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Farola de Isla Capul: A Silent Sentinel

In Barangay San Luis in the sleepy town of Capul is a hill called Titoog Point. This grassy hill in the northernmost tip of Capul has a very picturesque view. On clear days, one can see the outline of Mt. Bulusan, an active volcano in the nearby province of Sorsogon. Looking at the edges surrounding it, one will see the swift rush of current washing over the San Bernardino Straight which separates Bicol from Samar.

On the other side of the hill, one will see a stretch of rugged coastline. The water was calm the day I visited. But when the weather is bad, big waves usually lash the island town. The strong, eddy currents sometimes make it almost impossible for boats to go in and out of Capul.

Perched atop Titoog Point, standing proud 143 ft. above sea level, is a silent sentinel: the Farola de Isla Capul, known to locals simply as “Parola.”

The lighthouse has every right to stand proud. Recently, the National Historical Commission bestowed upon it a marker for its historical significance. The Spaniards started building the lighthouse but it was finished, with modifications, during the American occupation. Since the American period, it has warned countless of ships of the narrow treacherous waters between the Port of Matnog and Capul.

Notice the half-circle spot near the tree (first picture). It is one of the three circular World War II gun emplacements where big guns were mounted to be used by the Japanese Navy against the American soldiers.

Beside the lighthouse is a pavilion, which, sadly, is already dilapidated. But I heard from a tourism officer that this will soon be repaired. I say, it’s high time.

So…I hope you, my dear readers, will also visit this 7-hectare complex someday. It is a great place for having a picnic, picture taking, dating, and some soul-searching 😉

How to get there:
From the town proper of Capul, look for a habal-habal and ask the driver to take you to “Parola.” Ask the driver to wait for you as the place is far and it is hard to get a ride back to the town proper. Rate as of today, Sept.14, 2012, is Php200.

How to go to Capul:
Click here.

Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 6:50 pm.


Hello, Capul!

I have long been wanting to visit the town of Capul in Northern Samar. But whenever I would mention this to my mother, I would always sense that she worries about it. I couldn’t blame her because this island town is known for its brisk currents and crashing waves. I was happy when, recently, my desire to visit Capul was fulfilled. Thanks to a fisherman’s boat which was lent to me. And thanks to one bright, sunshiny day.

Capul is a small, sleepy town that has always intrigued me. First, because it has its own distinct indigenous language called Inabaknon, a language we, from neighboring Waray-speaking towns, do not understand. However, most Capuleños can understand Waray (and Tagalog and English, of course). What puzzles me is that Capul, being geographically located in Visayas, has a language that is not strictly classified as a Visayan language. According to studies, Inabaknon belongs to the language of the Bajaos in Mindanao and the Sama people of Malaysia. Many language scholars from all over the world have visited Capul to do research on Inabaknon.

The second thing that interests me about Capul is its 18th-century-old church, the St. Ignatius de Loyola Church, which has earned last year a marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Situated right in the town’s plaza, the ancient church, stands proud as if to remind Capuleños of its heroic past: during Spanish time, it became the people’s refuge from the Moro pirates who raided and plundered the island.

Notice the three holes above the base of the belfry. Those are small windows. The guards would open them and shoot at enemies who got close.

The church is surrounded by a stonewall fortress shaped like a cross.

During those troubled times, stationed on the left and right corners of the fortifications were guards who were ready to fire cannons to protect the people inside the church.

Just a few steps away is the municipal hall which is a stark contrast to the state of the fortress which is already in ruins.

I wish I had more time to explore the town but I was just there for a day. Perhaps next time I can stay for two or three days.

Lodging: There are no hotels in Capul. But there are houses that accept homestay for Php150. Just ask the boatman about it. I heard there is a big house for rent but was not able to check it out because I was in a hurry. Unless you have hired a boat for a special trip, you have to stay in Capul overnight because there is only one trip going out of Capul and that is at 6:45AM. Capuleños are very friendly so don’t hesitate to ask if you need any help.

Transportation: Going around Capul is by habal-habal. The town has narrow streets and there isn’t many vehicles around.

How to get there from Manila:
Route 1: Take the early morning flight to Calbayog Samar. Take a jeepney bound for the town of Allen. In Allen, look for the port and the boat that is bound for Capul. It is a big outrigger boat. It leaves at 12:00noon. Fare is PhP60.

Route 2: Take the early morning flight to Catarman. Take a jeepney bound for the town of Allen.

Route 3: For the more adventurous ones: Take the early morning flight to Calbayog. Take a jeepney bound for Allen. Alight in the town of Victoria. Hire a boat (usually kontrata ito) going to the town of San Antonio where there are some nice beach resorts. With the same boat, proceed to Capul. If you still have time and if the boatman would agree, you can proceed to the town of San Vicente where there is a beach with pink sand.

Next post: Farola de Capul and other attractions

Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 6:50 pm.


Pens of Hope: Big Day in Laoang!

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing great.

I am happy to share with you the following photos of the Pens of Hope distribution held last Monday, June 11. Pens of Hope received a very warm welcome from the teachers and students of Bobolosan Elementary School in Bgy. Bobolosan which is part of the town of Laoang, Northern Samar.

Here are your donations being prepared the night before the distribution.

From the province’s capital which is Catarman, Bgy. Bobolosan can be reached by taking a van bound for the town of Catubig. The non-AC vans will pass by the school premises. Travel time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This is the crowded van that took me and your donations to Bgy. Bobolosan. One-way costs PhP140.

The children of Bobolosan were very shy in front of the camera. But they warmed up eventually, especially upon seeing Guyito. Yep, he was with me 😉 I was happy that almost all students were present that day.

The school’s teacher-in-charge was so kind enough to accompany me to every classroom. Thanks, Ma’am M!

Kindergarten class: 38 students
380 pencils, 38 sharpeners, and 38 storybooks distributed

I have learned that a volunteer teacher in a kindergarten class in a public school earns only PhP1,000 a month if his or her students will not exceed 19. If the class population exceeds 19, he or she will receive a monthly salary of PhP3,000. I take my hats off to all the volunteer kindergarten teachers all over the country. Saludo po ako sa inyo!

Grade 1 Section 1 class: 26 students
260 pencils, 26 sharpeners, and 26 storybooks distributed

Grade 1 Section 2 class: 28 students
280 pencils, 28 sharpeners, and 28 storybooks distributed

Grade 2 Section 1 class: 30 students
300 pencils, 30 sharpeners, and 30 storybooks distributed

Grade 2 Section 2 class: 25 students
250 pencils, 25 sharpeners, 25 storybooks distributed

Grade 3 class: 51 students
153 pencils, 153 ball pens, 51 sharpeners, 51 erasers distributed

Grade 4 Sections 1 & 2 classes (merged): 52 students
156 pencils, 156 ball pens, 52 sharpeners, 52 erasers distributed

Grade 5 Section 1 class: 29 students
87 pencils, 87 ball pens, 29 sharpeners, 29 erasers distributed

Grade 5 Section 2 class: 26 students
78 pencils, 78 ball pens, 26 sharpeners, 26 erasers distributed

Grade 6 Section 1 class: 31 students
93 pencils, 93 ball pens, 31 sharpeners, 31 erasers distributed

Grade 6 Section 2 class: 34 students
102 pencils, 102 ball pens, 34 sharpeners, 34 erasers distributed

There are enough pencils left for another distribution so we are scheduling another one before June ends 🙂 Yay!

Maraming, maraming salamat po sa suporta! God bless po!

Posted 5 years, 4 months ago at 12:23 am.


Three Big Reasons for Me to Smile This Weekend

1. A Friend’s Birthday!

Today is my travel buddy’s birthday. She holds the distinction of bidding me goodnight through text, without fail, in the past 10 years or so. I’m putting emphasis on “without fail” as in every night talaga 🙂 Am I not blessed to have a friend like her?

Happy birthday, Tita H! I bet you didn’t know I took this photo of you hahaha! I’ll remain your Neneng forever 😉

2. Guyito Travels…and Blogs, Too!

Oh, yes, Guyito is now a blogger. I discovered he is also an itchy feet. He always has this question in mind: “Where to next?” 🙂 Please visit him here and don’t forget to say hi.

3. We Will Be Making Children Smile Again!

Come Monday, Pens of Hope will be visiting a school in the town of Laoang in Northern Samar and distributing pencils, pens, storybooks, and other school supplies.

The school supplies came from a big, tall box sent straight from Dubai by blogger Muymuy.

The box contained 6,200 pencils, 5 boxes crayons, 40 plastic envelopes, 313 erasers, 30 pastes, 595 ball pens.

Muymuy has been very supportive since Pens of Hope started. She is one of the early visitors of this blog and my heart swells when I think that she has stayed on for almost 4 years now as a blog friend. On her birthday last year, instead of receiving fancy gifts from friends she asked for pens and pencils. Maraming, maraming salamat, Muymuy!

The storybooks came from a blogger who wishes not to be mentioned. This blogger indeed has a big heart being a supporter of other bloggers’ charitable efforts. Sa iyo, maraming, maraming salamat!

This is going to be a super great long weekend for me as I am off from work on Monday 😉 Yay! So excited!

Happy weekend sa iyo, sa iyo, sa iyo, at higit sa lahat, sa iyo 🙂 God bless!

Posted 5 years, 4 months ago at 9:48 am.


Where I Belong

On a recent trip to one of my favorite places, I found myself standing in front of the ocean and listening to my heart one early morning.

“I missed this,” I told myself as my eyes traced the to and fro movement of the blue strip of water in front of me and the soothing crashing of the waves put me at ease. The boundless water stretched in glory stood between me and the horizon. Where does the ocean begin? Where does it end? I often wondered about these when I was a child.

As I stood on the wooden bridge watching the graceful unfolding of a new day in the place that raised and nurtured me, I breathed in the familiar salty sea air and said a prayer of gratitude in silence. There is nothing like being in the place that brings memories of summer time, of golden rice stalks, of fishermen arriving at the seashore with smiles on their face, of children giggling during an early morning swim, of days of love and being part of other people’s lives, of being young and life being so simple. I sure miss those days.

This is the place I can always go back to, a place that will always welcome me in its loving embrace, a place that blesses me, a place that is home to the soothing waves that can wash away even my deepest scars, a place where I can hear God’s voice at its loudest.

The light was growing around me and I felt the heat of the sun, signaling it was time to go home and indulge in a hearty breakfast of champorado and daing (I prefer daing over tuyo). Walking back to the town that was slowly stirring from deep slumber, I heard the ocean sing its song once again. I knew it was a farewell song for me.

(Reblogged from June 2009)

Posted 5 years, 6 months ago at 4:09 pm.