Reprint – Capturing The Beauty of Capitancillo Islet In Pictures

Everyone was pretty excited about landing on Capitancillo Islet. When you live in the Philippines, you’re use to breath taking beach scenes with ultra clear water. Usually there will be some trash in the water and on the beach but not at Capitancillo.

Its not as heavily visited as even Bantayan Island and the caretaker there must do a very good job of keeping the islet super clean.

This is the third article I’ve posted about Capitancillo Islet recently. The first one gave some history of the legend of how Capitancillo was created and you can read it here. With the second article (page 1) I attempted to tell the story of our getting to Capitancillo Islet through pictures. This one continues that story of our time on Capitancillo.

Capturing the Beauty of Capitancillo

I wanted to get pavilion on the back side of Capitancillo but it was rocky, the water was deep and Jessie couldn’t keep an eye on the kids so I was forced to be sociable and sit in the area where most others are. Yeah, I am pretty much a back pew kind of guy. I like to get away from the crowds when I go island hopping.

The boat pictured at the left is from the nearby Alegre Beach Resort. It looks like a nice place but is not a budget resort. Rooms are around $200 a night if I remember correctly.

The docking area includes deep, rich white sand and stones. The sand and stones are shipped in as Capitancillo Islet is naturally rocky. I was impressed with the beach and told Jermain to look at all the cool rocks. Lovely found this coral that I liked so I told her the white coral was lovely. I kept it but Jermain promptly broke it. I brought it home anyway. Someday we will have an aquarium with a lot of cool coral and shells. All of which were dead when we took them from the beach.

The picnic grounds of Capitancillo Islet are nice and had quite a few people there on the day we went. Sunday is probably the busiest day and that likely depends on how busy the nearby Alegre Beach Resort is. Nearly everyone on the islet and perhaps everyone was from that resort except for our group.

 Even the picnic tables at Capitancillo Islet are a scenic delight. I took many pictures of the tables themselves throughout the day.


There were more bikini’s running around Capitancillo Islet than what you usually will see in Cebu. Though this lady isn’t as young as most of the girls I photograph while wandering around, I thought she was quite attractive. I don’t know but I suspect she kind of enjoyed looking good enough for a guy to want to take a picture of her in her bikini. She did notice and had a smile on her face.

I didn’t get as many bikini shots as I would have liked to because the ladies covered up most of the time. I usually saw them in their bikinis when I was swimming myself.

This shot left is the view from our picnic table. Wow, I can’t imagine seeing and enjoying places like this in the USA. I just couldn’t afford them. But this trip cost less than $50 for the whole family. Everyone except my crazy monkey. If she were not so crazy, I’d have taken her too. But she has this nasty habit of unggoy mama ak or Monkey bites!

I spent more than an hour in the water. I went swimming twice and was about to head back when we realized it was time to go home.

I don’t know about you but I find this to be one amazing scene. Purple mountains in the background, white sand in the foreground, kids playing on the beach and blue green waters of the Visayan Sea in the middle.

After looking over our immediate area, I grabbed my camera to explore the island. In the center of Capitancillo one can find some old buildings. Mostly in ruins but the caretaker uses one of them for his home. There is no roof on any of the buildings and I wondered what their story is.

Trying to pick just one picture of the lighthouse was really hard as I have several, of course. You’ll see it again in other pictures but this one features the lighthouse. I want to go out there at night. In fact, I want to camp out there. Jessie doesn’t seem to be too impressed with that idea but I think she’ll love it. I do see it happening in our future.  It will probably be just she and I.

The Backside of Capitancillo

The caretaker uses this building for his home. It must get pretty lonely out there at times. He has two dogs, one of which I managed to befriend and actually pet. Of course, I had to feed it first. I think that is the first time I managed to get a dog in the Philippines to let me touch it. Most of the time, I don’t want to touch them. They are often covered in mange. When I lived in Talisay Cebu, the dogs there were in horrible shape. Often shaking, very skinny and near death. His dogs were quite healthy and likely getting a lot to eat begging for table scraps.

Often Filipino cook in what is known as a “dirty kitchen.” They are not really dirty at all. It refers to a kitchen where you can barbeque.  I guess it is called dirty due to the smoke and is usually, if not always, outdoors. This one though seemed to bring new meaning to that as it has an outhouse attached to it.

I noticed something I just couldn’t resist. I found Jimmy’s toilet seat. Jimmy Sieczka created quite a controversy when he created a film featuring the things he didn’t like about the Philippines. His disrespectful tone nearly got him declared persona non grata in Cebu and even drew the attention of the president of the Philippines. One of the things Jimmy complained about was the lack of toilet seats in the Philippines. Hey Jimmy, I found your toilet seat right here!

Now one can clearly see, they do in fact have toilet seats in the Philippines. They even have one on Capitancillo Islet! Yes, I jest, but when I looked down and saw it I couldn’t help but think I need to take a picture of that to let Jimmy know. I might even email it to him. I don’t know if he’ll find it humorous though so I’ll likely just let it be.

 The backside of Capitancillo is what I found to be most stunning scenically. The water is deeper there. There is a large pavilion one can rent for a bigger group for P600.



While sitting there, I took the following rather stunning photograph. I took the next picture while sitting in the large pavilion pictured above.

I was in my element on this side of the island because I was alone. It was quiet and peaceful. Kind of like my hunting days. I wandered around back there, observing the sea life and the mini eco environments created by the fish and other sea critters living in the shallow pools near the edge of the sea. Tiny pools forming crevices and potholes of the rocky shoreline created by the sea wearing it down over the years.

Out in the sea, I saw clown fish. I photographed those too but they look like black blobs of something other than a fish.  Of course, Jessie is always welcome to join me on my solitary escapes but she didn’t follow so I just went about taking pictures on my mini adventure.

 After retuning from my photographic encounter I rejoined our group and found lovely had shed some of her clothes. To which my camera could not resist. I think I’ll just add several of her pictures about now and let the photographs do my talking.



 This family was swimming in the waters of Cebu. The lady was pregnant and still in her bikini. The world is changing and I thought she looked pretty darn good too.



I also managed to grab this picture of the very attractive Japanese girl. I tried to get closer before she covered up but I didn’t have any luck. She was with a young man and they may very well have been on their honeymoon. I could only wonder though.

No set of babe pictures would be complete without Jessie in her bikini. I took many but most of them I was just not happy with. She and I just didn’t connect at the end of a camera lens on this day. She’s actually wearing a two piece which always shocks me. I actually like her one piece the most.

Jessie gave me some “suggestions” about how long it was taking me to take the picture below. I told her it took a long time to compose it because I need to get the good parts in. She asked “What are the good parts.” Now how can I say this as politely as possible here. I told her “The breast and the lighthouse.” I also found the lighthouse to be a bit suggestive but you’ll have to figure that one out on your own.

There are areas to cook your food. They have pits on the ground and I didn’t pay much attention to the preparation it appeared they had provided the fuel (wood) to get the fire going. One of the teenage girls used my lighter to get the fire going. I should say to try to get the fire going. When I got my lighter back it was hot and empty. Now talking about a way to make someone made, put them on an island in the middle of no where and empty their lighter!

There are also stone or concrete cooking pits around that you can use. Cooking seafood during an island hopping trip in the Philippines is almost as common as rice at dinner time. One of the big attractions of visiting Virgin Island as part of a Bantayan Island visit is to eat the sea food provided to the vendors of Virgin Island by the local fishermen. At Capitancillo Island you’ll need to bring your own though. There are no vendors there.

There were many children playing and swimming in the shallow waters just off Capitancillo Islet. This is Jason which is Jessie’s oldest child swimming with one of Lovely’s cousins.

The fisherman had some matches though and after pouring gasoline on the wood, got the fire going.

Looks like Jason had evil on his mind as he was making this sand ball. And his little brother shown above appears to be a bit concerned. Which I am sure is what Jason had on his mind. Kids in many parts of the world make snowballs but Filipino children are more likely to make sand balls. I saw teens using sand to flirt with their friends when I went to Virgin Island.

I told Jason that would fall apart if he tried to throw it. He finally unleashed it toward the sea but most of it never made it as it quickly fell apart.

The little boy pictured below stole the heart of all the ladies at Capitancillo. I took many pictures of him as it was hard to catch him looking up.

He also provided a bit of comic relief here. He had begun to wonder off and as his mother called him to come back, he only sped up his walk with a look of “I know what I’m doing” on his face.  He turned around here and saw his mother coming after him and quickly his look of certainty turned into one of “Oh no, what have I done!”

Before he got there though, he figured out what to do. He stumbled and faked a minor injury and that seemed like a very smart move. I noticed Jermain, Jessie’s youngest child do something like that on this day.

He was calling his mother’s name while she was talking to someone else. Since Jessie didn’t respond right away, I watched him move further away and then call his mother again. That worked because she didn’t like where he was. In tall grass, getting dark and too far away. As soon as Jessie turned and looked at him Jermain came back to where he had been when he first called his mother. haha He intentionally did that just to get his mothers attention. The things we men do to get the attention of a woman. We must start learning them at a very early age as he is only five.

In the picture left, mom now is approaching her “injured” son with a look of much concern just before they return back toward the table where dad is waiting.  Both of whom then attend to their child’s “injury” with great interest.

I just had to find a reason to post this pretty Filipino mom’s picture in this. She had a nice bikini on under it but I didn’t get to see that often. She is the same one that I featured earlier. She was in the water tending to her son’s injury.

This is a picture of Fely. She is our ya ya and Lovely’s grandmother. She’s in her late 50′s. I hope she and lovely will be with us for a while. I just learned that Lovely is going to college in Bogo City so she will probably be staying with us for a while too.

It was time for us to head back to the mainland of Cebu. I don’t usually think of Cebu as a mainland as it is not very large.  This island though is very small.

As I was getting into the boat, I discovered that I had lost most of my energy. My leg didn’t make it over the edge of the boat and suddenly I was sitting on my butt in the Visayan Sea. I laughed it off and took this picture of one of the relatives trying to hold the boat steady.

On our return trip Jermain showed none of his earlier fear. It seems his energy too was gone as he was soon fast asleep in the boat. This time it didn’t take very long. When we got ashore he told us he had not been to sleep. Then I showed him several pictures of him sleeping and he still had trouble believing it.

It would seem that island hopping is hard work for a child too. The trip has me thinking of buying a small boat. It would be nice to have one during the brownouts on Sundays.  Hop in a boat and follow the coast line of Cebu. Stopping to get out where I like. That really sounds like a fantastic idea to me. As soon as I get stranded at sea with a broken down engine or a sudden squall comes up, it may not be nearly as much fun.

 Once back on solid ground, I noticed this child in the door of his traditional nipa hut. One of my favorite shots of the day!



While waiting for the rest of our crew to make land, Jessie and I talked with this lady.  She was enjoying a cigar at the end of a day half way up the stairs that take us to the top of the cliff.

I needed a rest badly at that point anyway. I neeedd several more once I finished the other half. I really hope I can get back to walking but I’m having substantial pain each time I take a step.

For my last “good” dead of the day, I made this little girl cry. She was afraid of the white man. I made two of them cry that day.  I’ve had several children almost do that over the years but on this day I finally made two of them actually cry.

As I’ve said several times now, the trip to Capitancillo Islet was very enjoyable. If you are a photographer, diver and probably a fisherman it is as close to paradise in a remote area as you can find. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. If any place that I’ve seen beats it, it would be Palawan.

I’m sitting here and thinking of all the wonderful things the Philippines has helped me to see. Things I couldn’t do in the USA. I went to Washington DC once but on business and didn’t get to tour the monuments. I always want to see Yellow Stone and the Grand Canyon but always out of my financial reach. Here, I can’t go every place I want to go on a whim but I have really increased my quality of life by living in the Philippines. My adventure to Capitancillo Islet was one more memory that will be forever pleasant.


Upon my request, Rusty provided me with a few more photos of the lighthouse which I have added in a gallery below: Most of these were not available in the story. Thanks Rusty!

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