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Military notes on the Philippines. September 1898 online

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and Mindanao, leaving Amadgadpagat Islet 1 mile to star-
board; having passed through the channel she can steer east
into the Pacific.

A steamer can pass between Ginatuan and Bayalnan
islands, taking care to avoid the reef off the north point of
the last-named island, and leaving to starboard the islet
which lies i mile south of the southwest point of Ginatuan.
A course S. 49° E. will then lead to the middle of the channel
between Bukas and Mindanao.

BuTUAN Bay. — The southern shore of this bay, between
the river Butuan, which enters the eastern angle, and the
town of Nasipit, 13 miles to the westward, is low, covered by
mangroves, and bordered by shoal water to a very short dis-
tance from it. From Nasipit to Point Diuata, 8 miles to the
NNW., the shore is fringed by a reef which extends out ^ mile.

Butuan River is one of the most important of Mindanao ; it
is supposed to take its rise not far north of Davao Bay, on the
southern coast; one of its arms near the mouth communicates
with a lake that lies about 14 miles NNE. of the town of
Butuan.

The two points that form the entrance to the river may be
recognized by the forts constructed on them. From the north
point a great bank of sand extends more than 14 miles to the
westward, and dries at low water.

A.ii island with trees upon it, about 40 feet high, divides the
mouth of the river into two channels. The navigable channel
shifts according to the freshets, carrying from 2 to 2^ fathoms



148 MINDANAO^NORTHEAST COAST.

at high- water spring tides ; the current is very strong, and dur-
ing the rainy season frequently brings down trunks of trees.
A pilot is necessary for entering the river, there heing no
marks to denote the channel.

Tides. — Only one high water generally occurs during the
twenty-four hours, and this by day or night, according to the
season.

Butuan town is situated on the i-ight bank of the river
Butuan, about 18 miles from the mouth, and contains some
2,000 inhabitants, chiefly engaged in working a gold mine in
the vicinity. The anchorage is frequented by traders from
Port Misamis, and from Cebii, and Mr. Looney remarks that
he carried from 3 to 5 fathoms of water between the bar of
the river and the town. The water of the river at Butuan is
fresh and used for drinking.

Supplies of cattle, Digs, poultry, rice, and sago are obtaina-
ble.

The town of Butuan is celebrated in history as being the
place where Magellan landed after his anchorage near Lima-
sana Island, and where he celebrated the first mass in the
Philippines.

Coast. — Diuata Point is low, sandy, and surrounded by a
reef which commences about Nasipit, extends out ^ mile from
the point, and continues round it to the southward.

Sipaka Point can easily be recognized by a conical hill of
good height, thinly wooded, and by a watchtower on it ; the
shore is clean, steejj-to, with soundings of 55 fathoms close to.
In the bay on the east side of the point there is anchorage in
2f and 3^ fathoms, sand and mud, before the mouth of two
rivers ; the shores of the bay are low and covered by man-
groves. Anchorage may also be had on the west side of the
point in 2f fathoms, under the shelter of Kanauagor Islet.

Bagakai Point is not very high, and is surrounded by a reef
of 2 cables extent, with 5 fathoms near it. The coast between
points Sipaka and Bagakai is formed by sandy beaches alter-
nate with rocky bluffs and mangrove shores.

Camiguin Island (ch. 13, p. 148), lying 5i miles to the north
of Point Bagakai in Mindanao, is about 12 miles long, NE,
and SW,, and more than 8 miles wide, east and west; it is
extremely mountainous and steep, rising to. a central moun-
tain of 5,338 feet above the sea, visible 60 miles off. On the
northwest part, 2^ miles east of the town and anchorage of



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KAMICUIN I.

Liei\t . John M^ Cluer
Sea Mile 1

I 1791.

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MINDANAO — NORTH COAST. 149

Catarman (cli. 14, p. 149) rises a douhle peak 4,797 teet liigli.
Tile island produces rice, good tobacco, Avax, and cacao in
abundance.

Both Agajo and Manbajao points have reefs off them; the
sand cay above mentioned lies f of a mile NW. of the town of
Agajo; it is about 3 cables in extent and 6 feet above the sea
at high water, springs, and has bnshes on it. A rocky shoal
f of a mile long lies east 2| miles from Point Manbajao.

From Point Manbajao the coast is rocky as far as Maginok,
a town of 4,111 inhabitants, off which there is anchorage in
9 fathoms, sand. The eastern point of the island has some
sand patches off it. The town of Sagai lies NE. 2 miles from
the point, off which there is anchorage in 5^ fathoms.

On the west side of the island there is anchorage off Catar-
man (ch. 14, p. 149), between two low points, and also in a
nook to the southward of the point which forms the limit of
Catarman Bay. The mount Two Peaks, east of Catarman,
serves as a guide to it.

Bantiki Islet, which lies nearly 4 miles off the east coast of
Camiguin, is surrounded by rocks extending | mile off it,
except on the southern side of it, which can be approached
and where anchorage may be had in 2f fathoms, sand.

Tides. — The flood stream entering through Surigao Strait
passes to the SW. on both sides of Camiguin Island with great
force, but loses its strength as it enters Makajalar Bay.

NORTH COAST.

Point Gorda. — From Point Bagakai the coast trends to
the southward, forming a slight inflection with four towns on
it. At a distance of 16^ miles is Point Gorda, which is steep
with a flat crown, wooded, and steep-to. Balingasac Bay
(ch. 15, p. 149), between Point Gorda to the south and Point
Banbayan to the north, is 2|- miles wide and 1 mile deex) to
the SE. The anchorage is in front of the town, at 2 cables
from the shore, in 9 fathoms, sand and rock.

Dangers. — Constancia Rock, west of Point Banbayan, has
not been examined, and its position is not well known. The
channel between it and the point is clear.

Alutaya Shoal, bearing SW. 2^ miles from Point Gorda, is
of oval form, with a greatest diameter of 1 mile; at low water
the center uncovers, leaving dry a bank of sand and rocks.



150 MINDANAO — NORTH COAST.

Ill the channel between it and the coast there is a depth of
over 40 fathoms.

Makajalar Bay is an extensive bay, open to the NW.
Ijetween Point Gorda and Point Snlauang. The eastern coast
of the bay is steeper and higher than the western, and is
formed of sandy beaches separated by a low, level headland.
The western shore is clear and steep, but from Point Main j an
a reef extends out 7 cables. The center of the bay is deep,
but it has not been sounded.

Hassaan, south of Gorda, is a town of 5,000 inhabitants; in
the elbow north of the town, called Kabulig Bay, there is
anchorage well sheltered in both monsoons, hut close to the
shore in 13 fathoms, muddy sand.

Cagayan Kiver, which enters it at the head of the bay, has
only 1 fathom on the bar at low water; but the depth and
direction are constantly changing with the freshets of the
rainy season. The river pours out a considerable quantity of
water with a velocity of 2 knots at ordinary times. The town
of Cagayan lies 6 miles up the river, and small vessels ascend
to it. A fair amount of trade is carried on, and gold is found
by washing in the mountains.

Anchorage. — At ^ mile to the NE. of the mouth of the
river, there is a small bank of sand covered by 3 to 1 1 fathoms
water, where anchorage may be had sheltered from all winds
except those from north to west. Vessels can also anchor near
Point Vantay in 22 fathoms.

Opol (Opot) Bay (ch. 16, p. 150) is 5 miles to the west of the
mouth of Cagayan River; there is anchorage in front of the
town in 12 fathoms, near a sand bank. A steep reef fringes
the coast to 1 cable distance near Opol, and extends out 7
cables to the north from Point Malugan.

Alubijit Anchorage (ch. 17, p. 150) is 7 miles NW. of Opol,
and south of Point Sulauang, where the coast forms an elbow
fringed by a reef to 2^ cables distance. The anchorage is NE.
of the town, in 17 fathoms, to the north of some houses on
the beach.

Point Sulauang is of uniform height, covered by man-
groves; rocky ledges stretch out to nearly a mile from it,
surrounded by deep water.

Iligan Bay. — Between Point Panaon to the east, and Point
Bombon (ch. 7, p. 67) to the west, is a great arm of the sea,
about 32 miles across and 20 miles deep, open to the north ; its
shores are in general safe and steep-to.



FOKDEADERO BE OPOL



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No. 17



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MINDANAO — NORTH COAST, 151

Point Maputi,— The coast from Point Sulauaiig curves
round to the SVV. for 14 miles to Point Maputi, which is broad
and rug-ged. On the north side of the point there is a little
bay, Initao, in which small craft can find anchorage in 2f
fathoms, in front of the town.

Kinalong Roads offer anchorage in 14 fathoms, sheltered
from the eastward, but very close to the shore. Iligan River,
situated in the southeast angle of the Iligan Bay, is of some
importance, and communicates with a lake distant 23 miles
from the mouth ; the bar is deep, but there are reefs at the
entrance. The town of Iligan is on the left bank of the river
in a fertile plain.

Point Binuni is low, clean, and steep-to. The bight of the
coast between it and Iligan River is bordered l)y sand beaches
with some rocks, and receives the waters of several rivers.
Anchorage may be had in 7 fathoms close to the shore, which is
steep. The shore to the westward as far as Point Binuni is
clean.

Panguil Bay. — This is i e name given in the Dorrotero to
the inlet in the southwest angle of Iligan Bay included between
points Binuni and Tabu, which forms the entrance to Port
Misamis. The western shore of the inlet is formed by the
slopes of Mount Malindang and the lesser hills SSE. of it.
On the south side of Port Misamis are three hills, the highest
of which is 2,312 feet high.

Port Misamis is formed by a channel 10 miles long and 1
to 2 miles wide, ending in a shallow circular basin 5 miles in
diameter. The sides of the port are low and covered by man-
groves ; but to the northward of the town of Misamis there is
an extv nded sandy shore, and to the southward there is a line
of higher coast.

Eastern shore. — Point Binuni is round, covered by man-
groves, and has some rocks off it ; from this point the shore
trends WSW. for 4 miles, low and covered by mangroves, to
Point Lianga, near which there are patches of sand covered
by 3^ and 5^ fathoms, affording anchorage sheltered from the
SW. Narvaez Bank is a small patch of coral, covered by If
fathoms, lying W. f N. 1-^- miles from a little house on Point
Lianga. A reef with 2f to 6 fathoms on its western edge lies
in mid-channel at 7^ cables from the western shore of the
point ; the rest of this reef has not been sounded.



152 MINDANAO — NORTH COAST.

Western shore. — Point Tabu is low and sandy, witli shoal
water off it. From this point a reef of coral 8 cables wide
fringes the shore to the southward nearly as far as Lokulau,
where two little rivers discharge. Anchorage may be had
east of the fort of Lokulau in G^ fathoms ; to the north and
stnith ( )f this bearing the bottom is strewn with large rocks. ,
From Lokulau to Misamis the shore is low and sandy, with
mangroves in places, and shoal water in the vicinit5^

Lokulau Shoals are two banks of sand and rock on which
large trunks of trees may often be seen stranded by currents.
The longest of the two is oval in form, 9 cables in diameter,
and is sex^arated from the coast by a channel of about 4 cables
width, with 3^ to 9 fathoms depth. The eastern edge of the
banks, near which there are 18 fathoms, bears N. 48° E. of
Port Misamis. South of Misamis the channel is clean and
steep, with a depth of 4^ to 7 fathoms, sand, throughout its
length to the entrance of the inner basin, where the depth in-
creases to 9 fathoms and then falls again to |- fathom at the
bottom of the bay; several small rivers enter the bay here
between the mangroves.

Anchorage. — The anchorage of Misamis is on the western
shore between the point of the fort and Point Pulut, a mile
to the SW. It is completely sheltered from the sea and all
winds, and vessels can lie along the shore and put a plank on
shore in front of the town in 4^ fathoms, sand.

The town of Misamis is divided into the old and new towns,
220 yards apart, joined by a bridge.

Directions. — To enter the port of Misamis from a position
2 miles abreast of Point Tabii, a vessel should steer south
until the fort of Misamis bears S. 58° W., when a course S.
55° W. will lead in mid-channel between Lokulau and Nar-
vaez Shoals, in 5^ and 6^ fathoms, to pass near the fort, and
thence to the anchorage west of it.

Coast. — Diualan Point is low, covered hj mangroves, very
clean, and bordered by a sand beach. Between points Tabu
and Diualan a reef of sand and rocks extends to a mile off
shore, and dries in places at low water.

Point Laj^aban is low and sandy, with depths of 7 and 8
fathoms, sand, at a short distance.

Point Polo, 7 miles NNW. of Layal^an Point, is of dark
rock, clean and steei)-to, with trees on it reaching to the water's



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MINDANAO — NORTH COAST. 153

edge. Tlie coast between tlie two points is bordered by man-
groves, and south of Point Polo near the shore there are two
islets surrounded by a reef which extends outward 1 mile.

Point Bombon, 6 miles from Point Polo, is low, clean, and
steep-to; an intermediate point forms with Point Polo a little
bay into which flows the River Tabukan, and where anchor-
age may be had sheltered from westerly and southerly winds,

Murcielagos Bay, between Point Bombon (ch. 7, p. 07) and
Point Silla, is surrounded by a reef which extends to a mile
from the sandy shore ; on the west coast, south of Point Silla,
there are three islets within the reef, named Murcielagos (ch.
18, p. 153). Point Bombon also has three rocky islets joined to
its nortliAvest side, and the reef projects at this part to 1^ miles
toward the middle of the bay. There is anchorage in 5-2- fath-
oms, mud, near the river which enters the eastern angle of
the bay ; everywhere else in the bay there is no bottom with
45 fathoms.

Point Silla is of considerable height, and remarkable, as it
takes the shape of a saddle ; rocks surround it at not more
than a cable's distance.

Point Tagolo is not very high, and is surrounded by a nar-
row reef; but at 1 cable's distance from it no bottom was
found with 36 fathoms. A patch of cogonal on it is visible
20 miles off. Between points Silla and Tagolo there is an
intermediate point, Baloi, which is high, rocky, and very rug-
ged, its peaks showing most fantastic outlines. The shore
from Silla to this point is low and covered with mangroves,
with rocks off it ; but from the point to Tagolo it is high and
steep.

Tides. — The tidal streams are very strong off this part of
the coast. The flood makes to the east, and the ebb to the
west.

Silino Island, which lies N. by E. h, E. 74- miles from Point
Tagolo, is about 1^ miles in extent, and low, flat, and wooded,
with sandy shores bordered by reefs that do not project far.

Alikai Island, lying W. .^ N. 8 miles from Point Tagolo, is
more than 3 miles long from east to west, and 1 mile wide ;
it is also low, flat, and wooded, with sandy shores, and bor-
dered by reefs of no great extent.

Dapitan Bay, contained between Point Tagolo to the north
and Point Sikayak to the south, is sheltered from all winds
but westerly ones. The depth at the entrance is 17 fathoms



154 MINDANAO — NORTHWEST COAST.

and 4:^ fathoms at the anchorage before the town. The little
port of Talaguilong is in the northern part of the bay.

The northern coast of the bay is high; Point Tubud
(Tugod), at 1^ miles south of Point Tagolo, is remarkable
for having over it a remarkable, isolated, conical hill covered
by cogan; a reef which uncovers at low water lies west 3
cables of the point, and the shore between it and Point
Tagolo is foul.

Light. — On Point Tubud a fixed red light is exhibited,
raised 43 feet above the sea, and visible in clear weather from
a distance of 11 miles through an arc of 2134-° between the
bearings S. and N. 334-° W. The light-house, 23 feet high,
is of iron, painted white.

Port Talaguilong is nearly circular in form, 7 cables in
diameter, completely shut in, and very convenient for vessels
of all sizes; the depth of water is from 5^ to 8 fathoms, mud;
a narrow steep reef lines the shores ; the entrance passage is
li cables wide between the reefs, and 9 fathoms deep.

Dapitan River and Town. — The bar of the river has
very little water on it at low water ; lanchas can enter at high
water. The town is on the left bank of the river, near the
shore ; it exports good cacao, wax, and maize ; cattle are to be
had in abundance.

NORTHWEST COAST.

Point Sikayak is surrounded by a reef which extends to 3
cables from the point and fringes the shore to the northeast-
ward as far as Point Botogan,

A great bay, clear and with good anchorage, stretches be-
tween Point Sikayak and Point Blanca. Three rivers, their
mouths defended by forts, enter the bay. The land behind
is mountainous.

Point Blanca, one of the most remarkable features of the
coast, is a perpendicular cliff of white stone 26 feet high; it
forms a horizontal table covered by grass, with no trees upon
it. During the rainy season, a rivulet of good water falls
from this table-land. The vicinity of the point is shoal; at 2
cables from it there are 1^ fathoms. Anchorage may be had
eastward of the point in 4^ fathoms, and also in the bay be-
tween Point Blanca and Point Dauit.

Point Dauit is clear and steep-to, and can be recognized by
a little hill that takes the form of an obelisk.



MINDANAO — NORTHWEST COAST. 155

Point Tabonan is liigli, rocky, and very steep, with a tlat
summit ; there is anchorage in the bay whicli this point forms
with Point Dauit.

Point Dauigan is also high and steep with a flat top ; on its
southwest side there is a narrow reef with 9 fathoms near it.
Anchorage may be had in the southern angle of the bay be-
tween points Danigan and Tabonan in 11 fathoms; the other
parts of the bay are foul.

SiNDANGAN Bay.— The shores of this bay are exceedingly
steep ; anchorage may be had south of Point Dauigan in 3
fathoms, and also east of Point Sandingan in 11 fathoms, very
close to the shore ; everywhere else the bay is too deep near
the shore for anchorage.

Point Sandingan is a steep, rocky bluff, bordered by a nar-
row shoal of rocks and sand, with breakers at a distance of 1
cable.

KiPiT or Galera Point is low, fiat, and sandy, with shoal
water off it; the bay to the eastward, into which the river
Kipit flows, is shoal, with 6 fathoms at the distance of a mile
from the coast ; the surrounding land is low.

The Murci^lagos Islands (ch. 18, p. 153), which lie north 2^
miles from Point Kipit, are situated on an oval reef about a
mile in length from WNW. to ESE., with soundings of 4^ to
8 fathoms around its edge. The islands are low, and the
largest — the easternmost — is 3 cables in length. Anchorage
may be had SE. of the island in 7 fathoms, sand. The chan-
nel between the islands and Point Kipit is clear and safe, with
a depth of 18 fathoms in the middle of it.

Coast. — To the westward of Point Kipit the coast is low
and bordered by sand beaches separated by rocky headlands,
and cut into by several little rivers. Anchorage may be had
at 1 mile from the shore in 7 fathoms, fine sand. The wood
on the coast is that named agojos, a tree similar to the pine
of Europe. High mountains can be seen inland, and also
hills covered with cogonal.

Gorda Head and Point Coronada are both high and steep,
but Gorda Head, which lies 5 miles NE. of Point Coronada,
is much the highest, and is liable, on coming from the south-
ward, to be mistaken for the western extremity of the land.

Currents. — Between the islands Panaon and Kamiguin
there is a constant current to the west. South of Bohol the
currents follow the direction of the prevailing monsoon.



156 MINDANAO — WEST COAST.

Near the coasts and within the great bays the current is influ-
enced by the discharge from tlie rivers.

WEST COAST.

From Point Coronada the coast is clean and steep-to as far
as Point Balangonan, which lies 15 miles SW. by S. Coro-
nada Bay, south of the i^oint of the same name, is sheltered
from all winds but those of SW., and offers anchorage in 9
to 13 fathoms, sandy bottom. In the angle to the northward,
where a little river enters, the depth is 2f to 4 fathoms.

Balangonan Point is composed of dark ferruginous rock,
low and very steep-to. The little bay to the east of it is more
sheltered than that of Coronada, but its shores are very steep,
so that to get 10 fathoms it is necessary to go very close in-
shore. At a mile to the northward of the north point of this
bay there is a small islet, clean and steep.

Port Santa Maria. — This well-sheltered little port is
situated immediately to the southward of Balangonan Point.
It is about a mile deep to the SW. and contains two little
basins of 13 fathoms depth, very convenient for vessels of good
size. The entrance is 2 cables wide and 36 fathoms deep.
In the middle of the port the depth is 15 fathoms, and little
less near the shore. A narrow reef lines the coast and ex-
tends to the distance of 1 cable from the entrance points of
the western basin. The shores are low and covered by forests
of good trees; among them teak is to be found. Water can
be obtained from a little river in the eastern end of the port.

Point Balanguin (Dulanguin), to the SW. of the port, is
rocky and of no great height ; steep-to. It resembles Point
Balangonan, and coming from the southward may be taken
for it. At 3 cables from the coast, between this point and
Port Santa Maria, there are four detached rocks, clean.

Sikogon Bay, between points Balanguin and Sikogon, is
clean, deep, and bordered by a beach of white sand where
two rivers discharge; some rocks lie near the shore in the
middle of the bay. The depth at 2 cables from the shore is
4^ to 5| fathoms, sand.

Sikogon Point is rocky, clean, and steep-to. In the nortli-
east angle of Panabutan Bay (ch. 19, p. 156), to the south of
the point, there is anchorage in 7 to 22 fathoms, sand, between
two rocky points. The rivers Sikogon and Siraguai are shal-
low. The natives are numerous in this place; they grow



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COSTA OESTEDEMmUANAO.

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MINDANAO — WEST COAST. 157

maize and tobacco, aud carry ou trade with the Sulu Islands.
Wood and water can be obtained.

Canit Bay (ch. 20 and 21, x)- 157) is semicircular, of a diameter
of 9 cables, with sandy shores and small, steep reefs on both
sides of the entrance. Near the sonth shore there is an islet of
1 cable extent, clean and steep on the eastern side, with a
narrow reef on the western side. In the bay there is good
anchorage in 4^ to 9 fathoms, sand, under shelter of the islet.

Point Cauit is high and steep ; the sea face is composed of
red earth ; the summit is rounded and covered with wood.

Coast. — From Point Cauit to Point Batu-Tandok, which
lies 9 miles S. by W. | W., the coast is clear and steep, and
forms little bays between the intermediate points Piakan and
Nanga, which points are high, rugged, and steep. This part
of the coast, like all the west coast of Mindanao, presents an
agreeable aspect of hills, covered with verdure, and cultivated
land, with a great number of houses.

Point Batu-Tandok is high, clean, and steep, with a flat
summit; at 130 yards from it is a small, pointed rock, from
which the point appears to take its name — Horn Rock;
between this point and Point Nanga there is anchorage near



Online LibraryUnited States. Adjutant-General's Office. MilitaryMilitary notes on the Philippines. September 1898 → online text (page 15 of 31)