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).

Mindanao is the second largest island of the Philippines, occupying the southern end of the archipelago. The island is very irregular in shape; the largest portion is very roughly elliptical extending northeast to southwest and there is also a long curved extension, the Zamboanga Peninsula, on the west. The small islands of the Sulu Archipelago stretch from the end of the Zamboanga Peninsula towards Borneo. This page lists lighthouses of the Northern Mindanao Region on the north side of the island and the Caraga Region at the northeastern end of the island.

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.
Lighthouses in the Philippines
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Philippines
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Online List of Lights - Philippines
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.

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

Northern Mindanao Region Lighthouses

Misamis Occidental Province Lighthouses
Note: Misamis Occidental is located on the west side of Iligan Bay, a broad 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, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the point. 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. No photo available but Google has a 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 Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. 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, Ian Laput has a 2017 photo, and Google has a street view and 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 North Coast 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. Märkräm Búdź has a photo, a view from the sea is 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 an observation room and octagonal gallery. Jesus Joel Bado has a photo, Märkräm Búdź also has a photo, and Google 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 provincial capital.
* Sulauan Point (Sulawan Point, Laguindingan)
2002. 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. 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 street view and 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. Google has a satellite view and a distant street 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 (Punta Gorda)
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. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located beside the coastal highway on Punta Gorda, a headland about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Balingasag. 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
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) white round hourglass-shaped tower. No photo available and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on the tip of a headland about 6 km (3.5 mi) north of Binuangan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2264.3; NGA 15101.
* Balingoan (Balinguan) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) white round hourglass-shaped tower. Vic Orencia has a sunset photo, Patrick Gan has a photo (misidentified as Balingasag) and Google has an indistinct satellite view. NGA formerly listed a light on a short pole. 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. Che Cago has a view from the harbor, Joel Mil has a street view, 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.
Magsaysay
2015(?). Active; focal plane unknown, two white flashes every 10 s. White fiberglass tower. No photo available, and the light is too new to appear in Google's satellite view. This light was announced by the Admiralty in January 2016. Located on a low headland at Magsaysay, in the northeast corner of the province. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2260; NGA 15121.

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 but Bing has a satellite view. 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 and a 2008 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. Xavier Solis has a closeup photo and Google has a street view and Bing 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, a 2009 photo is available, Google has a street view, and Bing 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.
Mambajao Light
Mambajao Light, Mambajao, June 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by jaya

Caraga Region Lighthouses

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 (Diwata) 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 has a distant satellite view. This lighthouse stands on the grounds of the Point Diwata Cave Resort. Located on the tip of the peninsula separating Gingoog and Butuan Bays. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2253.9; NGA 15124.5.
Nasipit Harbor Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 6 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. Note: NGA has confused this light with the next entry. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2257.5.
Nasipit Harbor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. There should be a good view from ferries arriving in Nasipit from Bohol and other locations across the Bohol Sea. NGA lists the focal plane of the Nasipit Harbor Head Light for this light. Located atop a bluff on the west side of the inlet leading to Nasipit. 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 is available, and Bing 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.

Western 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, another photo is available, Michael Denne has a view from the sea, and Bing 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.
* 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, Google has a street view, and Bing has a 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 Bing'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 about 38 m (125 ft); two white flashes every 9 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top and bottom. The light is barely visible in a distant view from the sea and Google has a distant 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 but 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
photo copyright LoNGshoreman; permission requested

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.
Kanhinaud (San José)
2013. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round white steel and fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view and Bing also has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on a promontory about 3 km (2 mi) southwest of San José, the provincial capital. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2247.8.
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 and the tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view of the listed location. Located on an island off the central west coast of Dinagat Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2252.5; NGA 14935.7.
Kanhandon Point (Hibuson Island)
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 but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. 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.
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 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.
Capintac (Kampintak, 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.

Eastern Surigao del Norte Province Lighthouses
Note: Siargao is an island off the northeast tip of Mindanao and east of Dinagat Island. Bucas Grande is a smaller island just off the southern tip of Siargao. The islands have a population of about 100,000 and are accessible by ferry from Surigao.
* [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, Miguel Toriaga has a more distant photo, 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. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2246.4; NGA 15135.
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.
Cambas-Ac
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. No description and no photo available and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. This light marks the entrance to the passage leading to Dapa, the principal port of Siargao. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2247; NGA 15134.
Dapa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete tower with a buttressed base. A view from the sea (first thumbnail on the page) is available and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef marking a 90° turn vessels must make to approach the Dapa waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2247.2; NGA 15134.4.
Halian Island
2016. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available but BIng has a satellite view. Halian is a small island equidistant from Dinagat Island and Siargao Island. Located on the northern tip of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2247.7.
Punta Alegria (Sugbuhan Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. No description and no photo available and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the northern tip of Siargao. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2245.5; NGA 15017.

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. No photo available, but 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 (1)
1916. Inactive. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete post; a stairway spirals around the post. No photo available but Google has a satellite view (this tower is to the lower right of the new tower). Located on a promontory about 30 km (19 mi) east of Madrid. Site open; there's no impediment to climbing the stairs.
Cauit Point (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white flashes every 8 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) white fiberglass tower . No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 30 km (19 mi) east of Madrid. Site open, tower closed. 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. No photo available but Google has a fuzzy 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. No photo available but 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, Jim de Francia has a photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. 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. No photo available and the light has not been found in Google's satellite view. 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:

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Adjoining pages: North: Eastern Visayas | South: Southern Mindanao | West: Zamboanga and Sulu

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Posted July 24, 2005. Checked and revised September 28, 2018. Lighthouses: 47. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.