Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LakbayLoyd Lighthouse Series 19: EL FARO DE ISLOTE CAPITANCILLO, Capitancillo Islet, Bogo City, Cebu

Mystical, historical, simply beautiful - these adjectives best describe the tiny coral Islet of Capitancillo located 10 kilometers southeast of mainland Bogo City, Province of Cebu.

The island was named after Capitan Basillo, an ill-fated Spanish Captain during the Galleon Trade era. Legend says the captain disrespected Datu Bugtopasan, one of the earliest Chieftains of Mactan and known to have magical powers. The Captain cowardly left the island on his galleon but the Datu hunted him down riding on his magical horse over the strong waves and cursed the the Captain. Following the roaring thunder and bolts of lightning, the galleon transformed into this island, hence naming it Islet of Capitancillo.

Now the island is one of the major attraction in Cebu, being one of the best diving spot in the region and marine sanctuary. It also houses one of the oldest lighthouses in the Philippines, the El Faro De Islote Capitancillo.

How I got there?

I was able to communicate with Ms. Joy Tan,Bogo City's DOT Officer, few days before my planned trip to Capitancillo Island. Following her instructions, from Cebu City North Bus Terminal, I took the Ceres Bus going to Bogo City (bus fare - Php165). When in Bogo City proper, I was met and later on accompanied by Ms. Joy and her staff to the Bantay Dagat headquarters where I will take the patrol boat to the island. I had to pay for the gasoline and boat rental which I paid for Php1500. It took 30 minutes to reach the Capitancillo Islet.

The view as we get nearer and nearer the island is breathtaking. The sight of the bright blue sky against the crystal clear blue-green waters surrounding the island is enchanting. Small and inhabited, the mighty Bantay Dagat crew men take turns in guarding the island against fishermen as the surrounding sea has been declared as a marine sanctuary and protected area.

About the lighthouse.

Constructed in 1895, El Faro De Islote Capitancillo was built to guide ships heading towards the Port of Cebu. The original tower, which is a tourelle, was replaced by a modern aluminum tower which uses solar power to operate the light.

Efforts have been made by the city government of Bogo to rebuild the structures and bring back the islands' mystic characteristics. Successfully, the island, little by little, is now becoming popular among local and foreign tourists.

About the City of Bogo.

With acknowledgement to Ms. Joy Tan, DOT Officer, and her staff, and the Office of the Mayor of Bogo City.

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