Bagatao Island was considered as one of the most important and biggest shipyards at the time, where some of the biggest and most magnificent Spanish galleons were built. It was then known as the Real Astillero de Bagatao. It is adjacent to the town of Magallanes, Sorsogon but falls under the jurisdiction of Sorsogon City.
Bagatao Island Lighthouse
Bagatao Island Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located on a Bagatao Island on the eastern side of the entrance to Sorsogon Bay, in the province of Sorsogon in the Philippines. The 29-ft white cylindrical iron tower is situated on the rocky headland that forms the southern point in the western end of the Island, giving the total light elevation of 135 ft (41.4 m). The light not only marks the entrance to the bay, but also assist ships in navigating the bend around Ticao Island of Masbate province as they head to San Bernardino Strait and exit to the Pacific Ocean.
- Spanish Period
A light was earlier proposed on Bagatao Island to assist ships in navigating Ticao Pass together with Capul Light at the entrance to San Bernardino Strait and Bugui Point Light in northern Masbate. In the final approved plan, it was decided to move the location from Bagatao to the San Miguel Island on the northern tip of Ticao Island.
- American Period
A light station on Bagatao Island was one of the stations proposed by the Bureau of Lighthouse Construction for the fiscal year 1903-1904. The tower planned was one of the several iron lighthouse towers bought by Spain from France and was found by the Bureau at the warehouse of the old lighthouse commission after the turnover to the Americans. The tower though, had several minor pieces missing that required a new one to be made.
A working party was sent to the island to commence on the light station in January 1904. The party was consisted of 2 Americans, 6 to 10 Chinese carpenters, and about 30 Filipino workmen hired in Manila on account of the difficulty of securing local laborers.
Temporary quarters were constructed for the workers and as well as storehouses. A pier of masonry was also built for landing supplies. A service road from the pier to the tower site was cleared and graded as well as the site for the permanent structures. Wells were also dug in an attempt to obtain fresh water on the island.
The permanent work consisted of the erection of an iron tower, a frame dwelling for the keepers, a frame kitchen, a concrete storehouse and oil room, a cistern of concrete reinforced with steel, a frame latrine, a tripod for a port light, and the cutting of considerable hardwood lumber for use here and at other stations.
The tower, an iron cylinder 29 feet high, was anchored to its concrete base on the summit rock by anchor bolts 1 meter long. The frame dwelling measuring 38 feet 2 inches by 37 feet 6 inches, was supported on wooden posts set in concrete pillars.
The sixth-order flashing white light, equipped both with an incandescent and with an ordinary burner was first lit on May 15, 1904. A red fixed port light was also displayed on a tripod to the east of the flashing light.
The remaining work done by July and August consisted of finishing and painting the permanent buildings, removing temporary structures, and cutting timber for use at other stations as the timber cut on the reservation, cost lesser than the same quality of wood costs in Manila. After the station was completed, the party was brought back to Manila. The total cost of the lighthouse amounted to ?20,190.30.
The original lighthouse tower still exists but the lamp was recently replaced by a solar-powered modern lamp by the Philippine Coast Guard. All lighthouses in the Philippines are managed by the Philippine Coast Guard.
Where to Stay
- Selvinas Hotel & Restaurant - Maharlika Highway, Pangpang, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Fernandos Hotel - 3799 Rizal Street Piot, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Ingko Hotel Gabao - Gabao San Roque Bacon, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Mayorga Pensione - Pangpang, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Tentyard Hotel - Pangpang - Blk 33 St. Rafael Subdivision, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Carolina's Hotel - Magsaysay Street Cogon, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Villa Isabel Hotel - Flores Street, Burabod, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Santa Clara Park Hotel - Maharlika Highway Pangpang, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Tentyard Hotel - 105 San Juan East District, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Fritz Homestay - 507 Block 21 Executive Village Tugos, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- Ingko Hotel Macabog - Macabog Diversion Road, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
- By Land Transport
The province is accessible from Manila and Visayas via the Pan Philippine Highway. Air conditioned buses plying the Manila to Samar and Leyte routes in the Visayas Island across the San Bernardino Strait from Allen/San Isidro to Matnog.
To get around within the province, taxicabs, for-hire cars, air-conditioned buses, jeepneys, and tricycles are readily available at all hours of the day. One can do an exotic city tour on the ubiquitous 2-passenger tricycles.
- By Air Transport
From Manila, one can take direct flights to Legazpi City in Albay province. Flying takes only about 50 minutes. From Legazpi, it is only a 45-minute pleasant drive overland to Sorsogon City.
- By Sea Transport
Sorsogon is also accessible via the Manila-Cebu; Masbate-Pilar/Bulan route. Luxury ships from Manila to the Port of Cebu. From Cebu another ship can take you on a twelve-hour trip to the Port of Cebu, Masbate and from Masbate, a fast craft can take you on another two-hour ride to the rustic town of Pilar. For-hire motorized bancas are also available.