The lost small fort of Carmen in Cebu

A portion of the wall behind these bananas

A portion of the wall behind these bananas

Lost in the row of houses in Barangay Luyang in Carmen, Cebu is a small fort that, unfortunately has been ruined and almost obliterated as vegetation and human habitation has overun this structure. Well, except for a section of the walls and a part of the watchtower.

Cebu was one of the hardest hit areas in the Visayas which was directly along the route of the muslim slave raiders on their way back to Sulu, riding on the winds of the northeast monsoon. Dotted along the coast of the island, and especially the series of telegraphic watchtowers of Fray Bermejo of Boljoon are these watchtowers. But the one in Carmen, north of Cebu City is different.

From the way the ruins look, this used to be a small triangular fort with a watchtower as part of its defense. The location is strategic. The municipality of Carmen is protected by a tongue of land, a peninsula fronting it. And Barangay Luyang is in the forefront, facing the sea. The guards at this fort would eventually see incoming and outgoing boats and in case of an incoming siege, can warn the community.

It’s interesting to note that not even Rene Javellana’s book, Fortress of Empire lists this structure. And that makes it all difficult as we have no information about this particular small fort. What also makes documentation difficult is that the area is quiet small. Even with my ultra wide lens, I’m having difficulty taking photographs because of the vegetation and encroaching houses.

What probable secrets this small fort have, we don’t really know.

READ MORE: Tea, trade and tears: the Muslim slave raids of the 18th-19th centuries, Part 1 of 3

Another ruined part of the fort

Another ruined part of the fort

Remnants of the fort

Remnants of the fort

The watchtower's wall

The watchtower’s wall

The fort is made of mamposteria

The fort is made of mamposteria

Section of the wall, background is part of the watchtower

Section of the wall, background is part of the watchtower

Section of the wall

Section of the wall

Portion of the watchtower

Portion of the watchtower

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