PHILIPPINES, Cabilao Island, Bohol - January 2010
Renovation and conversion of a Spanish-era lighthouse into a Tourism Information Center, in exchange for the creation of an additional 50 acres of Marine Protected Area
Cabilao is one of the two islands in the Municipality of Loon in the westernmost municipality of Bohol Province in central Philippines. Marine resources abound in the waters surrounding Cabilao. Hammerhead sharks, pygmy seahorses, as well as hard and soft corals of various species have made the island a must-see, especially for scuba divers. At present, there are two marine protected areas (no-take zones) around the island. At Baluarte Point in the village of Pantudlan, a Spanish-era lighthouse has long been abandoned, even before a modern solar-powered one was constructed beside it. Near this part of the island is the most frequented dive spot. Tourism-related activities are therefore concentrated in and around this place, and the lighthouse is potentially an ideal venue for tourism information and a display area for local island products, if renovated and converted for this purpose. The lighthouse itself is an item of interest as it is a direct link to the island's colonial past. In exchange for funding from Seacology for the renovation and conversion of their lighthouse, Cabilao Islandís five villages will protect an additional 50 acres of marine area (an extension of 25 acres on each of the existing Marine Protected Areas) for at least 20 years.
UPDATE June 2010 - As of June 2010 field representative Ferdie Marcelo reports that since receiving Seacology funds in April, not much work has been done because of national and local elections. The project contact hopes to begin work on the renovation after the elected officials have been proclaimed on June 30, when local government assistance is more consistent.
UPDATE January 2011 - Renovation began in earnest last July under the supervision an architect from the National Historical Institute, to ensure that the original century-old structure will be preserved. The framing for the roofing is already completed. Application for anti-termites and rust is ongoing in preparation for the installation of the ceramic clay roof tiles, which were already ordered. Our partner, PROCESS Bohol, sees the lighthouse renovation being completed by February 2011.
UPDATE June 2011 - According to project partner PROCESS Bohol, this project has been completed. The community inaugurated the refurbished lighthouse on May 18th; Field Representative Ferdie Marcelo attended the ceremony.
Indicates full or partial funding by Seacology Japan