Quezon: Iskong Bantay Watchtower

Located at Barangay Zone 1 -Poblacion in the municipality of Atimonan in Quezon Province, Iskong Bantay Watchtower is the last of the seven Spanish-Era structure of its kind built in Southern Luzon.
Iskong Bantay Watchtower
Iskong Bantay Watchtower was built sometime in 1752. It has a good view of Lamon Bay and the island of Alabat. The tower served as an observation and defense tower during the times when pirate raids were rampant in the southern parts of Luzon. The tower also served as a weather observatory, which determines if the fishermen of the town could do their jobs or not.
As seen from the belltower of Atimonan Church
NHI marker of Iskong Bantay Watchtower
My cousin leading the way
Thanks Eloi for the tour!
The watchtower was named after Francisco Tandas, fondly called Isko by the townsfolks. He was the chief defender of the town during the vicious pirate raid of 1872. His courage during the raid earned him the respect of the people of the town. Hence, he was later called Iskong Bantay or Isko the Guardian.
Here's what you'll see on the top.
Years ago the watchtower had a steel roof and was frequented by lovers. Sadly, it was locked down due to some cases of indecencies and vandalism. Just recently, a powerful storm blew the roof of the watchtower and it wasn't repaired since. 
Atimonan Church as seen from Iskong Bantay Watchtower
The houses beside the tower made it look like an unfinished building.
Today, a statue of the town's patron saint Nuestra Senora de los Angeles stands watch from the top of Iskong Bantay Watch Tower. The tower is now once again open to the public. During my recent visit there, I felt a mix of happiness and disappointment when I saw the watchtower. I was happy that the local government repainted the tower and planted several plants to give life to its once dull landscape. However, I was disappointed in the fact that despite the efforts of the local government to maintain the tower, several people still vandalize it. Aside from that, the tower seems to have lost its glory because the houses beside it seems to make the tower look like a dwarf among giants. It lost its "towerness". to me it simply looked like a hanging garden of sorts. I hope that the local government or National Historical Institute could do something about it.

Visit Iskong Bantay and meet this carabao.
Looks like:
The rook piece in chess.

Minus:
The movement and checkmates.

Getting there:

From Manila there are several bus lines that ply the route going to Lucena City. From there transfer to one of the mini buses heading to Gumaca. Tell the conductor to drop you off before the diversion road of Atimonan. From there you could rent motorcycles to bring you to the old church.

Ratings:
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Overall rating

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