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Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Island 2: An Invitation

It's easy to discount the beauty of a place when you've grown accustomed to it. Familiarity may not necessarily breed contempt, but it sometimes does cultivate apathy and nonchalance.

On most occasions, it would need the eye of stangers for locals to fully appreciate their place's opulent beauty.

I guess I've fallen into the same state, that's why I try as much as possible to re-experience the pride in my hometown through the unbiased confirmation that only visitors can offer.


For so many times, I have dared friends to abandon their comfort zones for a while and experience adventure in Capul (the awesome waves should not be missed, he he) . There were brave souls at first, but to my disappointment, they all failed to stand by their word.

But my invitation stays; and hopefully this time, with the pictures I post here, their plans and promises will not remain broken. My deepest gratitude goes to Joni Bonifacio of Catbalogan for the wonderful pictures I snatched from his blog (I asked permission but he did not reply he he).

This is the centuries-old church that we are so proud of. It lies at the center of the poblacion and is the hub of the people's daily lives. Believe it or not, people still stand at attention at the tolling of its bells during angelus.



It has undergone some needed restoration in recent years, but this was more of patchwork as this was not really supervised by professional curators. Paging the National Historical Institute!



























The Chuch served as sanctuary for the people every time the Moro marauders would attack them. The ruins in the photos above form part of the entire fort that sorrounded the church.


Another landmark in Capul is the lighthouse perched at the northern tip of the island. Its blinking beacon warns ships from running aground.

































The lighthouse grounds is a windy, almost desolate place. If one's quite sentimental, it is a perfect place for soul-searching. Just add either the sunrise or the sunset, to enhance the drama. :-)





The picture on the right was taken from the western side of the island. At the back (picture below) lies our family's nipa hut where visitors can rest and savor the pacific wind. Or return to after collecting seashells.





The place is called Malpal by residents. I heard it was christened Freedom Beach recently. Nice name, but I have to admit its not really a place for swimming. Just after the sandy portion are corals that surface during low tide. If people want to take a dip, they would have to go to the edge of the rocky portion.








Or they can visit the caves carved by the rushing waves on the foot of the cliffs located on the other side of the lighthouse.
While there, pray that a submarine surfaces from its deep sea sojourn. I'm not kidding. These mammoth vessels sometimes pass by the San Bernardino Strait and it is at this part of the sea where they emerge.




Speaking of caves, Capul also boasts of caves filled with bats and snakes, aside of course from the usual stalagmite and stalactite formations. When we were schoolkids, we had annual treks to Bito Cave where we gather guano (bat droppings) which we use to fertilize our school gardens.
Many spelunkers have already visited these caves and they appreciated the fact that these are mostly untouched and unexploited.







Other must-sees in the island are the Bato Beach on the left and the Timontimon Rock formation (below) on the other end of the island.












When is the best time to visit Capul? It depends. If you are the adventurous type and wants to experience some adrenaline rush, the wavy months from September to February would be best.
You'll have the time of your life cruising through mountains of waves caused by the meeting of the Pacific and Philippine currents. I swear, it's not for the faint-hearted.


One last thing, please do not expect urban comforts when you're on our forlorn place. Being far from the mainland, we have to generate our own electricity and it normally works only from 5:00 to 12:00 p.m. If you're lucky, there will be no brown-outs through out your stay.
Be ready therefore for a life without electricity and enjoy life in its purest, unadulterated form. Think of walking down pitch dark streets, drinking tuba without ice, being lulled to sleep by the gentle breeze, and more.
Ano, tara na!

5 comments:

Dhon Jason said...

What very beautiful place.

Anonymous said...

ganda talaga ng capul noh?daming magagandang tanawin!!!

the donG said...

ganda nga ng capul!!! astig din pala dyan. i've checked all the photos. ganda para ding mga virgin island plus maganda din ang simbahan!

thanks for sharing! i'll connect with you once i decide to go there.

oxford said...

my father once wrote a tune for our island and the women...and that said it all,I think it's time to come back home and rekindle the past and enjoy the new and live life come what may,for I have been dragging my feet to every corner of this world,but never seen paradise.I guess it's the sockeye salmon in us,we have to leave the comforts of our home,but home is really where we belong!

Anonymous said...

korek!!!!!!!!!! walang kasingganda ang capul! for me capul is a paradise!