luna_watchtower_1

Luna’s lonely sentinel of the sea

Broken into two, Luna's sole watchtower is in such a sorry state, an unworthy condition to what it has served its people before.

Thunderbird Resorts invited us bloggers in a familiarization tour of their resort in Poro Point, La Union and took us to the tourism sites in the surrounding area of San Fernando and Luna. It was an opportunity to visit what I wanted to go to: the Pindangan Ruins and the Luna watchtower. I was quite excited when our guide told us that we will be visiting the Pindangan Ruins and the Luna watchtower in La Union while staying at the Thunderbird Resorts in Poro Point.

Being a heritage advocate and who has been documenting these kind of structures for some time, my simbahan.net blog is testament to this, I was quite excited as I’ve been wanting to visit this two structures but didn’t just had the time to go there. Until that La Union visit.

But what greeted me was disheartening. It has lost its balance, leaning on the sandy shores of Luna’s beach. Broken and probably left with no more tears as the descendants of the ancestors that this structure protected from the Pintados from the Visayas, Moro marauders looking for slaves, left it under the merciless elements while the area is continuously being quarried for its pebbles and sand.

Left under the mercy of the elements, it stands as a forgotten reminder to once dangerous times.

In a few years, this tree will further destroy the watchtower. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Centuries ago, I would surmise that it stood proudly on this very shores, elegant and white washed with paletada. At the sight of the slave raiders, the human sentinel might have set a smoke signal to warn the townsfolk of impending attack while the church bells are rung to call on the people to gather at the church.

It would have been a beautiful structure. A base of mamposteria, stones piled upon one another, and then layered with thousands of bricks as can be seen now. Not sure if it has a second floor but there are slots for wooden beams above the windows.

Unfortunately, this defender of Namacpacan, Luna’s old name, has deteriorated greatly. I just hope that the local government will have rehabilitation plans and make it as part of their tourism sites, a heritage structure worth saving for the memories it served and as part of its historical fabric.

And cut that growing tree before it damages it further.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

12 Comments

  1. Miguel
    July 3, 2011 @ 21:11

    i have a big heart traveling to historical sites that would tell stories of the magnificent past like the lighthouses..

    i have this kind of shot in Guimbal, Iloilo..

  2. estan
    July 4, 2011 @ 6:57

    @miguel, is the one in Guimbal also at the shore?

  3. Miguel
    July 4, 2011 @ 13:01

    it is actually located in a beach resort (now).. it was restored by the beach owner, i guess..
    2 watchtowers are visible from the beach and you can actually climb in there..

    here are some of my shots:
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.159296704102244.31267.130650623633519

  4. estan
    July 4, 2011 @ 20:46

    @miguel, may babalikan pala ako 🙂

  5. Miguel
    July 5, 2011 @ 10:22

    masarap mag road trip sa iloilo..
    ang gaganda ng plazuela..

  6. Jenn
    July 16, 2011 @ 10:24

    How sad that many of our authorities do not give much attention to historical sites. It looks really lonely out there. Sayang naman.

  7. estan
    July 16, 2011 @ 20:14

    @jen, that is so true. and unfortunately, we have so many rich cultural heritage structures that are in disrepair.

  8. » Luna’s sand and pebble gatherers | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    July 20, 2011 @ 8:26

    […] visit what I wanted to go to: the Pindangan Ruins and the Luna watchtower. Just near Luna’s forlorn watchtower, several men are toiling to fill buckets upon buckets with sand and pebbles from the shore. […]

  9. Karl
    August 25, 2011 @ 6:47

    yeah how are the authorities really maintaining such sites? i’m assuming it’s still there now coz next week I’ll be off to Poro Point. where exactly are the ruins located from thunderbird? is it possible to visit it without a guide? thanks.

  10. estan
    August 25, 2011 @ 7:57

    @karl,

    you need to visit the town of luna and just ask around. for the pindangan ruins, its a bit tricky but tricycles know where you need to go and what to ride when in san fernando. do try the halohalo there. i forgot the name but its quite known 😉

  11. » La Union’s delicious halo-halo de iloko | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    September 30, 2011 @ 12:51

    […] It was raining when we arrived in San Fernando from Luna’s Spanish colonial era church and watchtower. Tired and weary from the day’s trip around the province, we were hungry and anything offered […]

  12. » The Thunderbird series wrap-up | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    October 3, 2011 @ 20:35

    […] to the violent past of the province, the lone watchtower of Luna stand witness to its dark past when Muslim slave raiders reached her shores to capture slaves. […]

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