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

Military notes on the Philippines. September 1898 online

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8 miles SSE.

Port San Jacinto is small and open to the east, but has good
holding ground ; the entrance may be recognized by a fort
with rounded bastions on the southern point, with some con-
ical hills behind it. The narrow bank that fringes the coast
continues round the inside of the port, and the 3^ fathoms
line of soundings passes within 3 cables of the northern point
(named San Antonio on the plan and San Francisco in Span-
ish Derrotero), and within 1^ cables of the southern point
(San Jose), reducing the actual width of the available harbor
to about 3 cables. The depth of water lessens gradually from
16 fathoms at the entrance to 3 fathoms, mud, at the edge of
the shoal of sand and mud at the bottom of the port. The
town is on the point near the fort.

Anchorage. — The best anchorage is on the southern side in

9 fathoms, with Point Cosme bearing NNE. and the church
and fort of San Jos(^ SE. by E. f E. Vessels arriving off the
port at night, and not caring to venture in, may anchor
before the port in 10 to 24 fathoms, but the anchor should be
let go as soon as soundings show 2-4 fathoms, as the bank is
very steep-to.

Water can be obtained at the wells and also at a river near.

Tides. — It is high water, full and change, at Gh. 30m. ;
springs rise G feet ; the tidal stream is very weak.

Coasts. — The east coast of Tikao presents many little bays
open to the east, in which anchorage can be had, as well as on
the sand bank that borders the coast and which extends out
about a mile from Biton Bay to Point San Rafael. The west
coast is steep and rugged and has no good anchorage ; a depth
of 5^ to 7 fathoms is found along the entire coast at a short
distance from it.



LUZON — SOUTH COAST. 79

Passages Between Tikao and Masbate. — A eliain of
islets and rocks, with channels between them, extends from
San Rafael, the south point of Tikao, to Point Vigia in Mas-
hate, 8^ miles SW. The most practicable of these channels
(named in the Spanish Derrotero, Negrito Head passages,) are
one between the islet Matabao, next to Tikao, and Black Rock,
and one between Black and Makaragui. The first of these is
1 mile wide and 36 fathoms deep ; the second is much wider
and 27 fathoms deep.

Matabao. — From the east coast of this island a bank of
sand extends 1^ miles to the NE., with If fathoms least water
over it and 8 fathoms near the edges. The narrow channel
between this islet and Tikao has a depth of 8 to 11 fathoms.

Black Rock, or Cabeza de Negrito, is a cluster of rocks
which covers at high water; it is steep-to, with 14 fathoms
water alongside.

The channels between Makaragui and Deagan and the inter-
mediate islets are of no importance; the channel between
Deagan and Point Vigia, in Masbate, is 4 or 5 cables wide
and 4^ fathoms dee]3. The tidal streams run very strong
through these channels, reaching a velocity of 3 to 5 knots at
springs, with violent eddies.

South Point of Luzon. — From Tagiran P(jint the coast
trends eastward for 6 miles, forming a succession of sandy
bays of no great indentation, with small rivers emptying
themselves into them. The depth of water in these bays is
very great. The little port Bunut, east of Point Langao, is
the outlet of a river which flows from a ravine between two
high mountains. The depth at the mouth is 15 fathoms, and
4 fathoms farther in; over the bar of the river the water is so
shallow that boats can only enter at high tide.

Point Bunut, on the eastern side of the port, is not so high
as the adjacent land, but is distinguished by a table top with
a cogonal upon it ; the other points are covered with trees to
the water's edge. From Point Bunut to Point Babatgun the
coast is rocky.

Babatgun Anchorage is a semicircular bay included between
Point Babatgun to the'west and Point Kulasi to the east; on
the western side of the bay there is a small sheltered creek
with very steep shores, a depth of 4| fathoms being found at
less than 12 yards from the shore. The west point of the bay
is rocky, with a reef j^rojecting to some distance from it. Care



80 LUZON — SOUTH COAST.

mi\st be taken to avoid tliis reef, as tlie flood tide from the
Tiklin Channel sets directly on to it. The depth of water be-
tween the two entrance points varies from 18 to 4 fathoms,
while from the center of the bay toward the above-mentioned
creek the soundings are 1? fathoms to 14 not far from the
.shore.

Kalantas Bank, bearing S. 4- W. 2 jniles from Point Kulasi,
is formed of large black rocks and coral. The northern head
is a flat rock 5 feet above water, with 8 fathoms water near it ;
the depth increases at a short distance to the northward. The
shoal extends SE. from the flat rock, and at a distance of 1
mile the depth is 8 fathoms ; from here it augments rapidly
to the southward. The tidal streams cause heavy breakers
on the bank, giving it the appearance of a white sandy islet.

Tiklin Strait is the channel between the coast of Luzon and
the islands Kalintan, Juak, and Tiklin. Although the channel
is sufficiently deep, it is not safe for a large vessel to pass
through on account of the tidal streams and eddies in it. The
western shore of the strait, between points Kulasi and Pandan,
is comjjosed of broken coral covered with mangroves, and
fronted by a reef i mile wide, with 3| fathoms depth at the
edge of it. Shelter may be found, if required, in Kulasi Bay,
which lies between Kulasi Point and the island to the north-
ward of it.

Magnok Bay is a small bay open to the eastward, fringed
by a narrow reef, with 3 to 4 fathoms water near the edge ;
the plan shows a depth of 8 fathoms in the middle of the bay.
On entering, care must be taken to avoid a rocky shoal cov-
ered by li feet at low water, which extends to i mile NNE.
of the southern point of the bay. During easterly winds the
bay is not safe, as a heavy reef breaks within it. The town
Magnok on the north side of the bay is poor, and offers few
resources.

Islands in San Bernardino Strait— Tiklin Islands.—
Kalintan, the southernmost of the group, lies | mile SE. of
Point Kulasi, in Luzon, and is 1 mile in length, NE. and SW. ;
Juak, ISTE. of Kalintan and only separated from it by a nar-
now channel, is 2^ miles long, north and south ; both islands
are rugged and covered by ebony trees. There is a small
detached rock about 1^ cables distant from the southeast shore
of Kalintan. Tiklin, which gives the name to the group, lies
f of a mile SE. of Point Pandan in Luzon, but the available



LUZON — SOUTH COAST. 81

channel between them is reduced by reefs on either side to
a width of 2 cables. The island itself is i mile in length,
north and sonth, but a shoal projects from the south point
halfway toward the island Juak, which ends in a rock awash,
with -U fathoms water near it, leaving between it and Juak
a narrow channel fit only for small coasters. Good anchorage
may be had at a distance- of 2 miles SW. of Tiklin.

Naranjos Islands are a group of six, lying close together,
about 7 miles to the southward of the south point of Luzon ;
they are named respectively San Andres, Rasa, Medio, Dar-
sena, Aguada, and Escarpada ; a seventh island, named Desta-
cado (" detached ") lies 3^ miles SE. of Aguada. These islands
are mostly of moderate height and rocky; their shores are
rugged, with occasional sand beaches ; the channels between
them are clear and practicable for vessels of all sizes ; but it
is not safe for a sailing vessel to use them on account of the
variability and strength of the currents and the shifts of wind
experienced along them ; besides which, each island is sur-
rounded by a narrow reef projecitng farther from the salient
point of the islands. The soundings between the islands vary
between 9 and 27 fathoms, so that a vessel could anchor in
case of need, but the bottom is rocky.

The channel between Naranjos grouj) and Kaspul Island
has not been surveyed. There are no dangers visible in it.

Kapul Island, lying 3 miles SE. of Kalintan Island, is about
7 miles long, IsTW. and SE., and 2^ miles wide, moderatelj^
high, the highest land being on the eastern side near the town
Abak. On this part there are sand beaches, but the remain-
der of the coast is rugged and steep, and it is not prudent to
anchor near the shore.

Anchorage. — At about the southern extremity of the island
there is a little bay called Juban Bay, with dej^ths of 17 to 7
fathoms, whicli is probably the only place offering safe
anchorage. On the west point of entrance there is a remark-
able pyramidal rock which is useful as a guide.

Diamante Rock, lying 2 miles SE. of the south i)oint of
Kapul, is small and very steep-sided. It is covered by 24-
fathoms least water, with 17 fathoms at its edge.

Clearing mark. — A vessel compelled to pass between Kapul
and Dalumpiri islands may clear Diamante Rock to the west-
ward by keeping the southwest tangent of Kapul in line with
the highest part of the Sierra of Gata on Bulan, bearing X.



82 LUZON — SOUTHEAST COAST.

38° W., and, by taking care not to open the channel between
the islands Aguada and Escarpada, she will clear Diamante
Rock to the northward.

Dalnmpiri or Puercos Island is low, wooded, and bordered
by sand beaches, with rocks close to them. A rocky shoal
projects from the southern j^oint more than a mile to the SE.,
covered by 4^ to 9 fathoms water, with 17 fathoms at a short
distance. There is no danger in the way of anchoring off the
island, but the water is deep and the bottom rocky. The
channel between Dalumpiri and Kapul is 2 to 3 miles Avide
and clear of danger. Game is abundant, esi)ecially wild hogs
(puercos). In the middle of the island there is a large lake
swarming with alligators.

SOUTHEAST COAST.

Bulusan town, 10 miles north of Point Paiidan, is situated
on the shore on the right bank of a river which takes its rise on
the eastern slopes of Bulusan Volcano. The shore is fringed
by a reef to the distance of i mile in places, with 2^ to 7
fathoms on the edge.

Bulusan Volcano, 5 miles distant from the coast, is a re-
markable active volcano, visible at a distance of GO miles and
forming an excellent mark for making the strait. From the
eastward it shows a single peak, but seen from the SSW. it
shows two peaks.

San Bernardino Islet, from which the strait takes its name,
lies 7 miles from the coast of Bulusan. It is 150 feet high
and covered with trees, many of which belong to the ebony
tribe. There is a smaller islet close to it to the NNE., and
rocks and foul ground extend ^ mile SE. from the island. On
either side there is a channel 5 miles wide, with soundings of
30 to 60 fathoms. The chart shows a rock, position doubtful,
about 1 mile NW. of the island.

Gubat Bay, 12 miles north of Bulusan, is bordered by reefs,
and great reefs project some 2 miles out from the north and
south points of the bay. The coast between Bulusan and
Gubat is fringed with a wide reef, shown on the chart to
extend 2 miles out from the shore in one place. The town
of Gubat is on the NW, side of the bay near a tongue of land
which divides the bay into two. Steamers from Manila call
here about twice a week, but we have no information about
the anchorage.



LUZON — NORTH COAST. 83

Moiitugan Reef is tlie great reef that fringes the shore from
Biilusaii to Point Montugan. Its most salient part projects
3 miles to the eastward about 5 miles north of Gubat. The
channels in the reef are used by coasters Avorking their way
to the Gulf of Albai.

Point Montugan, the southern point of the Gulf of Albai
and 9i miles from Gubat, is very low and sunken and sur-
rounded by shoals. A reef projects 1^ miles out from it to
the NE., with 5 to 11 fathoms at its edge.

NORTH COAST.

Cape Bojeador, which forms the northwestern extreme of
Luzon, is a low point with a reef of breakers projecting from
it. Thence the coast trends in a northeast direction 6 miles
to Point Fegra, on the east side of which anchorage may be
obtained during southerly winds. The deep bay between this
point and Dialao Point, 9 miles to the NE., has much foul
ground on its eastern shore. There is anchorage at the head
of this bay, near the small port of Bangui, which is said to
have been long shut up by an earthquake.

Mairaira Point, distant about 20 miles NE. of Cape Bojea-
dor, has a reef projecting about a mile out. Point Kabikun-
gan, bearing about E. by S. 13 miles from Mairaira Point,
is a bluff steep point of white cliffs, having a mass of high
mountains, called Patapa Mountains, contiguous to it. To
the eastward of Point Kabikungan there is a round hill of
middling height, named Point Pata. The whole of the coast
from Cape Bojeador to this place is steep, without any sound-
ings until near the shore; the land is of moderate height, and
in some parts rather low close to the sea, with several rivers ;
but the country inland is high and mountainous.

A light-house will shortly be erected on Cape Bojeador.

From Pata Point the coast trends southeastward for 43
miles and then northeastward for 27 miles to Cape Engano,
the northeast extreme of Luzon, forming an immense bay.
Fronting the sea is a considerable space intersected by rivers.
On the western side is the Abulug; a chain of mountains
parallel to the coast and about 6 miles inland. There is a
continous beach along this coast with regular soundings, gen-
erally 5 to 10 fathoms at a mile or two off on the western
part, and the same depths at 3 to 6 miles offshore in the
bight of the haj, deepening again near the eastern shore.



84 LUZON — NORTH COAST.

At 14- and 15^ miles SE. by E. from Pata Point are tlie
entrances of the San Juan Pamplona and the Abulug, two
small rivers, with a low island between them. A sand bank,
the only known danger on the coast, and on which the sea
breaks in bad weather, lies about 2 miles N. by E. of the bar
of the Abulug, and fronting the point to the westward of the
river. It extends ESE. and WSW. 2 miles, and about a mile
outside it there are 35 and 40 fathoms, fine black sand.

The entrance of the Kagayai, Rio Grande de Kagayan, 14
miles southeastward of the Abulug, has good anchorage in
10 or 11 fathoms about 1^ miles NNE. from its mouth. The
point on the east side is known by the church and convent of
the town of Aparri built upon it ; abreast of which, or north
from the church, is the best anchorage. The river is about
■J- of a mile at the entrance, with 2 and 2^ fathoms on the bar,
deepening to 5 and G fathoms, mud, within the bar. The
coast to the eastward of the river is flat, with soundings of
20 fathoms, black sand, about 6 miles off shore. Steamers
from Manila call fortnightly at Aparri.

Palaui Island, 5 miles in extent and moderately elevated,
lies contiguous to the northwestern point of the large jjrom-
ontory which forms the northeastern extremity of Luzon ; and
the port of San Vincente is formed between Palaui and the
coast. The western shore of the island appears bold, but a
reef projects from its eastern side to 1^ miles out, the edge of
it being about ^ mile from, and around the small islet
Escuacha.

CapeEngaiio (ch. 8, p. 84), E. ^ S., 54 miles from Pata Point,
is the north point of Palaui Island. The two Hermauos islets
lie off this cape, and there are some rocks oft" the northeast
point ; a mile to the east of the cape, and at a distance of ^
mile off, lies the islet Gran Laja, a square, steep mass of lava,
about ^ mile in extent, which may be seen at a distance of
about 27 miles.

Port San Vincente (ch. 8, p. 84), 30 miles E. by N. f N. of
Aparri, is formed by a small island of the same name lying
between the northeast end of Luzon, and the adjacent island
of Palaui. There is room in this port for three or four ships,
sheltered from all winds; but the entrance is narrow and
intricate, being formed between shoals on either side which
project from the southeast part of Palaui and from San Vin-
cente Island; a vessel is therefore obliged to warp in.



V *- Henuano!



y.wpfi




PalauiJ^.L



Q - Ueitiianos I




CAI'E CNCANO
Ih- J jcul . Claudio MoiiJero 1859.



LUZON — NORTH COAST. 85

Trneiio Shoal, wliieli lies f of a mile south of San Vincente
Island, does not uncover; the Spanish Derrotero does not
state the depth of water on it. The southeast point of Palaui
Island kept open to the eastward of the south point of San
Vincente Island will clear Trueno to the SE. The currents
in this locality are rather strong.

There is good anchorage in 5 fathoms opposite the mouth of
the port on the SW., sheltered from all winds but those be-
tween W. and SW. There is also anchorage along the coast
between Aparri Road and this place, in 15 or 30 fathoms water
within 2 miles of the shore ; the soundings are pretty regular,
excepting at a depression in the bank about 10 miles to the
SW. of Vincente, where the depths are 70 to 80 fathoms
water about 2^ miles off the shore, having close to the edge
of it 30 fathoms, black sand.

There is no description of the eastern entrance to this port,
but the survey shows a channel of 5 fathoms between the
reefs off the Luzon shore and Rona Islet, in the center of the
narrows. The approach is from the eastward, and it is a
mile wide between the reefs round Escucha Islet and those
bordering the main.

Bank. — One mile to the northward of Escarpada Point, and
in a direct line between that point and the northwest point of
Gran Laja Islet, there is a rocky bank of small extent, covered
by 7 to 15 fathoms.

RepoHed shoal. — According to the statement of M. Denier,
master of the French bark Douquay Trouin, a shoal was passed
on the 28th of May, 1875, XE. of Luzon Island. When sighted
it was awash. It extended in a SW. and XE. direction, thence
running NW. for about 100 yards. The vessel passed within
a distance of 2 miles, going 6 knots an hour. M. Denier
places the shoal in latitude 19° 5' N. and longitude 124° 43' E.

Clare of Anson Beef. — Information is wanting about this
danger, which is shown on the charts as lying 87 miles S. 73°
E. of Cape Engano; in latitude 17° 49' X., longitude 124° 40' E.

Directions. — The channel between Cape Engano and Kami-
guin Island to the NXW. is 20 miles wide, and clear of dan-
ger. As the currents set strongly to the northward in the
southwest monsoon, it will be prudent for vessels proceeding to
the eastward from this coast with light winds to keep on the
south side of the channel to prevent their being drifted to the
northward near the Guinapak and Didikas rocks,' which lie to
the northeastward of Kamiguin.



LUZON — NORTH COAST. 85

Trueno Shoal, wliieli lies f of a mile south of San Vineeiite
Island, does not nncover; the Si)anish Derrotero does not
state the depth of water on it. The southeast point of Palaui
Island kept open to the eastward of the south point of San
Vincente Island will clear Trueno to the SE. The currents
in this locality are rather strong.

There is good anchorage in 5 fathoms opposite the mouth of
the port on the SW., sheltered from all winds but those be-
tween W. and SW. There is also anchorage along the coast
between Aparri Road and this place, in 15 or 20 fathoms water
within 2 miles of the shore ; the soundings are pretty regular,
excepting at a depression in the bank about 10 miles to the
SW. of Yincente, where the depths are 70 to 80 fathoms
water about 2^ miles off the shore, having close to the edge
of it 30 fathoms, black sand.

There is no description of the eastern entrance to this port,
but the survey shows a channel of 5 fathoms between the
reefs off the Luzon shore and Rona Islet, in the center of the
narrows. The approach is from the eastward, and it is a
mile wide between the reefs round Escucha Islet and those
bordering the main.

Baiik. — One mile to the northward of Escarj)ada Point, and
in a direct line between that point and the northwest point of
Gran Laja Islet, there is a rocky bank of small extent, covered
by 7 to 15 fathoms.

Reported shoal. — According to the statement of M. Denier,
master of the French bark Douquay Trouin, a shoal was passed
on the 28th of May, 1875, NE. of Luzon Island. When sighted
it was awash. It extended in a SW. and NE. direction, thence
running NW. for about 100 yards. The vessel passed within
a distance of 2 miles, going 6 knots an hour. M. Denier
places the shoal in latitude 19° 5' N. and longitude 124° 43' E.

Clare of Anson Reef. — Information is wanting about this
danger, which is shown on the charts as lying 87 miles S. 73°
E. of Cape Engano; in latitude 17° 49' N., longitude 124° 40' E.

Directions. — The channel between Cape Engano and Kami-
guin Island to the NNW. is 20 miles wide, and clear of dan-
ger. As the currents set strongly to the northward in the
southwest monsoon, it will be prudent for vessels proceeding to
the eastward from this coast with light winds to keej) on the
south side of the channel to prevent their being drifted to the
northward near the Guinapak and Didikas rocks,' which lie to
the northeastward of Kamioruin.



86 LUZON — NORTHEAST AND EAST COASTS.

NORTHEAST COAST.

From San Vincente (cli. s, p. 8-4) the coast runs east for 5
miles, bordered by a narrow reef with detached rocks, to
Escarpada Point, the northeast point of Luzon, which has
been usually distinguished, both in charts and sailing direc-
tions, as Cape Engano. Here the coast turns abruptly to the
southeastward for 12 miles to Iligan Point.

From Point Iligan the coast again turns abruptly to the
SSW., and then curves gradually round to the eastward to
the headland of Moises, which bears S. by E., distant 64 miles
from Point Iligan, and is formed by the eastern slopes of
Mount Moises. The coast in this wide bight is high and
clean, but offers no shelter.

Three mountains, the resj^ectivo heights of which are 2,086,
3,451, and 3,995 feet, rise to the southward of Cape Engano,
at the distances of 11, 16, and 22 miles, and must be fine land-
marks in clear weather. Mount Moises, another one of the
range of mountains which traverse the northeast part of
Luzon parallel to the coast, is 4,085 feet high, and is a good
mark for the ports in its vicinity.

Divilakan Bay, north of Mount Moises, is open to the north-
ward ; the shores are fringed with reefs, and there is a depth
from 7 to 9 fathoms in the bay. The little port Dimalansan
(ch. 9, p. 86), SE. of Divilakan Bay, penetrates 2 miles to the
south, but is only 1 cable wide and only 2^ fathoms deep.
Port Bikobian (ch. 10, p. 86), south of Dimalansan, penetrates
2 miles to the north, and is 2-^ cables wide and 9 to 11 fath-
oms deep.

Paranan Bay, ESE. of Mount Moises, is semicircular in
form, has great depth of water in it, and is free of dan-
gers; but it is quite exposed to the northeast wind. A long
sand beach borders the bottom of the bay, into which several
small rivers flow. The Spanish survey ends here.

EAST COAST.

The coast between Paranan Bay and Inaguikan Point, 250
miles farther south, has not been surveyed, and is very differ-
ently drawn on the English and Spanish charts. Some of
the positions, as, for example, Ca]3e Ildefonso, 80 miles from
Paranan Bay, is given on the Spanish chart 10 miles SE. by
E. of the position given for it on the English chart.



Nu.Q,



PORT OF BIMALANSAN

From, a Spaouh. Governmaix Sxnrve-v 1859.



^




Md-ia



PORT OF BIKOBIAN

From a Spanish GovBnuoaent Sv»rveyl859.




LUZON — EAST COAST. 87

The general trend of the ccjast is SSW., and it is stated in
the Derrotero to l)e clean and very steep-to, and with tlio
exception of Prnelm Shoal, to present no off -lying dangers.
The bays Tumango (Dilasak of the Spanish chart), Kasigu-
ran. Baler, and Dibut (Dingalan on the Spanish chart) are
little known; they offer bad anchorages, exposed to all tlio
winds and sea of the Pacific Ocean.

Prueba Shoal, 3 miles from the main coast, nearly west of
the northern point of Polillo Island, is the only off-lying dan-
ger between Cape Engaho (cli. 8, p. 84) and Point Inagnikan.

Dingala Bay is clean, with a depth of 22 fathoms in the
middle of it, and 2^ fathoms at 2 cables from the shore.
There are rocks close-to off the sonth point. In the northern
part of the bay there is a creek sheltered from the northerly
winds, with anchorage in 7 fathoms at G cables from the shore.

A round point projects from the bottom of the bay, with
ten islets off it on a reef which extends 2^ miles north and
south; this reef has several rocks awash npoii it, and a depth
of 4 fathoms at the edge.

The river Dumangas, which enters the southern part of the
bay, has 5 feet of water on its bar; and Umirei River, 1 mile



Online LibraryUnited States. Adjutant-General's Office. MilitaryMilitary notes on the Philippines. September 1898 → online text (page 9 of 31)