A Day in the Historic Town of Capul

Capul Island, located between the main islands of Samar and Luzon, is considered a quaint and rustic small town but filled history and unique beauty. Capul derived its name from Acapulco, the city in Mexico being known to be a stop-over of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. A search online would give you a few but almost complete accounts about the island, so coming from Biri Island in the north eastern side of Samar, we braved this little know island at the middle of the treacherous San Bernardino Strait.

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The picturesque hill of Capul Lighthouse overlooking the San Bernardino Strait and Sorsogon Province

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We went straight back to Allen from Lavezares and proceeded to the Looc Port to catch the first and only trip going to Capul from the port. It took as about an hour to finally reached the island passing through the treacherous San Bernardino Strait. Unique Fact. Capul is an exceptional island for having a unique mother tongue called Inabaknon. In fact, its a language entirely different from local dialects and languages. Records say that it is closer to the language spoken by Badjaos of Sulu and it is considered as one of the rarest languages of the country.

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WHAT TO SEE AND DO

Perhaps one of the most popular attraction in the island is the Capul Lighthouse (Faru de Isla Capul) situated at the northernmost Totoog Point of the island overlooking the San Bernardino Strait and the southernmost point of mainland Luzon. It was built during Spanish times but was only finished during the American period to guide the sea vessels that passes through the Strait. You should also drop by the Capul Church & Bell Tower right at town proper adjacent to the municipal hall. Officially known as the Saint Ignatius de Loyola Parish Church, the Spanish-era Catholic Church is landmark to behold when in Capul.  It was established by the Jesuits  in 1596  however, the concrete perimeter of the church which later served as a fort was only built in 1600, while the bell tower was put up in 1781. There are also old tunnels that were built around the church. Recently, it has been declared as a National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum. For more action activities, you can explore the Vito Cave and some rock formations in the island or you can also snorkel/dive along Abak Beach.

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Capul Municipal Hall
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The Capul Lighthouse

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Capul island

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WHERE TO STAY

For us, this is by far the most daring adventure in terms of seeking for local accommodations since we just decided to proceed to the island the night before. But as what many travelers would say, trust the locals and won’t go wrong. So we inquired with our driver and tour guide and we ended up in a home-stay owned by Andarino Family right at the  town proper for a measly 150/pax. In fact, it became apparent to us that they were not really expecting any visitors at all but they (Kuya Louie & wife) were kind and hospitable enough to accommodate us, and spare a room for us. We also shared a dinner with the family and consumed stories and topics after the other.

HOW TO GET THERE

Looc Port-Allen. Two (2) passenger boats leave the Looc Port (BALWHARTECO) in Allen, Northern Samar daily (12NN) to Capul town poblacion for a one hour travel at 100/pax as of August 2015. Motorcycles (habal-habal) are readily available upon arrival.

Dapdap Port-Allen. There are also passenger boats that travel to Capul from Dapdap Port not far from Looc. However, these end up in other barangays and not in the poblacion.

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Contact Information. While it is relatively safe to visit Capul, it is still best and advisable to inform or contact the Municipal Tourism Office of your visit:  Ms. Rhea Sauro (09153430076) / Mr. Marlo Cabatingan (09301611831)  for any assistance or queries.

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