The Cape Engaño Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse in Palaui Island in the town of Santa Ana, Cagayan. It is over a hundred years old and is under the protection of the former Department of Transportation and Communications through the Philippines Coast Guards’ lighthouse division.
Also called as Faro de Cabo Engaño, the operational tower uses solar-powered light and guides ships entering and leaving the coastal areas of the municipality, specifically in Port Irene and San Vicente Port, as well as assisting vessels crossing the Babuyan Channel and coming from the Pacific Ocean.
Moreover, the lighthouse is an example of Spanish architecture. It stands on a hill overlooking the seascape, and visitors can view the Dos Hermanas or Two Sisters Island nearby on top of the lighthouse.
Cape Engaño Lighthouse is among the four lighthouses built during the Spanish Colonial period which served as a guide for sailing ships. The construction of the edifice started on September 21, 1888, and was finished on December 31, 1892. Volcanic rocks were used in building the lighthouse, and most of the workers were Filipinos.
The Spaniards named it “Engaño” which means “to entice or attract” because when they first arrived on the island, they were amazed by its natural beauty. Engineer Magin Pers y Pers made the initial design of the structure. Guillermo Brockman then took over and constructed the sophisticated parts making use of locally produced equipment.
The stone beacon is octagonal and cylindrical in shape, stands at a height of eleven meters, and capped with a copper lantern. It has open doors and windows where visitors can freely view their surroundings. However, the roof is gone, and the walls are tattered.
On the other side of the lighthouse, there used to be a pavilion, which is now replaced with ruins. The only parts that remained intact are the storehouse, the kitchen, and the service building.
At present, the provincial government of Cagayan is planning to restore Cape Engaño into its original state, together with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and non-government organizations.