The ruined Fort Almonte in Lanao del Norte

The island of Mindanao has always been a problem for the Spanish colonial governement. Although it was able to establish towns and build churches, it’s authority has always been challenged not only by the Muslims who raided its pueblos for the slave markets in Batavia and then in Sulu, but also by indigenous peoples who …

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The Banza Church ruins of Butuan City

When it comes to heritage churches, Mindanao can only show us a few structures sprinkled around the big island. There’s just a few Spanish colonial era churches. There are a few forts and some ruins, a cemetery and a few more watchtowers. But when I read online that there is a ruin of a belfry …

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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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Caraga Church façade and exterior

Caraga Church in Davao Oriental is a quadrilateral structure that is sparsely decorated. The lower level is made of mamposteria or rubble/stones with some parts finished with finely cut coral. There are only quite a few architectural details that might be interesting.