Deciding to hit the beach this summer? Consider an island trip to Cebu’s best kept island paradise—Capitancillo.
LOCATION. The islet of Capitancillo is located about 10 kilometers away from Bogo City. It is about 2-3 kilometers in land area, but it sits in a six-hectare expanse of thriving coral formation and a protected marine sanctuary situated between Cebu and Leyte.
GETTING THERE. Depending on where you want to begin your adventure, the islet can be reached in many ways. Take a two-hour bus ride from North Bus Terminal, a pedicab ride to Nailon Wharf and then a 30-minute boat ride to the islet. Another jump- off point is in Polangbato Wharf (45 minutes) and in Marangog Cove (15-20 minutes). Pump boats for rent can be availed (P2000-P3000 per trip) It is also advisable to avail of island trip packages from resorts and diving shops.
Alegre Beach Resort and Spa in the neighboring town of Sogod offers their guests a Capitancillo trip with a picnic and barbecue package including a snorkeling set (mask,snorkel, fins, and life vest). (For more information check www.alegrebeachresort.com or call (032) 2549833 & 2549811) Aside from promoting the islet, the resort has also embarked on a public-private partnership with Bogo City for the protection and development of the islet for the next 50 years.
Almost all resorts in Mactan Island offers diving and island hopping tours that includes Capitancillo too, as it is about 2-3 hours away from Lapu-Lapu City. Be sure to sail on good weather, the current in these parts is generally rough in the afternoon.
FEATURE. Before docking, ask the boatman to circle the island for a picturesque view (with your cameras at the ready). This will also give you an idea on which part of the island you want to stay. (I suggest that you stake your claim under the Talisay tree especially when the day cottages are occupied).
Situated in the middle of the island is a solar-powered lighthouse, amongst the remains of an old structure that was once used by the Americans during the war. It is the perfect venue for prenuptial, engagement photo sessions or a wedding perhaps.
And yes, it is a diver’s hub. Capitancillo is listed as one of Cebu’s best diving destinations and one of the undiscovered beaches in the Philippines. But for those who do not dive, snorkeling and swimming in its crystal clear blue waters are equally satisfying.
TRIVIA. The island got its name from an American navy, Capt. Cillo, whose vessel ran aground in the islet during the American period. The locals also have their version of its etymology. Captain Basillo, owner of a trading vessel, faulted the early chieftain of Mactan named Bugtopasan (a kinsman of Datu Lapu-lapu). In his anger, he pursued Captain Basillo and cursed his boat, followed by thunder and lightning, transforming it to what is now known as Capitancillo.
(Published in Sugbo News)