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Military notes on the Philippines. September 1898 online

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two branches. One turns NW., and the other arm, turning
to SSW., meets with another part of the stream that was
deflected from ISTegros Island about Point Damaguete. The
two reunited enter Tanon Strait by the southern entrance,
with a velocity that reaches 5 to 6 knots in springs and 2 to 3
at neaps, with violent races and tide whirls. The stream
here flows northward, lessening in force as the strait widens,
until it reaches the parallel of Point Tajao, where it meets
the flood stream from the northward. At the northern en-
trance of Tanon Strait the tide, even at spring, does not
reach a speed of 3 knots. The ebb stream is directed the
reverse way from the parallel of Point Tajao. As a resultant



CEBU — EAST COAST. 247

of the tides there is always, on the southeast coast of Negros,
between the points Damaguete and Bombonon, a constant
current to the south, with varying velocity.

EAST COAST, FROM NORTH TO SOUTH.

Point Bulalaki and Chocolate Islet have been described
above. From Point Bulalaki to Bogo Bay, 13 miles SSW., a
reef of sand and rocks fringes the shore, and extends as much
as li miles from it, at one place, about 3 miles south of
Bulalakr; the depth over this reef is f to If fathoms, and at
its edge from 4^ to 14 fathoms, fine sand.

Bogo Bay is nearly filled by shoals that advance from its
sides, leaving only a narrow channel to the head of the bay,
where the town of Bogo is situated. The shoals are reported
to show clearly, and to be marked by bushes. A narrow
neck of land separates Bogo Bay from an estuary on the west
coast of Cebii, and the natives pass their baratos across in
preference to going round Point Bulalaki.

Anchorage may be obtained in Bogo Bay in bad weather,
but it is recommended not to go into less than 4 fathoms, as the
water shoals rapidly, and the bottom consists of sand and rock.

Nailon (or Mailon) Point is low and surrounded by a narrow
reef; the coast between it and Point Saak, which lies S. by E.
4|- miles, is clear and steep-to, and consists of sand beaches
interrupted by rocks and mangroves.

Point Saak is low and wooded, clear, and steep-to. A low
range of hills lies 2 or 3 miles inland, and shows a hill 1,122
feet above the sea, WSW. of Point Saak.

Capitancillo Islet, which lies east 2^ miles from Point Saak,
is low and circular in form, about a cable in diameter, with a
few trees on it, and a sand beach on its western side ; this side
is clear, but on the northern side there is a narrow reef, and
on the eastern and southern sides shoals extend to a distance
of ^ mile, with 18 fathoms close to the edge.

At a distance of 1 mile N. by E. of Capitancillo Islet is the
southern end of a shoal of sand and rock that stretches H
miles NNE. ; this shoal is covered by 1^ fathoms on the shal-
lowest part, with a depth of 18 to 37 fathoms round its edges,
and 32 fathoms in the channel that separates the shoal from
Capitancillo Islet.

Between these dangers and the coast of Cebii there is a clear
channel with no bottom at 55 fathoms.



248 CEBU — EAST COAST.

Kalangaman Islet lies 2 miles IST. 71° E. of Point Nailon ; it is
small and low ; on its east and west sides are shoals which dry
at low water; and about a mile to the SW. of the islet there
is a shoal i mile long, NE. and SW., and -^ of a mile wide;
the depth over it is If fathoms, and round its edges 14 to 18
fathoms.

Danger. — The Spanish steamer Ocmoc struck soundings in
12 feet in the channel between Kalangaman and Capitancillo
islets. It being night, no bearings were taken ; it is shown on
chart 2578 as lying 7 miles E. i S. of Point Nailon; -position
doubtful.

The channel between Capitancillo and Cebii is generally
used by steamers.

Point Bantulin, bearing S. i E. 5 miles from Point Saak, is
of uniform height, rocky, clear, and steep-to. To the NW. of
the point is Tabagon Bay, in which there is anchorage in 3f
to 9 fathoms, sand and mud, before the town of Tabagon.
The shores of the bay are covered with mangroves, and must
not be approached within 1 cable.

Coast. — From Point Bantulin the coast trends S. 20° W. for
o-k miles to Point Bugod ; it is low and steep-to and of no great
height, consisting of sand beaches separated by rocky bluffs
which are surrounded by rocks to the distance of ^ cable.
The river Jamuguit enters the sea about 2 miles north of
Point Bugod; at the mouth of the river, verj^ close to the
shore, there are soundings of 6 fathoms, sand.

Point Bugod is low, rocky, and steep-to ; the coast between
it and Point Pinulakan, 7^ miles to the southward, is of
medium height, and consists of sand beach with good depth
and anchorage off it. On this coast there are three towns :
Bugod is on a rising ground surrounded by hills; Bacio is
very small; Catman contains 6,098 persons; the depth of
water off this town is 6 to 22 fathoms, sand. Point Pinulakan
is of no great height, clear, and steep-to. Luyan, to the south
of it, is a town of 500 people occupied in cutting wood, which
is sent to Cebil.

Point Katadman, which lies S. i W. 21 miles from Point
Bantulin, is very flat and covered by mangroves; there is a
signal station on it, and a shoal surrounds the point, extend-
ing from Danao River on the southern side, as far as the little
port of Bugut on the northern side ; on the outer edge of this
reef there are 8 to 17 fathoms, sand and mud.



CEBU — EAST COAST. 249

Port Bugut, or Carmen, is a small nook situated 3 miles N".
by W. i W. of Point Katadman, sheltered by the low islet
Pupil. The eastern side of this island is foul, and there is
no passage between the northern side and the shore. The
channel leading to the port is on the south side of the islet,
and is reduced by shoals on both sides to a width of 5^
fathoms ; these shoals wash at low water, and are marked by
bushes. Within the port the depth is 4^ fathoms, lessening
toward the beach, which is low and covered by mangroves.
The town is on the south side, and consists of about 20 houses.
In December, 1879, two Spanish gunboats rode out a typhoon
in this port.

Directions. — In order to enter the ]3ort the land should be
closed to about a mile from the shore, care being taken to
clear the reef that borders the coast, and when the fort at the
bottom of the port bears WNW. a course should be steered
for it on that bearing, which will lead clear of the shoals on
either side. Without a pilot it would not be safe to attempt
to enter at night.

Coast. — From Point Katadman to Danao the coast is foul,
and the anchorage off Danao, which is a large town, can not
be recommended. From Danao to Point Bagakai the shore
is sandy; and, except about Point Dapdap, where the water
is shoal, offers anchorage in good depths to vessels of all
sizes during the southwest monsoon. Liloan, situated on the
left bank of the river of the same name, is small, and with
the town of Dapdap numbers only 8,380 inhabitants. The
river can be entered by lanchas at high water.

Point Bagakai, bearing south 9 miles from Point Katadman,
is low, ragged, and surrounded by rocks.

Steering for Cebu from the northward, Point Bagakai when
first seen looks like an island, as there is a roimd-backed hill
upon it about 150 feet high. Maktan and Olango are both low.

Lights. — On Bagakai Point a fixed white light is exhibited
on a circular tower, 46 feet above the sea and 21 feet above
the ground, visible at a distance of 9 miles. The light-keeper's
house is of nipa, and separated from the tower. The light is
very difficult to distinguish, the fishing lights in the vicinity
being very numerous and much brighter.

A harbor light is exhibited from a light-house on Third Van-
tay Point, northern extreme of Maktan Island, It is a fixed
red light, elevated 39 feet above the sea, and should be visible



250 CEBU— EAST COAST.

in clear weather from a distance of 7 miles. The liglit-house,
25 feet high, consists of an iron tower, painted gray; the
keeper's dwelling is near it.

Coast. — From Point Bagakai the coast trends SSW. for 3^
miles to the northern j^oint of a shallow bay at the entrance
of the strait leading to Cehii. Near this point is the north-
ernmost buoy marking the entrance to Port Cebil, shown on
the plan of the port as lying NW. by N". 1| miles from the
north point of Maktan Island. On both sides of the entrance
there are fishing stakes which serve to mark it.

Cebu Port is formed by the channel which separates Mak-
tan Island from Cebil. The practicable channel is 2 cables
wide in the narrowest part, which is abreast of Mandani
tower, and 3 cables wide before the town of Cebii ; the least
depth in it is 4-^ fathoms, increasing in many places to 9 fath-
oms. It is marked along its whole course by a series of buoys,
painted in vertical stripes ; those on the Cebu shore are black
and white, and those on the Maktan shore are red and white.
The presence of these buoys must not be relied upon, as in
1881 a number of them had disai3peared, but in their absence
the tide rips on the edges of the shoals and the color of the
water will indicate the passage. In daylight the navigation
presents no difficulties, but on a dark night, when the edges of
the reefs can not be seen, it is not safe.

The towers of Mandani on the Cebu coast, and of Opon, on
Maktan Island, are white. The bank which extends NE. of
Mandani tower is covered with grass and is generally dry.

The town of Mandani lies near the beach, in the bight of
the coast westward of the tower.

Maktan Island consists of an old coral reef, raised a few
feet (8 or 10 at most) above the present sea level. At the
northern i3art of the island, where a convent stands, a low
cliff fringes the shore, being an upper stratum of the upheaved
reef. The raised reef is here preserved, but over the portion
of the island immediately fronting Cebii it has been removed
by denudation, with the exception of a few pillar-like blocks
which remain, and which are conspicuous from the anchorage.
The surface is scooped out into irregular basins and sharp
projecting pinnacles and covered in all directions with mud,
resulting from the denudation. Nearly all the island is cov-
ered by mangroves, but on the part left dry there are planta-
ticns of cocoanuts.



CEBU— EAST COAST. 251

From the northern point of the isl.uul, near tlio entrance to
Port Cebn, a ledge extends G cables to the NE. by E., the edge
of which is generally marked by fishing stakes ; the north-
west shore is fringed by a narrow reef, but on the south side
the reef stretches out to 2 miles from the island, with oi to 8
fathoms at the edge. The northeast side is clear and steep-to ;
the channel between Maktan and Olango islands is 1^ miles
wide, clear and deep.

The only town on the island is Opon, on the west coast,
SW. of Mandaui Point in Cebil. It was here that Magellan
was killed in 1521, after making the first passage across the
Pacific.

The town of Cebu is the most ancient in the Philippines ; it
is the seat of government of the Visayan Islands, which include
Cebu, Bohol, Panay, Negros, and Leyte, and it is the residence
of a bishop. It is built on a large plain at the foot of the chain
of hills that traverse the island throughout its length, and
is a well-constructed, thriving place ; the merchants' quarter
is situated along the port, and includes some well-built stone
houses, though many are of old construction. The huts of
the Malays, for the most part fishermen, are on the beach,
and form the west part of the city. The fort is a triangular
edifice of stone, painted red, with an open square in front of it.

Coal. — The supply is very small, chiefly Australian; price,
$16 per ton. The coal station is at Kauit Point, If miles SW.
of the town ; the coal is brought off in bulk, and the process
of coaling is slow. There are beds of coal in the island, but
only the surface coal is worked.

Anchorage. — The best anchorage is SSW. of the fort in 5
to 7 fathoms, mud ; nearer the southern reef there is more
water, but the bottom is hard.

Tides. — It is high water, full and change, at noon ; springs
rise 7 feet. The strength of the stream is 2 to 3 knots at
springs; vessels should moor, as the Challenger, at single
anchor, surged very much at the night tides.

Southern entrance. — Kauit Point is a tongue of sand which
juts out about 9 cables to the NE. from the coast, with rocks
at its sides, and trees and a ruined castle on it. At high
water it appears as a low islet, and is not distinguishable
until close-to. The castle lies SW. If miles from Cebu fort.
Between Point Kauit and Point Lipata, which lies SW. |- W.
3 miles from Point Kauit, the shore is sand}^ with good hold-
ing ground at 3 cables from it, in G fathoms.



252 CEBU — EAST COAST.

Campanario Shoal, covered by 5 feet of water, lies halfway
between Kauit castle and the eastern edge of Lipata Bank ; it
is marked by a buoy. From it San Nicholas church bears N.
13° E., and Kauit castle N. 6° E., distant 9^ cables.

Lipata Bank lies in the middle of the southern entrance to
Port Cebu, between the coast of Cebu and the reef off the
southwest point of Maktan Island. It is of oval form, 3 cables
in extent, and uncovers at low water. A bank covered by 8
feet of water extends north and northeast, the outer edge of
which is marked by buoys.

Narvaez Bank, between Lipata Bank and the coast of Cebu,
is of coral, 2 cables long, covered by 5 feet of water and
marked by a black buoy with a ball. Both Lipata and Nar vaez
banks, as also the edge of the reef olf Maktan Island, are
marked by fishing stakes, but as the stakes are being con-
stantly shifted, too much confidence must not be placed in
them as marks for the edge of the banks.

Lights. — On Lipata Bank a fixed red light is exhibited on
a tripod elevated 26 feet above the sea, and visible in clear
weather to a distance of 6 miles.

On Lanis Point, the southwest point of Maktan Island, a
fixed green light is exhibited on a tripod elevated 26 feet above
the sea, and visible to a distance of 6 miles.

Leading mark. — The dome of San Nicholas church bearing
N. i E. will lead in mid-channel between Lipata Bank and the
reef off Maktan. On this bearing the church is in line with
the central apex of a triple-peaked hill 10 or 12 miles to the
northward of the town.

Lipata Point is flat and sandy; not far from it is a stone
fort, and the town of Talisai. A reef projects about 6 cables
south of the point, with 4^ fathoms at its end. This is about
the position assigned to Lagundi West Shoal, bearing SW. by
W. f W. lyV miles from the center of Lipata Bank, and it is
probably the same; but the name Lagundi does not appear on
the Spanish chart. The shoal is covered by 2f fathoms and
is marked by a buoy with staff and ball.

Lagundi Shoal, having over it 2f fathoms, bears SSW. 1^
miles from the center of Lipata Bank, and is marked by a buoy
with staff and ball. Another small shoal of sand covered by
2f fathoms lies SW. 1^ miles from Lipata Point.

Tambon Shoal, having over it 4 fathoms, bears SE. by E.
i E. 2-=^ miles from the center of Lipata Bank; it is marked
by a b\ioy with staff and ball.



CEBU — SOUTHEAST COAST. 253

Directions for navigating from Jinioiolo Channel to Cehu. —
From a position 2 miles south of Jintotolo a course of S. 62°
W. will lead 1-J- miles clear of North Gigante and north of
Tanguingui Islet to midway between Malapascua and Choco-
late islets, but allowance must be made for the set of the
currents, which varies according to the strength of the mon-
soon. In the daytime Malapascua can be passed on either
side, but at night it is advisable to pass to the eastward,
giving a berth to the dangerous rock which extends about
f of a mile off its south point. From Malapascua a course
should be steered to pass between Capitancillo and Kalanga-
man islets; a S. f W. course then leads to within 2 miles of
Bagakai light, at the northern entrance to Port Cebu; or,
from Malapascua steer to pass between Capitancillo and the
coast of Cebu, as the channel that separates them is clear
and deep.

The narrowest part of the entrance to Port Cebii is between
Mandani Point and the mole of Opon town in Maktan, and
there the depth will lessen to 4^ fathoms. A vessel should
keep on the Opon side to avoid the bank on the coast of Cebu.
When the Challenger entered the port in 1875 the edges of
the shoal were by no means readily distinguished, for muddy
water extended right across the narrowest part of the channel.

Having passed the mole of Opon a vessel should steer, in
daylight, for the point of the fort of Cebii ; but at night, if
obscure, on a course S. 64° W. This course will clear the
shoals of the north coast, keeping at the same time a distance
of 2 miles from the shore of Maktan Island, to the anchorage
off Cebii.

To go out from the anchorage hj the southern channel a
SW. course should be steered until the dome of the church
of San Nicholas bears N. i E,, when a course S. i W. leads
through the fairway between Lipata Bank and the reef of
Maktan Island. Having cleared the reef and Lipata Bank a
course SSW. ^ W. can be steered to pass 4 miles west of Kalibao
Island.

SOUTHEAST COAST.

From Point Lipata to Point Tinaan, WSW. 6 miles, the
coast forms a bay, in the center of which is the town of Min-
glanilla ; the entire bay is obstructed by shoals which extend
to li miles from the shore ; the channels between these shoals,
and between them and the coast, are less than 3 fathoms deep.



254 CEBU — SOUTHEAST COAST.

Naga is a large town with a handsome church. Steam
vessels and coasting craft using the south entrance to or
from the port of Cebii make Naga the point of entrance and
departure.

Anchorage, but of small extent, may be obtained off Naga
in 4 to 7 fathoms, but care must be taken to avoid a small
sunken rock having over it 2f fathoms, with 9 fathoms within
a boat's length.

Tinaan or Tuiaan Anchorage, about 1-^ miles SW. of Naga,
in front of a small village without a church, is difficult to
distinguish from seaward. It is formed by the coast and a
shoal I mile SE. of the village. This shoal is 6 cables long,
ENE. and WSW., and 2 cables wide; its extremities and the
points of the bay are marked by stakes. In the middle of the
bay there is a depth of 11 fathoms, sand, lessening gradually
to 2f fathoms at 1 cable from the wharf. The north entrance
is easier and cleaner than the south entrance, in the middle
of which there is a patch of 5i fathoms. Tuiaan is the port
of shipment of coal from the mines of Uling and Alpako,

Coast. — From Tuaian to the salient point of Argao, the
coast is fringed by a narrow reef which extends from it more
than 2 cables at the most ; it is very steep, with more than 50
fathoms depth at a short distance from it. In passing along
this part of the coast of Cebu it is advisable not to keep too
near the land.

San Fernando is a town situated some distance inland from
the coast, and about 3 miles SW. of Tinaan.

Karkat Point is low and fringed by the coast reef of 2 cables'
width, with 20 to 40 fathoms near it.

Karkat Bay has an islet in the middle of it, which, with
the shoals projecting from the shore, forms a little sheltered
port. The church at Karkat is situated conspicuously on a
hill NNW. of the islet. The entrance channel to the port
runs NW. and SE., and has a depth of 4^ to 6^ fathoms.
Within the port there are 7 fathoms. The best anchorage is
near the north part of the islet. An acquaintance with the
locality is necessary to enter, as the sides of the entrance are
not marked by bushes. The shores are very low and covered
by mangroves.

Sibonga (ch. 45, p. 254), 4 miles to the south of Karkat Bay,
offers good anchorage sheltered from westerly winds, and
may be known by a church lately constructed. The anchorage



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CEBU — SOUTHEAST COAST. 255

is ill 4: fathoms, sand, at equal distance from tlie coiirt-lioiise
and the church ; northward of this position the bottom becomes
rocky, as also the coast as far as Karkat Bay.

Argao Point, 8 miles south of Sibonga, offers anchorage in
from 4 to ? fathoms, sand, sheltered from north and northeast'
winds. Small vessels load here in both monsoons, choosing
their anchorage north or south of the point, as most conven-
ient. The church at Argao is a most conspicuous building.
Supplies may be obtained at Argao by applying to the local
authorities.

Point Dalaguete, 9 miles SW, f W. of Point Argao, is
flat and sandy, clear and steep-to. Anchorage may be ob-
tained north and south of the j)oiiit in 3|- or 18 fathoms, sand.
The town of Dalaguete may be known by a conspicuous church,
visible at a great distance both from the north and from the
south. The coast between Points Argao and Dalaguete con-
sists in some places of clean and steep sand beaches, and in
others of mangrove patches with shoals extending to a dis-
tance of one cable from the shore.

Tides. — The flood stream from the eastward strikes the
coast about this part of Cebil and is divided into two streams
which follow the coast, one to the NNE. through the channels
on either side of Maktan Island, the other to the SSW. passes
round to the south end of Cebti and enters Tanon Strait.

The coast from Dalaguete Point to Boljon is low, with steep
sand beaches interrupted by rocky bluffs ; at mid-distance are
the town and shoal of Mambagi ; the shore before the town is
clean and a depth of 12 fathoms off it.

Mambagi Shoal is a shoal of sand and rock -J of a mile long
and a little more than a cable wide, with 3^ to 11 fathoms
round its edges. It lies 2 miles off the coast and 2^ miles NE.
by N. of Boljon Bluff.

Boljon Bay is small and very steep; there are 12 fathoms
within 100 yards of the shore ; a little to the north of the bay
is a white peaked rock of a good height (Boljon Bluff), on
which is a little stone tower used as a signal station. The
town of Boljon is surrounded by a wall and fortifications.

Point Yuisan, 4^ miles south of Boljon, is low, and ends in
sand and rocks close to the shore; the village contains only
350 persons.

Yuisan Shoal, of sand and rock, awash at low water, Avith
2i to bh fathoms round its edge, is 2 cables long, NE. and SW.,



CEBU — SOUTHEAST COAST. 255

is iu 4 fathoms, sand, at equal distance from tlie court-liouse
and the church ; northward of this position the bottom becomes
rocky, as also the coast as far as Karkat Bay,

Argao Point, 8 miles south of Sibonga, offers anchorage in
from 4 to 7 fathoms, sand, sheltered from north and northeast'
winds. Small vessels load here in both monsoons, choosing
their anchorage north or south of the point, as most conven-
ient. The church at Argao is a most conspicuous building.
Supplies may be obtained at Argao by applying to the local
authorities.

Point Dalaguete, 9 miles SW. f W. of Point Argao, is
flat and sandy, clear and steep-to. Anchorage may be ob-
tained north and south of the laoint in 3^ or 18 fathoms, sand.
The town of Dalaguete may be known by a conspicuous church,
visible at a great distance both from the north and from the
south. The coast between Points Argao and Dalaguete con-
sists in some places of clean and steep sand beaches, and in
others of mangrove patches with shoals extending to a dis-
tance of one cable from the shore.

Tides. — The flood stream from the eastward strikes the
coast about this part of Cebu and is divided into two streams
which follow the coast, one to the NNE. through the channels
on either side of Maktan Island, the other to the SSW. passes
round to the south end of Cebri and enters Taiion Strait.

The coast from Dalaguete Point to Boljon is low, with steep
sand beaches interrupted by rocky bluffs ; at mid-distance are
the town and shoal of Mambagi ; the shore before the town is
clean and a depth of 12 fathoms off it.

Mambagi Slioal is a shoal of sand and rock -g- of a mile long
and a little more than a cable wide, with S^ to 11 fathoms
round its edges. It lies 2 miles off the coast and 2^ miles NE.
by N. of Boljon Bluff.

Boljon Bay is small and very steep; there are 12 fathoms
within 100 yards of the shore ; a little to the north of the bay
is a white peaked rock of a good height (Boljon Bluff), on



Online LibraryUnited States. Adjutant-General's Office. MilitaryMilitary notes on the Philippines. September 1898 → online text (page 25 of 31)