Lighthouses of the Philippines: Leyte and Biliran

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).

There are 81 provinces in the Philippines. This page includes lighthouses of three of them, Biliran, Leyte, and Southern Leyte, all located on or adjoining the large island of Leyte. Historically Leyte Province covered this entire area. Southern Leyte became a separate province in 1960 and the island of Biliran, north of Leyte, became a province in 1992. Leyte and Biliran islands are included with the neighboring island of Samar in the Eastern Visayas Region.

Filipino and English are official languages in the Philippines. In Filipino a lighthouses is called a parola; an island is an isla or pulo. Many English maritime terms have been adopted into Filipino, including cape, bay, and port, and the names of historic lighthouses are often retained in their Spanish forms.

Lighthouses in the Philippines are maintained by the Philippines Coast Guard's Marine Safety Services Command.

Many Philippine lighthouses are not well known so better information and photos are always 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.
Online List of Lights - Philippines
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
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.
Navionics Charts
Navigational chart information for Leyte.


Ormoc Light, Ormoc, Leyte
photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger; used by permission

Biliran Lighthouses

Biliran Province Lighthouses
Including several islands in the Samar Sea off the north coast of Leyte, Biliran is one of the newest and smallest provinces of the Philippines; it was separated from Leyte Province in 1992. The main island, also called Biliran, is connected to Leyte by a bridge over the narrow Biliran Strait.

* Mabini (Higatangan Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 7 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal cylindrical white metal tower. Miha Pšenica's photo is at right, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Higatangan (or Gigatangan) Island is a small island just off the northwestern tip of Leyte; Mabini is the only village on the island. Despite its proximity to Leyte the island is attached to the municipality of Naval on Biliran. Located near the center of the island. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0240; Admiralty F2413; NGA 15040.
* Kawayan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 5 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available and the tower may be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located at Kawayan, a port near the northwest corner of Biliran Island. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0476; Admiralty F2415; NGA 15039.
Amambahag Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flashing light. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A photo (halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northeastern point of Biliran Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2415.5.

Mabini Light, Higatangan Island, November 2018
Google Maps photo by Miha Pšenica
 

Leyte Province North and East Coast Lighthouses

Leyte is a large island southwest of Samar; it is 180 km (110 mi) long and has a population of about 2.4 million. It faces the Camotes Sea to the west, the Samar Sea to the north, and Leyte Gulf to the east. At its southern end it is separated from Mindanao by the Surigao Strait, which connects Leyte Gulf to the Bohol Sea.

North Coast (Samar Sea) Lighthouses
The Samar Sea is a relatively small sea bordering Samar to the east, Masbate to the west, and Leyte to the south. It is connected to the Philippine Sea to the northeast by the San Bernardino Strait, to Leyte Gulf to the southeast by the San Juanico Strait, to the Visayan Sea to the southwest and to the Sibuyan Sea to the northwest.

[Biliran Strait (1)]
Date unknown. Inactive at least since 2016. 9 m (30 ft) white concrete column. The light was reported reactivated in 2016; it was in fact moved to a white mast about 6 m (20 ft) tall as seen in Ma. Lourdes Arce-Ebina's 2018 photo. The small lights do not show in Google's satellite view. The active light is listed with focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 3 s. Located under the south piers of the Biliran Strait bridge, on the south side of the west entrance to the narrow Biliran Strait separating Biliran from Leyte. Site open. Active light: PCG-0308; Admiralty F2416; NGA 14888.
* Carigara
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); green flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round barbell-shaped white concrete tower. A very distant view is available, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Carigara is a city of about 55,000 residents on the central north coast of Leyte. Located at the west end of the waterfront of Carigara adjacent to the municipal government buildings. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty F2418; NGA 14892.
Canuay Islet
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal cylindrical white metal tower, mounted on a robust stone platform. Gerry Ruiz has a photo (about 1/4 the way down the page), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on an island off Babatngon marking the western entrance to the San Juanico Strait separating Leyte from Samar, about 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Tacloban. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-075; Admiralty F2420; NGA 14908.
Ivantacut (Ivanticut) Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 5 s. NGA lists a "concrete structure." No photo available and the light is not seen in Bing's indistinct satellite view. Located on a tiny island in the San Juanico Straitabout 2.5 km (1.5 mi) east northeast of the Canuay Islet light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2421; NGA 14907.

East Coast (Leyte Gulf) Lighthouses
Leyte Gulf is a wedge-shaped extension of the Philiipine Sea bounded by Samar to the north and Leyte to the west. On the south the Surigao Strait connects the Gulf to the Bohol Sea, and on the north the narrow San Juanico Strait leads to the Samar Sea.

Tacloban
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 5 s. Described by NGA as a "white structure on top of building." Jomari John's photo probably shows the light atop the Leyte Park Hotel. Google has a satellite view of the hotel. Tacloban is the capital of Leyte Province and the largest city of the Eastern Visayas (Leyte and Samar) with a population of about 250,000. Located near the waterfront of Tacloban. Site status unknown. PCG-0325; Admiralty F2457; NGA 14916.
Tolosa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 127 m (417 ft); red flash every 4 s. "Concrete tower on fort," according to NGA. The fort, if it was ever a fort, is now a catholic shrine, the Mt. Inapusong Sacred Heart Shrine. Reycel Castro has a photo and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the east coast of Leyte about 20 km (13 mi) south of Tacloban. Site status unknown. PCG-0324; Admiralty F2455; NGA 14928.
Abuyog
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (77 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) white octagonal cylindrical tower. A photo is at right and Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the harbor entrance at Abuyog, a city of about 60,000 residents on the east coast of Leyte about 100 km (60 mi) south of Tacloban. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-065; PCG-0323; Admiralty F2454.7; NGA 14932.
Abuyog Light
Abuyog Light, Abuyog, Leyte
Municipality of Abuyog photo (no longer online)

Southern Leyte Province Lighthouses

East Coast (Leyte Gulf and Surigao Strait) Lighthouses
Silago (Pelada Rock)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 5 s. Described by PCG only as a "tower." No photo available and the tower is not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view. Located on a small island about 800 m (1/2 mi) offshore and 4 km (2.5 mi) northeast of the town of Silago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PCG-0846; Admiralty F2424.3.
San Pedro
2008. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower on a metal base. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on San Pedro Island, a tadpole-shaped island in Leyte Gulf about 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Silago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown (probably surrounded by private property). Admiralty F2425; NGA 14932.5.

Cabalian Bay Lighthouses
Anahawan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. This light marks the western side of the southern entrance to Leyte Gulf from the Surigao Strait and the the northern entrance to Cabalian Bay, a broad inlet of the Surigao Strait. Located about 5 km (3 mi) south of Anahawan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2427; NGA 14938.
* San Juan (Cabalian)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); red (?) flash every 5 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. NGA has a Bibical error: it lists the light as San Jose instead of San Juan. San Juan (formerly called Cabalian) is a town of about 15,000 residents on the north shore of Cabalian Bay. Located on the town waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2427.2; NGA 14938.5.
Saint Bernard
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) white concrete post with a stairway spiraling around the post. Google has a street view but the light is not seen in Google's indistinct satellite view of the waterfront. Located in Saint Bernard, a town of about 30,000 residents at the head of Cabalian Bay, a wedge-shaped inlet of the Surigao Strait. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2426.6; NGA 14938.6.

Panaon Island Lighthouses
Panaon Island is separated by the narrow Panaon Strait from the southeastern tip of Leyte. The island is about 30 km (19 mi) long and averages about 8 km (5 mi) wide. On the east the Surigao Strait separates Panaon from Dinagat Island; the Bohol Sea is to the southwest and Sogod Bay to the northwest.

Caligangan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 211 m (692 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located atop a sharp cape on the northeast side of Panaon Island, marking the south side of the entrance to Cabalian Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2426.1; NGA 14937.
Binit Point (San Ricardo, Cabutan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; four white flashes every 20 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal cylindrical white metal tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located at San Ricardo on the southern tip of Panaon Island, marking the north side of the Surigao Strait. Site status unknown. PCG-0464; Admiralty F2426.5; NGA 15125.
Ilijan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located atop a sharp cape on the southwest side of Panaon Island, marking the east side of the entrance to Sogod Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2426.2; NGA 14936.5.
* Liloan Harbor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) unpainted concrete post light with a stairway winding around the tower. A view from the sea is available, a blog post has a sunset photo (3/4 the way down the page), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Liloan is at the northwestern tip of Panaon Island, west of the bridge connecting Panaon to Leyte. It is a terminal for ferries crossing the Surigao Strait to Mindanao. Located on a point of land at the west entrance to the harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2426; NGA 14936.

Sogod Bay Lighthouses
Sogod Bay is a long inlet of the Bohol Sea that separates the southeastern and southwestern peninsulas of southern Leyte.

* Sogod
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A view from the sea (1/4 the way down the page) is available and Google has a good street view (also seen at right) but the tower is hard to find in Bing's satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Sogod, a city of about 50,000 residents at the north end of Sogod Bay. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0321; Admiralty F2427.5; NGA 14939.

Sogod Light, Sogod, November 2016
Google Maps street view
* Malitbog
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Malitbog, a town of about 25,000 residents on the west side of Sogod Bay. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0320; Admiralty F2428; NGA 14940.

Southwest Coast (Bohol Sea) Lighthouses
Limasawa Island North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Chiez Geralla's photo is at right, Arvin Magaway has a view from the sea, Jobet Romar Gentallan has a closeup, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The satellite view shows what may be ruins of an older light station. Limasawa is a narrow island in the Bohol Sea, about 10 km (6 mi) long, off the southwestern tip of Leyte at the western entrance to Sogod Bay. The island has about 6000 residents. Located on the northern tip of the island. Site status unknown. PCG-0319; Admiralty F2429; NGA 14944.
Limasawa Island South
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 39 m (128 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Francis Bitaw Kang has a view from the sea and Google has a satellite view. Located on the southern tip of Limasawa. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2429.1.
* Maasin (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) unpainted concrete post light with a stairway winding around the tower. Trabas has Rainer Arndt's closeup and Google has a street view, but the light is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view of the port. Maasin, the capital of Southern Leyte Province, is a port facing the Bohol Sea on the southwestern peninsula of Leyte; it has about 90,000 residents. Located at Espina and Demeterio Streets on the waterfront of Maasin. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2430; NGA 14948.

Limasawa Island North Light, Limasawa, March 2019
Google Maps photo by Chiez Geralla

Leyte Province: West Coast Lighthouses

Camotes Sea Lighthouses
The Camotes Sea is a small sea bordered on the east by Leyte, on the south by Bohol, and on the west by Cebu. It connects to the Bohol Sea to the south and the Visayan Sea to the northwest.
Canigao Island (2)
Date unknown (station established 1915). Active; focal plane 24 m (78 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) white octagonal tower. A photo is at right, Ian Rey Abatayo has a closeup of the top of the tower, Trabas has Rainer Arndt's view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The original lighthouse was a 24 m (79 ft) wood skeletal tower. Canigao an uninhabited island in the Canigao Strait, which separates Leyte from Bohol, and connects the Bohol Sea to the Camotes Sea. Most of the island is protected as a nature reserve. Located at the north end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-074; Admiralty F2434; NGA 14952.
Adam Reef
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) white tower on a square platform supported by piles. Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo but the reef is not shown in Google's satellite view. Located in the Canigao Strait about 6 km (3.5 mi) west of Canigao Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2435; NGA 14953.
Hindang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11.5 m (37 ft); green flash every 5 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round barbell-shaped white metal and fiberglass tower. No photo available and the tower is not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view. NGA describes the light as being at the northwest corner of a fort. Located at the north end of the Hindang waterfront, marking the entrance around the north end of a reef. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2436; NGA 14956.
Canigao Island Light
Canigao Island Light, Leyte
City of Tacloban Tourist Development photo
* Baybay
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white barbell-shaped fiberglass tower. Beloi Velasco has a closeup photo and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located on the waterfront of Baybay, a port city of about 110,000 residents on the west side of Leyte. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2438; NGA 14960.
* Albuera
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) hexagonal cylindrical white aluminum tower. Julio Irastorza Hermosilla's photo is at right and the top of the light is seen in a Google street view, but the tower is hard to spot in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Albuera, a townof about 50,000 residents at the southern entrance to Ormoc Bay. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0309; Admiralty F2440; NGA 14976.
* Ormoc
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. Lightphotos.net has Capt. Peter Mosselberger's photo seen at the top of this page, Russell Fermin has a photo, Trabas has a photo by Capt. Romeo Lucero, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Ormoc is the largest city on the west side of Leyte, with a population of about 225,000. It faces south on Ormoc Bay, a semicircular inlet of the Camotes Sea. Located on the waterfront of Ormoc. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2442; NGA 14968.
Binabaye (Calunangan Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white barbell-shaped fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on heights near the end of the peninsula framing the west side of Ormoc Bay. Ste status unknown. Admiralty F2442.5; NGA 14970.
Sacay Point (Isabel)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a point on the west side of the entrance to Dupon Bay, the harbor of Isabel, a town of about 50,000 residents on Leyte's northwestern peninsula. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0592; Admiralty F2443; NGA 14972.
* Palompon
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. A photo is available, Google has a street view, and the tower is centered in Google's indistinct satellite view. Palompon, a city of about 60,000 residents, is an important ferry terminal facing the Camotes Sea on the northwest coast of Leyte. Located at the north end of the Palompon waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2444; NGA 14980.

Information available on lost lighthouses:


Albuera Light, Albuera, Leyte, May 2010
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Julio Irastorza Hermosilla
permission requested

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Samar | South: Northern Mindanao | Southwest: Bohol and Siquijor | West: Cebu| Northwest: Masbate

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Posted July 24, 2005. Checked and revised December 13, 2020. Lighthouses: 32. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.