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Location Brgy. San Roque, Biliran, Biliran

Nasunugan Watchtower. The most extensive archeological curiosity in the province are the Nasunugan Ruins (which means burned ruins), a half-hectare complex of structural ruins on a hilltop near the highway just outside the poblacion of Biliran town.

For nearly a decade now, only the restored Nasunugan Watchtower, a Spanish era structure made of coral stone blocks, was known to outsiders, since its picture was printed on postcards and tourist brochures.

Below the quadrangle is a triangular terrace surrounded by crumbling walls of coral stone blocks. The terrace ground is overgrown with banana clumps.

The original structures here were probably built around the time of the Biliran Religious Revolt from 1765 to 1774. Their architecture is original; they have not been patterned after other Spanish churches and watch towers found all over Leyte and Samar.

The Biliran revolt was led by Padre Gaspar Ignacio de Guevara, a native priest from Samar who was the first parish priest of the Biliran pueblo. He broke away from the Catholic Church, formed his own sect, and experimented with a commune society for the natives in the forest of Biliran, some eight kilometers from its protective fortress.

Padre Gaspar was captured by Moro pirates and drowned around 1774. The pirates or his followers later burned his forest commune and the structures in the existing ruins. – Prof. Rolando Borrinaga


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