In 2011, a total of six watchtowers in the province of Bohol have been collectively declared National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Thus, after the 7.2 magnitude Bohol Earthquake in 2013, these watchtowers were given priority and rehabilitated under the Central Visayas Restoration and Reconstruction Program of the NMP.
At a glance, the watchtower in the town of Loay is unique for its minuscule size. Standing at the edge of Hinawanan Bay, this once abandoned watchtower can be beautifully seen along the coast in Barangay Villalimpia, Loay.
Erected in the 19th century, it aided the townspeople in the lower town named Ubos to seek safety in the upper town called Ibabaw, in case of seaborne attacks.
Prior to its restoration, the Loay watchtower was in advanced deterioration due to tidal action and erosion. During low tide, much of the structure’s debris would be exposed allowing a thorough study of its colonial construction techniques. It was restored using coral stone and brick-roof tiles locally called “tisa.”
Since the entire area is surrounded by mangroves, the National Museum built a 700-meter bamboo boardwalk accessible to the public that led to a picturesque view of the watchtower facing the Bohol Sea. This heritage structure was fully restored and turned over to the Municipality of Loay on July 23, 2018.
Source: Text and photos by NMP Bohol
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