LUNA, La Union: One of the watchtowers built on La Union shores during the Spanish Era in Barangay Victoria in this town was toppled by typhoon Lando, which lashed through several provinces in Luzon early this week.
A historical landmark and a national treasure, the 5.6-meter tall Baluarte of Luna, is one of La Union’s popular tourist destinations.
“Its half portion collapsed just as the NHI [National Historical Institute] approved and considered it as one of the national treasures in the country,” Luna town Mayor Victor Marvin Marron said.
Baluarte’s most popular feature was its edifice, which is made of bricks, about 150 to 400 years old historical analysts said.
“We will coordinate whenever the NHI wants it rehabilitated because it’s already a national treasure; they have the final say,” Marron added. He also said that he has sent photos to the NHI.
Two years ago, the Luna Municipal Council passed Resolution 68-2013, requesting the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to declare the watchtower a national historical landmark.
The objective was to channel funds from government agencies and use these to preserve the watchtower. The council’s subsequent Resolution 69-2013 also asked the National Museum to declare it a national treasure.
Marron added that they monitored the structure every time there is a typhoon because of its weakened foundation.
The site of the watchtower, which is facing the West Philippine Sea, is also haven for pebble-pickers or stone-picking which is one of the town’s major source of livelihood.