Sunday, November 9, 2014

LakbayLoyd Lighthouse Series 17: EL FARO DE ISLOTE DE MANIGONIGO, Manigonigo Island, Carles, Iloilo

Brief History

El Faro De Islote De Manigonigo was erected by the Spanish government on the tiny Manigonigo Island, one of the fourteen islands politically administered by the town of Carles in Iloilo province. This lighthouse, which was built in 1894 is part of the 27 major lighthouses built during the Spanish era.

Described as the "gray iron tower", the original design of the light tower was a 10 meter cylindrical cast iron fabricated from France and was believed the be the first of the tourelle-type lighthouses similar to Luz Del Puerto De San Fernando, Faro De Sibulac-Babac De Gigantes, Faro De Punta Luzaran, and Faro De Islas Calabazas.

The original tower no longer exist and was replaced by a modern white metal light tower erected near the original location of the old one, and can be seen from Carles shores. The ruined keeper's house is still standing, and it's fortunate that some caretaker managed to cut the thick bushes allowing me to take clear pictures of the lighthouse and the surroundings.

How I Got There

I could consider this as one of my Off-The-Beaten-Track lighthouse exploration. Carles, for some obvious reasons, was badly hit by Yolanda and even then, was never a prefered travel destination for tourists. Manigonigo Island is likewise isolated and no one visit the island except for Bantay Dagat staff.

Knowing my limitations, I called the Iloilo Provincial Tourism Office to get information which they delightedly provided. Mr. Bombet Marin, the Provincial Tourism Head was more than accomodating and referred me to Ms.Annie Abad, Carles' Tourism Officer (09178311977), who also referred me to Ms. Vema Monteclaro, her resort-owner friend from Bancal, Carles who provided me with a wonderful accomodation at a minimal fee and arranged my boat to Manigonigo Island by persuading the Bancal Barangay Captain to allow us to use the Bantay Dagat Patrol Boat. The 3km distance from Bancal Port took us around 30 minutes to get to Manigonigo Island,

Ms. Vema is the owner of Chateau De Aow located few meters before the Bancal Port. Call the resort for reservations.

They also accommodate Gigantes Islands tour c/o Jeonard Monteclaro, Ms. Vema's son.

To get there, from Roxas City or Iloilo City, take the Ceres Bus to Carles (direct) or via Balasan then transfer to another bus for Carles and get off to Bancal Port.

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