Samar: A Kiss of Pacific (PART 1)

CAPUL ISLAND : 17 Untradeable Experiences in this Heritage Island of Unspoiled Beauty

Suddenly her ideas and thoughts went into an explosion of realization. Her discernments were clear as she continued to find her soul. She did not conform to the standards of society and was no longer what she used to be.  She felt released  from the chain of being locked  from freedom, freed from the shackles of her old identity. This damsel took the chance. She wandered out for only in wandering can she perceive the joy, the magic and the liberty.

She was beckoned to a place away from the life she has been living. She knew what her soul has been craving for and now she was free from any inhibitions, free from the maddening crowd and released from the trapped life she secretly hates.

She was just wanting to go out, because that was the only time she would know herself, and in that time  she  got to be she.

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I am that she.

Thoughts like these were floating in my mind as I stepped on the land of Samar for the first time. Yes I was in the state of bliss because I got to wander out again, enjoy my freedom even for just a limited time.

And I’m chasing potatoes in ” drumroll” in  Capul Island.

BITS OF FACTS ABOUT CAPUL ISLAND

From the information I gathered,  Capul Island is located in the northern  tip of Samar Island. The name Capul comes from the word “Acapulco” an old trading post in Mexico. That was where I got a hint for the title of this post but it is with the prefix “un” because the moments and adventure in this island that I share are untradeable for I am going to keep them in my treasure chest of memories.
 
 

Capul Island was obviously touched by Spanish culture leaving remnants of Spanish history as a bridge to the  modern era.  Setting foot in this island is like a blast from the past. It is one of the hundred heritage islands in the Philippines which are preserved and maintained.

Another thing that makes Capul unique  is its distinct language called Inabaknon, instead of Waray-Waray, the native language of the locals of Samar.

Take this as an example of their dialect.

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Can you guess what I’m saying? Just comment below if you want to know about the translation.

17 UNTRADEABLE THINGS TO DO, WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO EXPECT

 

1. Be Amazed With Sanbungto Beach

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 Sangbunto is the docking place of the boats from Allen Port, Samar.  Upon disembarking from the boat, one could clearly notice the white pebbled sand in the beaches, the gentle waves of the blue waters ( if the weather is fine ) and the relaxing and peaceful tropical vibe.

Looking at the photo above, who wouldn’t love to dip in that refreshing blue sea? It’s quiet and quaint, perfect for having a relaxing vacation away from the chaotic crowd in the city. This is definitely  one for the books on tropical destination.

2. Stroll Around the Town

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 While walking toward the place where we would stay, I spied with my little eye, this house. The two-storey structure is built of brick and wood, the exterior walls of the upper storey are enclosed by window panels of shells framed in wood which can be slid back for better ventilation. The structural design of the house is obviously of Spanish influence. Even though it had been retouched and repainted, the antique  architectural figure of the house is conspicuous.

This island is not just a simple tropical island but an island of many stories to tell including the story of Spanish colonization of the Philippine Islands.

3. Take a Bath at Bañadero Nature Spring

DCIM105GOPROGOPR7809.

 I apologize for this is the only picture I got in Bañadero because I was taking a video of people taking a bath. You got to see my video on how I sneak a peak of people bathing. Haha.

 Anyway, as stated in the signage above, Bañadero is almost 3 centuries old.  Capul Island is blessed to have brimming resources including this nature spring.

 4. Visit the Lighthouse of Capul

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 Another attraction in Capul is the lighthouse called Faro de Isla Capul (the Lighthouse of Capul) in San Luis village. Capul Lighthouse  serves as the historical landmark in the province  of Northern Samar. It  was erected by the Spaniards in 1896 and was completed during the American period by the US soldiers and engineers. It is 143 ft above sea level and provides a great view  of the San Bernardino Strait and extends towards the Pacific ocean. This lighthouse not just gives light to seafarers and fishermen but also  beacons the tourist and locals alike to give it a visit because of its picturesque view. This is one of the most visited tourist spots here in Capul.

5. Climb the Top of the Lighthouse

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Standing at the top of the lighthouse, looking at the panoramic view of Capul Island and its neighboring Islands, sensing the fresh and clean breeze from the sea, listening to the melody of nature in this pacific place, a nature lover cannot help but admire this breath-taking and amazing experience that a snap of a selfie becomes imperative.  Can you spot that marine vessel in the photo? That is a cruise ship sailing around the world and making a stopover at Capul Island.  You see, this beautiful island had already been recognized by international folks. Amazing, isn’t it?

6. TIime Travel to the Past

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 The lighthouse was not just intended for viewing but it also serves as a watchtower so that the  guards would be warned against their enemies.  A few meters from the slope of the main building, you can find the three circular Japanese World War II gun emplacements. The area was once full of huge guns.  Historically, Capul Island was invaded by the Spaniards and also by the Japanese. The island also witnessed the sufferings and strife of the Filipinos during the world war. I wonder how the locals  endured their sufferings at that time.

7. Be Awed with the View

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The Parola in Capul delivers a picturesque scene of nearby islands and one of these is the picture below, This is a view of the magnificent volcano, Mt Bulusan in Sorsogon. What make this volcano more interesting is that it has two craters, truly a sight to behold. How cool and awesome would it be to climb a volcano! Is that possible?

Aside from that, tourists also enjoy observing the current of the water coming from San Bernandino Strait. Can you see that white foamy line on the water, it is the current  flowing in opposite directions towards  each other. The wave line seems to be the battle of the currents. Which direction will win?

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Based on my observation, the winners are the fishermen. They take advantage of the current to catch fish. The fish may have been trapped in the middle of the battle of the currents and they may have a hard time to swim away from the strong force of the waves. Correct me if I’m wrong.

 

9. Climb Down from the Cliff of Parola

The rocks look like sediments of a volcano. Hmmmm!
In order to go down the cliff, one should have a short rock climbing session. There’s no other way to explore below than to climb down this almost vertical slope.   I was scared at first for the rocks might fall off as I stepped on them  but the  rocks seemed to be hardly glued on the cliff. I decided to go down to see more scenery and to be able to do a bit of rock climbing after attending a rock climbing session. (link here about rock climbing)

9. See the Different Rock Formations

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 There are many sights to see below, among them are the different rock formations. My fave is this small rock–rimmed pool shaped like a footprint. The locals call this the Bigfoot.

According to folklore, Bigfoot was the imprint of a giant who stepped on the rock surface. That giant must have taken BMC (Basic Mountaineering Course) for he followed the norm of not leaving anything but footprints.  Haha! 😛 😀

10. Mingle with the Locals
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These cute midget aliens invaded our exploration around Parola sa Capul. I say aliens because their language was so foreign to me. I could not understand what they were saying. They kept on following us. Well, I took advantage of their company and asked them to tour us around. Eventually our trip became easier because of them. All I could understand was their laughter which meant that they wanted to hang out with us.  So thaaank you…

11. Wait for the Sunset in Parola

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Watching sunset is  one spectacular activity in  Parola in Capul. The blazing golden colors that spread the horizon with the setting sun made Capul look like a postcard-picture of an island paradise.

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Watching sunset is so peaceful that you would desire to view it forever and stop the sun from disappearing from the horizon.  That’s one good thing in taking along  a camera. You  can capture the ephemeral moment and make it a memory of a lifetime. So here’s my lifetime memory of watching this beautiful sunset.  And then my friends and I bought halu-halu to have more splendid time mesmerizing the sight of the remaining sun rays gradually sinking down the horizon.

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12. Stop Over at Barangay Oson

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The following day,  we decided to go to Alisampan. We took a habal-habal  for this trip.

One advantage in riding a habal-habal is viewing the scenery almost 360 degrees. So upon riding it, we noticed this wave-like rock formations. This is not included in our itinerary but we requested the habal-habal driver to stop, so that we could take a look and satisfy our curiosity.

The rock formations were amazing. I just made a theory that maybe millions of years ago the current of the waves here flowed in one direction and molded those rocks into wave-like shapes. ( Please tell me if my  theory is right or wrong.)

You could not afford to leave this place without taking some pictures.

13. Ride a Boat to Alisampan

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Though Alisampan is part of Capul Island, it is accessible only by riding a boat. I was really awed by the scenery offered by the boat ride to Alisampan. The unspoiled water was crystal clear making the corals and fishes visible. The view of Capul island with wide stretches of sand is just breathtakingly beautiful.

14. Explore around Alisampan

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 Alisampan delivers an unspoiled water perfect for skinny dipping and swimming and numerous corals and marine animals ideal for snorkelling. Just make sure you have your snorkelling gears because there are  no gears for rental there. Anyway, anywhere you look in Alisampan is just instragrammably worthy. The comeliness of the surroundings will definitely attract people to immerse in there. Furthermore, there’s no entrance fee. You can truly enjoy your escape with nothing to worry about your budget. This is truly a paradise for budgetarian people. Haha!  Cool… Isn’t it?

15. Have a Cliff Jump in Alisampan

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 If you love an adrenaline pumping activity and if you desire to conquer your fears, cliff jumping is the one for you. I did not miss the chance of taking a leap into the waters of Alisampan. It was truly an awesome adventure.
 

16. Be Anchanted with the View

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The rock that is separated from the island is kind of creepy because of what I discovered there. I swam towards it and upon reaching, I saw lots of webs and spiders that almost covered every side of the rock. And then I saw a snake skin at a nook. The sight made me go back in haste because it signified that there were lots of harmful creatures there.  Those protected wild creatures gave me a warning that no human should pass that way. Maybe some mystical beings inhabit that place. With that, I did not pursue exploring the place and decided to leave it in peace.

 

17. Visit the Church

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Capul Island is rich in heritage and culture. One of the heritage sites is the Capul Church, a fortress church built by the Jesuits in the 18th century in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola  and renovated by the Franciscans in the 19thcentury. Its presence is a symbol of how people defended themselves against the pirates during the Spanish colonial period. It has withstood the passage of time. It reminds us of the richness of our history and culture.

18. BONUS moment. Watch sunset in Sanbungto Beach.

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Another amazing sunset here in Capul is in Sangbunto beach. It was an extraordinary view for me because on that clear day, I saw two volcanoes, MT. MAYON in Albay and Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogan. What a lovely sight! How amazing it was to watch two majestic volcanoes in just one view. Whew!!!

 

HOW TO GET THERE?

(Via Cebu)

Take a ship from Cebu to Calbayog. The traveling time is about 10 hours more or less. Note: The ship’s  schedule is M-W-F only, not everyday.   ( Calbayog to Cebu is T-Th-S) After arriving at Calbayog Pier, ride a jeepney for 2 hours to Allen Terminal. Then ride a trike just for a few minutes to Allen Port.  Ride a motorboat for 1 hour to Capul Island. Note:  only one boat will go to Capul Island every day and the schedule is 11:00 o’clock A.M.

This is the boat going to Capul Island. This boat can take 150 – 200  passengers depending on seasons and occasions. 

WHERE TO STAY?

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-On the upper left corner – Jazz and Deo( we met at Auntie Felly’s Place where they were also staying), Ate Chen, Kat and Patataaaaaas 😀

I recommend Auntie Felly’s Place.  I think this place is perfect for tropical staycation. The place is cozy, home-like and very clean. It has no air-conditioned rooms but the rooms have natural ventilation making your stay cool. It offers delicious food. I tell you the food is yummier than  lutong bahay and the price is very affordable, making your stay very worthwhile.

ESTIMATED EXPENSES FOR THIS CAPUL TRIP

 
P 25.00 – Terminal fee ( Cebu Pier)
P 850.00 – Ticket ( one way ) Cebu to Calbayog
P 100.00 – Jeep from  Calbayog to Allen Terminal
P 10.00 – Tricycle from Allen Terminal to Allen Port
P 70.00 –  motorboat to Capul Island
P 100.00 – Habal-habal fares from town to Parola (back and forth)
P 20.00 – Entrance/Environmental Fee to Parola
P 40.00 – Habal-habal fares from town to Brgy Oson  (back and forth)
P 300.00 – Rental of mini-boat to Alisampan ( back and forth)
P 250.00 – Auntie Felly’s Place  per night
P 85.00 –  Auntie Felly’s Place additional per served meal

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • Tip No. 1 – The signal for networks in the town of Capul is not strong but by the beach and parola the signal is quite strong for some networks.  Just bring two or more sims and check which network has strong signal.
  • Tip No. 2 – Electricity is scheduled from 4:00 o’clock P.M.to 12:00 o’clock midnight only, so better bring  powerbank and camera batteries for back ups.
  • Tip No. 3 –  If the weather is not so fine, your boat has to cross the treacherous water in going to Capul Island.
  • Tip No. 4 – Capul has a lot of things to offer like caving in case you like to have extreme adventures.
  • Tip No. 5 – Since Alisampan is rich in marine natural resources be extra careful on what you step on the water, you might damage some corals or you might step on sea urchins.
  • Tip No. 6 – Respect the people’s culture and respect the place by not throwing garbage anywhere.
  • Tip No. 7 – The only mode of transportation in Capul Island is Habal – habal.CAPUL ISLAND 23

Here’s the video of our Capul Tour

Acknowledgment

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Ate Rhea, Kat and Ate Chen

 Thank you so much Ate Rhea for touring us to your beautiful island, Kat and family for your warm hospitality and accommodation and Ate Chen  for the enjoyable and jovial company.

 

How about you? Have you ever wandered to a heritage place? What was your experience.  Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from youPlease connect thru  my FB page and Instagram. Join me in my adventure and misadventure. Let’s chase those potatoes. OH YESSS! Thanks for visiting.

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81 thoughts on “Samar: A Kiss of Pacific (PART 1)

  1. […] Capul Island is unique on account of its history and has so much beauty to offer, making it one for the books of tropical destination. Even the name Capul is derived from the term Acapulco, a Spanish word that means old trading post. The people of Capul speak Inabaknon, a dialect spoken only in the island. Biri Island is famous for its stunning rock formations. The constant movement of the waves and the strong current of the water in the Pacific Ocean sculpted the rocks into something extraordinarily spectacular. Read more Words by Glister del Socorro, Chasing Potatoes Photo by Ralph Lawrence Almeyda […]

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  2. Hi… we are going to Capul this coming Oct. 14-17 for a Photoshoot. I was looking into a place to stay while there. luckily i stumbled on to your blog, and this seemed to be the latest i can find. I am wondering if you can share with us any contacts at Auntie Felly’s Place? 🙂

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  3. Capul is now booked in my imaginary travel bucket list. Thank you for taking us all there Gly. Would you know if it still a good time to travel there, especially during the -ber months?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow I love that shot of Mt. Bulusan! Very nice! I hope I can visit Capul Island too 🙂 It looks like an untamed location. Great find Chasing Potatoes!

    airinaapril.blogspot.com

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  5. Hi Gly! I think im allowed to say im lucky to have met you during your stay In Capul..
    You have a wonderful and intricate way in describing your experience here in Capul. . Glad you had fun. Thanks for promoting Capul..😀😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Joyce, on the contrary, I am the one who is lucky to have met you. And you are blessed to live in this beautiful island.Thank you so much for being so nice to me. I’m looking forward to go back to Capul again. 😀😍😙

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  6. Wow, those rock formations are gorgeous! I visited Leyte earlier this year and wanted to visit Samar as well but unfortunately, we lacked the time to. I’ve never heard of Alisampan and how beautiful it is there, would love to go cliff jumping seeing your photos! Thank you for sharing this with us and I will definitely keep tabs on these places if ever I visit Samar. ♡

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  7. Patatas thank you so much for appreciating your Samar Summer Escaped. Capuleños are sure more proud of their place as they always do.Thank you for sharing to other potential tourists your beautiful experience in Capul. I’d love to have explored more of Samar’s unspoiled spots and natural destinations with your company any sooner . Love this blog of yours.More adventures. More power! 😊

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    • Uyyy Kat 😺 This is one of my unforgettable trips ever. That’s why I’m so grateful for letting me visit and see the beauty of Capul Island. I hope my blogs will inspire more people to go to your place and marvel at its beauty. 😉☺

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  8. First time I’ve heard of this island. I admit I would often skip the Philippines when I make travel plans but you made me change my mind. I would definitely include this in my “visit now” list.

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