The University of the Philippines – School of Archeology, in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education, the Local Government Unit of Bacolod, and the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte is now undertaking extensive excavation and exploration of the ruins of Fort Almonte, a 19th-century Spanish fortification situated inside Liangan Elementary School in Bacolod, Lanao del Norte.
In a statement, the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte stated that the said undertaking is made in order to have a baseline for the restoration of the original structure design by digital or other possible means and provide guidance in the maintenance and regulating development to better safeguard and promote the ruin’s cultural property.
A relic of the Spanish Colonial Era, Fort Almonte assisted in protecting western Mindanao’s coastline territory from raiders. It is an illustration of a Spanish stronghold constructed in the late 19th century using both indigenous and Western architectural techniques and materials. It was named after Pedro de Almonte Verastegui, a Spanish admiral who led a campaign to colonize Lanao and Jolo in 1638.
The archaeological project will enhance the site’s heritage value as a key strategic point that served as both a figure of the sociopolitical interactions between locals and settlers during the Spanish period as well as a symbol of power and defense.
A 3D Diorama and educational exhibits are the expected output soon after the said excavation and exploration that started last August 1 and ending on August 20, 2023. Through these, the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte seeks to uncover yet another important puzzle piece of the rich history of Mindanao and the nation.
info, photos by Province of Lanao del Norte