Lighthouses of the Philippines: Bicol

The Philippines include more than 7000 islands stretching over 1750 km (1100 mi) of the western Pacific. The archipelago was a Spanish colony until the Spanish-American War of 1898, which brought the islands under U.S. administration. Japan occupied the islands during World War II (1942-45), and the country became independent shortly thereafter (1946).

This page lists lighthouses of the Bicol Region in the eastern part of the Phillipines. This area includes the southeastern "tail" of Luzon and the neighboring island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate. To the east of the area is the crucial San Bernardino Strait, between Luzon and Samar, the only passage from the Pacific Ocean into the central Philippines.

In the list, lighthouses are grouped under the closest major island, although a great many of the lighthouses are actually located on small islands in the nearby shipping lanes.

The lighthouse preservation movement is gaining some momentum in the Philippines. Until recently, all of the historic light stations were in very poor condition. However, the Philippines Coast Guard, which operates aids to navigation in the country, has recently repaired and renovated many of the towers. An "adopt a lighthouse" program has taken hold, and there's hope more extensive restorations will be carried out within the next few years.

Lighthouses in the Philippines are maintained by the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Services Command. Filipino and English are official languages in the Philippines. In Filipino, lighthouses are called parolas; an island is isla or pulo.

Many Philippine lighthouses are not well known, so better information and photos are needed.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Philippine Lighthouses
8 historic photos posted by Johann Stockinger.
Lighthouses in the Philippines
Wikipedia article, with links to articles on several of the individual lighthouses.
Spanish Lighthouses of the Philippines
This is the Directory's own list of the Spanish light stations, with notes on their current status.
Lighthouses in the Philippines
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Philippines
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses
Photos of Philippines lighthouses by Mike Baylon.
Online List of Lights - Philippines
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Marine Safety Services Command - Lighthouses
Lists of active lighthouses maintained by MSSC.
 


Jintotolo Light, Masbate, April 2014
Panoramio photo copyright Emil Siya
used by permission

Camarines Norte Lighthouse
[Canimog (Canimo) Island]
1927. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) slender round white concrete tower with a buttressed base. Keeper's house and other station buildings probably in poor condition. A view from the sea is available, Frederick Somera has a closeup of the base of the tower, and Google has a satellite view. NGA misspells the name as Canimo. Located on the northwestern tip of the island, east of Bagaspas Beach. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2772; NGA 14084.

Camarines Sur North Coast Lighthouses
* Cabusao
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white (?) flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal wood tower surrounding a square concrete pillar. A photo shows the light to be red, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the port. Located at Cabusao, a port at the south end of San Miguel Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2774; NGA 14088.
* [Sabang (Calabanga, Tarallo)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post with gallery. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Calabanga, a port at the south end of San Miguel Bay about 10 km (6 mi) east of Cabusao. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2775; NGA 14089.
Ocata Island
Date unknown (station established 1914). Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island off Sugar Loaf Point, the northern tip of Lahuy Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2778; NGA 14092.
Guinahuan (Guinahoan, Basot Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A photo is available, Randy Herher has a 2017 street view, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on heights near the southeast end of Guinahuan (Basot) Island, off the northeast coast of Lahuy Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2776; NGA 14092.3.
Gata
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on heights near the southwest end of Lahuy Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2778.5; NGA 14093.

Catanduanes Lighthouses
Note: Catanduanes is an island province off the southeastern coast of Luzon. The island is about 90 km (55 mi) long from north to south and 50 km (30 mi) wide; its population is about 230,000.
Tabugoc
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A photo is available, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a promontory on the east side of Tabugoc, on the northeast coast of Catanduanes. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2782; NGA 14114.
* Lolong Point (Panay Island) (2?)
Date unknown. Reactivated (inactive 2006-2014); focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (99 ft) white concrete tower with two galleries. The building has an enclosed 2-story square base, an octagonal skeletal section topped by a gallery, and then a square cylindrical section topped by the octagonal second gallery. This is a structure of the "Apo Reef" class. Marc Capistrano's photo is at right, ARLHS has Capistrano's view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. The Municipality of Panganiban calls this tower "the most modern and sophisticated Panay Lighthouse." However, Capistrano reported after a May 2008 visit that the light had lost its keeper in 2006 following a typhoon and had been out of service since. After many appeals by local officials and fishermen, the light was finally restored in May 2014. The lighthouse marks a right-angle turn in the direction of the east coast of the Philippines. Located on Panay Island, a small island off the northeastern corner of Catanduanes province. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-086; Admiralty F2794; NGA 14112.
* [Baras]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21.5 m (70 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post with four buttresses. Lighthouse painted white with blue stripes on the buttresses. A photo is available, and the light is barely visible in Google's satellite view. Located on a promontory on the east side of Baras Bay, on the southeastern coast of Catanduanes. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2790; NGA 14108.
Bote
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. White tower, height unknown. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on heights near the village of Bote and the southeastern tip of Catanduanes. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2789; NGA 14106.
* Virac
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower colored white with a red horizontal band and mounted on a square white concrete base. Google has a 2016 street view, but the light is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view of the location. The red band is not seen in a 2013 view from the sea. Located just north of the main pier in Virac, the capital city of Catanduanes, near the south end of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2788; NGA 14104.
* [Calolbon (San Andres)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete pillar with a buttressed base, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The light stands in front of the terminal building in a view from the sea, and Google has a street view, but the light is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view. Located near the base of the main pier in Calolbon, the port of San Andres and a terminal for ferries from Taboco on Luzon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2786; NGA 14100.

Lolong Point Light
Lolong Point Light, Catanduanes, May 2008
photo copyright Marc V. Capistrano
used by permission

Sialat Point (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 108 m (354 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) tower, described as skeletal by the light lists but listed as concrete by the Coast Guard. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. This light guides vessels in the Maqueda Channel, the strait separating Catanduanes from the mainland. Located at the southwestern tip of Catanduanes. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2784; NGA 14096.

Camarines Sur East Coast (Lagonoy Bay) Lighthouses
* Sabang Lagonoy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, and the lighthouse has not been located in Google's satellite view. Located at Sabang, a small port at the mouth of the Lagonoy River. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty F2798; NGA 14120.
Patitinan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory on the southwest corner of Lagonoy Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2798.5; NGA 14122.

Albay Lighthouses
* Bacacay (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A photo by Rick Bermundo (a little over halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a street view and a distant satellite view. Located at the base of the pier in Bacacay, a fishing and resort town at the south end of Tabaco Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2813; NGA 14129.4.
San Miguel Island
2009(?). Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); two green flashes every 4 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Mark Edson Rodriguez has a distant view from the sea, and Google has a distant satellite view. Note: There is another San Miguel Island Light in Masbate (see below). Located at the northwestern tip of San Miguel, an island off the south coast of the Lagonoy Gulf. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2800; NGA 14129.
Ungay Point (2)
Date unknown (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 94 m (307 ft); white flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round aluminum tower, according to the Coast Guard. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. The original lighthouse was concrete. This lighthouse marks the Albay Gulf, leading to the seaport of Legazpi, the largest city of southeastern Luzon. Environmentalists are protesting mining operations in the area. Located at the eastern end of Rapu-Rapu Island. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-064; Admiralty F2808; NGA 14136.
Legazpi (Legaspi)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the area. Much better known in Legazpi is a tall faux lighthouse on the Embarcadero downtown. Legazpi, the capital of the Bicol Region, has a population of nearly 200,000. Located at the north end of the Legazpi waterfront, on the south side of the Tibu River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2814; NGA 14140.

Sorsogon Lighthouses
Note: Sorsogon is the southeasternmost province of Luzon, occupying the extreme tip of the Bicol Peninsula.
* Port Gubat
Date unknown (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) white metal tower. No photo available, and the lighthouse has not been located in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Gubat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2818; NGA 14144.
* Barcelona
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower. Jay Quil has a photo, a closeup (3/4 the way down the page) and another photo (about 2/3 the way down the page) are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the ruins of a Spanish fort on the south side of Barcelona, a small port on the extreme east end of Sorsogon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2818.4; NGA 14145.
* Bulan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) square concrete post with a stairway winding around it. A photo (last photo on the page) is available, and Google has a street view, but the slender tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the location. Located near the foot of the ferry pier in Bulan, a town on the west side of Sorsogon facing the Ticao Pass. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2546; NGA 14160.
Bagatao Island
1904. Active (?); focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (29 ft) tourelle steel tower with octagonal lantern and gallery, painted white. Keeper's houses demolished. The photo by Loyd Martinez at right is from his visit in April 2015, Facebook has a collection of photos, Celeste Salala has a 2017 closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The lighthouse looked abandoned in a 2014 photo, but it was painted and refurbished before Loyd Martinez took several photos (including the one at right) in April 2015. The lighthouse was ordered by Spanish authorities and prefabricated in France; it was one of several such lighthouses installed by the U.S. early in its administration. Now it is the only representative of this group still in service. The government of Magallanes is working to preserve the station and develop it as a tourist attraction. Located at the eastern end of the island, in the entrance to the Bay of Sorsogon west of Magallanes. The island is accessible by passenger ferry from Magallanes. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-006; Admiralty F2536; NGA 14164.
Bagatao Island Northwest
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) round concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 500 m (0.3 mi) north of the historic lighthouse. Admiralty F2538; NGA 14168.

Bagatao Island Light, Sorsogon, April 2015
photo copyright Loyd Martinez; permission requested
* Casiguran
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) slender square white concrete tower with gallery. Cesar Cambay has a 2013 photo, Google has a street view, and the shadow of the light is seen in Google's satellite view. Located west of the pier in Casiguran, a town on the south side of Sorsogon Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2544; NGA 14172.
* [Castilla]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete post with four buttresses. The small tower has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located at Castilla, a fishing port on the west side of Sorsogon Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2540; NGA 14176.
Macalaya
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 800 m (1/2 mi) southeast of Macalaya, a fishing port on a northwestern embayment of Sorsogon Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2535.5; NGA 14169.
Port Putiao (Pilar, Quidavid Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three green flashes every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a forested promontory on the west side of the bay of Putiao. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2535; NGA 14170.

Masbate West Coast Lighthouses
Note: Masbate is a fishhook-shaped island located south of Luzon's southeastern Bicol Peninsula and northwest of Samar. Geographically it is the northernmost of the islands known as the Visayas, but it is governed along with southeastern Luzon as part of the Bicol Region. Aroroy, on the north coast, is the major port.
Zapatos Islands
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 70 m (230 ft); two white flashes every 10 s (?). Approx. 12 m (82 ft) white tower. Michael Denne has a distant view from the sea, and Google has a distant satellite view. The Zapatos Islands are three small islands in the center of the Jintotolo Channel, which separates Masbate from Panay. Located on the highest point of Zapato Mayor, the northernmost of the islands. A mysterious error: the Admiralty and NGA lists place this light on Zapato Menor, which is about 9 km (5.5 mi) to the southwest. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2307; NGA 14642.
* Jintotolo (Gintotolo) Island
1895 (Ramon de Ros). Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 15.5 m (51 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery. 1-story keeper's house. Emil Siya's photo is at the top of this page, Jernel Patena has a great 2015 photo, Michael Denne has a 2011 photo, Neil Almero has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island off the southwestern tip of Masbate in Jintotolo Strait, an important shipping route to and from the central Philippines. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-035; Admiralty F2292; NGA 14624.
Pulanduta Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 4 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the southwestern tip of the mainland of Masbate. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2293; NGA 14622.
Pagbulungan Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; green flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory marking the north side of the entrance to Nin Bay on the central west coast of Masbate. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2292.5; NGA 14598.
* Bugui Point (1)
1903. Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) masonry tower. Keeper's house. Aaron Vicencio's closeup photo is at right, Emil Siya has a 2014 photo, another 2014 photo shows visitors on the gallery, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Spanish authorities began construction of the lighthouse in 1893, but work was suspended in 1896. The Americans completed the lighthouse and activated it. Endangered. The lighthouse has been abandoned and is clearly deteriorating; the tower is in poor condition and the roof of the keeper's house has collapsed. Loyd Martinez visited in April 2015 and found the condition of the lighthouse "disheartening." Located at the northwestern point of Masbate, a landmark on the traditional Southern Passage to Manila from San Bernardino Strait. Site apparently open, tower apparently open but probably dangerous. ARLHS PHI-070.
* Bugui Point (2)
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 66 m (218 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) white round cylindrical tower with flared top. Aaron Vicencio has the photo at right and another photo of the station. Located next to the historic lighthouse. Admiralty F2510; NGA 14600.

1903 Bugui Point Light, Masbate, April 2006
Panoramio photo copyright Aaron Vicencio
courtesy of Neil Almero; used by permission

Burias Lighthouses
Note: Burias is located northwest of Masbate. The island is oriented northwest to southeast and is nearly 80 km (50 mi) long but no more than 25 km (15 mi) wide. The population is about 90,000. Burias is administered as part of Masbate Province.
Ajuga (Ajoga) Point
2008. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A view from the sea is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Burias Island, one of the three major islands of Masbate province. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2503; NGA 14602.
Malapingan (Bagasiong Point)
2008. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland on the south side of Burias Island, about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Ajuga Point. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2503.2; NGA 14602.5.
San Pascual
2008(?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory near the northwestern corner of Burias, guiding vessels to the port of San Pascual. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2503.5; NGA 14603.

Ticao Area Lighthouses
Note: Ticao is located north of Masbate. Like Burias, the island is oriented northwest to southeast and is administered as part of Masbate Province.. It is nearly 50 km (30 mi) long but no more than 15 km (8 mi) wide. The population is about 95,000.
San Miguel Island (Tikao Island, Ticao Island)
1907. Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 11 m (36 ft) slender square concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. A view from the sea (second photo below the map) is available, and Google has a satellite view of the station. This relatively modest light is an important waymark for ships sailing the Southern Passage south of Luzon. Note: There is another San Miguel Island Light in Albay (see above). Located on a small island at the end of a ridge extending from the northwestern tip of Ticao, an island that lies parallel with the north coast of Masbate. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-054; Admiralty F2502; NGA 14612.
* Port San Jacinto
Date unknown (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the east end of the waterfront of San Jacinto, a port on the north side of Ticao. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty F2500; NGA 14620.
Matabao Island (Argos Point) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. It is possible that the original lighthouse, a "concrete house," also survives here. Located at the southeastern end of Matabao, where it marks the north side of the southern entrance to the channel between Masbate and Ticao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-005; Admiralty F2498; NGA 14616.

Masbate North Coast Lighthouses
Colorada Point
1908. Active; focal plane 33 m (109 ft); two red flashes every 5 s. 5 m (16 ft) concrete tower with keeper's house. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. There may have been a Spanish light at this location, but the present lighthouse is American. Located on the west side of the entrance to the harbor of Aroroy, on the north coast of Masbate. Probably accessible only by boat. Site apparently open, tower status unknown. ARLHS PHI-020; Admiralty F2508; NGA 14604.
#Masbate Harbor (1)
Date unknown. Inactive; apparently demolished sometime between 2011 and 2013. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on a 1-story building. The tower was painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is available. Located close to the modern lighthouse (next entry).
* Masbate Harbor (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) round barbell-shaped fiberglass tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Mike Baylon's photo is at right, Roland Tamayo has a closeup photo, a third photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront opposite Masbate city. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2506; NGA 14607.
Caduruan Point
2007(?). Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Masbate Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2293.87 (ex-F2505.5); ex-NGA 14606.

Masbate Harbor Light, Masbate, September 2013
Flickr photo copyright Mike Baylon; premission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Embacadero de Legazpi, Albay, has a well-known observation tower and lighthouse, but (so far, at least) it is not listed as an aid to navigation. Google has a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: North: Northern and Eastern Luzon | Southeast: Eastern Visayas | South: Central Visayas | Southwest: Western Visayas | West: Southwest Luzon

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted July 24, 2005. Checked and revised October 20, 2017. Lighthouses: 39. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.