In 2016, two phases of restoration of Fort San Andres, declared by the National Museum as national cultural treasures in the province of Romblon were finished with a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Constructed in 1645, the twin forts of Romblon, Fort San Andres and Fort Santiago (now in ruins), were built under the supervision of Portuguese friar, Fr. Agustin de San Pedro, popularly known as Padre Capitan. The twin forts played a significant role in the history of the province of Romblon as part of colonial military defense system. It was constructed from coral stone and served as a fortress against Moro pirates and Dutch invaders in the 17th century.
For the completion of the project, the NCCA gave a total of P2 million grant for the architectural rehabilitation of the forts. The first phase covered primarily the restoration and replacement of missing coral stone in both interior and exterior walls, the removal of earth fill at the interior chamber and the provision of drainage system. The second phase covered the reinforcement of the wall foundation, rehabilitation of the remaining two (2) turrets, rehabilitation of the top section of the fort, and rip rapping around the fort to prevent soil erosion.
Among the additions to the structure are its coral stone staircase, low fencing, and a wooden door for the entrance of the fort.
The Fort San Andres is deemed unique because it has a “twin”, the Fort Santiago, also in Romblon but unfortunately covered in earth and vegetation.
Continued support for the preservation and protection of the fort is given by the NCCA and the local government unit of Romblon. Save the Fort San Andres Movement, Inc. a local non government organization in the province, also provided assistance for the restoration.
The fort is awaiting the installation of a marker from the National Museum which will solidify its status as a national cultural treasure and a source of pride among the Romblomanons.
The project contributed to the NCCA Conservation of Cultural Heritage – Conservation of Built Heritage program. Through restoring the structure and improving the surroundings of the fort, the Fort San Andres became truly a source of pride among Romblomanons.
By: National Commission for Culture and the Arts