Lighthouses of the Philippines: Southwest Luzon

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 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).

Site of the capital city of Manila, the large island of Luzon dominates the northern half of the Philippines. This page describes lighthouses of the southwestern side of the island, including the greater Manila area and the southwestern coasts of the Calabarzon and Central Luzon Regions. There are separate pages for Northern and Eastern Luzon and for the Bicol region in the southeast.

Lighthouses in the Philippines are maintained by the Philippines Coast Guard's Marine Safety Services Command. Filipino and English are official languages in the Philippines. In Filipino lighthouses are called parolas; an island is an isla or pulo.

The lighthouse preservation movement is gaining some momentum in the Philippines. Most of the historic light stations have been in very poor condition. However, the Coast Guard 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.

Many Philippine lighthouses are not well known, so better information and photos are needed.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. PCG numbers are the Philippines Light List numbers, where known. 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
Lighthouses in the Philippines
Photos and observations in blog entries by Loyd Martinez.
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
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
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. Photos for Luzon are by Rainer Arndt.
Leuchttürme Asiens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
GPSNavigationCharts
Navigational chart information for the Philippines.


Malabrigo Point Light, Batangas, September 2013
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Peter Ang

Calabarzon Region Southwest Coast Lighthouses

Southern Quezon Province Lighthouses
Note: Quezon Province spans the narrow waist of the southeastern peninsula of Luzon. Lighthouses on the northern coast are listed on the Northern and Eastern Luzon page.
Guinayangan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two green flashes every 5 s. NGA lists a fiberglass tower but in Maki Bajit's 2017 photo the light appears to be on the skeletal tower seen left of center. The light has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located at Guinayangan, a port on the west side of the Ragay Gulf. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2505.3; NGA 14135.3.
Bondoc Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane at least 60 m (197 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Partck Gavino has a view from the sea and Google has a satellite view. Located at the tip of the Bondoc Peninsula, which borders the west side of the Ragay Gulf. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2503.7; NGA 14135.5.
* Catanauan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete pillar with a buttressed base, painted white. The local tourism office has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the foot of Nabatasan Street on the waterfront of Catanauan, a fishing port facing the Sibuyan Sea. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2594; NGA 14208.
* [General Luna (2)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) triangular skeletal mast. Monds Alsado has a photo but the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. NGA describes a "concrete structure" for this light. Located at the east end of the waterfront at General Luna. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2596; NGA 14210.
* Macalelon River
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two red flashes every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square concrete pillar with a buttressed base mounted on a round stone tower (apparently the stump of a historic watchtower). No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located at the foot of the waterfront street of Macalelon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2598; NGA 14212.
* Pitogo (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10.5 m (34 ft) slender white concrete tower with a buttressed or pyramidal base. No photo available and the slender tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located near the historic Saint Paul's Church in downtown Pitogo. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-041; PCG-0077; Admiralty F2600; NGA 14216.
Tayabas River (Pisngi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available; Bing's satellite view may show the lighthouse. The river leads to Pisngi and the city of Lucena. Located on the west side of the river entrance. Site status unknown. PCG-0076; Admiralty F2602.

Batangas Province Lighthouses
Locoloco Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 3 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located about 800 m (1/2 mi) northeast of the point in southeastern Batangas Province. Site status unknown. PCG-0462; Admiralty F2603; NGA 14218.
* Malabrigo Point
1896 (Spanish). Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 17 m (56 ft) cylindrical brick tower with modern aluminum lantern and double gallery, rising from 1-story keeper's quarters. Buildings painted white; keeper's house roof is red. Peter Ang's photo is at the top of this page, a 2016 closeup is available, T. Pedrosa has a 2018 drone view, Mike Ongchua has a street view, Remerico Cruz has a 360° street view inside the light station compound, and Google has a satellite view. Stockinger has a historic photo, and Wikimedia has a 1903 historic photo. This is one of the best-preserved Spanish Philippine lighthouses. The tower has been refurbished and solarized by the Coast Guard. In February 2004 the Olympic swimmer Akiko Thomson, who has a vacation home adjoining the light station property, organized the Friends of Malabrigo and signed an agreement with the Coast Guard allowing them to develop the station as a site for youth swimming and sailing competitions. These plans came to naught. In 2006 a crew filming a movie without authorization did some damage to the light station. When Jazz Ramiro visited in 2007 nothing had been done to improve the facility but the house appeared to be in fairly sound condition. In 2014 the municipality of Lobo signed a agreement to adopt the lighthouse. Ongchua's 2016 street view shows considerable improvement with the light station freshly refurbished and repainted. Note: in Spanish, mal abrigo means "bad shelter." Located on the southernmost point of Batangas province in southern Luzon, about 5 km (3 mi) from Lobo, overlooking the Verde Island Passage. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-046; PCG-0075; Admiralty F2604; NGA 14220.
* Verde Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown but at least 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) white concrete tower with four buttresses at the base. Charisse P. Macalalag's photo is at right, Ian Salacup has a 2018 closeup photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. In 2015 the stairway that formerly circled the tower was removed and replaced by an external ladder. Located on the northeastern point of Verde Island, an island about 6 km (3.5 mi) in diameter in the center of the Verde Island Passage. Site open; it appears that one can climb the tower. PCG-0074; Admiralty F2604.2; NGA 14221.
Arenas Point
2011(?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Light mounted on a concrete platform supported by 6 piles. Google has a street view and a satellite view. The light is on the grounds of a large power plant. Located on a point of land on the mainland directly opposite the Verde Island Light. Site and tower closed. PCG-0073; Admiralty F2604.6; NGA 14222.

Verde Island Light, Batangas, February 2016
photo copyright Charisse P. Macalalag; used by permission
Matoco (Matoca, Matuko) Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 8 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) hexagonal cylindrical white aluminum tower with gallery. Arnold Gutierrez has a distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a steep promontory at the eastern entrance to Batangas Bay. Site status unknown; there's a good view from ferries between Batangas and Mindoro. Admiralty F2604.8; NGA 14226.
* Batangas Customs House
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. Lantern centered on the roof of the 3-story Bureau of Customs building. Mercia Gesmundo's ground-level photo of the building and Google's street view do not show the lantern, but it is seen in a Google satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Batangas City. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2604.9; NGA 14229.
Malajibomanoc Islet (Culebra Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete tower with gallery. Vicente Libo-on has a view from the sea and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island on the west side of the entrance to Batangas Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2607; NGA 14224.
* Mabini (Anilao)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Wikimedia has numerous photos, Cho Young-chul has a sunset photo, and Google has a satellite view. Mabini is a tourist-oriented town, known for diving and snorkeling, on the east side of Balayan Bay. Located on the quay of Mabini, in front of the visitor center. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2607.5; NGA 14234.
* Cape Santiago (Punta de Santiago)
1890 (Spanish). Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15.5 m (51 ft) brick tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white; the modern Japanese aluminum lantern is white. 1-story keeper's house painted white with a red roof. Jazz Ramiro's photo is at right, Jena Gonato has a March 2007 photo showing the need for some fresh paint on the tower, a 2017 photo shows little improvement, Stockinger has a historic photo, Lighthouse Digest has a feature article on the lighthouse by Clarita Amora Gultiano, and Google has a satellite view. A relatively well-maintained light station, renovated in the 1990s by the Coast Guard. However, by 2007 there were concerns about its deteriorating condition. In October 2007 the region's Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary proposed to adopt and restore the lighthouse as its headquarters. There's no evidence this has happened. Located on the cape, at the southwestern corner of Batangas province. A small sign marks the entrance. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-078; Admiralty F2614; NGA 14244.
Fortune Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 126.5 m (415 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) white aluminum tower with gallery. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Fortune Island is a small island 14 km (9 mi) west of Nasugbu in northern Batangas. A notorious hazard for ships northbound to Manila, the island has been the site of countless shipwrecks. Located at the highest point of the island. Site status unknown; the island is a privately owned resort. Admiralty F2624; NGA 14260.

Cabo Santiago Light
Cape Santiago Light, Batangas, March 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Jazz Ramiro; used by permission

 

* Nasugbu (Port Wawa)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) slender square concrete tower, with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. A closeup photo is available, Jayzl Villafania Nebre also has a closeup, Erwin Gabia has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. Nasugbu is a fishing port and beach resort at the southern edge of the Manila metropolitan area, south of Cavite. Located on the pier on the east side of the port entrance. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2626; NGA 14262.
Hamilo Point
Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. The Hamilo Coast is the rugged coast south of the entrance to Manila Bay. It features a series of sharp westward-pointing peninsulas. Located at the end of the longest of these peninsulas. Site status unknown (may be on private property). PH-0838; Admiralty F2628.

Cavite Province Lighthouses
Note: Cavite is a city of about 100,000 residents on the southern shore of Manila Bay, about 35 km (22 mi) by road from downtown Manila. The city was the site of a major U.S. Navy base during the American administration and that base is now operated by the Philippines military.
La Monja (2?)
Date unknown (station established about 1908). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) white concrete tower with gallery. A distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. La Monja is a steep-sided islet about 5 km (3 mi) west of Corregidor. Located at the highest point of the islet. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown; the island is a nature reserve. Admiralty F2632; NGA 14264.
**** Corregidor (2)
1950 (station established 1835). Active; focal plane 193 m (633 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 14.5 m (48 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower with lantern and double gallery, rising from the center of 1-story stone keeper's house. Windows on the four sides of the tower are arranged in the shape of crosses, and light shines through them at night. Buildings painted white. Lawrence Ruiz's photo is at right, Martinez has a page for his visit, Laz'andre Cawagas has a good closeup, Wikimedia has numerous photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Wikimedia also has an 1893 historic photo. Corregidor, a rocky island in the entrance to Manila Bay, is famous for the heavily armed fortress where American troops resisted Japanese invaders for five months until forced to surrender in May 1942. The lighthouse was heavily damaged during the war; Lighthouse Digest has a 1945 photo showing the damage. In recent years this historic light station was restored with funds from the Spanish government and the lantern was replaced with modern equipment by the Japanese government. The Pacific War Memorial is nearby. Located at the highest point of the island, known as Topside. Site and tower open. ARLHS PHI-021; PCG-0045; Admiralty F2634; NGA 14272.
[El Fraile (Fort Drum)]
2001. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 6 m (20 ft) hexagonal white concrete post with gallery. Kymnerfe Balang has a photo, Patrick Villaflores has another view and an aerial photo (just over halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. The tiny islet of El Fraile (The Friar) was covered in concrete before World War II and armed with guns from a ship, so that it resembles a warship from the air. Located about 3 km (2 mi) off the south side of the entrance to Manila Bay, south of Corregidor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2635; NGA 14276.
San Nicholas Shoal (4?)
1997 (station established 1880). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) red post mounted on a square concrete platform supported by piles. Trabas has Arndt's photo and Bing has a distant satellite view. This is a historic light station. The original prefabricated iron tower was overthrown by a typhoon in August 1881. The Spanish built a second tower on the shoal late in their administration; U.S. authorities put it in service in 1905 and replaced it with (probably) a sturdier tower in 1914. Located on a shoal on the south side of Manila Bay about halfway between Corregidor and Cavite. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-055; Admiralty F2643; NGA 14284.

Corregidor Light, Manila Bay, March 2019
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Lawrence Ruiz
* Cavite (Naic)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical tower; a spiral stairway winds around the tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Jhay Adriano has a closeup photo, Israel Garcia has a distant street view, and Google has a satellite view. Located next to the Bancaan Fish Port on the Cavite waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2644; NGA 14282.
Sangley Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has a satellite view. The peninsula of Sangley Point shelters the Cavite Naval Base and includes a airstrip. The Directory usually does not list aeronautical beacons, but this one functions at least as much as a marine navigational beacon. Located near the tip of the peninsula. Site and tower closed (military reservation). Admiralty F2647; NGA 14288.

Laguna and Rizal Provinces: Laguna de Bay Lighthouses
Note: Laguna de Bay is a large freshwater lake on the southeast side of Manila. With an elevation of about 2 m (6.5 ft) above sea level, the lake drains to Manila Bay through the Pasig River. It is named for the town of Bay (or Bae) located on the south shore of the lake.
* Calamba (Lingga)
2005. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower. Google has a street view and one can see the shaow of the tower in Bing's satellite view. Located in Laguna Province just south of the jetty at Calamba, on the southwest shore of the lake. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2651.
* Tanay (2)
2018. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) slender square concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. A photo is at right. Ester Cahongcoy has a 2017 closeup photo of the earlier tower, another 2017 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located on a platform next to the pier at Tanay, in Rizal Province on the north shore of the lake. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2672.9.
Morong-Rizal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 25 m (82 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) white concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. Chris Bernardo has a photo and Google has a satellite view. This light is official but its navigational value is slight. Located on the Morong River about 800 m (1/2 mi) north of Laguna de Bay. Site and tower probably open but no closeup photos were found. Admiralty F2672.95.

Tanay Light, Laguna de Bay, May 2018
Facebook photo by Tanay Tourism

National Capital Region (Metro Manila) Lighthouses

City of Taguig: Laguna de Bay Lighthouse
Napindam
2005. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower mounted on a concrete pier. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located just off an island near the entrance to the Pasig River from the Laguna de Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2650; NGA 14304.

City of Manila Lighthouses
Manila Yacht Basin
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square cylindrical white concrete tower. Trabas has Arndt's photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the curved breakwater of the yacht basin on the south side of downtown Manila. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F2662; NGA 14296.
[Manila West Breakwater (2)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10.5 m (34 ft) steel post. Post painted green. Trabas has Arndt's photo and Google has a satellite view. Christian Lucas Sangoyo has a distant 2008 photo of the earlier light, which stood on a pyramidal concrete base. Located at the end of the west breakwater of the harbor, just south of the mouth of the Pasig River. Accessible only by boat (the breakwater is not walkable). Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2654; NGA 14316.
HPCG Wharf (Philippines Coast Guard)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) steel mast. David Montasco has a photo, Joey Lazarta has a street view from a nearby cruise ship, and Google has a satellite view. This light stands in front of the national headquarters building of the Philippines Coast Guard. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F2653.5; NGA 14321.
* Manila Customs House
Late 1930s? Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); red flash every 10 s. Light mounted atop the central tower of the Customs House. A photo is available, Joey Lazarta has a distant street view from a cruise ship, and Google has a great satellite view and a distant street view. According to the Philippine Star the Customs House is a Neoclassical building designed by the architect Antonio Toledo in the late 1930s. Located on the Manila waterfront on the Muelle San Francisco about 800 m (1/2 mi) south of the Pasig River. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS PHI-117; Admiralty F2653; NGA 14320.
* Pasig River (3)
1992 (station established 1642). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete block tower with lantern and gallery. The Philippines Coast Guard station for Manila is adjacent to the lighthouse. Martinez has a page with photos and comments, Stephen Wong's photo is at right, David Montasco has a photo, and the lighthouse is centered in Google's satellite view. This is the oldest light station in the Philippines. The present tower replaced an elegant Spanish tower built in 1846; Klaus Huelse has posted a postcard view of that lighthouse, and Wikipedia's article has two historic photos. The new tower is built on the base of the old one, according to Manuel Noche. Located on the dike on the north side of the entrance to the river from Manila Bay. The location is downstream from downtown Manila but upstream from the main port area, next door to a shantytown neighborhood called Parola. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-095; Admiralty F2669; NGA 14324.

Pasig River Light, Manila, 2010
photo copyright Stephen Wong; used by permission

Central Luzon Region West Coast Lighthouses

Bulacan Province Lighthouses
Note: Bulacan Province faces south on the north shore of Manila Bay.
* Binuangan
2015. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) square solid concrete tower with a staircase spiralling around the tower. Entire lighthouse is white. The lighthouse is too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Note: there is another Binuangan Light in Northern Mindanao. Located on the waterfront in Binuagan, a fishing village in the Obando municipality, 16 km (10 mi) north of Manila. Admiralty F2642.5.
Pugad River
1930s(?). Reported inactive since 2014; listed with a white flash every 5 s. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Endangered. Battered by waves, the lighthouse has developed an obvious lean. Located off the mouth of the Pugad River in the northernmost section of Manila Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2642.2.

Bataan Province Lighthouses
Note: Bataan Province occupies the mountainous Bataan Peninsula, which projects southward separating Manila Bay from the South China Sea.
* Lamao Point
2016. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical tower with an external stairway winding around the tower. Entire lighthouse is white. An aerial photo is available and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the ferry quay at Lamao on the east coast of the Bataan Peninsula. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2639.5.
* Sisiman Cove (Gorda Point) (2)
2015. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) square concrete tower with an external stairway winding around the tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Jap Salem's December 2013 photo shows that the tower was completed by then but the light had not been installed. It was finally activated in August 2015. Agnes Bofill has a 2019 photo and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The original light, an 11 m (36 ft) concrete post light with an external stairway spiraling around the tower, collapsed in 2011 due to beach erosion. Keith Kennedy visited this site on 30 October 2011 and found only ruins of the light; it fell sometime after Apol Seban's photo of 29 August 2011. Built on the southern tip of the Bataan Peninsula, this light marks the east side of the entrance to the bay of Mariveles. The new light is about 80 m (260 ft) north of the original location. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-119; PCG-0043; Admiralty F2631; NGA 14270.
 

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northwest Luzon | Southeast: Bicol | Southwest: Mindoro and Romblon Area

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Created July 24, 2005. Checked and revised July 31, 2019. Lighthouses: 35. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.