Sunday, December 23, 2012

Capul island, Dalupiri island, and San Bernardino Strait

The San Bernardino Strait separates the Bicol Peninsula of Luzon island from the island of Samar in the south.
The first reference to the Spanish and the San Bernardino Strait is during the 1543-1545 expedition of Ruy Gomez de Villalobos, who was sent out by the Viceroy of Mexico under orders from the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to establish a Spanish colony near the Portuguese-occupied Spice islands of Moluccas.

Spanish map showing the route of Galleon Trade from Manila to Acapulco, Mexico  via Capul Island and San Bernardino Strait.  

Spanish Map showing the Galleon Trade Route to San Bernardino Strait on their long voyage to Acapulco Mexico. The Galleon ship stop at Capul Island to wait for favorable current that will bring them out to Pacific Ocean on their voyage to Acapulco.

Spanish Map showing the route from Manila to Capul Island and San Bernardino Strait and then the long voyage in the Pacific Ocean to reach the port of Acapulco, Mexico.

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Capul is a 5th class island municipality in the province of Northern Samar, Philippines. Prior to is founding as a town, Capul island itself with its lighthouse built on the island, served as a guidepost for the Acapulco (Mexico) - Manila Galleon trade vessels passing through the treacherous waters of San Bernardino Strait.

It also served as the capital of Samar from 1848 to 1852. The name Capul came from the word Acapulco, an old trading port in Mexico. Capul is the only town in the province of Northern Samar with distinct dialect "Inabaknon" instead of Waray-Waray, the native language spoken by the locals of Samar island.

The church of Capul during the Spanish Colonial Period, is dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola and it surrounded by a square fort with bulwarks of dissimilar designs. The church structure was actually the third that was built on the site. The first two structures, made of hard wood and nipa roofs, were razed when Moro pirates plundered the island in 1615 and 1768.

In 1781, Fr. Mariano Valero, a Spanish architect-priest led the restoration of the church and built the stone stonewall fortress similar to that in Intramuros, Manila that would fortify it against Moro attacks.

                                                               Capul Island Lighthouse

Indigenous Language

Capul has a different language from the rest of Northern Samar and the rest of the Eastern Visayas. The native language in the island municipality is Inabaknon. Inabaknon has been classified by linguist as a Sama language related to the Sama language of Mindanao, rather than a Visayan language. Nonetheless the Capul people understand the Waray language, as spoken by the majority of the people in Northern Samar.,_Northern_Samar

Ancient fortress church of Capul, Northern Samar

CAPUL, Northern Samar—This ancient church in Capul town in Northern Samar has withstood the passage of time Although it remains a place of worship, the St. Ignatius de Loyola Church was once a place of refuge for natives from Moro marauders.

On Aug. 5, a marker mounted on the wall of the church edifice was officially unveiled by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), declaring it a historical site and  recognizing it as a “good example of a fortress church during the Spanish era.”
“The marker actually is there to remind us of what transpired here during the Spanish times,” said Ludovico D. Badoy, NHCP executive director.
Capul, an island of 12 barangays, is a fifth-class municipality (annual income: P15 million-P25 million) with a total land area of 35 square kilometers. It is an hour-long boat ride from the mainland’s Allen town, 48 kilometers from the capital of Catarman.

Galleon trade
Originally, Capul was called Abak. According to folklore, its present name was derived from “Acapulco.”

During the galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco during the Spanish colonization, many boats would drop anchor at Capul, waiting for the current to flow outward to the Pacific Ocean before they start their long voyage to Acapulco in Mexico.

On Nov. 8, 1870, the island became a parish by decree of the Bishop of Cebu, in accordance with the Royal Decree on Nov. 12, 1874. It was under the administration of the Franciscan Order.

Even before the decree was issued, two churches of light materials had been built in Capul on separate occasions but were razed by Moro pirates who plundered the island in 1615 and 1768. Fr. Juan Isandi, who was assigned to Capul, was killed in the Moro attack of 1768.

In 1781, a Spanish architect-priest, Fr. Mariano Valero, led the restoration of the church and built a stonewall fortress around it in the shape of a cross. The church was known as “Fuerza de Capul.”

An 11-meter stone belfry was constructed at the left side of the church and a stone watchtower overlooking the sea was erected on top of a huge rock, about 150 meters away.

The tower sentinel would blow a “budyong” or conch to warn the people of danger like the coming of Moro pillagers. The people would then rush to the church to seek shelter, bringing along water and food provisions.

The windows and doors of the church, which were made of thick wood materials, would then be closed, and everybody would wait for the attack. Others were also prepared to fight back. Those posted at the bastions on the left and right corners of the fortification were ready to fire cannons.

As the enemies came closer, some would open small windows and shoot at them. Two of the windows are still there at the rear of the building. Three others are five feet above the base of the deteriorating belfry.

Today, the building at the church courtyard at the right is already in ruins. The fortress wall, although dilapidated, still stands. At the left side is the parish priest’s residence. As a historical site, the Capul church is protected by law and government funds can be used for its preservation and conservation, says Badoy of the NHCP.

In a speech during the unveiling ceremony, Gov. Paul Daza said the marker “is just one instance of reminding us how truly rich our history and culture is.” “All of us, as Filipinos, should always be reminded of the true heritage and culture of our country,” he added.


View of Capul Island from the northwest and west directions of Capul Island

 The Lighthouse at Capul Island

Passenger Bance travelling between Sorsogon Province and Capul Island.

The northwest part of Capul Island. Behind in the far distance is the island of Dalupiri.

View of Capul island from south and south east of Capul.

Other photos of Capul Island

Youtube Videos of Capul Island

Related web links :

Capul, Northern Samarm - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,_Northern_Samar

Historical Capul Island

Capul Island Samar

Ivan about Town

Farola Series: Faro de Isla Capul (Capul Island Lighthouse

Allen Samar - Villa Conchita Beach Resort

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View from the sea of other islands near Capul Island

Dalupiri island

The municipality of San Antonio in the Island of Dalupri in the province of Northern Samar, Philippines. A naturally blessed island with pristine white beaches and beautiful caves, rich culture, diverse interests, proud heritage and colorful history waits you, promising the most enchanting travel experience in the region. This is a beautiful and undisturbed paradise island in Northern Samar develop as premier tourist destination.

North part of Dalupiri island

Bato, San Nicolas, Dalupiri island

Dalupiri Island Resort

Dalupiri Island

Lagbangan Lake in Dalupiri island

Dalupiri Island

Related web links :

Dalupiri Island Samar

Haven of Fun Beach Resort in San Antonio, Dalupiri island.

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