The Royal Astillero of Bagatao also built w arships or guesos navios and some of these are the San Felipe and the Santiago (believed to be the first galleons built in Bagatao) which figured prominently in the battles at Playa Honda in Zambales against the Dutch in 1616-1617. Other galleons built in Bagatao were the San Juan Bautista, the San Francisco Javier, the Sta. Rosa, the Sto. Niño, and Sto. Cristo de Burgos. The shipyard, in addition to such galleons and warships also built other smaller sea vessels which were being bought to Mexico and sold for huge profits.
Bagatao also serves as one of the major ports of call for Spanish galleons in their tornabuelta or tornaviaje from Manila to Acapulco and vice versa. They use the astillero for refurbishing of supplies, repairs or as a safe harbor in times of storms or typhoons. Here they waited for fair weather before attempting to cross the treacherous Embocadero de San Bernardino (San Bernardino Strait) in open sea.
The Astillero de Bagatao Marker was put up by the National Historical Institute through the efforts of the late historian Rogerio H. Escobal to commemorate the role of the Bagatao Island and the Astillero de Bagatao in the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade as a major shipyard and pport which built and services galleons before they sail open seas or when taking shelter during inclement weather.