Reprint – Capturing The Beauty of Capitancillo Islet In Pictures

Reprint – Capturing The Beauty of Capitancillo Islet In Pictures


The story and photos below are from the blog of a friend of mine in the Philippines, Cebu Experience, by Rusty Ferguson. I met Rusty in Bogo, Philippines on my six week trip there as a tourist in 2010. From the balcony of my room in the Nailon Beach Resort (marked with the red A in the map below) where I was staying I could see the lighthouse in the distance that Rusty mentions in the story below, but unfortunately I never did get to visit it.

There are five lighthouses in the Philippines right now, and they are repairing them to make them attractive for the tourists. Most of them were built in the days of Spanish colonization, so if you ever get over this way, plan a visit. It’s high on my list of things to do here too.

One thing you may notice, besides lighthouses, Rusty likes babes in bikinis!

On the map, if you move to the NE across the ocean, you will come upon the Capitancillo Islet where the lighthouse is located.



Capturing The Beauty of Capitancillo Islet In Pictures

As some of you know, I finally made it to Capitancillo Islet last week. I’ve wanted to go for a while but the cost is kind of high compared to Bantayan Island. So I usually just went there instead. The cost isn’t bad but I can get an air con room at Bantayan and spend the night or maybe two for the same cost. Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve seen Bantayan Island then you should take a trip to Capitancillo Islet as well.

Also, if you are a scuba diver you probably should make a special effort to dive in the waters of Capitancillo. There was a fairly large party at the island on the day we visited that did go scuba diving.

Capitancillo is just off the coast of Cebu. They call it Northern Cebu but it really seems like it should be Eastern Cebu.  It  is off the southern coast line of Cebu. Cebu is not a very wide  island and there really isn’t a lot of distance between north and south Cebu if you look at it on the map. But if you take a trip to Capitancillo you’d go to the North Bus Terminal in Cebu City to get there.  If you go to Western Cebu then you take a bus from the South Bus Terminal.

Anyway, I took a lot of pictures and I would like to share them with you. Every trip starts with land based transportation, well unless you’re Bill Gates. We had a trike driver take us out to the home of our ya ya on this rather interesting tricycle.

I don’t know what the “OPSS” is about, I should have asked Jessie to find out. He doesn’t speak a word of English. Most trike drivers don’t. It is hard work being a trike driver and they almost always treat you well.

From there, it was time to walk through a group of homes, climb a barbwire fence, walk through some trails and then finally come upon a large cliff.

Beautiful Scenes In Cebu On Our Way To Capitancillo

I wasn’t surprised to find yet another set of stairs to go down. Going down is easy. It is the coming back up that is the  hard part for me. However the cliff did provide for some awesome scenes.

What a nice place to live! I would love to live there. A nice home on the beach. If I were really rich I might install an elevator. haha I think this is the home of a Filipino but I don’t really know. Whoever lives there is certainly not poor.

Below is another shot looking off from our ya ya’s home while I was still up on the cliff.

I took several shots here and tried to pick the best one. That’s always hard for me. Choosing between my various masterpieces does not come easy. Lately, I’ve been processing more of my pictures rather than picking and choosing. As you can see, Cebu is a beautiful place.

I tend to take it for granted now. On the first bus trip I made, I was blown away. The road runs along the Visayan Sea. Once in the mountains, there are steep cliffs that drop straight down in the sea. Going back to Cebu City from Bogo City, you’ll wind through the mountains. The view is mostly of jungle, coconut trees and mountain sides.

Suddenly though, you’ll come into a more open area and quite likely be stunned by the blue and the sun shimmering off the waves that crash into the cliffs below. The water here in Bogo City is mostly calm but along some parts of the trip the waves produce white caps. They are small though, I don’t think you’ll be going surfing unless it is wind surfing.

The first fishing boat I saw was this older beat up one. Jessie kept telling me it was the boat we were taking to Capitancillo. I didn’t believe it but that would have been just fine with me. But she then pointed out it has no engine!


I had already spotted the captain getting our boat ready for departure. The captain is a fisherman. He probably enjoyed his day off from fishing to take us out to the island. 

I’m sure the work was not as hard as fishing is.  He’s a rugged individual that starts his boat engine with a rope using a fast sharp hard tug and then looking very pleased with himself that the engine started on his very first effort. This picture was taken just after he started the boat.

This picture was actually taken as we were leaving Capitancillo Islet. Jessie seemed impressed and that put a smile on the captains face. A lot of muscles in those arms. Likely from pulling nets all day long. People that say Filipino are lazy, have no idea what they are talking about. He didn’t get like this by being lazy. He doesn’t make a lot of money. I don’t know what he makes but here is a picture of one of the homes in the compound where he lives.

That may very well be his home. If not it is the home of his relatives. You know its pretty simple but what a wonderful place to live. Lots of children there and dogs that didn’t like the big white guy at all.

Capitancillo Islet is a Great Place to Take Your Family

Pretty Filipina waiting for boat to take her to Capitancillo

While waiting for the boat to get ready and loaded with our gear, I had the chance to talk with Lovely for a bit. She has been living in our home for about a month. She was here before I even knew it. I stumbled upon her in the kitchen one day. With a pleasant smile on her face.

She’s still a little young for dating but she’s not far away. I’m sure she’ll find an interest while she’s off to college. I’m not sure if she’s going to college in Cebu City or Bogo. I hope she stays with us. She’s a real delight. I’m very fond of her.

The boat we took was too small for all of our group so it first delivered Jessie, Jason, Jermain, Lovely and myself to the island before returning to get everyone else. The little boat cut through the waters swiftly but the captain had to slow it down. Soon waves were crashing over the bow and drowning Jessie in sea water. It left me trying to hide my camera from the salt water by putting it behind my back.

It made me realize I really do need the weather sealing found in the Canon 7D but the price is pretty high so I’m probably going to go ahead and upgrade to the Canon T3I very soon. They shoot basically the same quality pictures but the 7D is a semi pro camera with a lot more options. It also has that heavy duty weather sealing that I think I really need. I’m shooting with a 10 year old Canon Rebel XT that I bought from Bob Martin about six months ago.  It takes decent pictures but the megapixels in that camera are only 5Mp. My new Samsung Galaxy S II I9100 has an 8 megapixel camera and shoots HD video too!

This was Jermain’s first trip in a boat. It is hard to keep up with his age as he is so grownup for his age. He is five years old but he seems more like eight or nine. He was terrified on our way out to the islet. He was holding on to the edge of the boat tightly with both hands. I kept trying to distract him but it was no use. He was determined that he was going to be afraid.

However, before we made it all the way to Capitancillo Island he was fast asleep. I had a long 300MM lens on the camera and I really had a hard time getting his picture but I finally got it. As I was struggling to take the picture of him sleeping, Jessie suddenly moved him out of the view of my camera! I had been struggling for five minutes to get the right shot. I was not happy. haha

Finally, we are close enough to get some pictures of Capitancillo Islet. It is a very captivating place to see. The day we arrived there was a group from Alegre Beach Resort which is just west of Bogo City. They were mostly Japanese tourist.

 I’m only about half way through my photos so it looks like it is time to split this article into more than one.  I have many more photos of Lovely playing in the waters of the Visayan Sea and I’d hate to leave those out and disappoint all the guys.

I’ll see you folks in the next post. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures so far as it has taken me many hours of work to get them ready and to post them here. Island hopping in the Philippines is one of the best things about living in the Philippines and our trip to Capitancillo Islet did not disappoint any of us. (this is page one of a two-page story so click on page 2 below)

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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