Monday, October 28, 2013

SPANISH WATCHTOWERS #6 Santiago (Ilocos Sur)

"It was here where they kept an eye on enemies from the seas entering the Sabangan Cove"

-my pagnapagna-

It was 4:29 in the morning when i got a bus bound for Vigan City. My first destination was the municipality of Santiago, Ilocos Sur. 
Santiago, Ilocos Sur is just some 2 hours bus ride from San Fernando City, La Union and a 20 to 30 minutes bus-ride from the City of Candon.
I arrived at downtown Santiago, Ilocos Sur at 6:18 am. It was Sunday then that i went to visit St. James The Greater Parish Church. 
After saying my prayer, I went to the parking area of tricycles at the corner of an intersection (road going west from the National Highway) and asked the drivers if they knew about the old Spanish Watchtower. At first, they do not know the said structure so i had to describe it to them and finally one of them said "ay diay Bateria" (oh, the Bateria). I answered back "Wun, dyay kasla adda ediay Bateria" (Yes, just like what is at Bateria). Bateria is a Barangay at San Esteban, Ilocos Sur where a much more popular Old Spanish watchtower is located. 
At 6:38 am, i rode a tricycle going to Sabangan Cove of Barangay Sabangan. 

The Sabangan Cove overlooking at the resorts area

Upon reaching the beach area, we turned right to the road going towards west, away from the resorts area. We arrived at the drop-off area after some total of 5 to 10 minutes tricycle ride. The drop-off area is a pier-like or a jetty along the seashore. 

From that area, the old watchtower can be seen at a distance in the adjacent fenced private lot.

The watchtower as seen from the pier/jetty area

I talked and asked permission to Mr. June Gaboni the caretaker of the residential house and the fenced area where the Old Watchtower happened to be located. He said the area is owned by a certain "Doctor" who was not present at that time.

Me with the "stoneworks" as backdrop

the view from the entrance- opening of the watchtower overlooking the cove-bay area
After i took some photographs, videos and did a sketch of the old watchtower, at 9:11 am, I went back to the road and decided to walk back until i arrived at the national highway at 9:37 am. It was there where I waited for a ride going to my next destination which is the Old Watchtower of Narvacan.

-end of pagnapagna-

Watchtower of Sabangan Cove

the Watchtower ruins

Located at a fenced private lot, this old watchtower is mainly made-up of stones that are easily available in the area. Approximately 45% of the original structure is what is left standing at the present. It has a "blunt-spearhead-like" merlons on its battlements (the one on the top of its wall).

From my inspection:
- only 45% approx. remains standing
- generally made-up of stones (not bricks)
- modified with a construction of a handrail that was continued from the remaining wall following the round shaped plan.
- served now as a viewing deck or a sort of an outdoor, open-air multi-purpose area of a private seaside lawn. 

A video of the Watchtower
Time Duration:
Manila to Santiago, Ilocos Sur (big Bus) - 8 hours average 
  San Fernando City, La Union to Santiago, Ilocos Sur (big Bus) - 120 minutes  
Downtown Santiago, Ilocos Sur to Santiago Cove/Watchtower area (tricycle) - 5 to 10 minutes
Downtown Santiago, Ilocos Sur to Santiago Cove/Watchtower area (walking) - 30 minutes


San Fernando City, La Union to Santiago, Ilocos Sur (Dominion Bus) - 131 pesos  
Downtown Santiago, Ilocos Sur to Santiago Cove/Watchtower area (tricycle) - 30 pesos

Subject   :  Sabangan Watchtower
Location : Sabangan Cove, Barangay Sabangan
                 Municipality of Santiago
                 Province of Ilocos Sur

How to get there:

From Manila take a bus bound for any of these Nortwest Luzon places : Laoag City (Ilocos Norte), Bangued (Abra), and Vigan City (Ilocos Sur). 
You have to get down at the Bus stop at the Municipality of Santiago, Ilocos Sur.
At the Bus stop, cross the road to get to the western side where tricycles are parked at the corner of an intersecting road. Tell the driver that you are going to Sabangan Cove or at the beach to see the “old watchtower that looked like the Bateria”.

Since it is inside a privately owned fenced lot, you may only look at it from a distance on the pier/jetty area unless you get a permission from the owner :-(

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