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Calatagan Light House
Town/City:  Calatagan
Province:  Batangas
13° 46.318N   120° 39.187E
Listed in Gallery:   Lighthouse

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Click on any of the images to see the enlarged copy and narratives of the photo.

The lighthouse at Calatagan was constructed in 1890 by the Spaniards. It
is made of brick and mortar similar to the architecture of the old structures of that time. It is situated beside a main structure and at the entrance to the lighthouse is a gate and steel grills also dating back to that century. Quite nostalgic. There are two structures to the left and right side of the main building. These two structures served as service
buildings for the lighthouse staff. Facing the lighthouse, the structure to the left was formerly the kitchen. There is still a sign on the top part of the door. The buildings used louvers in the old style to keep the
structures cool during the day, allowing the wind to blow into the rooms.

The lighthouse is readily accessible through the Calatagan road. You cannot miss it as it passes through the town itself and winds up and down the hills passing Punta Baluarte and then Playa Calatagan, the new beach development. You drive straight down till you see the lighthouse on your
right side. When we got there, it was easy to find because the cemented road ended. However, we expect that the road construction will progress further down so this will not be a good road marker for those visiting the
first time.

For lunch or merienda, you can eat at Playa Calatagan (although this is only opened for lot owners - we pretended to be interested in buying lots) and there is another nice resort just before Playa Calatagan which is open
to the public. Playa Calatagan had good food and ambiance was great at poolside.

The lighthouse does not have a road leading to it. In fact, it did not have a sign pointing to it. However, if you have a four wheel drive or a high road vehicle this is good enough. From the main road it is about 300
meters more or less toward the sea. The path is unpaved and winding and is surrounded by thorny bushes. Just make sure your car doesn't run over them as it could cause a flat. The road climbs in its last 50 meters up to the
lighthouse.

We were lucky that day as we bumped into the bantay. His name is Junior
Coz. He is a third generation lighthouse keeper and is very passionate about his job and his lighthouse. If you have the time, Jun will talk to you about the days past. His grandfather was the first lighthouse keeper,
then his father after that.

During the War, the lighthouse was attacked by the Americans as they
invaded the Philippines. There was a Japanese garrison situated at that point. The American airplanes strafed the lighthouse. To this day, one can see the scars of battle on the gate's grills where 50 caliber bullets cut through the thick steel bars. Jun told us stories of how his father was almost killed by the Japanese because his uncle joined the guerillas in
Batangas.

The Calatagan lighthouse is called Punta de Santiago (Santiago Point) or Cape Santiago. It was named after Don Santiago Zobel who donated the property to the government for the construction of the lighthouse. The property is about one hectare in size. Inside the building, one can see
the oldness of it. The spiral stairs leading to the top of the lighthouse is made of cast iron steel, definitely antique! Just don't touch the steel bar running down the wall beside it during a storm because that is the
lightning rod! It is unfortunate that the government did not fund its upkeep because all the lighthouses in the Philippines are beautiful. However, Jun has done his part in keeping its grounds relatively clean. If
you are lucky enough, Jun could show you the top of the lighthouse, but this is a bit dangerous to climb since the walkway is narrow and cracked on top. Be careful not to lean on the old railing. Not everyone is allowed
atop.

At the back of the lighthouse (see the pictures) is a big quadrangle overlooking the sea. Here one has a clear view of Calatagan Bay. It is a beautiful and breathtaking view of the sea.

Waypoint narrative by: Fernando_Delos-Reyes 2007