As a coastal province, the residents of Ilocos Sur during the Spanish colonial period had to make efforts to protect the city from pirates and other possible invaders hailing from the sea. The Spaniards often resorted to dedicated structures in critical positions across the province that would not only alert them of the pirates’ presence, but also contain the necessary equipment to defend the area.
One of these structures is the Bateria Watchtower, also known as the Moro Watchtower, a white circular structure overlooking the coast of Barangay Bateria in the municipality of San Esteban. Known as the oldest landmark in the town, the Moro Watchtower now serves as a great opportunity for tourists to get a memorable view of the sea.
The first thing that stands out from Bateria Watchtower is its unique color and shape. The white stone makes it stand out among all other structures in the area, while the round shape was the design often used for coastal watchtowers around the country. It is one of very few watchtowers of its kind in the Philippines that is still intact today, giving visitors a rare view of how security was enforced in the town many centuries ago.
Once inside, you’ll notice that there are several small windows that give a glimpse of the outside, another staple from watchtowers of the period. You wouldn’t want to miss taking that glimpse—it offers several picturesque views of the sea. And unlike its previous inhabitants, you won’t have to worry about any pirates obstructing your view!
The Bateria Watchtower is located in Barangay Bateria in the municipality of San Esteban. If you’re coming from Vigan, it will take you around an hour of land travel to reach the municipality.