Amlan’s long neglected watchtower in ruins

Amlan's crumbling watchtower. The back is already eroded and open

Amlan’s crumbling watchtower. The back is already eroded and open

History wasn’t really so good for coastal communities in Negros Oriental, like many coastal communities for most of Visayas, Bicol, Palawan and Northern Mindanao. During the height of the Muslim slave raiding which reached its peak in the early 19th century, several towns were pillaged and townsfolks sent to be sold in the slave market of Sulu. As a reaction, several watchtowers were built like the towering belfry/watchtower of Dumaguete and a smaller one in Amlan, to the north.

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

It was in the course of photographing the church of Amlan for a 2007 coffee table book that I stumbled on this little watchtower by the sea. It is in ruins with the side facing the water eroded. A house built directly beside it while chicken coops placed at its foot. Only a portion (at the top) of the paletada remained while most of the walls, the rocks are already exposed.

READ MORE: Philippine Church Facades – Pedro Galende, OSA

This photo was taken 9 years ago and I don’t know its present condition. Is it still there?


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