United States. Adjutant-General's Office. Military.

Military notes on the Philippines. September 1898 online

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its east side. Between these islets and Marinduque there is
a safe passage if care be taken to avoid a shoal of 2^ fathoms
nearer the coast of Marinduque than the middle of the

Point Banod, or Gazan, is fronted by a reef which extends
■J mile to the SE., and joins the shore again off tlie town of


Gazau; the 2^ fatlionis slioal just mentioned seems to be a
])art of this reef, detached to tlie south. The town Gazan
is 2 miles north of the point. Tlic anchorage is on the ojX'n
coast, at a distance from the Ix^ach, and quite exposed.

Point Kauit is low and sandy ; a reef runs from it to the
8SE. as far as Gazan Reef, but to the northward the coast,
which is of sand beach, is clean as far as Point Datinuana,
and to 3 miles beyond, and may T)e apj^roached with safety;
from here a sand bank with 7 fathoms at its outer edge
stretches along at ^ mile from the shore as far as the south-
east point of Port Banalakan.

" BuAK River and Town. — The town is situated on the left
bank at 1^ miles from the mouth of the river, which enters the
sea to the southward of Point Datinuana. It carries on a
fair trade with Manila. Steamers call here about once in a
week or ten days.

Anchorage. — The anchorage is SW. of a stone fort at the
mouth of the river, at 2 cables from the shore, in 5 to 1 2 fath-
oms, coarse sand.

Tidal streams. — In the part of the sea between Masbate
Island and Mindoro the currents are not strong except off
Point Arena, the southeastern extreme of Bondog Peninsula,
wdiere they acquire some force from the quantity of water that
enters and leaves the Gulf of Ragai ; but in Verde Island Pas-
sage the tidal streams reach a velocity of 3 to 4 knots, and
the branches which pass on either side of Verde Island cause
strong eddies at their meeting again, and at Point Escarceo
even a partial reversal of the stream.

The flood streams from the China Sea through Verde Island
Passage, and from the Pacific through San Bernardino Strait,
meet and neutralize each other nearly in the meridian of Point
Bondog, or in the line between Point Bondog and Romblon
Island (ch. 7, p. 07). The ebb streams set in the reverse di-
rection, i. e., from Bondog Peninsula outward, and it has
been observed that on coming to Point Bondog with a fair
tide a reverse has been experienced on passing its meridian.
The tidal hour of this point has not been determined.

Winds on the south coast of Luzon. — In Tayabas Bay and
the Gulf of Ragai the land breeze which sets in during the
night in both monsoons is generally feeble, but sometimes
S(iually, thereby compelling a sailing vessel to anchor in order
to avoid being driven off the coast.


Gulf of Ragai. — The Gulf of Ragai, included between
Point Bondog to the west and Point Kadburauan (Panganiran)
to the east, 43 miles apart, runs 65 miles inland to the NW.,
and, along with the River Vinas, which enters the gulf at its
head, almost severs the island of Luzon in two at this part,
separating the Province of Tayabas and Camarines Norte.
The Gulf of Ragai is generally clear and deep. The port of
Pusgo or Mayasas on the west coast and Pasakao Bay on the
east coast are its most frequented anchorages. The entrance of
the gulf is divided into two channels by Burias Island, with
the islands and shoals off its no^'thern end.

West coast of Ragai Oulf. — The coast between Point Aiena
and Port Pusgo is moderately high and steep-to, with sound-
ings from 7 to 14 fathoms off it, except at the part opposite
Alibi jaban Island, where a reef extends along the coast for 3
miles; anchorage can be had oft' the coast generally, but not
close in, as there are rocks close to the shore.

Sombokobon Bay, 5|- miles NNE. of Point Arena, is much
frequented by native coasters. In the middle of the bay there
is a rocky shoal, with a narrow channel between it and the
shore. The north point of the bay ends in a reef, which pro-
jects to the SE. and forms a semicircle, offering shelter and
anchorage in 3|- fathoms, fine sand. The town of Sombokobon
is on the northwest side of the bay.

Alibijaban Island, 3-2^ miles north of Sombokobon Bay, is
2^ miles long, north and south, and f of a mile wide ; low,
wooded, and surrounded by a reef which extends 1 mile to
the southward and i mile out from the other sides, with
irregular soundings near its edges ; in the northern part of
this reef is a little bay with a depth of 4 fathoms, and off the
southern end there is a small anchorage with a depth of 14
fathoms. The channel between the island and the reef on
the main coast opposite is 1^ miles wide and 23 fathoms
deep. From the most salient point of the reef Point Arena
bears S. 8° E. and Point Gorda, north of Pusgo, N. 21° W.

Palad Bank, 5 miles north of Alibijaban Island, is a bank
of sand 1 mile long, 10 feet above water, and surrounded by
rocks. It can be seen in daylight from a good distance, and
at a sufficient distance to avoid it on a clear night. The
channel between the bank and the main coast is 2 miles wide
and 12 fathoms deep.

Port Pusgo is a narrow inlet which penetrates 5 miles to
the NW. The width between the southern entrance points


is 1^ miles, but the navigable space is considerably reduced
by a shoal which extends along the main shore, and half way
up the inlet there is only 1 cable width. The depth in mid-
channel is 4^ to 5 fathoms from the entrance to as far as 1
mile past the narrowest part, but in the inner harbor gener-
ally it is less than If fathoms deep. The town of San Narcisso
stands at the extreme head of the inlet.

ShoaJ. — In the middle of the entrance, at 1^ miles S. 25°
E. of Point Pusgo, there is a rocky bank 14^ cables in extent,
covered by 10 feet of water.

Point Gordalies 1^ miles N. by W. of Point Pusgo, and is
high and steep, with a flat crown. The reef, which from the
interior of Port Pusgo fringes the coast, continues round
Point Gorda to the northwest, at a distance of 2 to 4 cables
from the shore. A shoal covered by If fathoms water lies 5
miles noi^thwest of Point Gorda, and 1 mile from the shore.

Piris Bay, 13i miles NW. by N. of Point Gorda, is bor-
dered by a shoal of mud covered by If fathoms water, which
considerably reduces the available space ; anchorage can be
had in the northwest part of the bay in 5^ fathoms. Point
Lian, the northern point of the bay, Is of moderate height
and skirted by a reef which projects ^ mile from it to seaward.

Point Kapuluan, 5 miles north of Point Lian, is surrounded
by the reef which borders the coast for 2^ miles to the north-
ward. Kapuluan Rocks, 2:^ miles east of the point of the
same name, form a shoal ^ of a mile in extent, on which there
are several rocks awash, with 4^ to 14 fathoms near it.

Acha Shoal, 5 miles N. by W. of Point Kapuluan, is a
rocky shoal 2 cables long, north and south, covered by 1
fathom water at its edge. It lies 2f miles from the coast and
1:^ miles from Sipalon Island, a low peaked island separated
from the reef of the north coast.

Vinas River, which enters the gulf at the extreme head of
it, is shallow, the depth at the mouth being only 5^ feet.

East coast of Eagai Gulf. — Talkauayan Bay is 1^ miles
wide and runs 2^ miles to the northward; the depth of water
in it decreases gradually from 7 fathoms at the mouth to 3
fathoms at the head.

Katabanga Bay, 3 miles SE. of Talkauayan Bay, is nearly
4 miles wide between Points Guilbai and Bagutayok, and is
lined with rocks. The depth toward the northern part is 11
fathoms. There is anchorage in the southern part near the
little river Katabanga.


Rag-ai Bay, between Point Omon to the north and Point
Oktok and Sahan Island to the south, offers good anchorage,
sheltered in both monsoons, in depths of 17 to 1| fathoms,
mnd. Sabun Island, 1 mile long, east and west, is almost
nnited to Point Oktok at low water; its northern side is
steep-to, but a reef projects 1 mile to seaward from the west-
ern point. The southern shore is foul.

Kaima Bay, included between Sabun Island and Point
Bantuin or Galvanei, 8 miles to the SE., is bordered by a
reef. There is an anchorage near this reef off the town of
Bangon in 8 to 12 fathoms, and also in places nearer Point
Bantuin, in 7 fathoms. Point Bantuin is high and steep, and
only connected with the main coast by a strip of low land |
cable wide. The two islets Galvanei are respectively w mile
and 1 mile NW. of the point.

Coast. — From Point Bantuin (Galvanei) the coast trends
SE. for 13 miles to Point Tanuan and is mountainous and
bold. ■ The river Tinagbud enters about midway between the
two points ; anchorage may be had off the mouth in 4 fath-
oms. A sharp peaked rock lies 2 cables from Point Buri,
south of Tinagbud. Point Tanuan is steep, with a flat crown,
and from this point the coast trends E. by S. for 5 miles,
high, and fronted by sand beaches as far as Pasakao An-

Pasakao Anchorage is situated between two little flat-topped
hills, the westernmost of which terminates in a mangrove-
covered point and a reef which projects | mile to the SE.
The best anchorage is in 3 to 4 fathoms, in front of the town,
and north of the high flat islet Refugio, which lies h- mile
from the southern point. This little islet is surrounded by a
reef 1 cable wide and steep-to, with soundings of 37 fathoms
at a short distance to the southward. The channel between
the islet and the coast has a depth of 11 fathoms. In taking
this passage the islet should be kept closer than the mainland.
Steamers call here fortnightly.

Coast. — From Pasakao Anchorage to Point Makoto the
coast is high, steep-to, and bordered by sand beaches between
the intermediate points. Anchorage may be had very close
to the shore north of Point Sibono, 7 miles SE. by E. of Pa-
sakao, in Jamuaron Bay, north of the point of the same name,
in 6 fathoms ; vessels can also anchor in the elbow which the


coast makes at the town of Pantao, north of Point Kauanha-
han. A shoal surrounds this point to a distance of 1 cahle,
and lines the coast to the bottom of the elbow.

Ajjud Shoal is a rocky shoal which uncovers in parts at low
water and extends 1 mile W. and 2 miles NNW. of Point Apud.

Point Makoto is of moderate height, steep, with a flat crown,
and is surrounded by a reef. A rocky shoal i mile in diame-
ter, and covered by 3f fathoms, lies 1 mile NW. of the point.
This shoal may generally be distinguished by the green and
white color of the water above it. There is an islet southeast
of the j)oint, united to it by a reef.

The bay to the eastward of Point Makoto offers anchorage
sheltered from the north and west. Care must be taken in
entering it to avoid a reef which projects from Point Badian,
the south point of the bay.

Point Kadburauan, or Panguiran, is low, wooded, and sur-
rounded by rocks to a short distance, with a depth of 4|
fathoms near them.

Tides. — In the Gulf of Ragai the flood stream sets to the
north and the ebb to the south. The range of tides at
springs is og- feet.

Burias Island, at the entrance of the Gulf of Ragai, is a
narrow island, 37 miles long, NW. and SE., and about 6
miles wide in the middle. It is roughly mountainous and
thinly wooded ; it is commanded by the lofty mountain Enga-
noso, situated nearly in the center of the island, and showing
a cleft that divides the high land of the northern part of the
island from the very low laud of the southern ])art. Tlie
coasts are in general steep, and bordered in places by sand
beaches. The island has two sheltered ports : Busin, at the
northwest end, formed by Busin Island lying in front of a
bay in the coast, and Busainga on the northeast coast of the

Burias Island and the islets and reefs in its vicinity have
not yet been thoroughly surveyed. The main productions
are rice, maize, and abaca (manila hemp).

There are several small islets and reefs off the northern
part : Templo, 2^ miles NW. of Point Cueva, the northwest
point of Burias, is 3 miles long, NW. and SE., and 1^ miles
Avide. There are detached rocks on its south side, and its
north point is surrounded by a reef of \ mile width. Som-
brero, li miles west of Templo, consists of two islets close


together on a reef which extends a mile to the northwest and
southeast of them. Arena, 7 miles SE. 4- E, of Point Arena,
on Bondog Peninsula, is surrounded by a reef which grows
out f of a mile to the northward. A shoal, separated from
this last-named islet by a channel f of a mile wide and 12
fathoms deep, lies 1^ miles to the north of it.

Busin Island is 2^ miles long and 1 mile wide. A shoal
projects from its northwest end to the islets Tinalisayan, and
united with the reef that surrounds the little island Tangui-
gui 4 miles north of Point Cueva.

Detached shoals. — One mile north of Tanguigui theTe is a
rocky head covered by 3^ fathoms of water, with 75 fathoms
immediately north of it; and about 2 miles north of the
northern end of Burias there is a rocky shoal ^ mile in extent,
having less than a fathom over it.

Anima Sola is an islet 4^- miles N. -40° E. of the northeast
point of Burias, surrounded by rocks.

Port Busin is formed by the channel 3^ miles long and 1|
cables wide that separates the island Busin from Burias. The
western entrance of this channel is narrow and tortuous, and
very dangerous for a sailing vessel; the northern entrance is
preferable, as, though narrow, it is more direct, and its sides
are steep-to. In a working breeze a vessel can keep well in
mid-channel. The northern entrance may be easily recog-
nized by the north cape of Burias, Point Colorada, which is
higher than Busin Island, and shows yellow patches among
the trees that cover it. The i)art of the coast also near the
entrance may be recognized by the massive bluffs about it.

Lights. — In the Spanish list of lights a fixed white light is
shown on Point Colorada, and another on the northwest point
of the channel; but these lights are not maintained by the
government, and are therefore not to be depended upon.

Anchorage. — The best anchorage is west of Fort San Pas-
cual, at the entrance to the bay that opens to the south, on the
coast of Burias. The depth at the entrance of this bay is 11
fathoms, lessening to 2|- fathoms, at |- mile within the bay.

Fresh water can be obtained here.

Coast. — Between Port Busin and Port Busainga, o^ miles to
the SE., the coast forms a bay, from the western point of
which a reef projects to the northward for 1 mile with 9 fath-
oms near its northern edge, narrowing into the coast again at
the northern point of Port Busainga.


Port Busainga is an inlet 1 mile long and 1 cable \vide, in-
cluding some bays wliicli afford good holding ground in depths
of 8 fathoms, sheltered from wind and sea. The wide space
at the bottom of the port is shallow.

Lights.— The Spanish list of lights gives a fixed blue light
on Point Piedras, the northwestern entrance of the inlet, but
it is not mentioned in the Spanish Derrotero, and as it is not
an official light it must not be depended upon.

Tides. — It is high water, full and change, at Oh. 30m.
Springs rise 5^ feet.

Easf coast of Burias. — The bay, 5 miles long, SE. by S. of
Port Busainga, ajDpears to be filled with shoals ; the remain-
der of the coast to the southward presents beaches off which
there is anchorage on the open ccast.

West coast of Burias. — Point Cueva, the northwest point
of the island, is surrounded by a shoal 2 cables wide, from
which a reef extends to Point Guinduianan 6 miles to the
southward, advancing in some places to a mile from the coast.
The remainder of the west coast is sandy, with shoals at no
great distance from it, especially in the bend of the coast
called Boca Engaiiosa, which is the highest hill in the island.
The little islet Gorion is in this bend.

Caution. — When approaching Burias Island from the west-
ward in thick weather, such as occurs in the southwest mon-
soon, the southern part of the island, which is low, may be
hidden, and the slope of Mount Engaiiosa may be mistaken
for it, and Boca Engaiiosa for the passage between Burias and
Masbate, a mistake Avhich has caused the loss of many ves-
sels, and has given rise to the name "False." This error may
be avoided by bearing in mind that the middle of the low part
of the southern land of Burias is in line with Albai Volcano
in Luzon on the bearing N. 38° E.

From Point Kadburauan the coast trends ENE. for 6 miles
and is foul ; the islet Lanuyan, distant 1 mile from the coast,
is united to it by a reef which dries at low water. The coast
then bends round to the SE., and becomes lower toward Mari-
godon, which is rocky and steep, with a flat top. There is
anchorage betAveen Point Marigodon and the town of the same
name to the northward. From this point the coast trends
SE*. by E. for 8 miles to Point Putiao, and is low with shelv-
ing sand beaches affording good anchorage off it.


DoNSOL River and Town. —The river mouth is fronted by
wide sand banks which extend to 1 mile from the shore, with
soundings of 13 fathoms at the edge and 68 fathoms at ^ mile
distance. The bar of the river has only 3 feet of water over
it at low water; within the bar a depth of 5 to 11 feet is car-
ried for a mile up the stream. The town of Donsol, on the
left bank of the river, near its month, carries on a brisk trade
with Manila, principally in abaca (manila hemp), palm mats,
and cocoanut oil. Steamers call about fortnightly.

Port Putiao is a large but shallow inlet which can be en-
tered by coasters only and at high water ; sand banks on both
sides reduce the available width to one-half, and at 2 miles
from the mouth these banks unite, thus leaving only a depth
of 3 feet here for communication with the inner port. The
entrance points are 1 mile apart and are both surrounded by
reefs, the reef round the western point extending 1 mile to
the SE. The depth at the entrance is 2f fathoms, and at 1
mile farther in it is 1-g- fathoms.

Palatuan Bay, to the eastward of Port Putiao, is shallow,
the reefs on either side leaving only a narrow inlet 2^ fath-
oms deep. At the outer edge of the reefs the depth is 3 to 5i

Point Bantiki, the western point of the large port Sorsogon,
is rounded, low, rocky, and wooded, with a shore composed of
gravel and clayey cliffs. On the southern extremity there is
a vantay. The rocky shoal that surrounds the point is very
narrow, except on the side of Palatuan Bay.

Port Sorsogon is the largest and best harbor in the strait
of San Bernardino, and is a good refuge in case of a typhoon
or a colla, and for effecting repairs. The entrance is divided
into three channels by the islands Malumahuan and Bagatao.
The channel between these two islands is the only one practi-
cable for vessels, the others between the islands and the coast
being narrow and shoal. A narrow shoal stretches from
Malumahuan Island almost to the north coast of the port.

Bagatao Island.- — ^A bank of tine black sand, with sound-
ings over it of 12 to 14 fathoms, stretches 2 miles SW. of
Bagatao Island, and offers anchorage to a vessel caught Ijy
bad weather and unable to reach the port.

The Boca Grande, or principal entrance, is 1^ miles wide
and irregular in dei^th, from to 20 fathoms. The west coast
of Bagatao Island is clean ; the bottom on the Malumahuan


side is shelving, with a depth of 4 fathoms at a distance of 2
cables to the east of that island. The channel is nearly G
miles long, NE. by E., with irregular depths from 8 to 20
fathoms as far as Point Makugil, on the southern shore. A
rocky shoal, covered by 1 fathom, ^jrojects off this point 1^
cables N. by E. The coasts and islands on both sides of this
channel are clean, and the sea faces of the islets on the north
side are steep-to, so that a vessel keeping in mid-channel is
clear of all danger.

The inner port of Sorsogon is spacious, extending miles
ENE. toward the town of Sorsogon, with depths diminishing
gradually from 9 to 2^ fathoms.

Anchorage. — Once past Bagatao Island a vessel can choose
the anchorage suitable to her draft, but if she draws much
water it is best not to make for the town of Sorsogon, as a
depth of 3i fathoms is reached at 4 miles from it. H. M. S.
Sphinx, in 18G1, anchored north of Bagatao Island in 8 fath-
oms, with Tinakos Island bearing S. 83° E. and Tumalaitai
Fort N. 16° W.

Siqj2)lies.—Th.eve are many towns on the shores of Port
Sorsogon, and beef, poultry, rice, and vegetables are all
procurable. Horsburgh says that water is to be had on the
eastern side of the harbor. Steamers from Manila visit the
port about twice a fortnight.

Coast. — From the southern point of entrance to Port Sor-
sogon the coast trends S. by E. for 13 miles to Point Bulak,
and shoAvs broken ground in some places, though in general
the shore shelves gradually into the sea by sandy beaches,
before which vessels can find good anchorage. At 5 miles
from Bagatao Island, according to the Spanish Derrotero, a
scarjjed hill can be distinguished, which indicates a place
where a bank covered by 5 feet of water projects to 1 mile
from the shore. All this coast shelves out to 2 or 3 miles,
with soundings of 15 fathoms at 14- miles, and 30 fathoms at
3 miles.

BuLAN River AND Town.— The town of Bulan (formerly
known as Gata) is situated on the right bank of the river
which debouches south of Point Bulak. A vantay is erected
on the sandy point of Bulak. The depth on the bar of the
river is 4^ feet at low water, and greater upstream. Coasting
steamers call here.


Angas Point, 24- miles SE. of Point Bulak, is high; Otake
Baj^, included bet^Yeen the two, shows a sandy beach and is
2i to 10 fathoms deep.

Butag Bay, east of Point Angas, is about a mile wide, and
runs 1 mile in to NE. ; reefs extend from the points on both
sides. The depth of water at the entrance is 14 to 16 fathoms,
and in the middle of the bay 14 fathoms. The shores are
wooded and in some places of considerable height.

Marinap Bay, the next bay to the eastward of Butag, is
capable of containing vessels of good draft. The shores are
sandy in some places, and covered with mangroves in others.

Between the southern point of Marinap Bay and Point
Tagiran the coast is slightly indented with little bays, clean
and deep, but not running far inland and offering but little
shelter, with soundings of 25 fathoms near the intermediate

Tagiran Point, 9^ miles from Point Bulak, is a remarkable
little hill, apai-t from high mountain range behind it, with a
flat top on which is a jjlot of green clearer than the rest of the
hill, and which can be seen at a great distance. There are
three or four detached rocks about 40 yards from the point,
with 5 fathoms of water close to them, and 13 fathoms at
a short distance. A rivulet falls into the sandy creek on the
east side of the point.

Tides. — In the channel between this coast and Tikao Island
the tidal streams run with a velocity of not less than 4 knots.

Tikao Island is 23 miles long, NW. and SE., and 6 miles
wide at its northern end, narrowing toward the extreme south
point, San Rafael, from which a chain of islets and rocks
extends toward Point Vigia in Masbate. The island is
mountainous, and but thinly populated. It possesses two
ports, San Miguel and San Jacinto, neither of them very

Port San Miguel is 1 mile wide at the entrance, and open
to the NW. ; the depth of water is 50 fathoms at the entrance
and 45 to 25 fathoms within, but the plan shows very few
soundings. The shores of the port are very steep, but a reef
with three islets on it extends from the middle of the western
shore to 3 cables NE. of the eastern islet; the reef is hidden
below water and a part of it fringes the southern part of
the bav.


This port offers convenient anchorage in tliick or Ijad
weather, or to a vessel embayed under the islands San Miguel,
and unable to reach Port San Jacinto, or the anchorages oft'

The three islets which form a prolongation of Point San
Miguel are very steep-to, but must be kept at a distance, as
vessels are liable to be drawn toward them by the tides.

Tragdugan Bay, 7^ miles SE. of Point San Miguel, is open
to the NE. and is skirted by a narrow reef which extends 2
miles to the NW. and fringes the coast to Port San Jacinto,

Online LibraryUnited States. Adjutant-General's Office. MilitaryMilitary notes on the Philippines. September 1898 → online text (page 8 of 31)