Acapulco Island, as it once was called, was one of the key islands in the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade back in the 16th century. With its strategic location facing the sea, it was the last stop before it left for Acapulco, Mexico. Years later, the name was then shortened to just “Capul”.
Another interesting fact about this quaint little town is that, its people, all 13,000 of them, speak a distinct language that is now rare in the Philippines. They speak Abaknon, a dialect that is on the brink of extinction.
With it being such a necessity to the galleon trade centuries ago, the little island of Capul still has relics and buildings from the 1500’s. With all of its history, it’s funny that many Filipinos don’t add this island to their list of places to visit. Venturing and exploring the town is such a treat and it allows you to take a peek at its past, too!
One of the key landmarks found in the heart of the town is the historical Capul Church and beside it is a large belfry and watchtower. Back then, this was used as a fortress, evident in its structure of thick walls. Today, the people of Capul built their houses around the church’s walls because of its sound architecture, which they use as firewalls.
The watchtower continues to stand tall and strong albeit being a little been worn and covered in moss. This adds more character to the structure, having been a silent witness to the town’s history.
Also located in the outskirts and near the coast of the municipality is the Capul Island Lighthouse. Built in the 1800’s, it was used to warn the townspeople against Moro raids, and it was also used to guide fishing boats and larger ships back to the pier. This lighthouse was also a crucial necessity during the Second World War to oversee the land and to see possible enemy vessels coming their way.
Right now, if you climb to the top of the lighthouse, you’ll be able to see three old Japanese gun emplacements. Back then, it used to be an artillery haven with loads of heavy guns.
However, the island isn’t only home to historical sites; it also has several natural attractions that would make beach bums, adventure-seekers, and sea-dwellers scream for joy! On weekends, locals like to go to the Moro Poro Point Island. It’s a small islet where you can have picnics or just laze around. This island has a great vantage point overlooking the sea and neighboring towns.
The Abak White Beach is simply gorgeous, as well. With a long stretch of white sand and blue waters to match, the place is stunning and romantic. Other attractions worth visiting are the Timon-timon Rock and the Bito Cave. Both are great if you’re up for a little climbing and trekking.