Coast Guard restores oldest working lighthouse in Batangas

Published April 21, 2021, 12:01 PM

by Richa Noriega

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has successfully completed the restoration of the oldest working lighthouse in Batangas.

PCG District Southern Tagalog Commander Commodore Tito Andal said the historic Faro de Cabo Santiago or Cape Santiago Lighthouse was the oldest lighthouse in Batangas and one of the oldest working lighthouses in the Philippines.

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“It stands on top of a 41-foot cliff by the shore of Calatagan and serves as a guide for ships passing through the Verde Island Passage and entering Manila Bay,” Andal said.

The Cape Santiago lighthouse was modeled after Europe’s medieval castles by Spanish engineer Guillermo Brockman in 1887. It was inaugurated and lit on Dec. 15, 1890.

Despite the challenges of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the PCG District Southern Tagalog made initial restorations on the run-down lighthouse last October 2020. It was declared restored to normal operations effective on Thursday, April 15. 

Several vintage pieces of the Coast Guard were on display in Cape Santiago Lighthouse, such as an old PCG helicopter and some Spanish-era light station lanterns and photos.

“This is something that we Coast Guardians and our families would be proud of and further give value knowing that the light which illuminates from it would not just be a symbol of hope for mariners and fishermen, but will be a bastion of protection of our heritage — a history that humbly began as a Lighthouse Service and through the waves of time, evolved to become the premier maritime agency of the country,” PCG Station Batangas Commander Captain Geronimo Tuvilla said.

Lighthouses are considered an effective navigational aid, which are vital to fishermen and mariners, as they guide them to safely navigate the rivers and seas, especially at night.

 
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