Panglao is endowed with rich cultural heritage represented bu cultural properties declared as National Cultural Treasure and Important Cultural Properties by virtue of Museum Declaration Nos. 10 & 11, series of 2011 by the National Museum of the Philippines. The Panglao 5-storey watchtower, which was built in 1851, is located beside the Saint Augustine Parish Church. Octagonal in shape and covered by pitched roof, it is said to be the tallest of its kind in the country. After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that strcuk the province in 2013, the watchtower is now ready to accommodate tourists after restoration works from the National Museum. In the annals of the Catholic Church, in the year 1782, La Iglesia de San Agustin de Panglawod, a Jesuit Mission Post, was created in a parish. It can deduced from this fact that the old name of Panglao was “Panglawod” considering also the characteristics of the place as described by early chroniclers of the Spanish expedition who come across this sea. The term Panglawod literally means “to the open sea”.
The church of St. Augustine is 18 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, lying on the southwestern side of Panglao island. The massive stone church is nestled on a plain, its back to the seashore and its right side facing a big, wide place which is the venue of the town’s many religious and social activities. It is beside the ruins of an older church which may have been a Baroque architectural design. The older church was said to have been destroyed in 1886. There are twin antique confessionals in the church that are carved artistically with grape and dove patterns and the ceiling’s frescoes depict the Seven Sacraments.
Other priceles and irreplaceable tangible immovable assets are the following:
- Archway and the Mortuary Chapel of the 19th Century Cemetery
- Dos Escuelas De Niños Y Niñas
- Panglao Watchtower
- St. Augustine Church
- Old Municipal Building
These cultural properties remind the hard labor and dedication of our ancestors.