Lighthouses of the Philippines: Masbate

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).

This page describes lighthouses of Masbate Province, which includes the islands of Masbate, Ticao and Burias and associated smaller islands. These islands are located south of Luzon's southeastern Bicol Peninsula and northwest of Samar. Geographically they are the northernmost of the islands known as the Visayas. Administratively they are grouped with southeast Luzon within the Bicol Region.

Filipino and English are official languages in the Philippines. In Filipino a lighthouses is called a parola or farola; 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 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
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.
Lighthouses
Photos of Philippines lighthouses by Mike Baylon.
Online List of Lights - Philippines
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Navionics Charts
Navigational chart information for Masbate.


Jintotolo Light, Masbate, June 2015
ex-Google Plus photo by Jernel Patena

Burias Lighthouses
Burias is an island located northwest of Masbate. The island is oriented northwest to southeast and is nearly 80 km (50 mi) long but no more than 25 km (15 mi) wide. The population is about 90,000. Burias is administered as part of Masbate Province.

Ajuga (Ajoga) Point
2008. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Burias Island, one of the three major islands of Masbate province. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2503; NGA 14602.
Malapingan (Bagasiong Point)
2008. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland on the south side of Burias Island, about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Ajuga Point. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2503.2; NGA 14602.5.
San Pascual
2008(?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the northwestern corner of Burias, guiding vessels to the port of San Pascual. Site status unknown. PCG-0091; Admiralty F2503.5; NGA 14603.

Ticao Area Lighthouses
Ticao is located north of Masbate. Like Burias the island is oriented northwest to southeast and is administered as part of Masbate Province.. It is nearly 50 km (30 mi) long but no more than 15 km (8 mi) wide. The population is about 95,000.

San Miguel Island (Tikao Island, Ticao Island)
1907. Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 11 m (36 ft) slender square concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. A view from the sea (second photo below the map) is available and Google has a satellite view of the station. This relatively modest light is an important waymark for ships sailing the Southern Passage south of Luzon. Note: There is another San Miguel Island Light in Albay (see above). Located on a small island at the end of a ridge extending from the northwestern tip of Ticao, an island that lies parallel with the north coast of Masbate. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-054; PCG-0195; Admiralty F2502; NGA 14612.
* Port San Jacinto
Date unknown (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. Bhonts Bartolata has a photo but the tower is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view of the port. Located at the east end of the waterfront of San Jacinto, a port on the north side of Ticao. Site probably open, tower closed. PCG-0196; Admiralty F2500; NGA 14620.
Matabao Island (Argos Point) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view of the station. It is possible that the original lighthouse, a "concrete house," also survives here. Located at the southeastern end of Matabao, where it marks the north side of the southern entrance to the channel between Masbate and Ticao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-005; PCG-0197; Admiralty F2498; NGA 14616.

Shaped like an inverted V, the island of Masbate has a population of more than 700,000.

Masbate North Coast Lighthouses
Colorada Point
1908. Active; focal plane 33 m (109 ft); two red flashes every 5 s. 5 m (16 ft) concrete tower with keeper's house. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. There may have been a Spanish light at this location, but the present lighthouse is American. Located on the west side of the entrance to the harbor of Aroroy, on the north coast of Masbate. Probably accessible only by boat. Site apparently open, tower status unknown. ARLHS PHI-020; Admiralty F2508; NGA 14604.
#Masbate Harbor (1)
Date unknown. Inactive; apparently demolished sometime between 2011 and 2013. This was a 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on a 1-story building. The tower was painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is available. Located close to the modern lighthouse (next entry).
* Masbate Harbor (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) round barbell-shaped fiberglass tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Mike Baylon's photo is at right, Roland Tamayo has a closeup photo, a third photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront opposite Masbate city. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0194; Admiralty F2506; NGA 14607.
[Matayum]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete post with gallery. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the Matayum Peninsula in southeastern Masbate. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2505.6.
Caduruan Point
2007(?). Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Masbate Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2293.87 (ex-F2505.5); ex-NGA 14606.

Masbate Harbor Light, Masbate, September 2013
Flickr photo copyright Mike Baylon; premission requested

Masbate South Coast (Visayan Sea) Lighthouses
Guinauayan Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on heights on the southwest side of Guinauayan Island, about 5 km (3 mi) south of Placer. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2293.85; NGA 14623.55.
Milagros
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); two red flashes every 4 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but the light has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance the Milagros estuary. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2293.5; NGA 14623.

Masbate West Coast (Sibuyan Sea) Lighthouses
Zapatos Islands
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 70 m (230 ft); two white flashes every 10 s (?). Approx. 12 m (82 ft) white tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. The Zapatos Islands are three small islands in the center of the Jintotolo Channel, which separates Masbate from Panay. Located on the highest point of Zapato Mayor, the northernmost of the islands. A mysterious error: the Admiralty and NGA lists place this light on Zapato Menor, which is about 9 km (5.5 mi) to the southwest. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0463; Admiralty F2307; NGA 14642.
* Jintotolo (Gintotolo) Island
1895 (Spanish: Ramon de Ros). Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 15.5 m (51 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery. 1-story keeper's house. Jernel Patena's photo is at the top of this page, Michael Denne has a 2011 photo, and Google has a satellite view. This historic lighthouse has been restored and is in good condition. Located on an island off the southwestern tip of Masbate in Jintotolo Strait, an important shipping route to and from the central Philippines. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-035; PCG-0637; Admiralty F2292; NGA 14624.
Pulanduta Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 4 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on the southwestern tip of the mainland of Masbate. Site status unknown. PCG-0188; Admiralty F2293; NGA 14622.
Pagbulungan Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; green flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory marking the north side of the entrance to Nin Bay on the central west coast of Masbate. Site status unknown. PCG-0187; Admiralty F2292.5; NGA 14598.
* Bugui Point (1)
1903 (Spanish/U.S.). Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) masonry tower. Keeper's house. Aaron Vicencio's closeup photo is at right, Jernel Patena has a 2015 photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Spanish authorities began construction of the lighthouse in 1893 but work was suspended in 1896. The Americans completed the lighthouse and activated it. Endangered. The lighthouse has been abandoned and is clearly deteriorating; the tower is in poor condition and the roof of the keeper's house has collapsed. Loyd Martinez visited in April 2015 and found the condition of the lighthouse "disheartening." Located at the northwestern point of Masbate, a landmark on the traditional Southern Passage to Manila from San Bernardino Strait. Site apparently open, tower apparently open but probably dangerous. ARLHS PHI-070.
* Bugui Point (2)
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 66 m (218 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) white round cylindrical tower with flared top. Aaron Vicencio has the photo at right and another photo of the station. Located next to the historic lighthouse. PCG-0186; Admiralty F2510; NGA 14600.

1903 Bugui Point Light, Masbate, April 2006
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Aaron Vicencio
courtesy of Neil Almero; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southeast Luzon | East: Samar | Southeast: Leyte and Biliran | South: Cebu | Southwest: Panay and Guimaras | West: Mindoro and Romblom Area

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Posted July 24, 2005. Checked and revised November 27, 2020. Lighthouses: 18. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.