wholly hexagonal or octagonal but irregularly shaped. Third, it’s quite unusual that the interior of the first storey has a stone vault which is quite interesting. But one thing is sure, located at a promontory, it has a good view of the area until houses were built around it.
I haven’t come across of records or data that says when it was built and by whom but probably by the Franciscan Order which evangelized in this part of the Philippines. Watchtowers are not uncommon although there might have been several like seven in Atimonan but only Iskong Bantay remains. There’s Fort San Diego in Gumaca, the only remaining fortification in the municipality. As well those of Catanauan that are long gone.