Castles in the Philippines Worth Your Visit
Churches are to the Philippines as castles are to the Great Britain when talking about architectural structures that represent a country. Many people, both locals and tourists, have been fascinated about the historical churches all over the Philippines and also consider them as architectural gems. They reveal much about the history and interesting tales of the country.
It may seem unlikely to find castles in the Philippines; we are, after all, on the opposite side of the world and sprang from different historical roots. But we have spotted some castles around the country that, while not as historically rich as old churches, also have some interesting stories to tell.
TAI CASTLE (Tagaytay City)
IMAGE Tagaytay castle house for rent Facebook page
The Tai Castle, also known as Tagaytay Castle House, was built on a girl’s dream to become a queen. From the stone-built structure to the red carpets and gold-plated furniture, this castle gives off a regal impression inside and out. Located in Royal Tagaytay Estates, Tai Castle is open for reservations, letting families and big groups experience being a royalty for a day or a two.
FANTASY WORLD (Lemery, Batangas)
IMAGE G_shots Photography Facebook page
The construction of Fantasy World, which was envisioned to be the Disneyland of the Philippines, began in 2001—and was never finished. Once owned by a Japanese businessman who had to ax the construction due to financial issues, this fantastical and colorful medieval-inspired castle now stands abandoned in Barangay Mayasang in Lemery, Batangas. It is still decently maintained by a homeowner’s association and now serves as a tourist attraction for sightseeing and colorful photo opp.
Also read: Fantasy World: From theme park to photo-op
RIVERSTONE CASTLE (Argao, Cebu)
IMAGE The Queen City of the South, Cebu City Facebook page
Situated on the outskirts of Argao, Cebu, the Riverstone Castle is an architectural masterpiece that resulted from a collaboration between a local family and foreign friends to do an ecotourism venture. Largely inspired by the European medieval castles, this stone castle is said to have been built with stones from the nearby rivers, hence the name Riverstone. Riverstone Castle used to be a resort that offered accommodation and nature park recreation that promoted the beauty of the province to visitors of Cebu.
SHRINE OF SIMALA (Sibonga, Cebu)
IMAGE Simala Shrine Sibonga Cebu – Lindogon Facebook page
The Shrine of Simala, also known as the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, is not just a beauty to appreciate but also a place where devotees pay their respects. Constructed in 1998, the shrine sits on a hill in Upper Lindogon, Simala cradled by trees that surround it. Besides its picturesque edifice, the shrine became popular because of the miraculous events that were said to have occurred here like the shedding of tears of the Virgin Mary’s image.
THE RUINS (Talisay, Negros Occidental)
IMAGE Lacson Ruins / The Ruins Facebook page
The story behind The Ruins goes back a long way, long before World War II. The structure used to be a glorious castle-like mansion built in the 1900’s by a brokenhearted widower who channeled the pain of losing his wife into the construction. Although not in one piece, the mansion survived World War II and is now one of the famous landmarks in the city of Talisay.
Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño
Images grabbed from: Tagaytay castle house for rent Facebook page, G_shots Photography Facebook page, The Queen City of the South, Cebu City Facebook page, Simala Shrine Sibonga Cebu – Lindogon Facebook page, Lacson Ruins / The Ruins Facebook page