Besides bangus, beautiful beaches, archaeological sites, and fighting cocks, Bolinao is also known for its lighthouses. This town has two lighthouses. One is the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse in Abac, Patar, which is second to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte. It was designed primarily to prevent sea disasters and guide fishermen and navigators of inter-island boats and ships plying in and out of Bolinao.
The other one is the Port Bolinao Lighthouse in Guigui-wanen, barangay Luciente I, which is a refuge, a haven to boats and ships in times of storm with its deep harbor.
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse rises majestically 351 feet above sea level atop Punta Piedad Point, a towering hills of solid rock, which is the sharp point of Cape Bolinao itself.
The national government has set aside R19 million for its rehabilitation. The lighthouse is on top of the cape overlooking the seeming boundless China Sea luring the weary ships at sea to safety.
Recently, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the municipality of Bolinao agreed to rehabilitate, upgrade and maintain the Cape of Bolinao Lighthouse.
A memorandum of agreement was signed by PCG Commandant, Vice Admiral Arthur N. Gosingan and Bolinao Mayor Alfonso F. Celeste. It was witnessed by Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza and Antonio Villar, assistant secretary of Air Transportation and Management Information Service.
"The signing of the MOA demonstrates the full commitment of both our national and local government in leading the development of maritime infrastructure to enhance the safety of inter-island shipping and promote the country?s tourism industry," said Mendoza.
He stressed that the support of the local government in this project will facilitate the PCG in preserving Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, which is one of the most frequented tourist attractions as it provides sightseers a panoramic view of the South China Sea and the white beaches, offshore reefs and huge rock formations of Punta Piedad Point.
"This undertaking will hasten the development of our maritime infrastructure as well as land-support facilities in promoting safety of life at sea," Mendoza stressed.
Under the Adopt-A-Lighthouse Program, the PCG will continue to be the sole owner of the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. It will also remain responsible for the actual operation, repair and regular maintenance of the beacon light, including all supporting mechanisms.
On the other hand, the Municipality of Bolinao will take charge of the rehabilitation and maintenance of the lighthouse main building and its immediate vicinity except that of the beacon light, solar equipment and other equipment in the lighthouse.
The municipality will also be responsible in promoting the declaration of the lighthouse as a cultural heritage and to restore ecology at the vicinity, when needed, conduct tree planting and reforestation activities.
The lighthouse provides a panoramic view of a portion of the 1,269-hectare Cape Bolinao Dendro Thermal Ipil-Ipil plantation in a land area considered as part of the 14th and 15th century influence archeological site.
Below is the country?s choice sand/white beach and clear sea with its lush corals where underwater scene of Charlene Gonzales "Dyesebel" and Ruffa Gutierrez "Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa" were filmed.
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse station has to keep its light burning 365 nights yearround to guide vessels at sea, the area being the international ocean passage to Hong Kong, Japan, USA and other countries.
Filipino, British and American engineers constructed the lighthouse in 1905. According to the Bureau of Geodetic Survey, the land elevation is 250-feet. The height of the towers is 101 feet from the base to the light and hitting the focal lens of the revolving big lens. Visibility is 20 miles at midsea towards the lighthouse in Poro Point, La Union.
The original third order apparatus was manufactured in England and the lantern with wicks was imported from France, hence the difficulty of replacing worn-out spare parts. But considering how genius Filipinos are, Filipino mechanics copied the original ones with success.
The light machine is rotated by a system of gears like than of a big clock with pendulum of weights, winded and suspended with steel cable.
Kerosene fueled the lamp of the lighthouse station for the first 80 years of operation until Pangasinan I Electric Cooperation (PANELCO) extended its powerlines in barangay Patar and four other barangays involved in the dendro ipil-ipil plantation development and operations of the 3.3 megawatt ipil-ipil wood fuel power plant at the start of the 80s.
The winding stairway has six platforms with 20 steps or rungs or a total of 120 steps plus 14 more to the illumination room, or an over-all total of 134 steps.
Meanwhile, did you know that Bolinao linked the Philippines to the world many years ago? Yes! On May 2, 1880, the first cable in the Philippines linked Bolinao to Hong Kong, Spain and the whole world.
The former submarine cable station owned by the British is located in barangay Luciente I about 400 meters from the proposed Tuntex cement and coal-fired plant complex.
With the submarine cable between Bolinao and Hong Kong and the whole world, messages were telegraphed daily enhancing beyond imagination trade and commerce, banking and finance and the exchange of ideas and development.
A Spanish royal order dated Sept. 29, 1855 opened the ports of Sual, Pangasinan in Luzon, Iloilo in the Visayas, and Zamboanga in Mindanao. The opening of ports encourage the growth of trade and agricultural production and together with the submarine cable accelerated business, shipping and political dialogue between the Philippines and Spain and other European countries. (Lynda B. Valencia)
I enjoyed reading the article.
I 101% support the efforts of rehabilitating and maintaining the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. Yes, it has truly served it's purpose then, now a hopefully more years to come. If manila has the Rizal monument, The people of Bolinao have the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse standing tall and proud tested through time.
I myself find inspiration whenever i see the Light House, Back then as a child and up to now. The history, the strenght, the structure, the character and the forever unending service of guiding local and foreign fishermen at sea.