Captivating Capul Island

We were only on our third day in Northern Samar but it felt like we have seen so many breathtaking spots and have done so many activities already. Case in point: my camera memory card was already full by the time we left Sila Island in San Vicente, which only means that there's so much Instagramable views and moments to capture.

Alluring shores of Capul Island
After frolicking on the pristine shores of the Pink Beach in Sila Island, we continued our journey onto Capul Island, an island town amidst the moody San Bernardino Strait. The island, which got its name from Acapulco, is said to have played an important role during the Acapulco-Manila Galleon Trade. The centuries-old lighthouse in Capul served as a guidepost to vessels passing through the San Bernardino Strait back in the day.


To me, the quaint sleepy town appears enigmatic, with the same mysterious vibe as Islas de Gigantes in Iloilo or Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte. I must admit that there was an eerie feel at first, but when we got to know more about the place and the people, we felt comfortable and at home. They were very warm and welcoming, with such good singing voices to boot! The locals speak a distinct dialect called Inabaknon, so different that even locals from the nearby islands and towns are having a hard time understanding or learning it.


How to go there:
The nearest airport to Capul Island is Catarman (via Manila) or Calbayog (via Cebu). From any of these two, travel to Allen port or to what they call Balwharteco port (take note that there are several ports in Allen so you have to know where to go specifically) where there is a lone regular boat trip to and from Capul Island.

You may also go straight to Capul Island via Matnog in Sorsogon via a passenger boat that plies this route. Should you miss this boat, you may take a ferry to Allen where you can ride a passenger boat or charter one to Capul Island.

Alternatively, you may also take a habal-habal to the town of Victoria where you can charter a boat to Capul Island.

Where to stay:
There are several homestays and resorts in Capul Island but the most famous and homiest is perhaps the shanty of Auntie Fely. Tucked in Poblacion, this old native house is like a portal that brings you to a cozy garden-clad abode.

Our room at Auntie Fely's shanty
The rooms have bunk beds perfect for groups. Bathroom is shared but clean and well-maintained. A garden serves as a charming backdrop to al fresco merienda cena or a night cap with Auntie Fely's very own rich and thick hot chocolate concoction. Auntie Fely and her staff can also cook home-style meals for you at a very reasonable price.

Auntie Fely is such a gracious host with many stories to tell. She will take care of you like family. I kept on telling her that we felt like we just went for a vacation at our tita's house in the province. She is very devout, too, as can be seen throughout her home full of religious images all over.

Auntie Fely prepared snacks for us
Nilanggam, a native rice cake
Sinarungsong
What to see:
The 16th-century Church of St. Ignatius de Loyola
Just a few steps away from the municipal hall is the old church with an 11-meter high belfry. It is surrounded by a stonewall fortress reminiscent of Fuerza de Sta. Isabel in Taytay, Palawan. Portions of the church are already in ruins, but 85% has been preserved in its original form. It is also believed that there are treasures buried beneath the church, with markers only a few locals would understand. But whether if it's true or not, no one could really tell.

St. Ignatius de Loyola Church

The door to the belfry


Capul Lighthouse
Built by the Americans, this 40-foot tower perched on a rolling hill at 143 feet above sea level commands a sweeping view of San Bernardino Strait and the mighty Pacific Ocean.The place once served as a guidepost for traveling vessels. Sunsets here are spectacular. A few steps down below is a rock-rimmed natural pool shaped like a giant footprint.

The lighthouse perched on a hill


Going down the hill



Can you see the footprint?

Capul Lighthouse



Sunset as viewed from Capul Lighthouse



Capul Island may not be on the forefront in terms of tourism, but its rich history and rustic charm is fast drawing attention. In fact, there's an international cruise ship line, which had docked here a year ago, and is planning to come back in the next few months.

The captivating Capul Island lets you travel back in time, making you completely forget the bustling life in the present, at least for awhile.

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Here's a short video that gives a sneak peek of Capul in Northern Samar. It can also be viewed on HD (720p or 1080p). Enjoy!



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Damo nga salamat Ms. Karen Santiago Tiopes, Sir Rodel Balierbare, Ms. Josette Doctor, Sir Romy Zaide, Sir Deo and Sir Henry Espinola for making our trip to Biri an enjoyable one!!!

Know more about Northern Samar. Visit their Facebook page here.

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