Friday, October 3, 2014

Punta Cruz Watch Tower

In Maribojoc, some 14 km west of Tagbilaran City, a curious triangular watch tower oversees the seas South of Bohol. From its windows at the top, you can see Cebu, Siquijor, and Mindanao. The Spanish had it build in 1796 as a look-out post against pirates and Muslim marauders, who at that time where a plague to the people of Bohol.

Remants of similar triangular towers can be found in a number of other places along the coast of Bohol, such as Panglao, Dauis, Loay, and on Pamilacan island, but this tower is the most intact. The tower of Loay, about 18 km east of Tagbilaran is much eroded by the waves of the sea. The tower on Pamilacan island was build to a slightly different plan.
Castillo Des Vicen 11 Ferrer Cuesta Punta dela Cruzanon Ulo y Arbeldela de los Espańoles Hasta Hoy y fe Venera ensu Pueblo de Maribohoc con Devocion del Santo Vi a Crucis Ańo 1796
Translations of the inscriptions of Punta Cruz Watchtower at the Entrance of the Tower
“Castillo De San Vicente Ferrer in this Punta Cruz, whose title and tree of the Holy Cross from the conquest of the Spaniards until now, is venerated in this town of Malabojoc, with the veneration of the Holy via crucis year 1796.
Today the Punta Cruz watch tower still provides an excellent view. The site now offers a small stall for buying drinks and snacks and makes a good spot for a picnic and a swim -- although you'll have to watch out when you climb on the very sharp rocks.

Getting there. Catch a bus at the Tagbilaran Integrated Bus Terminal in Dao. Most buses going in to Tubigon will pass along Punta Cruz. Ask the driver to drop you off at Punta Cruz, and walk down for about 500 meters to the watch tower. Located at the western tip of Maribojoc. The popular name of Barangay Punta Cruz is derived from the” Punta” which means  cape  and the word Punta Cruz was coined from the cross which was planted on the said place to scare the Moro marauders. The original and extinct name of the place is Guimnay where a spring is located serving the inhabitants as its water source. Built in 1796, the only perfect isosceles triangle tower-the only structure so formed in the country.
This was dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer, the Punta Cruz watchtower on the shores of the municipality of Maribojoc served as the lookout for incoming pirates. It was part of a wider defense net build along the Visayan coast to protect settlements from slave raiding moros that struck during the season of the southwestern monsoon. It commands an excellent view of Bohol Strait and the neighboring island of Cebu.

The upper floor of the tower offers a breathtaking view of the sea facing the provinces of Cebu, Siquijor and Mindanao. As one enters the tower, you will be welcomed by the image of St. Vincent Ferrer to whom this tower was dedicated. Beside the tower is a wooden cross that stands in a rock clip that sticks out into the sea. Townsfolk believe that the wooden cross is mysterious and believed to protect the island from the invasion from the cruel Moro pirates. Legend has it that whenever the pirates try to attack the province, a glaring light emanates from the wooden cross causing fear and difficulties for the pirates to sight the land.