The Ruins of a Mansion on Gabut Island

One item on my bucketlist is to get to as many islands as I can on a motorcycle. I have already crossed the sea on a ferry, crossed a bridge to get to another island, and just recently, rode the motorcycle to the island. I did that when I crossed a small strip of land to Pinget Island near Vigan. This time, in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, I have another opportunity to do that going to Gabut Island.

gabut_cover

Like how I found Pinget Island, I was scanning the map of my route when I saw an island very close to the main island. I was thrilled to see that it is connected by what looked like a bridge. What the satellite view didn’t show….

Gabut Island or Gabot Islet is in Brgy. Gabut Norte, Badoc, Ilocos Norte. It is about 7 kms from Badoc and about 30 kms from Laoag City. There is virtually no information about the island online except it’s location. There isn’t even a photo of it.

The island is less than a kilometer away from the main highway.

The island is less than a kilometer away from the main highway.

The satellite view shows something like a bridge leading to the island. There is also at least one building on it.

The satellite view shows something like a bridge leading to the island. There is also at least one building on it.

I temporarily passed through Pinili coming from Badoc

I temporarily passed through Pinili coming from Badoc

The road leading to the island from the main highway.

The road leading to the island from the main highway.

I got more and more excited as I neared the island and the sea came into view. I can see the island directly ahead of me. When I got closer and I can see what’s on the island, the excitement turned to disappointment. Here’s what I saw:

gabut_ruins

Yeah, what I thought as a building from what I saw on the satellite view was actually the RUINS of a building. But that’s not exactly why I was disappointed. Didn’t you notice it yet?

TAADAAANN!!

gabut_bridgeI was sitting on my motorcycle before a roadblock and a really wide gap on the bridge leading to the island laughing at myself for being fooled by the optical illusion created from the top view. Anyway, even if I had known prior to the trip that the bridge is out, I would still have made this stop.

view to my left (top); to my right (middle), and the mainland (bottom)

view to my left (top); to my right (middle), and the mainland (bottom)

On my way out I asked some locals about the island. I couldn’t get any specifics and some info are not even consistent. When I got back from the trip, I got in touch with Badoc’s Tourism Officer and got some answers.

These ruins used to be the Governor's Mansion of Michael Marcos Keon.

These ruins used to be the Governor’s Mansion of Michael Marcos Keon.

He is the governor from 1971 to 1983. He is also a nephew of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

He is the governor from 2007 to 2010 (Thanks to Titan Abellon for spotting my mistake). He is also a nephew of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

This Mansion was razed by fire three years ago (2010).

This Mansion was razed by fire three years ago (2010).

As for the bridge, it was destroyed by the huge waved of the sea during a storm.

As for the bridge, it was destroyed by huge waves during a storm.

If the tide gets lower, it might be possible to wade across that small portion of water. You can always swim to the island of course.

If the tide gets lower, it might be possible to wade across that small portion of water. You can always swim to the island of course.

If you want to visit here, you’ll be glad to know that there are beach resorts near the island. I just hope someday, they’ll fix the bridge and turn all that rubble into a nice public beach resort. To date, there are no plans for that yet 😦

some kids enjoying the summer.

some kids enjoying the summer.

The bigger, more popular Badoc Island can be seen to the left of the island...

The bigger, more popular Badoc Island can be seen a few kilometers to the left of the island. As well as some rock formations in the foreground

..and the Ilocos Norte Mining Company to the right.

..and the Ilocos Norte Mining Company to the right.

I may have [FAILED] to get to the island but I promise to go back here whenever I have the chance. Meanwhile, I’m leaving Badoc and I leave you this 180+ degree view of Gabut Island and the ruins of a Governor’s Mansion.

gabut_180view

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About Dom de la Torre

The rider is a 20-something Filipino that rides a Honda Wave 125cc underbone. He knows little about motorcycles yet loves the experience going places on two wheels. Rider Ako is a motorcycle-slash-travel blog. The rider not only shares to you travel destinations and what to see there but also the experience of getting there. You will read about the thrills and adventure when he rides solo, the romance of riding in tandem, the camaraderie riding with a group, the excitement participating in events, and anything that he thinks you might find interesting.When he's broke and the fuel's empty, he will share stories about motorcycling how he sees it through his helmet visor.
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20 Responses to The Ruins of a Mansion on Gabut Island

  1. So much for satalite pictures! 🙂 Great finds and photos!!

  2. bobbybhb says:

    Nice story Doms de la Torre. Hope to read more from you.
    Bobby B

  3. Interesting discovery! Ang galing naman ng bucketlist idea to get to as many islands as you can by motorcycle! 🙂

  4. naksnampootah says:

    kakakita ko lang sir doms ng blog mo pero ang lakas ng dating sa akin…
    pareho kayo ni sir edmaration saka yung isa pang babae na na-feature sa motorcycle diaries…hehehe
    gusto ko ring maglibot sa pilipinas gamit ang motorsiklo kaso wala pa akong sariling ride 😛
    taga-ilocos ka ba sir o based ka sa manila?

    • salamat sir. walang wala ako sa kalingkingan ng mga yun. mga established blogger na yun. ako nagsisimula pa lang at mabagal ang usad.. hahaha! From Laguna ako sir, kung san san lang nakakarating 😉

  5. Actually I think the Ilocos Norte Governor from 1971-1983 was Elizabeth Marcos Keon, the mother of Michael Marcos Keon. It’s not Michael Marcos Keon. Michael Marcos Keon was the governor of Ilocos Norte from 2007-2010.

    • I misunderstood what I read. You’re correct, thank you. I’ll make the correction. So Titan, would you know what caused the fire and why was it never restored? The Tourism Officer can’t answer all my questions.

      • Joey P. Chan says:

        My mother Cynthia Poblete Chan the daughter of Elizabeth Keon from the 1st marriage hold the real title to this island. Because of the corruption in the Phillippines many are fighting for this piece of land. I still remember are family vacations at this place. What a waste of beauty.

        • sir, do you have pictures of the mansion before it was ruined? Im an architecture student po currently doing my architecture thesis. And I find this site suitable for my project. I would want to redevelop the site to become a resort. I hope you could share me some pictures sir. It would be of great help.

      • raiderflip says:

        My mother Cynthia Poblete Chan the daughter of the late Elizabeth Keon from her 1st marriage is the real title holder for this island. Yes, Micheal is my Uncle. Because of corruption in the Philippines many family and non family are fighting for this land. Sad to say but that’s why this beauty is undeveloped land.

  6. HAJI says:

    papa doms lupit ng blog mo, tamad ako magbasa ng mga ganito pero mahilig ako sa magaganda at historical places. congrats, nakuha mo atensyon ko. hehehe, ingat sa ride pre. God bless you.

  7. adsmac says:

    Salamat sa tour sir ^_^ sana makagala din ako tulad mo..

  8. Allan says:

    ill be doing this loop on january 2016.. ive been preparing Sauron for this..

  9. apple says:

    hi po sir, Im a 4th yr architecture student from University of Santo Tomas. I just would like to ask permission from you if I could use your pictures taken from The Ruins of a Mansion on Gabut Island. As of now, I am currently preparing my thesis po kase and I came across your blog. Though I am from Ilocos, its also my first time to learn about this place and I think that site in Gabut Island is the best for me. BTW thank you sir for sharing your experience of the site. Super laking tulong po saken.

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