Still on our island-hopping day, our next stop was Capul. It’s an island that sits in the middle of the San Bernardino Straits, originally named Abak from a chieftain that migrated from the South. These migrants brought with them one of the rare dialects in the country – they’re the only ones that speaks “Abaknon”. Abak was changed to Capul (short for Acapulco) in the late 16th century because galleons from Acapulco, Mexico frequently stopover the San Bernardino Straits to barter.
The island is known for its lighthouse and old fortress church and from the port where our boat docked, the old reliable habal-habals (motorbikes) took us to both sites.
The fortress was first. On a side street with a basketball court in front lays a 16th century church, 85% of its original form still preserved, its surrounding walls still intact.
It is one of the oldest Catholic Church that withstood pirate attacks and natural disasters and calamities and until the coming of the Americans, the church and a watchtower constructed on top of a large rock overlooking the town harbor, served as a warning system and as a refuge for the people of the island during the Moro raids.
At the time of our visit, we heard that a foreigner was rescued from their waters the night before – a miracle he survived the harsh waters drifting all the way from Biri losing his fins and mask along the way. Glad he’s ok.