San Jose: Ambulong Lighthouse
Since evening, Helm and Jesse, the flocks working at Grace Island, and I are already making our plans to go to Ambulong lighthouse. Helm has already went there so I think we can come too.
By four in the morning we paddled from the island up to Ambulong. It was still dark as the lively stars light the skies. As we are in the cove the seas were very calm, but we must be careful because of the seaweeds planted here. We are only two on the boat and a slight movement can make a scary rock. We felt as if we’re in the dead marsh in Lord of the Rings where anytime we can be pulled out as we can reach the waters with our hands.
To make our trekking easier we decided to dock near the village. Our 1.2 kilometer trip took us 15 minutes by paddling. As we reached here we walked for three kilometers beside houses, rice fields and the woods. From here we can now see the tower and its powerful beacon at the top. The tower stands on the mountain at 136 meters above sea level. We climbed until we reach the tower base.
There are no markers but according to Tony, the caretaker that time, it serves as a radio and light signal to the passing sea vessels. Even from the distance (even in Grace Island), you can see its guiding light.
We were allowed to climb to the top and I noticed that though it is aged its steel framework structure is still very strong and rigid. I don’t know its exact height (I think it’s about 40 feet), from here the winds are very strong while the tower’s bright light shines its surroundings. The strong winds made taking photos more than a chore.
At about six in the morning the solar powered beacon was turned off.
We continued to take photos as the sun starts to peek on the horizon. At the south and eastern side you can see the Buri Island, Lininob Point, Ilin Island Silong Bay and the island of Mindoro. At the bottom you can see the village of Ambulong. We did not spent much time and we immediately went down. After taking coffee we went our way towards the island.
- The Ambulong Tower is a radio and light steel framework tower in Ambulong Island, San Jose.
Elevation – 136 MASL
- Grace Island to Ambulong Barrio – 1.2 Km
Docking station to tower – 3 Km
- Bring plastic to cover your electronic gadgets as protection from corrosive seawater
- Bring flashlight if trekking at night or at dawn
- It’s great to take coffee at the top, so bring a thermos and instant coffee
As we are walking along the road we passed by a 1-storey 2-classroom school building under construction. According to Jess the construction has long been started but until now it is still not done. Children have to travel by boat to another island just to go to school. I don’t know why they were deprived of classrooms in their most convenient location.