Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Story of Two Lighthouses

The Story of Two Lighthouses

Almost two hundred years ago, the Spaniards erected a lighthouse near the cliffs of Barangay Catarman, Liloan, Northern Cebu in the Philippines. This lighthouse was made of coral stones, and stands to guide home fishermen of the age.

After several years, almost a century later, the Spaniards left and the Americans came. The old lighthouse was respectfully put out of use, and a newer, large one was built just near it. This new lighthouse was made of concrete, stands 72-feet tall, and was more technologically advanced. Its light can be seen 17 nautical miles away, and serves as an important maritime marker for ships coming in and out of Cebu's northern sea lanes.

The two lighthouses are stark contrasts to each other. The Spanish one is now old, broken and left in ruins; the American one is new to the eyes, proudly standing tall, and continually maintained. However, the Spanish lighthouse represents the bygone days of the Spanish occupation, where Filipinos were called "Indios" by our Spanish oppressors. Hence, it is an important landmark, a reminder of our history that should not be forgotten.

The road going up to the American-commissioned lighthouse is a fairly easy one. You only need to ride a motorcycle or tricycle from the town proper to get there.

From there, you can see the ruins of the old lighthouse from a distance, standing forlorn amongst the tall grass and ferns that have grown around it. They are so tall that they have literally engulfed the sign pointing visitors to the way to the old lighthouse.

The road going there is tough, another contrast with its newer counterpart. You have to descend to and cross a Savanna-like grassland for about five minutes, with the grasses and ferns tickling your arms and face. Along the way, you'll find man-size excavations that are quite deep enough to get you into trouble if you fall into one of them. You may also meet cows and goats grazing.

At the end of this road, you will reach a low cliff that dangerously leads to the rocky waters below. The cliff has a path made of rocks that turns to the left, a path which you have to follow for a minute or two until you reach the stump of coral stone that marks the Spanish lighthouse, circa 1857.

The place has an eerie, aged feeling to it. It looks more like an old war bunker than a lighthouse, with blackened coral stones that serve as its walls, and with a huge crack on one side that somehow functions like a door through which you can enter into the structure and view the inside of the lighthouse. The only sounds you'll hear are the sounds of the surf lapping against the rocks below, and the sea breeze. Anyone visiting the site would think that he has stepped into a different time, because the ambience of the place is as old as the delapidated building that stands in the vicinity.

Bagacay Light Point is undeniably famous amongst both tourists and Filipinos alike, with the excellent view it commands of the sea. However, it should not also be forgotten that before Bagacay Light Point was ever constructed, there existed another, less modern outpost that faithfully served the same purpose, and now stands sadly as a mere shadow of its former self.

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wellah said...

where does the name of the town come from?

immortal_undead said...

Check out this entry wellah. :)

LILOAN said...

we will write the "other" versions of early liloan. keep posted


oh!scarlet. said...

my friends and i have been here.. it was night time then, around 8-9pm.. just asking though, is this place haunted?