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Friday, November 17, 2006

"My" Island

Yes, I am a certified islander, or as some would derisively call us, a “taga-puro”. The term usually means being backward, insinuating that we belong to a lesser civilization. But who cares? We are proud of our roots and there is no stopping us from introducing to the world our version of paradise.

Remember this name: Capul, Northern Samar.

This is the place where my youth was spent, where my dreams were built and where I shall always return at the end of all my journeys. Yup, it is where home is.

It is located between the southern-most tip of Luzon and mainland Samar. For those of you who have traveled in these areas, you’ll see it as your ferry goes out of Matnog, Sorsogon. A lighthouse adorns its tip.

It’s a small island, composed of just one town and a little more than 10,000 residents. The people speak Inabaknon, a unique dialect which the Summer Institute of Linguistics has traced to be part of the Sama family of dialects prevalent in the Sulu islands. How the dialect got there (note that inhabitants of the islands surrounding us speak Waray, Bicolano and Cebuano) somehow gives the myth about the Sulu King lost at sea and later settled in the island, a semblance of reality.

Facing the Pacific, the island is no stranger to wild waves and destructive typhoons. Going home and getting out, specially during the “amihan” months usually means going through a roller coaster of killer waves or drifting through heavy rain with nothing on sight but thick fog. Combine both and you’ll have one exciting ride!

Capuleños are proud of their heritage, and who wouldn’t be? Take a look at these trivia and you’ll see what I mean:

1. The name Capul is a shortened version of Acapulco. Remember the Galleon trade between Mexico and Manila? At the time, ships plying the route enter Philippine territory through San Bernardino Strait where the island juts out. The Spaniards must have christened the island in honor of their beloved port from the other side of the globe, but the natives found the name quite long, thus the abridged version.

2 The town is one of the oldest in the country, being one of the bastions of early Christianity in the Philippines. The town church, about a decade ago, marked its 400th year.

3. The island, due to its strategic location, also played a pivotal role during World War II. I remember that there used to be old cannons lying somewhere near our municipal hall and there were also small man-made caves carved at the foot of a mountain supposedly used as hideouts by Japanese soldiers. It’s a pity that these were not preserved for today’s generation.

More on “my” island in later blogs.

9 comments:

taj said...

isa kang henyo!

dopdop said...

the DOT should make you an Ambassador of Goodwill for Capul. hehehe

aryo said...

Why not? Me sweldo ba yun? He he.
Btw, who are u dop2?

dopdop said...

soweee, no salary. "goodwill" nga e. but lots of free publicity! exchange deal, hehe

Anonymous said...

I also live on Capul in the white house for 4 months of the year (wish it was more) yes we have paradise with no cars to pollute our island. If others would like to see more pics go to www.dive-capul.4t.com we also rent our home to visitors.It is truly beautiful with caves,coral gardens ship wrecks,the oldest church in the Visayas,the light house and endless beaches. IT IS PARADISE

rhea said...

wow

rhea said...

wow

floyd jack said...

Cynthia Caimol Jack, a manager with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, is currently serving at the USMC excange at Camp Fallujah, Iraq. Her Stateside station is at the Main Exchange, Nellis AFB, Las Vegas. She owns property on Capul, as well as having family interests in coconut, banana, and rice production on the island and nearby Samar.

ARNEL M. ODTUJAN said...

wow padi, ayos, pakakatuanan ko pa may hamuk c2