Aside from pristine white-sand beaches and towering karst islands, Taytay’s pride is the Fuerza Santa Isabel de la Paragua (Fort Santa Isabel of Palawan), a 350-year old fortress that once became the stronghold of the town against Moro pirates.
Taytay Fort is located directly in front of the town and its most salient landmark. Standing tall and proud, the fort continues to remind Palawan about the battles it won, and the rich history plastered among its walls. It played an important role in repulsing the Moro pirates who continuously raided Palawan during the early years of Spanish colonization. Many times, pirates tried to attack Taytay, but their efforts were unsuccessful because of the fort’s protection armed with brass cannons. Some of these centuries-old cannons are still present today.
The façade of Taytay Fort is a glimmering stack of black coral rocks perfectly carved into square blocks and glued together using egg whites. When sunlight hits these coral walls, light radiates and the rocks glisten. These rocks were mined from the depths of Taytay Bay and hauled by the locals working under forced labor during the Spanish regime. As you go inside the gates, high walls and overwhelming historic architecture will welcome you. A staircase that seems to be carved from the earth leads to a small office, which used to be the command center of the fort. Today, it serves as a museum telling tales from Taytay’s past. The fort has a chapel and four bastions that served as areas for position bombing even until the Japanese occupation in the Philippines.
Nowadays, some locals hold their marriage ceremonies in the fort’s chapel. The place is also the perfect place to see the beautiful sunrises and sunsets of Taytay. Fuerza Santa Isabel de la Paragua is one of the destinations of a heritage tour organized by local guides.
Discover more of Fuerza Santa Isabel de la Paragua’s stories and experience both the past and present altogether by booking a tour with local organizers on Tikigo!