28
Jan
08

Watchtowers of Iloilo • Guimbal, Tigbauan, Miagao

Of five towers built along the shore, three remain.  “Iloilo visitor’s guide” DOT, 1995: 39 says “29 kms. southwest of Iloilo City; 5 stone watchtowers called ‘bantayan’ by the natives (were built) during the Spanish era to warn the townspeople of marauding pirates.”

 These watchtowers were most likely built in the late-18th century. 

Of the remaining watchtowers—two cylindrical, one octagonal—of yellowish volcanic tuff, the same material used for Miagao church still stand near the shore. Two are within the town proper, at Barangay Colon and Pescador. The third is near the boundary of Tigbauan and Guimbal inside RASCO Resort. All are badly restored with synthetic stone finish. and the addition of an external steel ladder and a light post on the towers’

upper stories.

 The watchtower at Colon was already leaning on its side, caused by storm surge and tidal erosion, when it was restored by the Department of Tourism around 1984.

A fourth watchtower, remodelled as barangay hall is in Miagao at Barangay Baybay. Town lore gives the year 1760 as the date of construction. The watchtower was repaired and remodelled in 1994.

 

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