Lighthouses of the Philippines: Northeast 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, 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).

Luzon is the largest island of the country and the northernmost major island. This page describes lighthouses of northeastern Luzon: the Cagayan Valley Region plus the central east coast of the island (Aurora Province and the east coast of Quezon Province). This includes the lighthouses of the Batanes Islands to the north of Luzon.

The Philippines is divided into 79 provinces, and the lighthouses are listed by province.

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.

Lighthouses in the Philippines are maintained by the 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 isla or pulo.

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
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Leuchttürme Asiens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
GPSNavigationCharts
Navigational chart information for the Philippines.

Basco Lighthouse
Basco Light, Batanes, December 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo

by Gamalielh Ariel Benavides

Cagayan Valley Region (North and Northeast Coast) Lighthouses

Batanes Province Lighthouses
Note: The Batanes, or Batan Islands, are located in the Luzon Strait between Taiwan and Luzon. Lying about 160 km (100 mi) north of the Luzon mainland, they are readily accessible by air from Manila. In 2000 the provincial government of Batanes announced a plan to build three lighthouses, primarily as tourist attractions in the islands and secondarily as navigational aids.
Yami (Amianan Island)
2014(?). Active (?); listed with focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. White concrete tower, form and height unknown. No photo available; Google has a distant satellite view of the location. Yami is the northernmost island of the Philippines. Its name has been spelled Y'Ami, Dihami, and Diami; Wikipedia calls it Mavulis, and NGA has it as Amianan. PCG awarded a contract to build a lighthouse in 2014, but apparently this did not go well and in 2016 it advertised for a contractor to reconstruct a lighthouse. Located on the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2823; NGA 13992.
*** Basco (Naidi Hills)
2003. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 4 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a round rubblestone base and attached to a small 1-story rubblestone "cottage" that serves as a visitor entrance. Lighthouse painted white with red trim; lantern painted red. NGA and PCG formerly listed the light as having a red flash, but the lamp is clear. A photo by Gamalielh Ariel Benavides is at right, another good photo is available, Bing Ramos's photo has a view of the location, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a hill on the north side of Basco, the principal town of Batan Island. Accessible by road or by a walk of about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) from the town. Site open, tower open for climbing but no schedule is available. Admiralty F2822.5; NGA 13990.
* Mananioy Bay (Mahatao)
2004. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) hexagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a hexagonal rubblestone base and attached to a small 1-story rubblestone "cottage" that serves as a visitor entrance. Lighthouse painted white with red trim; lantern painted red. Xavier Immanuel Ignacio has a nice photo of the station, Oggie Ramos has a closeup, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse stood inactive for many years, but the Admiralty announced it as operating in May 2016. Located on a hill on the east side of Batan Island opposite Mahatao, about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the Basco lighthouse. Site open, tower status unknown. This light is not listed by NGA. Admiralty F2822.3.
* Sabtang North
2006. Active (?); focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 18 m (56 ft) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery. The tower is unpainted; the watch room and trim are painted white and the lantern red. An adjoining rubblestone cottage had not been completed as of spring 2007. An April 2007 photo is available, also an October 2007 closeup and an August 2008 photo by Christie Manguiat, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Evidently the funds to complete the cottage ran out. A 2011 photo shows the cottage finally roofed, and Ania Błażejewska has a recent photo. Sabtang Island is a short distance south of Batan Island. Located on a rocky promontory on the north side of Sabtang village, on the northeast side of the island. Site open, tower appears closed. Admiralty F2820; NGA 13991.
Balintang Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 60 m (200 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available; Google has a distant satellite view of the location. Balintang is an uninhabited island in the Balintang Passage, roughly halfway between the Batanes and Babuyan Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F2819; NGA 13985.

Cagayan Province Lighthouses
* Calayan Island (Nagudunran Point) (1)
Date unknown. Inactive since about 2006. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) concrete post with a stairway spiraling around the tower. Dong Perez has a 2017 photo and Mark Ico has a distant view. Located on the slope below the current lighthouse. Site open, and the tower can be climbed.
* Calayan Island (Nagudunran Point) (2)
2006(?). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Calayan is the largest of the Babuyan Islands, which lie in the Luzon Strait off the north coast of Luzon. Located on the southeastern tip of the island. Accessible by a rather challenging hike. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2818.8; NGA 14146.
Pata Point (2)
Date unknown (station established about 1909). Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); white flash every 5 s. 6.5 m (21 ft) square concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted black. A photo by Jess Balmores dela Cruz is at right and Google has a satellite view. This appears to be a historic light station with several ruined buildings; more information is needed on its history. A 1919 Coast Pilot describes the original light as a lantern atop a "small concrete cottege." It is perched atop a giant monolith that is the only conspicuous landmark on an otherwise low and sandy coastline. Located above the beach about 10 km (6 mi) east of Claveria. Site status unknown. PCG-0012; Admiralty F2724; NGA 14004.
* Linao Point (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1896). Active (?); listed with focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. NGA describes this light as a 9 m (30 ft) "white metal tower and dwelling." This sounds like a description of the original lighthouse, a typical French tourelle, prefabricated in Paris by Sautter Lemonier & Cie. Wikimedia has a 1903 photo that shows the lighthouse just off the beach. Manuel Noche visited this site around 2002 and found only rubble in the surf, but we don't know if these remains were of the French lighthouse or of a later replacement. PCG recently described the current tower as "steel," suggesting a mast or skeletal tower. It's not clear if this light exists. Google has a satellite view of the station, but no light is not seen. Located on the west side of the entrance to the Cagayan River opposite Aparri on the north coast of Luzon. Site status unknown. ARLHS PHI-085; Admiralty F2728; NGA 14008.

Pata Point Light, Aparri, May 2019
Google Maps photo by Jess Balmores dela Cruz
* Aparri
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped tower, painted white. Ralf Tammocalao has a 2014 photo, a November 2008 photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Clearly this light replaces the historic Linao Point Light (previous entry) in marking the mouth of the Cagayan River, the longest river of the Philippines. Located on the east side of the entrance to the Cagayan River in Aparri. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2728.5; NGA 14009.
* Port Casambalangan (Port Irene)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; green flash every 5 s. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Google's satellite view probably shows the lighthouse. Located on a headland in a popular resort area about 8 km (5 mi) south of Santa Ana. Site appears open, tower closed. Admiralty F2729; NGA 14012.
* Palawig (Palauig)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) slender square white concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located on the north side of the mouth of the Palawig River in Santa Ana. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2730.5; NGA 14014.
Port San Vicente
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9.5 m (31 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) white concrete post centered on a robust pyramidal base. Google has an indistinct satellite view and a very distant street view. San Vicente is a fishing port at the tip of the peninsula opposite Palaui Island and Cape Engano (next entry). Located at the tip of a shoal across from the San Vicente waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2730; NGA 14016.
Cape Engaño
1893 (Spanish). Active; focal plane 100 m (327 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14.5 m (47 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower, painted white, attached to 1-story stone keeper's house. Lantern removed and replaced with a solar-powered light. Gravely endangered. The keeper's houses and other light station buildings have fallen into ruin and chunks of the tower have fallen. Bert Balonzo's photo is at right, Fan Xiao has a 2019 drone view, a photo of the tower shows the poor condition of the building, a 2010 photo and a 2012 photo are available, Stockinger has a historic photo, Rudel Saldiver has a street view from below the lighthouse, and Google has a distant satellite view of the station. Free-lance author Jacqueline Ong visited in the summer of 2008 and found the lighthouse seriously deteriorated. In March 2010 the National Museum declared the station to be an "important cultural property," which qualifies it for federal restoration funding. Wikimedia has a photo of the lighthouse as it appeared in 1904. The lighthouse stands at the extreme northeastern corner of the Philippines and is a traditional landfall for ships arriving from the Pacific; it marks the eastern entrance to the Babuyan Channel, which provides the shortest route around the north end of Luzon. Located at the northern end of Palaui Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower open but dangerous. ARLHS PHI-013; Admiralty F2732; NGA 14020.
Cape Engaño Light
Cape Engaño Light, Cagayan, June 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Bert Balonzo
Caringtan Point
2016. Active; focal plane at least 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s. No description provided. No photo available, and the tower is not seen clearly in Bing's satellite view. This new lighthouse is very likely to be a white fiberglass tower. Located on the easternmost point of the Santa Ana peninsula at the northeastern corner of Luzon. The area is quite wild. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2733.

Isabela Province Lighthouses
Maconacon (Aplaya, Divilacan Bay)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available and the exact location of this light is unclear. Located on the beach near Aplaya. Site open, tower closed. PCG-0581; Admiralty F2735; NGA 14007.
Palanan Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. No description provided but this light is probably a twin of the Maconacon lighthouse. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on Palanan Point, marking the entrance to Palanan Bay; this is the easternmost point on Luzon's northeast coast. The remote location is accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2737; NGA 14006.

Central Luzon Region East Coast Lighthouses

Aurora Province Lighthouses
Tarigtig Point (Dilasag Bay)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) white tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a sharp promontory sheltering Dilasag Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2740.5.
Cape San Ildefonso (Macose)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane at least 70 m (230 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) white concrete tower with a stairway spiraling around the tower. A photo is at right, a Facebook page for the lighthouse has several photos, Arwin Francis Guinto has a view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a sharply pointed peninsula in northern Aurora. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2741.
* Baler (Sabang Beach)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) slender square concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. Gerard Casteneda has a 2010 photo, and Google has a closeup street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located on the beach to the west of the harbor entrance at Baler, a beach resort and the capital of Aurora province. Site open, and there's no obstacle to climbing the stairway of the tower. Admiralty F2742; NGA 14024.
Zabali (Cape Encanto, Baler) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square white concrete tower with a stairway spiraling around the tower. Sotero Pineda has a 2017 photo, Marvin Butchayo has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse apparently replaced an older light; we need information on its history. This is a landfall light located high on a prominent cape about 10 km (6 mi) east of Baler. Site open, but reaching it requires a scramble up a steep slope. The tower can probably be climbed. Admiralty F2742.2.
Dikapanisan Point
2016. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) "concrete structure," according to the Admiralty announcement. No photo available and the light is probably too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located on a headland on the wild coast of the Mingan Mountains about 30 km (19 mi) south of Baler. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2742.4.

Cape San Ildefonso Light, Dinalungan, May 2018
ex-Google Plus photo by Ascot Cmci
Agria Point (Dingalan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square white concrete tower with a stairway spiraling around the tower. Marben Solania has a 2017 drone view, Eric Corpuz has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. This is a landfall light located high on a prominent cape about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Dingalan. Site open, but reaching it requires a substantial hike. The tower can probably be climbed. Admiralty F2742.5.

Calabarzon Region East Coast Lighthouses

Note: Quezon Province spans the narrow waist of Luzon. Lighthouses on the south coast of the province are described on the Southwestern Luzon page.

Northern Quezon Province: Polillo Islands Lighthouses
Note: Polillo Island is a large island off the north coast of Quezon Province. The island is about 50 km (30 mi) long and has a population of about 65,000. Patnanungan and Jomalig are smaller islands in a chain extending southeastward from Polillo.
* Polillo Range Rear (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17.5 (57 ft); continuous red light. 16.5 m (54 ft) white concrete tower with a stairway spiraling around the tower. Ardjel Dejaño has a 2017 photo but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. This light was formerly mounted on a church tower but trees surrounding the church probably grew tall enough to obscure the light. The front light is on a square concrete post. Located in Polillo on the southwestern coast of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2746.1; NGA 14032.
Panangatan Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); three white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland on the northwest coast of Polillo Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2747.5; NGA 14026.
Burdeos
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post, probably with a stairway winding around the tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located just offshore in the harbor of Burdeos, on the east coast of Polillo Island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2747; NGA 14036.
* Patnanungan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) white concrete tower with a stairway spiraling around the tower. Allan Angeles has a 2018 view from the harbor but the tower has not been located in Google's satellite view. Located near the pier at Patnanungan. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2747.8; NGA 14038.

Northern Quezon Province: Mainland Lighthouses
Prueba Point (Maligaya)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. No description and no photo available, although this light is listed as a major light with a range of 15 nautical miles (27 km, 17 mi). Bing has a satellite view that may show the lighthouse. The light marks thenorthern entrance to the Polillo Strait separating the mainland from the Polillo Islands. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2743; NGA 14024.6.
* Puerto Real
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light. 10 m (33 ft) slender white concrete tower with an external stairway winding around the tower. Randy Establecida has a photo and Google has a street view, but the slender tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Real, a ferry terminal and fishing port on the west side of the Polillo Strait. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2749.5; NGA 14045.
Malazor Point (Mauban)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 10 s. Concrete tower, height unknown. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on a swampy point about 3 km (2 mi) northeast of Mauban. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2757; NGA 14060.
* Gamau Point (Plaridel)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) slender square concrete tower with an external concrete stairway winding around the tower. Manol Diaz has a view from the harbor (a portion is seen at right), and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the waterfront in Plaridel, a fishing port near the south end of Lopez Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2759; NGA 14074.
Silangan Pass
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9.5 m (31 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) white concrete tower probably on a platform supported by piles. No photo available and the light is not seen in Google's indistinct satellite view. This light guides vessels through the narrow strait separating Alabat Island from the mainland. Located off Roma Point. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2760; NGA 14076.

Gamau Point Light, Plaridel, July 2017
Google Maps photo by Manol Diaz

Northern Quezon Province: Alabat Island Lighthouse
Balliscan (Baliskan) Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) slender white concrete tower with a buttressed base. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island off the northwestern end of Alabat Island, marking the entrance to Lopez Bay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2750; NGA 14056.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southeastern Taiwan | Southeast: Bicol | Southwest: Northwest Luzon

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Created July 24, 2005. Checked and revised August 7, 2019. Lighthouses: 33. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.