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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 CapuleΓ±os 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 CapuleΓ±os 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. CapuleΓ±os 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 4 years, 10 months ago at 6:50 pm.

54 comments

54 Replies

  1. I miss Capul!!! We did our anthro field school there 6 years ago, we stayed at Oson for a whole semester πŸ˜€ Atao na gad ako si Inabaknon kay nag-istar kami ari. hehe Their language was truly unique which is why we chose it as a field site in the first place. By the way, I would like to share that you could also get to Capul via the outrigger boats that leave from Matnog, Sorsogon. Last trip usually leaves at 8 in the morning daily. πŸ™‚

  2. Jet! Natuwa naman ako at ikaw pala ay tumira pa for a semester sa Capul at inaral din ang Inabaknon. Salamat sa additional tip on how to get to Capul.

  3. This is what I’m about to ask here. The trip from Matnog to Capul. Tnx for sharing.. I’m from sorsogon … πŸ™‚

    G300adventures

  4. Don, yes, Ithink possible naman. Because there are boats naman that crosses from Matnog to Capul. Basta lang talagang maganda ang panahon. And be careful with the whirlpools.

  5. sana makapunta din ako dyan

  6. Nakapunta ka na ng Biri, San Antonio, Catarman, at San Isidro, di ba? Pati pa nga pala Mapanas. So there’s no reason na hindi ka makapunta ng Capul πŸ˜‰

  7. grabe yung church, mukha nga talagang lumang luma.

    i love the way you picture samar Miss N. nakakaenganyo tuloy!

  8. Hindi lang po talaga mukhang luma kundi talagang lumang-luma na po. Sana nga ay tumagal pa siya na hindi kailangan i-renovate. Para marami pa ang makadalaw sa kaniya.

    Ganyan po talaga ang picture ng Northern Samar, Ms. Grace. Tahimik naman sa lugar na yan at mababait ang mga tao. Pag nag-explore ka ng Biri, idamay mo na ang Capul πŸ˜‰

  9. Ganda naman !

  10. Thanks, Mark! Kelan ka pupunta ng Samar? πŸ™‚

  11. hi miss n! samar’s in my bucketlist. sometime, sometime! thanks for sharing this.

  12. Kikit, daliiiii! hahaha! Samar naman is just there, Kikit. Hintay ka lang niya πŸ˜‰

  13. i heard about the big earthquake. family ok at home?

  14. Hi po! Thank you po at naalala mo ang family ko. Okay naman po lahat. Kinabahan siyempre lalo na nung nag-order ng evacuation sa amin. Eh ang bahay pa naman namin ay medyo malapit sa dagat. Maraming, maraming salamat po uli sa pangungumusta. It means a lot.

  15. Shame on me, it was only my first time to read something about Inabaknon; didn’t know such tongue exists until this blog post. *palmOnface*

    On a lighter note, I love your first photo; I have a thing for boats, don’t know why. πŸ™‚

  16. Hala, di naman kailangan ng slap sa face, Doc Gelo πŸ™‚ Yes, Inabaknon is very unique po talaga. Madalas subject siya ng mga research paper ng mga linguist, karaniwan pa mga taga-Europe. Nag-homestay lang yung iba doon while doing their research.

    Salamat, Doc Gelo. Coming from you ay nakakataba ng puso πŸ™‚ Hmn, baka po nung unang life mo ay fisherman ka kaya you have a thing for boats hahaha. Joke lang po πŸ™‚

  17. if not for your blog, I would have never seen this historically rich old church, thanks for sharing!

  18. Carla, hindi kasi masyado nai-explore and probinsya ko eh. Most often than not, people from outside the province are scared to visit. Parang na-associate kasi kami lagi sa insurgency problem eh kahi generally, peaceful naman ang probinsya. I hope someday you can also visit the place.

  19. nice shots. ang ganda nung boat. tsaka yung church. i hope to visit this ruins someday. =D

  20. Maaraming salamat, Jaid. Iha, you should visit this place. Basta itaon mo lang na summer para you won’t have to worry about rain and rough sea.

  21. i love the pictures. sadyain nga ang place na yan. and the church, parang sobrang luma na nya. may picture ka ba ng loob nyan ms N?

  22. Eds, salamat. Tama ka, talagang sadyain yung place. Kailangan talaga bigyan ng panahon. Unfortunately, I do not have photos taken inside the church because at the time a Mass was being held. We did not wait for the Mass to finish because we had to be off to another barangay.

  23. beautiful, beautiful place! the birthplace of my mom! and wish to visit one day. Thanks for sharing these photos Ms N!

  24. Dinah! Wow, taga-Capul pala si Mama mo. Akala ko taga-Mondragon lang talaga siya. Punta kang Capul, Dinah. Maganda dun. Summer ka punta para yung dagat ay payapa.

  25. Uy ang ganda nung church. πŸ™‚

  26. Hi Aling AC, yep, as in suuuper luma na talaga siya. Sana magtagal pa siya sa ganyang state na hindi nasisira. Pag na-renovate kasi, parang nawawala na yung talagang kakanyahan niya. Masarap magpakasal diyan, sabihin mo lang at ipagpapa-reserve kita ahahaha! But first, kelangan muna siyempre may prince charming. Eh kumusta ka naman ba sa larangang ‘yan? haha!

    Enjoy Pinas! Mmmwah!

  27. Aray! Baket napunta sa kin ang usapan? Haha!

  28. hahaha! kailangang ganun talaga hahaha!

  29. Kaupay lagi bumisita han Norte ngan bug-os nga samar. Wara pa paka kada san Capul. Allen, Catarman ngan pakadto Palapag, Northern Samar ak nagadtuan pala…hehehe

  30. Hi Garry,

    Damo nga salamat san im pagbisita, Garry. Wow, nahingadto ka na ngay-an hasta sa Palapag. Haru-harayo πŸ™‚ Next time, try to explore naman an didi nga dapit sa Balicuatro area πŸ˜‰

  31. hala, parang ang ganda nga ng Capul, naman…pasama sa next na three-day stay, hehe. btw, paborito ko ang unang larawan, ang galing… πŸ™‚

    hope you are well, kapatid. salamat sa pang-aalaska, errr, dalaw. kaway-kaway! πŸ˜‰

  32. Walang anuman sa pang-aalaska ko hahaha! Na-miss lang kita kaya kita inalaska hehehe

    Salamat at nagustuhan mo ang larawan. Ako man ay gusto rin yun πŸ˜‰ Paborito ko kasi ang bangka at yung maaraw na panahon.

  33. .. i’ve always loved old churches. parang anlayo’t liblib na ang capul miss n, sa iyo ko lang nalaman ang lugar na yan.

  34. Hi Rob!
    Di masyadong liblib ang Capul. Hindi lang talaga gaanong napo-promote ang place that’s why kakaunti pa lang ang nakakarating o nakakarinig about the place. I hope someday mapuntahan mo rin πŸ™‚

  35. First time I heard about Capul! Ganda ng church. Gusto ko yung mga lumang church!

  36. This is one of the oldest churches yata in the country. Punta ka minsan sa Capul. But I advise you to visit the place during summer. I recommend, Biri, too. Para makita mo naman ang mga rock formations doon na truly amazing.

  37. Nakakacurious naman yung sa Capul lalo na yung dialect nila. Siguro, case ito ng mga migrants na isang grupo galing sa ibang lugar and nagsettle sila dyan. Then nagkaron ng konting halo and naging unique na isang dialect na although kahawig ng mga possible na pinanggalingan nila. Galing!

    saka yung Church nila, ang ganda. Unique din. Wala pa ko nakitang similar structure tulad niyan. San kaya gawa yan, would you know? ganda! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  38. Well, yes, that could be the case. Baka nag-settle lang ang mga Malay dun. Pero nakakapagtaka lang na hindi sila na-impluwensiyahan masyado ng Spanish language, di ba? Tapos, yung island naman, kung tutuusin, is relatively not that far from its neighboring islands.

    Hmn, not sure of the materials, pero I noticed that it’s massive. Di ko rin naipagtanong kasi when I went there wala akong mapagtanungan hehehe.

  39. hehehe. salamat uli sa pagshare miss Nortehanon πŸ™‚ Ganda talaga ng place. I hope, makapunta ako dyan.

  40. Hi Rogie,
    Punta ka na! πŸ™‚

    Salamat.

  41. someday i will be there to sketch the church πŸ™‚

    ps. sent you an email last month i think πŸ™‚

  42. Go Dan and Kikit! πŸ™‚ You should visit Biri, too.

    P.S.
    Sorry but I don’t think I got an email from you last month. Hmn, bakit kaya? What was the email about? Can you please re-send it? Thanks!

  43. McRICH Sep 11th 2012

    Kakatakot naman po yung 3 butas ahihi pero anganda ng church, full of history talaga!

  44. Ay, nung nakita ko yung tatlong butas na yan, na-imagine ko talaga kung paano yung posibleng nangyayari nung mga panahong yun. Yun bang tipong may papalapit na kalaban tapos bigla na lang may babaril sa kanya galing sa mga butas na yan. Tapos, tumayo ako sa tapat ng butas at naisip ko kung ilan bang kalaban ang bumagsak at namatay sa mismong kinatatayuan ko.

  45. may isa na naman na rason kung bkit kailangan ko na magpunta sa samar. hohohoh!

    salamat sa pagsi-share nag-iiba ang pananaw ng marami tungkol sa samar.

    mabuhay!

  46. Hi, Hoshi! *kaway-kaway* πŸ™‚

    Hayaan mo at dadamihan ko pa ang post ko riot about Samar, Northern Samar in particular. Para talagang ma-encourage kang dalawin ang aking mahal na probinsiya πŸ™‚

    Alam mo, napa-smile ako nang mabasa ko ang comment mong ito. Kasi, kahit paano pala ay nagagawa rin ng blog na ito ang hangarin kong mai-present ang Samar in a different light; para hindi naman kami laging na-a-associate lang sa malnutrition, poverty, typhoon, at insurgency.

    Maraming salamat, Hoshi.

  47. damo ngean hin mahusay nga view Northern Samar. Hope someday I can go there. God Bless! Please visit me back

  48. Hello there!
    Thanks for your visit.
    Are you a fellow Waray blogger?
    Yes, there are many nice places in Northern Samar, mostly still unexplored. I, too, hope that someday you’ll visit my province. God bless, too!

  49. Hi!
    Thanks also for the visit to my blog
    Yah I’m from Leyte just learning to blog.

  50. Wow, dumadami tayong mga blogger from Region 8. Nice naman. Good luck. Just keep on posting πŸ˜‰

  51. Have you visited San Bernardino island? Planning to visit it by kayak crossing the strait from Bulusan Sorsogon. What makes me worry about are the whirlpool you’ve mentioned in your other story. When I mentioned this to my family and friends, tinataasan nila ako ng kilay as if saying “magpapakamatay ka na ba?”. There are very few information in the net about this island and the experience on going there.

    I’m just praying that I will be safe kung sakaling matuloy ako.

    Gideon300 adventures

  52. Don, I have not heard of San Bernardino island in Samar. You are probably referring to San Bernardino Strait (or perhaps you are referring to the town of Capul which is an island. The San Bernardino Strait is a treacherous part of the sea so I suggest you do the crossing with your kayak on summer. Mas malaki ang possibility na manageable ang pag-cross from Sorsogon.

    I hope you’ll feature at your blog kung itutuloy mo ang pag-cross.

  53. Would be possible to use one of your photos of Capul Church?
    This is for a book on the Manila galleon trade.

    Thanks!

  54. Email sent, Felix. Thanks!


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