Capones island

According to grade school textbooks, there are seven thousand one hundred and seven islands that comprise the Philippine archipelago. It even varies, depending on the condition of the sea level, as a beauty queen tossed back when she was asked the exact number of islands: "High tide, or low tide?" Our country, being one of the countries blessed with a hefty amount of land, will give the ordinary student a hard time drawing the islands and islets in a map. Considering some of them are being fought upon by our government and the Chinese, some of them being held up by the New People's Army, some of them dug out and shipped to China for reclamation, some of them fake, and some, are, i don't know, just incomprehensible, yet equally beautiful, but only one of them captured my wandering eye.

I fell in love for the first time, to an island.



Breathtaking views on top will surely urge someone to stay and build a house and start a family there. But of course, like any other woman, they tend to play hard to get. As they said, good things should be worked hard for. Take for an example, like courting a lady, or keeping a relationship going, one has to make great effort to claim an equally great reward. Makes sense, don't you think? I know some people who think otherwise. Anyway, going back, the place where I took the above photos didn't just involve an easy walk in the park. The mere expectation of setting foot on its shores with our dry bodies intact simply vanished away when our guide and "bangkero," the one who takes control of our motorboat, told us that we have to swim to the shore.

Why, you ask? It's simple... they can't dock their boat on the rocky shore.



In a nutshell, Capones island is one of the few islets that you can see outcropping from the azure waters of West Philippine Sea. A picturesque scene will always be of unlimited availability during sunset when the orange fireball descends down the horizon and the sillhouette of these islands will resemble a family of whales ready for the evening hunt.

The approach to the island isn't easy either. From Nagsasa Cove, it will take you 45 minutes to an hour, from Bgy, Pundaquit, it would vary from 30-45 minutes, and almost the same with Anawangin. That is, if you are not battered by the killer waves of the open sea. You have a choice if you will go straight to the lighthouse or enjoy the white sand beaches on the other side of the island. It is best to visit the place from January-February where there aren't many people around, isn't too rainy and the waves are as friendly as a hungry puppy.


Upon reaching the clearance zone in the lighthouse side, a rope was tied to the shore to serve as guides for our arrival. Nylon life lines will ensure that you won't get washed away easily by the waves, and send you ricocheting to the sharp rocks like a 3d space pinball.
 In all honesty, most of us are more concerned about the digital cameras that we enclosed in a single ziplock plastic bag. We don't even give a damn to how stupid we look like on those orange vests. Safety first! And, the best swimmer should take hold of the cameras while crossing the shallow sea. Of course, it wasn't me.



---A stone staircase greets our arrival. Approximately a centenarian, its steps are also around a hundred. But what interested me most in this ascent are these structures that seem to have witnessed a lot. Constructed aqueducts or maybe canals that may serve as water channels from the past are still intact. The brick masonry lay bare as the concrete covering was peeled off. Big rocks flow down like a decent japanese kare-sansui.The end of the stone steps vanish into what seemed to be infinity. What lies beyond is still a mystery for us. Funny how I can still think of these insightful things while we were bombarded by a whole army of ultraviolet rays. Here, Elal of http://www.elaljanelasola.com and Ivan looked like they are marching into the altar of the sky deities.
Ivan of Ivanlakwatsero.com spotted! Kidding! He was with us during the trip. 

The tower apex sits comfortably in view above the dense canopy of trees mixed with undergrowth that accumulated around for the past years. Reminiscent of a Miyazaki movie Spirited away, the ironic cool breeze amidst the searing afternoon sun makes it more surreal. Golden grasses sway to the southwest, and the silence was near deafening except for the whistle of the wind gods that kept us company.---The lighthouse tower stood nonchalantly, as if staring blankly into the vast endless sea that appear before him. People from all over flocked the place during our visit, so I tried to cast them out of the frame. It wears an unassuming ivory paint and a charming sight of deterioration, thinking that for centuries this beacon served to light and guide international vessels coming from the north to northwest towards Subic Bay or to Corregidor Island Lighthouse at the entrance of Manila Bay.Now its remains serve as a living relic to the continuous neglect of the state to heritage architecture. Only the tower was kept intact, maintained, and bestowed with a light that is powered by solar cells for functional purposes. The other structures, however, was left to rot, like this:  The original layout of lighthouse courtyard is kept, as far as I can remember the same layout and space configuration that I saw in Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. Now, i wonder, are these spaces somehow connected, or could there be a law during the Spanish period just like the Laws of the Indies that sets the standard of lighthouse courtyards?A trip to the lighthouse won't be complete without making our way up to the lamp room. We were lucky enough to be allowed inside because there are days when the caretaker won't let anyone in for safety reasons. Reasonably enough, the round staircase that spirals upward for another 30 feet isn't really for the faint-hearted. It wobbles like a drunk centipede until you reach the neck of the structure. The group has to ascend one by one or else the iron column that supports the steps will crumble.  Upon a successful play with death, one will find himself freed from worldly things. Vistas I've never seen before stretch out in 360 degrees. A panoramic view of the Zambales limestone mountains zigzag to the east and an endless horizon of the West Philippine sea lay like a blanket on a peaceful summer morning. It was a sight to behold.Capones is just one of the underrated and mostly untouched tourist destinations in our country. If ever I am given a chance to acquire one of that 7,107 islands, I will definitely choose this. Understanding that there are still a lot more to explore and sights to take in, I would say nothing beats one's first love.


16 comments:

  1. nice. ang galing mo tlga magsulat. :P
    natatawa ako dun sa photo ko.. mukhang Big Foot lang ang peg.

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  2. as far as I can remember with our research when I was still working with an NGO, both lighthouses(Bojeador and Capones) were designed by the same Engineer so there are similarities...

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  3. natawa din talaga ako nung napansin kong andun ka pala hahaha, salamat ivan!

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  4. Akala ko tungkol sa Biringan ang post mo nung nakita ko to sa group LOL

    Hindi pa ako nakakapunta ng Capones o Anawangin hayyy

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  5. Thanks for the info, Donnie! Now I'm getting more and more interested to explore more lighthouses here in our country. I will definitely research more on that.

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  6. hahaha.... I agree ivan magaling nga talaga magsulat si byron... hahaha honga parang sighting lang yung pagkakaka insert nung photo... hahaha

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  7. Punta na, mica! bago pa sila tuluyang mafully-commercialize! Nextaym Biringan post naman!

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  8. Thanks ian! may idinagdag akong picture ni elal at ivan para silang mag-syota heehee

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  9. love the way you describe our trip. idol talaga! and as always i fell in love with your shots! ang ganda!

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  10. para lang akong nagbabasa ng isang travel novel/book.
    You write really well.

    Mica, punta tayo dito...

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  11. I miss reading your travel posts man. =)

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  12. Naks! I have yet to post our nagsasa trip, mas wild yun! :D

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  13. Thanks bro, i'll keep my travel posts updated then.:)

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  14. i hope this island remains to be your forever love. labteam?! ♥ hehe
    nice meeting you last weekend, and keep on traveling. let me know pag ibang island na ang forever love mo.

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  15. I will surely continue to explore chyng. I really had a great time with you guys last week. :) Hahahaha syempre may iba pang darating, pero iba talaga si first love.

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It would be nice to get a feedback from you :)