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