Calatagan’s seashore has at all times been the first cause for my visits to this charming a part of Batangas. The picturesque white sands and breathtaking views have lured me again to Stilts Calatagan a number of instances. Throughout my current journey with household and mates, I made a decision to deliver my folding bike to discover the close by areas, together with the century-old Spanish lighthouse, Cape Santiago, or Faro de Cabo Santiago – one of many well-preserved remnants of Spanish structure within the nation.
Biking to Parola
Positioned simply 6km away from Stilts Calatagan, Cape Santiago rests within the hills of Barangay Bagong Silang, as soon as referred to as Barangay Parola. The highway main out of the resort was tough, however as quickly as I reached the nationwide highway, it remodeled right into a conveniently paved route. Regardless of being a slender two-way road, it skilled minimal site visitors. I relished the agricultural ambiance, passing by a couple of resort institutions scattered amidst huge grasslands and rice fields. Quickly, I noticed a small signal pointing to Cape Santiago, main me again onto a dust highway.
Cape Santiago Lighthouse
Cape Santiago is likely one of the 24 Spanish lighthouses constructed between 1846 and 1896, as a part of the “Masterplan for the Lighting of the Maritime Coast of the Philippine Archipelago.” Though the preliminary plan was to construct 55 lighthouses throughout the archipelago, solely 24 had been accomplished. On the time of writing, 21 of those lighthouses nonetheless stand (To be confirmed).
Spanish engineer Magin Pers y Pers, famend for designing Cape Bojeador and Cape Engaño lighthouses, proposed the location for Cape Santiago. Don Santiago Zobel, a affluent hacienda landlord, donated a one-hectare plot the place the lighthouse stands, giving it its identify.
Designed by Spanish engineer Guillermo Brockman, the lighthouse attracts inspiration from European castles, constructed with brick and lime in a rounded form. Adjoining to the tower, the lighthouse keeper’s home was constructed. It was formally lit on December 15, 1890.
Philippine Coast Guard Takeover
The tough highway continues to the gate entrance of the lighthouse space, the place non-residents are charged an entrance charge of P50, whereas Calatagan residents pay P25. The lighthouse is open from 6 a.m. to five:30 p.m., and there’s a parking charge of P10.
A notable characteristic close to the doorway is a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter displayed by the ravine. This BQ–105C mild utility helicopter, developed by Bulkow of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1967, was constructed by the Coast Guard Aviation Power. In October 2007, the PCG proposed adopting and preserving the lighthouse as its headquarters. On March 17, 2021, the PCG of Calatagan was entrusted with the preservation of the lighthouse.
I explored the realm, noticing the National Historic Fee of the Philippines (NHCP) marker on the facade of the lighthouse keeper’s home, designating it as a Nationwide Historic Landmark on March 12, 2018.
The encircling areas had been well-maintained and pristine. The most effective view of the lighthouse was from the again, the place its total 51 ft peak and round construction had been seen. Perched atop a hill, it supplied a panoramic view of the Verde Island Passage. Whereas entry to the precise lighthouse was restricted, the encircling space offered a breezy and tranquil environment. Cape Santiago stands as an awe-inspiring piece of historical past that has weathered the cruel setting and the brutality of conflict. I’m delighted to have lastly visited this magnificent construction and extremely suggest it as a facet journey once you’re in Calatagan.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning journey photographer, author and blogger. His works has discovered print in publications comparable to Singapore Airways’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airways’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has additionally lent his experience to varied organizations just like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Basis, Save the Kids and World Imaginative and prescient, contributing high quality pictures for his or her advertising and marketing supplies.