Celebrating unity and team work, our department went out to enjoy the sea, sand and sun of Calatagan, Batangas. A province where probably most of Southern Luzon children spent their summer vacation when they were younger. As for me, since I'm from Laguna, a neighboring province of Batangas, spending summer time along its coast line was part of my childhood but after having the courage and the financial will to travel to other parts of the archipelago, I haven't visited Batangas for a long time until last weekend.
It was like rediscovering Batangas, specially when we visited one of the lone sentinels found in the area. Cape Santiago or Faro de Punta Santiago. Built in late 1890's by Filipinos through force labor by the Spaniards, it has been serving seafarers for 121 years and counting. The unique feature of this lighthouse compared to others in the country is its round shape made of coral stones.
Cape Santiago is well maintained, thanks to Kuya Jun a third generation light house care taker. He told us that ever since the light house was built the 65 step staircase was still the original stairs. Once you reached the top of the light house, you'll be greeted by the great view of the sea. Kuya Jun told us that the beach resort in front of us is owned by a famous celebrity in the country.
I had a small talk with Kuya Jun regarding the light house, he said that during the 2nd world war, Japanese soldiers made it as their head quarters until the Americans got the intelligence report and fired bombs for weeks at the area. He also added that during his grand father's time as a care taker, the light house was under the shadows of ghost stories that's why few people visit the place but because of the development in the area, those ghost stories were all a thing of the past.
Cape Santiago does not have a good road leading to the place. One needs to be careful to get through the dirt, narrow and winding road.