Lighthouses of the Philippines: Northern Mindanao

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 on the northern coasts of the large southern island of Mindanao. There is another page for lighthouses of Southern Mindanao.

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.

Philippine lighthouses are often called parolas. 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.
Lighthouse Photos by axlego
A Panoramio.com portfolio of photos of southern Mindanao lighthouses.
Lighthouses in the Philippines
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Philippines
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Marine Safety Services Command - Lighthouses
Lists of active lighthouses maintained by MSSC.

Baliangao Point Light
Baliangao Point Light, Baliangao, December 2008
Flickr photo copyright Aljune Quinones; permission requested

Zamboanga del Norte Province Lighthouse
Note: Zamboanga del Norte includes the northern coast of the Zamboanga Peninsula, a long and mountainous peninsula separating the Sulu Sea to the north and west from the Celebes Sea to the south. The province has a population of about one million, but much of the coastline is rugged and thinly populated.
* Sirawai
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 15 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A small photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the quay at Sirawai, a village about 13 km (8 mi) south of Siocon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2209; NGA 15214.3.
Santa Maria
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two quick white flashes every 2 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A small photo is available, but the light has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located on a promontory about 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Siocon. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2208; NGA 15214.5.
Coronado Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower with gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a forested promontory west of Gutalac and about 60 km (40 mi) northeast of Siocon. Site status unknown (this area is quite remote). Admiralty F2207.8; NGA 15214.8.
Murcielagos
2008. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. No photo available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the small settlement on Murcielagos, an island about 8 km (5 mi) northwest of La Liberdad. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2207.5; NGA 15214.7.
* Pulauan (Puluan, Dapitan Port)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post with gallery and an external stairway winding around the tower. A photo is available, and in Bernard Benjamin's photo the light is on the hill behind the buildings. Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. This port is the terminal for ferries crossing the Sulu-Bohol Strait from Damaguete, Negros. Located above the Pulauan waterfront about 13 km (8 mi) west of downtown Dapitan. Site apparently open, and the tower can probably be climbed for the view. Admiralty F2284; NGA 15048.
** Tag-ulo Point (2)
1940 (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 33 m (109 ft); white flash every 5 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) concrete post with an external stairway. A view from the sea is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the point. The City of Dapitan lists this light as a possible tourist attraction; it has a photo of the wood keeper's cottage. Located on the point about 8 km (5 mi) northwest of downtown Dapitan, overlooking the Sulu Sea to the northwest and the Mindanao Sea to the northeast. Site apparently open, and the tower can probably be climbed for the view. ARLHS PHI-098; Admiralty F2282; NGA 15052.
Selinog (Silino) Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A photo is available, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Selinog is a small island in the Bohol Sea about 30 km (19 mi) north of Dapitan. There is a resort and a nature preserve on the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2281.8; NGA 15051.8.
Piniahon (Pinihon) Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island in Murcielagos Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2281.6; NGA 15050.

Misamis Occidental Province Lighthouses
Note: Misamis Occidental is located on the west side of Iligan Bay, the southwestern extension of the Bohol Sea.
* Baliangao Point
2008 (?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 7 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. Entire lighthouse is white. Aljune Quinones's photo is at the top of this page, and a Google satellite view probably shows the tower. Located on a point about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) east of Baliangao. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2281.3; NGA 15051.
Polo Point (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 18 m (60 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 16 m (53 ft) round barbell-shaped white steel and fiberglass tower. A view from the sea is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The original light was described as a 12 m (38 ft) "frame structure." Located on the point about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Plaridel, marking the western entrance to Iligan Bay. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-096; Admiralty F2280; NGA 15064.
* Oroquieta (Oroquita)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. Entire lighthouse is white. Aljune Quinones has a closeup photo, and a distant Google satellite view may show the tower. Located on the waterfront of Oroquieta, on the west side of Iligan Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2278; NGA 15066.
* Tabu Point (Jimenez)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. Entire lighthouse is white. Aljune Quinones has a closeup photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a cape about 3 km (2 mi) southeast of Jimenez. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2276; NGA 15068.
** Misamis Point (Ozamis)
1917. Active; focal plane 17 m (55 ft); two red flashes every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete tower mounted on the eastern bastion of the historic Spanish Fort Santiago (1756), known locally as the Cotta of Misamis. The tower can be climbed by an external stairway. Jazz Ramiro's photo is at right, Aljune Quinones has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view of the fort. Located on a headland at the eastern entrance to the harbor of Ozamis, on the west side of Panguil Bay. Site and tower open. ARLHS PHI-092; Admiralty F2274; NGA 15080.
Misamis
Misamis Point Light, Ozamis, April 2007
photo copyright Jazz Ramiro; used by permission

Lanao del Norte Province Lighthouses
Note: Lanao del Norte spans the narrowest section of Mindanao, with a north coast on Iligan Bay and a south coast on Illana Bay. Tubod is the provincial capital.
* Tubod (Panguil Bay)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 14 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo and a view from the sea are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the wharf at Tubod, on the east side of Panguil Bay, an inlet of Iligan Bay. Site and tower open. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2275; NGA 15070.
* Iligan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 2 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete post light with an external spiral stairway, topped by a harbor control room and octagonal gallery. Jesus Joel Bado has a photo, Markram Budz also has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This an is old light modernized in an unusual way. Located at the south end of the wharf in Iligan. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2268; NGA 15088.

Misamis Oriental Province Lighthouse
Note: Misamis Oriental has a long coastline facing north on the Bohol Sea. Cagayan de Oro is the prvincial capital.
* Sulauan Point (Laguindingan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. Entire lighthouse is white. Jeffrey Ponce has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promonotory near the Laguindingan Airport, marking the west side of the entrance to Macajalar Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2267; NGA 15094.
* Macabalan Point (Cagayan de Oro) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 18 m (58 ft); green flash every 5 s. 16 m (53 ft) round steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Jazz Ramiro visited this station in 2007 and found that the original steel skeletal tower had been removed, apparently around 2001. Part of the steel framework of the tower was being used to construct a house on the site. Located on the point marking the entrance to the harbor of Cagayan de Oro. Site open. ARLHS PHI-088; Admiralty F2266; NGA 15092.
Tagoloan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) round harbor control tower. Several photos (a little more than 1/3 the way down the page) are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the Mindanao International Container Port at Tagoloan, at the southeastern corner of Macajalar Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2265.5; NGA 15097.
* Balingasag
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) white round hourglass-shaped tower. Patrick Gan has a photo, but the lighthouse is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Balingasag, north of the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2264.5; NGA 15099.
Macabalan Point Light
Macabalan Point Light, Cagayan de Oro
City of Cagayan de Oro photo
* Binuangan (Dampias) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) white round hourglass-shaped tower. Brian Justado has a photo, Vic Orencia has a sunset photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Balingoan is the ferry terminal for travelers to the island of Camiguin. Located at the west end of the ferry wharf. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2264; NGA 15100.
* Gingoog
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) white concrete post on a pyramidal base, with a stairway spiralling around the post. A photo is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located near the base of the pier in Gingoog, the town at the head of Gingoog Bay. Site open, and nothing prevents visitors from climbing the tower. Admiralty F2261.5; NGA 15110.

Camiguin Province Lighthouses
Note: Camiguin province occupies an island in the Bohol Sea, 10 km (6 mi) off the coast of Misamis Oriental. It is one of the smallest and least populous Philippine provinces, with a population of about 80,000. Mambajao is the provincial capital.
Farol Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 7 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) white round barbell-shaped tower. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view of the point. Located on the southern tip of Camiguin. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2263.5; NGA 15105.
* Catarman
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) white round barbell-shaped tower. Oggie Ramos has a 2005 photo, a 2008 photo and a 2010 photo are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The lighthouse is adjacent to the ruins of the 16th century Guiob Church, which was destroyed by an eruption of the Mambajao volcano in May 1871. Located just off the coastal highway on the central west coast of Camiguin. Site open; tower closed. Admiralty F2261.9; NGA 15104.3.
* Mambajao (1)
1911. Inactive. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete post light with an external spiral stairway. Paul Baguio has a photo of the light, a more distant view shows it standing in a small park, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Mambajao, on the north coast of Camiguin. Site open, and nothing prevents climbing the tower.
* Mambajao (2)
Date unknown (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) white round barbell-shaped tower. A photo is at right, another photo and a 2009 photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. The new light is on the waterfront about 700 m (0.45 mi) east of the original light. Site open; tower closed. ARLHS PHI-110; Admiralty F2262; NGA 15104.

Agusan del Norte Province Lighthouses
Note: Agusan del Norte has a coast facing northwest on Butuan Bay, an embayment in the southeast corner of the Bohol Sea. Cabadbaran is the provincial capital.
Diuata Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round barbell-shaped white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google's distant satellite view may show the tower. Located on the tip of the peninsula separating Gingoog and Butuan Bays. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2253.9; NGA 15124.5.
Mambajao Light
Mambajao Light, Mambajao, June 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by roxj
Nasipit Harbor (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) round barbell-shaped white concrete tower. A 2013 photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view of the light. Located on a bluff on the west side of the entrance to Nasipit Harbor, a deep inlet at the head of Butuan Bay. There should be a good view from ferries arriving in Nasipit from Bohol and other locations across the Bohol Sea. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2258; NGA 15116.
Agasan River
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round barbell-shaped white concrete tower. No photo available, and the light is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. The river leads to Butuan City. Located on the east side of the river entrance, at the southeastern corner of Butuan Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2256; NGA 15120.
* Cabadbaran (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 7 s. 20 m (66 ft) white round hourglass-shaped tower. A photo (third photo on the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. The original light had a focal plane of 10 m (33 ft). Located on the south side of the river entrance at Cabadbaran, the capital of Agusan del Norte province. Site open; tower closed. Admiralty F2254; NGA 15124.

Surigao del Norte Province Lighthouses
Note: Surigao del Norte occupies the northern tip of Mindanao and several islands offshore to the east, separated from the maniland by the Hinatuan Passage. Surigao City is the provincial capital.
Punta Beach
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. No photo available, and the light is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located on a west-facing beach about 50 km (30 mi) south of Surigao. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty F2253.8; NGA 15125.5.
* Punta Bilaa (Bilar)
Date unknown (2009?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A photo is at right, Mike Durero has a photo, a third photo is available, Michael Denne has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located on heights above Punta Bilaa (now called Punta Bilar in most references), the northernmost tip of Mindanao, about 15 km (9 mi) northwest of Surigao city. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2251; NGA 15127.8.
* Surigao
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); two red flashes every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) white concrete post on a pyramidal base, with a stairway spiralling around the post; the light is displayed from a mast atop the tower. A closeup and a more distant view are available, the light is to the left of the light blue building in Mike Durero's view, and the light is at the street corner nearest the docks in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Surigao City. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2250; NGA 15128.
Rasa Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 10 s. A small concrete tower is listed, but Google's satellite view shows a taller tower mounted on a concrete pier. No photo available. Rasa Island lies off the southern tip of Dinagat Island and marks a turn in the narrow Dinagat Strait. Located on shallows off the south side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2248; NGA 15132.
Hinatuan North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two white flashes every 9 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. The tower is seen at the right in Ronnie Muring's distant view from the sea and at the left in Dodong Usyot's even more distant view; Google has a satellite view. NGA lists the focal plane as 11 m (36 ft), but from the photos the height of the light is clearly much greater. Located on a promontory at the northwestern tip of Hinatuan Island, marking the eastern entrance to the passage between Dinagat Island and Mindanao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2247.6; NGA 15131.
Hinatuan East
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 7 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. No photo available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the eastern tip of Hinatuan Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2247.5; NGA 15130.
Punta Bilaa Light
Punta Bilaa (Punta Bilar) Light, Surigao, October 2010
Panoramio photo copyright LoNGshorema
permission requested
* [Socorro (2)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) square white concrete tower with gallery and a pyramidal base. Lota Constantino Kawazoe has a closeup photo, a distant photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the base of the pier at Socorro, a town on the east side of Bucas Grande Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2246.4.
Dahakit Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the southern tip of Bucas Grande, marking the southern entrance to the Hinatuan Passage. Probably accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2246; NGA 15136.

Dinagat Islands Province Lighthouse
Note: Dinagat is an island off the northeastern tip of Mindanao and on the south side of the Surigao Strait. The island is about 100 km (60 mi) long and up to 30 km (19 mi) wide. The province, consisting of Dinagat Island and nearby smaller islands, has a population of about 125,000.
Kanihaan Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 7 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower. No photo available; a Google satellite view may show the lighthouse. Located on an island off the central west coast of Dinagat Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2252.5; NGA 14935.7.
Loreto
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete post mounted on a round concrete pier; a stairway spirals around the post. Ricks Cua has a photo, a closeup and another photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the harbor of Loreto, on the northwestern coast of Dinagat Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open; there's no impediment to climbing the stairs. Admiralty F2253.5; NGA 14935.5.
Kanhandon Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white aluminum and fiberglass tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Located on the northwestern tip of Hibuson Island, where it marks the south side of the northern entrance to the Surigao Strait. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2252.7; NGA 14933.
Capintac (Dinagat Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory near the northern tip of Dinagat Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2253; NGA 14935.

Surigao del Sur Province Lighthouses
Note: Surigao del Sur stretches along the northeastern coast of Mindanao, facing the Philippine Sea. Tandag is the provincial capital.
Ayoke (Auqui)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A small and fuzzy photo is available, and Google has a distant and indistinct satellite view. Located on the north end of Ayoke, an island about 15 km (9 mi) northeast of Cantilan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2245; NGA 15138.
Cauit Point
1916. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white flashes every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete post; a stairway spirals around the post. Keeper's house. A photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Located on a promontory about 30 km (19 mi) east of Madrid. Site open; there's no impediment to climbing the stairs. Admiralty F2244; NGA 15140.
Mabua (Maboa)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A small photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the tip of a promontory on the north side of the entrance to Tandag. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2243.5; NGA 15142.
[Arangasa Island]
1916. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (35 ft) square concrete post mounted on a square masonry base; a stairway spirals around the post. A small photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The light stands on the grounds of a small resort. Located on an island about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Cagwait. Site open; there's no impediment to climbing the stairs. Admiralty F2242; NGA 15144.
Lianga Bay
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete post; a stairway spirals around the post. Philip Cadabuna's photo is at right, Alexander Lopez has a photo, and a small photo is available, but Google's satellite view has no detail in this area. Located atop a rock off the waterfront of Lianga. Site open; there's no impediment to climbing the stairs. Admiralty F2241.
Sanco Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete post; a stairway spirals around the post. A small photo is available, and Google has a satellite view that probably shows the lighthouse. Located on a prominent cape at the southern entrance to Bislig Bay. Site open; there's no impediment to climbing the stairs. Admiralty F2240; NGA 15146.
Lianga Bay Light
Lianga Bay Light, Surigao del Sur, February 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Philip Cadabuna; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  •  

Adjoining pages: North: Eastern Philippines | South: Southern Mindanao | West: Southwestern Philippines

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted July 24, 2005. Checked and revised October 20, 2014. Lighthouses: 46. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.