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Camara Ancestral House
Iba, Zambales
Vicente Camara was the first Filipino Governor of Zambales, appointed by Gen. Aguinaldo in 1898. His term ended upon his surrender to the Americans in 1901. The Camara house is one of a kind built from the strongest local hardwoods, such as molave, yakal and narra. Camara himself together with Ginzaburo Hanaki designed the house with materials personally chosen by the former in 1912. Design was based on the need for ventilation, steep roof made of nipa for coolness. Floor-to-ceiling windows added more ventilation to the house. The main staircase and jambs are made of single, unjoined molave hardwood. During the war, it was used as headquarters by the Japanese. Gen. Yamashita visited the house during the war years. In its yard, the first Caimito, Java Mango, and Mangosteen trees in Zambales were planted.

Capones Island Lighthouse
San Antonio, Zambales
The Faro (Lighthouse) de Punta Capones on the Island of Grand Capon is a significant lighthouse of the first order. Its light guides ships entering and leaving the port of Manila and Subic Bay. The lighthouse also warns navigators of the rocky shores surrounding the Island of Capones. As a warning beacon, it serves together with the lights situated in the islets of Los Frailes, and Los Jabones as a series of warnings due to the dangers of the surrounding seas as well as the islands close proximity to shore, thereby making the seas very treacherous to unseasoned navigators. As a navigation guide, this lighthouse serves the main artery for ships heading towards China, which therefore makes it a very busy and important shipping route.

Responding to the need for better navigation guides throughout the Philippines, the Spanish colonial government initiated a substantial building program of lighthouses and light stations throughout the Philippine archipelago. One of the initial projects to be approved in this significant undertaking was the lighthouse on the Island of Grand Capon or Faro de Punta Capones.

The initial surveys to determine a suitable location for the lighthouse were executed on the 22nd of June 1884 under Antonio de la Camara. Difficulties wrought by the advanced state of storms and other weather problems that forced ships to go to Subic then to Mariveles served to delay the progress of the studies and results were thereby not very elaborate. As such, plans and recommendations made by De La Camara were not approved until March 10, 1885. Even then, the point chosen for construction was changed by the consulting committee because of its height and distance from the sea which was 300 meters, as well as the accompanying high cost of the road to be constructed. Finally, in August 8, 1885 Francisco Cristobal Portas proposed changes to the plans which were accepted by the Governor General of the islands on 17 September 1885.

The contract for the construction of the lighthouse was awarded to Juan Mendoza Esplana on February 26, 1886. Subsequent studies to determine the most suitable spot for construction of the lighthouse were then made. These studies extended to the Zambales Coast. Findings showed that the Capones Island Grande 1.5 miles of length and 2 miles from the Capones Point was causing a blind area of 18-20 degrees and a zone of shadow farther away the boat was (boats were not visible at a distance). These results and with further recommendations from lighthouse experts on July 1886 caused the lighthouse to be elevated 53 meters above the sea with a 196-degree angle of illumination to cover the canal. These changes meant corresponding variations on the heights of the building and tower and pavilions to be consistent with the geography of the land and to avoid costly excavations. The rectangular 8 x 22 building was then divided by 5.10 meters- high walls to form rooms, a transverse corridor serving as vestibule cutting into 2 parts. The left part was for the toreros (the lighthouse keepers) while the other side served as storage and work area communicating to the tower.

Owing to the geography of the land, the living area could not have the same elevation. Elevation was hence 2.8 meters, traveled by a staircase about 4.8 meters wide and .50 meters high above the level of the patio (courtyard). To the east, another access of 0.90 meters passage has been provided from the road that opens ahead of the door grills that limits the patio. Grills between pavilions and the house serve to close the area laterally. The tower is prismatic in form. It is square 5 by 5 meters with a height of 15.30 meters and a zocalo (a flat square member under a pedestal) of 80 cm. It is connected to the house at one of the angles and a by a small balcony with tiles covering the Molave wood floor.

Inside was a hellicoidal stairs made of iron. There is a service hall 3.30 meters sq. and the light area is constructed from metal with marble with a covering of white tiles to support the weight of the lighting apparatus and to prevent the accumulation of dust. Materials for the light and equipment were imported from France and manufactured by Henry Lepaute and Barbier Bernard. These materials included 1) a friction belt with the precision to maintain the manual movement with the lantern flashing at intervals of 32-30 sec. 2) the optical parts consisted of 16 annular lenses with lamps of 5 threads, capable of using vegetable or mineral oil for combustibles; 3) with a lantern of 3.5 meters in diameter with a double roofing of copper and a gallery for servicing the iron planks situated at the top of the lighthouse.

Engineer Guillermo Brockman was commissioned to purchase additional materials which included a clock, a barometer, thermometer, a boat used for service transportation, and a bronze plaque containing the name, situation and principle characteristic of the lighthouse. This plaque was placed at the entrance to the tower.

During construction, because of the high prevalence of monsoons, two roads were being used. One road led up to the beach to the south 345 meters and 391 meters on the opposite side. The strong current also prevented building of a pier so materials had to be loaded in balsa’s (barts) with great difficulty. Because of this difficulty in transporting materials, a hydraulic molding device was brought onsite for the composition of bricks. This material was also used for the foundations. Galvanized iron over wood were used for roofing and molave was used for the windows and door jambs. The floors of the houses were made from tindalo wood and the interiors and doors were made from narra. Chairs were made from volcanic stones and water came through the sea from Zambales in San Antonio situated 5 miles away. Vassal stones from nearby areas were also utilized while la cale was brought from Binangonan and the rest of the materials were brought from Manila.

After seven years of construction, the Capones Island Lighthouse went into operation on July 16, 1890; with its formal inauguration on August 1, 1890.

Today, the Capones Island Lighthouse is still in operation and is powered by solar cells and has a meteorburst radio transmission system that notifies the Coast Guard when any of the lights or lenses is not in working order. These significant improvements have restored the lighthouse proper to full operational capacity, while the buildings themselves remain in a highly denuded state. (Source: http://www.epafi.org/capones/index.htm)

Fort Paynauen
Botolan, Zambales
This historic fortress whose moss-covered walls still stand on the bank of Bancal River in Barrio Pader in Botolan was once the most formidable Spanish garrison in Central Luzon during the first century of the Spanish regime in the Philippines. Also known as Playa Honda, the fort was constructed on the advice of Spanish Admiral Pedro Duran de Monforte to Governor General Diego de Salcedo whose administration of the islands from 1663 to 1668 had to face the serious problem of the continuous uprising of the inhabitants of the province, also known as the province of Playa Honda. Paynauen is the original name of Iba. In 1617, off the coast of Zambales, the Spaniards led by Juan Ronquillo, destroyed three of the six Dutch ships led by Admiral John Derickson Lamb in the two-day battle. This was part of a series of Dutch attacks on the Philippines in the early part of the 17th century. This is known in history as the second battle of Playa Honda. Fort Paynauen served as a prison not only for the recalcitrant natives of Zambales but also for Spanish officials who angered the Spanish Governor General or Archbishop of Manila. During rhe administration of Governor General Juan de Vargas Hurlado (1678-1684), he and the Archbishop of Manila, Don Felipe Pardo were not in good terms. When Archbishop Pardo became powerful, Vargas' trusted followers were incarcerated in Fort Paynauen.

Subic Naval Base (now Subic Bay Freeport)
Olongapo City, Zambales
Characterized by its natural deep-sea harbor, with narrow entrance guarded by Grande Island, for the defense of its colonial hold on the Philippines, Spain was the first to build a naval station here in 1885 - only to lose it during the Spanish-American War 13 years later in 1898.It became a major shipyard and repair facility for the U.S. Navy after floating drydock "Dewey" was towed in Subic from Virginia in 1905. It was home to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The administration of Olongapo was later turned over to the Philippine government by the United States on December 7, 1959. The town was converted into a city on June 1, 1966 by virtue of RA No. 4645 sponsored by Congressman Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. The city mayor then was James L. Gordon. Today the former naval station has grown to become the first freeport zone in the country - a sprawling industrial, commercial and tourism estate attracting hundreds of investors and millions of local and foreign tourists.


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