Along the seashore of the town of Luna, formerly called Namacpacan and now named after one of the town’s famous sons, Gen. Antonio Luna and Juan Luna, stands the Spanish baluarte or watchtower, which is said to be about 400 years old – one of the historical landmarks that denote La Union’s rich history. This tower was constructed on a hill overlooking an old harbour and the surrounding bay. Merchant ships hailing from China and later from Spain and the rest of Europe were constantly on their guard against seafaring criminals, and the watchtower was built out of concern for invading bands of Japanese, Chinese and Moro pirates who took pleasure in raping coastal towns and settlements. Because of its massiveness and height, guards were able to warn the residents of Luna and prepare the peace officers to defend the properties and lives of their constituents. Like a guardian looking over its subjects, this ancient structure had served its purpose very well for countless times in the past. The watchtower even served as guardhouse and headquarter for the American soldiers in 1940s.
The baluarte stood the test of time through the perfect mix of adobe and coral blocks put together and sealed using egg yolk, sugar cane juice, sand, and lime. Today, the baluarte stands in disarray, vertically cut in two because of eroded base and foundation. Often the site of photoshoots, the baluarte reveals itself as a charming, breathtaking landscape at sunset. Every year, approximately 18,500 tourists visit the baluarte.
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