The word Liloan, as the legend is told, comes from the word “lilo” – whirling waters (not unlike Edgar Allan Poe’s maelstrom) that form when the sea approaches an abrupt depth at a point just after a bridge.
Long ago, as the legend goes, when Lilo-an was still a wilderness, a marriage of a couple was objected to by the parents. As such, they boarded a boat and fled to a far away place. Somewhere at sea, a storm overtook them. For safety, they entered a channel, now called “Suba,” (a name of a place in Liloan) and proceeded into the interior. They took shelter at its bank and noticed the abundance of the fish in the vicinity. They decided to stay, and with the extra fish they caught, they sold or bartered the catch in the nearby villages. When asked where the fishes were caught, the answered, “Sa may liloan” (by the lilo). Asked where they live, they gave the same answer, :Sa may liloan.” In time, the place was called, as we know the town now, “Liloan”.
The Parola was built in 1904 on top of a hill in Barangay Catarman, the coral stone lighthouse has withstood the passing of 10 decades and the various seasons that came with the years, including the war.
Through time the use of the lighthouse, locally known as “parola,” has also evolved yet its importance could never be overemphasized.
It has grown from being solely a guide for ships taking people and goods to and from Cebu island, keeping seafarers safe. It has also become a spot where tourists converge: both the daily influx of domestic tourists wanting to view the serene Camotes sea, or the participants of the annual Suroy-Suroy program organized by the Provincial Government.
More importantly, with the Municipal Government’s frequent use of the structure’s image in the implementation of programs and projects, the lighthouse has become a symbol of hope for light to shine over the town of Liloan and its people.