Sunday, October 26, 2014

LakbayLoyd Lighthouse Series 16: EL FARO DE PUNTA BAGACAY, Liloan, Cebu

El Faro De Punta Bagacay, also known as Bagacay Point Lighthouse, which still stands today on top of the hill in Barangay Catarman, Liloan, Cebu, was originally established in 1857 by the Spanish government and was never built until the end of the Spanish occupation.

The Americans took over the project and the landmark was built, standing at 72 feet overlooking the Mactan Channel,  by virtue of an executive order issued in July 1903 by William Howard Taft, the first American Governor General in the Philippines.

It is not clear if the construction started in 1904 or the lightouse was finished in 1904, as inscribed in the lighthouse's main entrance. Nevertheless, it still is in good condition.

According to Wikipedia, the lighthouse was first lit on April 1, 1905, The present octagonal tower is all masonry and is powered by electricity (others are solar-powered) and continued to guide vessels approaching the northeast entrance of the Cebu harbor. It was declared a national Historical Landmark on August 13, 2004.

The town and people of Liloan, Cebu take pride of this historical structure as they constructed a replica at the town center.

The Bagacay Lighthouse replica located at the town center

LakbayLoyd Lighthouse Series 15: LUZ DEL PUERTO DE SAN FERNANDO, Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union

Towers of metal called tourelle were fabricated and designed during the massive lighting project during the Spanish Era in the 19th century. One of those, and still standing as of this present time, is the Luz Del Puerto De San Fernando.

Installed in November 1885, the tower, made entirely of steel, is one of the eight lighthouses in the Philippines of its kind which were ordered from France. It stood 6 meters from its concrete base. And because of its easy access to the community, only basic shelter were provided for the lighthouse keepers. Built in 1903, the dwelling provided for the keeper still stands.

Poro Point, also known as Punta San Fernando, has been a major navigational site since 1885. After the Spanish era, the Americans took over the port and the site became Camp Wallace.  A concrete tower, the old lighthouse’s subsequent replacement, was built in 1979. It was located a few meters inland.

Poro Point is one of the most visited tourist attractions in La Union. Thanks to Thunderbird Resort, the most popular among tourists, with its deluxe hotel facilities and golf courses exclusive for members only.

A bit of warning. One has to pass two separate gates with guards. Just state your intention to visit the lighthouse and you'll be allowed. Remember that this used to be a US military base used to house sophisticated communication facilities, that's why. 

La Union's Attractions.

In San Fernando City, a number of attractions are awaiting tourists to visit and enjoy to complete their itinerary.

Cathedral of Saint William The Hermit
Ma-Cho Temple
San Fernando city Town Plaza
Cafe Esperanza right in the center of the plaza

The famous Bibingka of San Fernando City
Halo Halo De Iloco, Always-wait-to-be-seated  

What Halo Halo De Iloco is famous for? Of course, the halo halo!
Pindangan Ruins
Thunderbird Resort, of course!

Your tour of La Union will never be complete without visiting places popular in the province.

Our Lady of Namacpacan (Church of Sta CatalinaDe Alejandra) in Luna

Baluarte Watch Tower in Luna

Bahay Na Bato in Luna
And the ultimate experience in La Union - surfing the famous beaches in San Juan.

With acknowledgements to Ms. Marisol, accredited tour guide from the Department of Tourism - San Fernando City, La Union.

The Overrated Pine Trees of ANAWANGIN COVE

In 1990, Mount Pinatubo unleashed its fury and erupted - one of the most violent and deadliest volcanic eruption in the history of mankind.

Anawangin Cove was covered with ashes, became isolated for quite some time, probably left barren. 
A few years later, the beach front was formed divinely covered with fine white sand (the product of Pinatubo ashes, that is!), and lush foliage of pine trees started to grow and cover the entire cove. What a magnificent reward from Mother Nature!

These pine trees made Anawangin cove so popular, and its popularity spread across the nation and the world! Almost everyone wants to go there. The sleepy sitio of Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales is now the center of tourism in Zambales!

Our original plan was just to go to Capones Lighthouse. But our bancero insisted we should try Anawangin first. He said the fine trees look great!

Anyway, for curiosity's sake, Tess and I went there to find out for ourselves why this is the prime destination in this town. Truly, upon reaching the cove, we were awed by the beach with fine grey sand turning white under the sun and the welcoming sight of the surrounding green mountain slopes and visible tips of pine trees from afar.

It was amazing, a sight to behold, a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

But devastatingly disappointing! People started to litter the place and the whole surrounding smells. The pine trees are boring, some died and fallen. I guess the influx of people visiting the island prevented the trees from growing. There are barely a few sprout shooting from the ground.  

Nipa huts, concrete stalls, tents abound the cove. Indeed not a pleasant sight for this marvelous creation. Resolutions, prevention and preservation, and public awareness must be done here! This may not sound pleasant but I have to write about this. 

The pine trees of Anawangin Cove are overrated!


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