Lighthouses of the Southwestern Philippines

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 southwestern Phillipines, including the provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan. This area is an administrative region of the country known by the acronym MIMAROPA. The islands of this group extend in a rough line southwestward from Luzon toward Borneo, separating the South China Sea to the west from the Sulu Sea to the east.

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, an apparent adaptation of the Spanish word farola. 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.

Cabra Island Light
Cabra Island Light, Occidental Mindoro, January 2008
Flickr photo copyright M.J. de Lara; permission requested

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.
Marine Safety Services Command - Lighthouses
Lists of active lighthouses maintained by MSSC.

Mindoro Lighthouses

Note: Mindoro, the seventh largest island of the Philippines, is roughly 180 km (100 mi) long from northwest to southeast and up to 80 km (50 mi) wide. On the north, Mindoro is separated from Luzon by the 25 km (15 mi) wide Verde Island Passage. To the southwest, the Mindoro Strait provides a wide passage joining the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea.
Occidental Mindoro Province Lighthouses
Ambulong Island
Date unknown (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 136 m (446 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Ronet Santos has a closeup photo, and Michelle Festin Rivera has a more distant view, but the tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view of the station. This lighthouse marks the southern entrance to the Mindoro Strait. Located on the highest point of Ambulong, an inhabited island off the southern tip of Mindoro. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2576; NGA 14480.
Apo Reef (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 10 s. 33.5 m (110 ft) white concrete tower with two galleries; no lantern. 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. A photo is at right, another photo is available, and there is a good closeup of this remarkable modern lighthouse, but Google's distant satellite view has no detail on the island. There are a number of lighthouses of this type in the Philippines, including the Lolong Point Light pictured on the Eastern Philippines page. Apo Reef is an atoll placed dangerously in the center of Mindoro Strait, the shipping route between the South China Sea and the central and southern Philippines. The atoll is preserved as the Apo Reef Natural Park. The original lighthouse here, built early in the U.S. administration (1906), was a hexagonal skeletal tower with central cylinder. Wikipedia's page has a photo of that lighthouse and an account of its construction. Note: there is also an Apo Island lighthouse in Negros (see the Central Visayas page). Located on the atoll 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Sablayan. Accessible only by boat. Site open; visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the skeletal section. ARLHS PHI-002; Admiralty F2574; NGA 14492.
[Sablayan Point (1)]
Date unknown. Inactive. 11.5 m (38 ft) square concrete tower, painted white, with a small gallery and an external spiral stairway encircling the tower. A 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The neighboring building appears to be a 1-story keeper's house, painted white with a red roof. Located on a headland at Sablayan on the west coast of Mindoro, overlooking the Mindoro Strait. Site open; external stairway open for climbing. ARLHS PHI-051.
Sablayan Point (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower. A 2008 photo and a 2009 photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located a few feet from the historic beacon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2570; NGA 14488.
Tubili Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; four white flashes every 20 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 10 km (6 mi) west of Mamburao. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2569; NGA 14450.
Cape Calavite (1)
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) concrete post with gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view showing the current light and the ruined keeper's house. More information is needed on this station! Located in a remote area on the cape at the northwestern corner of Mindoro. Probably accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Apo Reef Light
Apo Reef Light
photo copyright Markey Photography
used by reciprocal agreement
Cape Calavite (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (137 ft); white flash every 5 s. 19 m (62 ft) steel tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located in a remote area on the cape at the northwestern corner of Mindoro. Probably accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-016; Admiralty F2568; NGA 14448.
Cabra Island (1)
1889. Inactive. 20.5 m (67 ft) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. This deactivated lighthouse still has its original lantern; the 1st order Fresnel lens has been vandalized but prisms remain in the upper portion of the lens. M.J. de Lara's 2008 closeup photo is at the top of this page, there's also a 2000 photo, Stockinger has a historic photo, the lighthouse appears on a postage stamp, and Google has a satellite view. Manuel Noche found the lighthouse reasonably intact but badly in need of restoration; clearly its condition has continued to deteriorate. Cabra Island is located off the northwestern tip of Lubang Island, an inhabited island at the northwestern corner of Mindoro. The lighthouse was built to mark the western entrance from the South China Sea to the Southern Passage through the center of the Philippine archipelago. In addition, the station is located about 80 km (50 mi) southwest of the entrance to Manila Bay and marks the beginning of the southwestern approach to the capital. Located at the west end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-030.
Cabra Island (2)
Date unknown (station established 1889). Active; focal plane 66 m (216 ft); white light, occulting every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted white. A 2008 photo is available, David de la Hyde has a 2011 photo showing both lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 100 m (110 yd) from the historic lighthouse. Admiralty F2620; NGA 14256.
* Tilik (Tilic, Lubang)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) slender square white concrete tower, with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. No lantern. Gerry Abeleda has a closeup photo, and David de la Hyde has additional photos, but the slender tower is inconspicuous in Google's indistinct satellite view of the harbor. Located at Tilik, a small port on the north side of Lubang. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2618; NGA 14252.
Golo Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 57 m (186 ft); whote flash every 7 s. 11 m (36 ft) white concrete tower with gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This light marks a narrow passage between the north end of Mindoro and the Lubang Islands. Located at the southeastern tip of Golo, an island southeast of Lubang Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2616; NGA 14248.

Oriental Mindoro Province Lighthouses
* [Escarceo Point (1)]
1915. Inactive. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) slender square concrete tower, with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. No lantern. Keeper's houses and other station buildings in ruins. A photo of the newer light shows the top of the older light, a closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view. This station guides vessels in a passage about 8 km (5 mi) wide between Mindoro and Verde Island. The lighthouse is close to popular beach resorts and is a well-known site for scuba diving. Located a few feet from the modern lighthouse. Site open, external stairway open for climbing.
* Escarceo Point (2)
Date unknown (station estabished 1915). Active; focal plane 41 m (136 ft); white flash every 10 s. 14.5 m (47 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with gallery. Dan Eddieson Ignacio has a closeup, another photo is available, an aerial view of the point is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland at the end of a narrow peninsula jutting into the Verde Island Passage about 4 km (2.5 mi) northeast of Puerto Galera. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-023; Admiralty F2560; NGA 14452.
Dumali Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 53 m (173 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) steel tower, painted white. Keeper's house in ruins. Neil Nava has a very distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. More information is needed on this station. Located on a prominent headland on the east coast of Mindoro about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Pinamalayan. May be accessible by hiking from nearby resorts. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-022; Admiralty F2554; NGA 14468.
* Pinamalayan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical tower with a flared top. Entire lighthouse is white. Dorie Machan's photo is at right, Jacques Beaulieu has a view from the sea, and a nice view is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront in the harbor district of Pinamalayan, a town about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Dumali Point. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2552; NGA 14476.
* Bongabong
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical tower with a flared top. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Bongabong, a village about 50 km (30 mi) south of Pinamalayan. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2550; NGA 14472.
Pinamalayan Light
Pinamalayan Light, Oriental Mindoro, May 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Dorie Machan; used by permission

Marinduque Province Lighthouses

Note: Marinduque is an island about 50 km (30 mi) in diameter at the northern end of the Sibuyan Sea, 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Dumali Point, Mindoro.
Baltasar Island (Baltazar Island, Tres Reyes Islands) (2)
1980s (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 127 m (417 ft); white flash every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) octagonal cylindrical white metal tower with lantern and gallery. Original 1-story wood keeper's house, in fair condition. A photo is at right, Joven Lilles has a photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The original lighthouse, a concrete tower, is said to have been damaged by typhoons. Located on a remote island, one of the Tres Reyes (Three Kings) Islands between Marinduque and Mindoro. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-008; Admiralty F2580; NGA 14184.
* Gasan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete pillar with gallery and four ribs. Lighthouse is white with a red band at the base. A photo is available (note that the tower seems to be without its light), but clouds obscure Google's satellite view. Located near the ferry terminal in Gasan, on the west coast of Marinduque. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2584; NGA 14188.

Romblon Province Lighthouses

Note: Romblon Province includes a group of islands at the southern end of the Sibuyan Sea, south of Marinduque, east of Mindoro, and north of Panay. The principal islands are Tablas in the west, Romblon Island in the center of the group, and Sibuyan Island in the east.
Maestro de Campo and Simara Lighthouses
Port Concepcion
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete or fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the entrance to the harbor of Port Concepcion, the principal harbor of Maestro de Campo (Sibale) island, a small island about 20 km (13 mi) east of Pinamalayan, Mindoro, and 50 km (30 mi) northwest of Tablas. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2531; NGA 14474.
Mahaba Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white metal and fiberglass tower. No photo available, and the light is apparently too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located on the western tip of Maestro de Campo. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2533; NGA 14475.
Simara Island (Corcuera Point) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal cylindrical white metal tower. Several nearby buildings may be remains of a historic light station. Several photos and a distant view from the sea are available, and Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a 10 m (33 ft) tower at this location. Located at the western tip of Simara, an inhabited island about 18 km (11 mi) north of Tablas. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty F2530; NGA 14572.
Baltasar Island Light
Baltasar Island Light, Marinduque, November 2009
photo by Eli J. from the Marinduque
government's blog, Viva Marinduque!

Tablas Island Lighthouses
Gorda Point (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1930s?). Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 19 m (62 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Keeper's house and other station buildings in ruins. NGA lists this light as a framework tower. James Ricera has a photo and the closeup at right, and a more distant view from the sea is available, but clouds obscure Google's satellite view of the point. Located on a promontory at the northeastern tip of Tablas Island. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-026; Admiralty F2529; NGA 14568.
Cabalian Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square white concrete pillar with four ribs, gallery, and a stairway spiralling around the tower. Keeper's house in ruins. A distant view from the sea is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the southern tip of Tablas Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2527.6; NGA 14592.
Looc Reef
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) slender square concrete tower, with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower, mounted on a square platform supported by four robust concrete piers. A photo, a second photo, and a closeup are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the north end of a large reef in the harbor of Looc, on the southwest coast of Tablas Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-038; Admiralty F2526; NGA 14584.
* [Odiongan]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) slender square concrete tower, with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. A photo is available, and Rudy Mariposky has a closeup, but the light has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Odiongan, on the west coast of Tablas. Site open, and visitors can climb the stairs of the tower. Admiralty F2524; NGA 14580.

Romblon Island Lighthouses
Romblon Harbor (Binagon Reef)
1907. Active; focal plane 5 m (17 ft); green flash every 5 s. 5 m (17 ft) square white concrete tower with double gallery. A distant view is available, but Google has only an indistinct satellite view. Located at the north end of a reef projecting from Binagon Point in Romblon harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open; probably nothing prevents climbing on the tower. Admiralty F2516; NGA 14552.
Gorda Point Light
Gorda Point Light, Tablas Island, May 2011
Panoramio photo copyright James Ricerra; used by permission
* Sabang Point (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 5 s. 5.5 m (18 ft) white concrete tower. Keeper's house and other station buildings, probably abandoned. Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Although this station appears to be accessible, no photos of it have been found. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2514; NGA 14560.
* Calabago (Calabogo, Calabugo) Point
2002(?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 7 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical tower with a flared top. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo with a brief account of a November 2008 visit are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. A 2009 article says the lighthouse dates from 2002, but it was not added to international lists until 2009. Located beside the coastal highway on a promontory on the central east coast of Romblon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2519; NGA 14550.
* Apunan (Agpanat) Point (2)
1973 (station established in the 1930s). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) tower, described by NGA as a "steel framework tower." Sev Moratin's closeup photo shows the new lighthouse, an octagonal white metal tower with gallery. Comments on the photo page provide some interesting historical details. Kathrin Hachenberg also has a photo and a view from the sea, but Google's distant satellite view of the point does not show the station. The 1973 construction date was provided by an article on Romblon lighthouses. Located at the southern tip of Romblon Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2520; NGA 14548.

Sibuyan Island Lighthouses
* Cajidiocan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Jacques Beaulieu has a photo, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the village. Located on the beach at Cajidiocan, on the east coast of Sibuyan Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2513; NGA 14597.
Cauit Point (2)
Around 1994. Active; focal plane unknown but at least 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal white tower. A photo is at right, but the light is not seen in Google's distant satellite view or in Raison Bassig's aerial photo of the point. The Admiralty and NGA continue to describe the original light, with a focal plane of 10m (33 ft). Located near Azagra at the southern tip of Sibuyan Island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-019; Admiralty F2512; NGA 14596.
Cauit Point Light
Cauit Point Light, Azagra, January 2013
photo copyright islandgirltraveller.com; used by permission

Palawan Province Lighthouses

Calamian Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Calamian Islands are a small group located off the northeastern end of Palawan. The Mindoro Strait separates the islands from Mindoro.
Bantac Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on Bantac, an island in the Mindoro Strait about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of Coron. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2174.5; NGA 14486.
Coron Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. A distant view from the sea is available, but the tower may be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located at the southern tip of Coron, marking the entrance to Coron harbor. Site status unknown, but there's a good view from ferries rounding the point. Admiralty F2179.2; NGA 14497.2.
Delian Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; one short and one long white flash every 6 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the southern tip of Delian, an island southeast of Coron. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2176; NGA 14497.
* Culion Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); red flash every 5 s. 3.5 m (11 ft) post mounted atop the watchtower of a small Spanish fort (the rest of the fort has disappeared). A 2007 photo and a second photo (2/3 the way down the page) are available, and a tourist site also has a photo, but the tower is hard to spot in a Google satellite view. Culion is an island in the Calamian group, northeast of Palawan and southwest of Coron. Located on the north side of the entrance to Culion harbor, on the northeast side of Culion Island. Site open; visitors are free to climb to the watchtower. Admiralty F2174; NGA 14496.
Dicabaito Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 3 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This light marks the southernmost point of the Calamian group. NGA misspells the name "Decabaito." Located on a small island just off the southern tip of Dicabaito Island, marking a passage about 8 km (5 mi) wide between the Sulu and South China Seas. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2173; NGA 14494.

Palawan Island Lighthouses
Langoy Island (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 111 m (364 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (35 ft) round cylindrical white tower, flared at the top. Keepers house in ruins. Bing has a distant satellite view of the station. Located on a small, high island off the northeastern end of Dumaran Island at the northeastern corner of Palawan Island. ARLHS PHI-036; Admiralty F2168; NGA 14516.
* Barbacan Point (Roxas)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower. Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a sharp point on the south side of Roxas. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2169.5; NGA 14517.
Bancaobancaon Point (Puerto Princesa)
Date unknown (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white flashes every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) white concrete tower. Keeper's house and other light station buildings. No photo available (although there's a photo of the view from the lighthouse), but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to the harbor of Puerto Princesa, the capital and principal port of Palawan. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-009; Admiralty F2163; NGA 14524.
* Tidepool Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) slender square concrete tower with an external concrete spiral stairway encircling the tower. Cesar Pascual has a photo, David Purnhagen also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a point of land at the end of Valencia Street in Puerto Princesa. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2164; NGA 14520.
* Panacan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the base of the quay at Panacan, about 10 km (6 mi) south of Narra. Site open, tower closed. F2161; NGA 14527.
* Brooke's Point (3?)
Date unknown (station established about 1850). Inactive. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete tower, painted white, with a small gallery and an external spiral stairway encircling the tower. Similar to the light at Sablayan Point, Mindoro. A blog has photos from a 2010 visit. There are reports that a lighthouse was built near here by Sir James Brooke, the legendary White Rajah of Sarawak, in Borneo, to mark his northernmost outpost in southern Palawan. As far as is known this historic lighthouse does not survive. The 1920 light list mentions a light mounted in 1910 on the "government blockhouse." According to the blogger, the light station is endangered by beach erosion; he or she writes that "Rip-rap must be done before it's too late." Brooke's Point is an active seaport 192 km (120 mi) southwest of Puerto Princesa. Site open, tower closed.
* Brooke's Point (4?)
Date unknown (station established about 1850). Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 5 s. Approx. 18 m (60 ft) cylindrical metal tower, flared at the top and bottom. A blog has photos from a 2010 visit, but the towers are not seen in Bing's somewhat fuzzy satellite view of the point. This light is apparently the successor to the Brooke's Point Light listed by NGA, but it has a much higher focal plane. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-069; Admiralty F2160; NGA 14532.
* Malanut Bay (Quezon)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A distant view from the pier is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Quezon, a fishing port on the west coast of Palawan. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2171; NGA 14514.

Balabac Lighthouses
Note: Balabac is an island off the southwestern tip of Palawan, representing the extreme southwestern end of the country. The Balabac Strait separates the island from Malaysian Sabah.
Espina Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete tower; NGA mentions a dwelling. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the point. Located on Balabac Island about 20 km (12 mi) northeast of Cape Melville, marking the south side of the entrance to Balabac harbor. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-024; Admiralty F2156; NGA 14536.
* Cape Melville (1)
1892. Inactive. 27.5 m (90 ft) octagonal stone tower, unpainted, with lantern and gallery. 1-story stone keeper's house and other light station buildings. A photo by JuLio Banderas is at right, he has a second good photo and a more distant view, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This historic Spanish lighthouse is located at the southern tip of Balabac Island in southernmost Palawan, marking the southwestern extremity of the Philippines. More information is needed on access to this site. Site and tower reported open. ARLHS PHI-014.
* Cape Melville (2)
Date unknown (station established 1892). Active; focal plane 90 m (296 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical white tower with a flared top. A 2008 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 150 m (500 ft) northaeast of the historic lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2152; NGA 14540.
Cape Melville Light
Cape Melville Light, Balabac, December 2006
Flickr photo copyright JuLio Banderas; permission requested

Cuyo Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Cuyo Islands are a collection of low islands at the northern edge of the Sulu Sea, northeast of Palawan.
Manamoc Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white flash every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) concrete tower. No photo available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on heights on the west side of Manamoc, at the northwestern end of the Cuyo group. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2287; NGA 14504.
* Cuyo Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (42 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 8 m (27 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower, painted white. The lighthouse is seen in silhouette in Ronald Palay's sunset photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the pier in Cuyo, on the west side of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-081; Admiralty F2286; NGA 14508.

Cagayancillo Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Cagayancillo Islands are a group of small islands in the eastern Sulu Sea.
Manucan Islet
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with gallery. A panoramic photo is available (4/5 the way down the page), but the island does not appear in Google's satellite view. Located on Manucan, an islet at the east end of the Cagayancillo Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2338; NGA 14512.
Arena Island (Isla Arena)
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with gallery. A photo and a panoramic photo (1/3 the way down the page) are available, but the island does not appear in Google's satellite view. Located on an atoll about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Cavili, at the southwestern end of the Cagayancillo Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
* Tubbataha Reefs (2)
1980 (station established 1915). Active; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 15 m (50 ft) octagonal concrete tower with gallery rising from the center of octagonal concrete keeper's house. It appears that the lantern has been removed and replaced by a light on a short mast. Stephen McGrath's view from the sea is at right, a small closeup photo is available, Paul Stretton has a 2008 photo, Leon Steber has a view from the sea, and the lighthouse also appears on a postage stamp, but the island is not seen in Google's satellite view. The Tubbataha Reefs are two atolls in the center of the Sulu Sea. The uninhabited islands, preserved as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, are one of the best known scuba diving locations in the Philippines. The lighthouse is on South Tubbataha. The original light was on a 15 m (49 ft) wood skeletal tower. Site presumably open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-063; Admiralty F2340; NGA 14528.
Tubbataha Reefs Light
Tubbataha Reefs Light, Sulu Sea, May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Stephen McGrath

Information available on lost lighthouses:

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Notable faux lighthouses:

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Adjoining pages: North: Northern Philippines | East: Southern Mindanao | South: East Malaysia | West: Spratly Islands

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted July 24, 2005. Checked and revised October 13, 2014. Lighthouses: 48. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.