Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zambales Weekend Getaway: Mysteries of Capones Island


I was invited to join a camping trip to Nagsasa, Zambales by a friend and I was the only one who was game on it and so, I braved that day not knowing all who will come and hoping that they don't eat me alive on a deserted island while camping >__<.


Early Saturday, I went to EDSA Shaw to meetup with my friend and we went to Katipunan where the rest of the people who will join are waiting. We initially planned to go on commute since Zambales is easily reached by a bus in Cubao, however, we reached the quota of 10 people who confirmed to come and they decided to rent a van instead for convenience.


We were started our land travel at around 7 (it feels like 8 or 9am since the sun is already high) after our initial introduction with each other. We all had our moments of chit chats on the way followed by dozing off to sleep because of the early call time we had set. I didn't know what time it was but as I awoke, we were already in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. It was just a few minutes away from Zambales.

Zambales is a province found at the Central Luzon Region. It is bordered by Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Bataan and the South China Sea. It is known for its Mango Festival (similar to Guimaras) because it has sweet mangoes that I personally love. The coves in the province is widely known for the pristine white sand and beautiful mountains bordering it, plus the crystal clear waters, makes you feel like you're in paradise. And indeed you are when you get to see the place.

As we got to the town of San Antonio in Zambales, we headed towards Pundaquit where the boat that brings you to the coves and islands are docked. We parked our van and headed to the shores to get our stuff on the boat we rented. As we get to see the mountains and the islands, we are all excited to start the next part of our adventure.

Shores of Capones Island

Before we headed to Nagsasa, we asked the boat man to bring us to Capones Island. This island is just near Pundaquit and is famous for the lighthouse that can be found on the other side of it. The first time I get to go here, the waves are too strong that our boat couldn't get to the shores near the lighthouse. We settled at the other side, which is a pretty beach, instead. This time, I was so excited that I could go to the light house for the first time!

Stairs up to the Lighthouse

We circled the island before docking on a small shore. It is the nearest shore from the lighthouse. There is another way though but you need to trek the thick forest before you get there. Here, you just need to climb a short set of stairs and go into the jungle-like entrance and before you know it, you're standing at the gate of the lighthouse.

Gate to the ruins
 The old lighthouse is located in the ruins of an old house. As you enter the tower, the creeping stairs is your only way up. You need to climb this and 3 more sets just to reach the top. Even if it was old, the light facility of it was modern to aid in the water vessels that pass through it. At this point, you can see the island from above, the blue water and the majestic mountain from afar. It was really a pretty sight. You need to be brave enough to face your fear of heights for a while to experience its beauty.

The ruins and the old lighthouse
View on top, the mountains

Brave souls on top of the lighthouse

view on top, the seas on the other side

We all wondered what happened to this abandoned place however, there was no one there to ask since the place wasn't guarded with anyone. We soon knew what happened when we asked an ice cream vendor in Nagsasa the next day of its story.

According to the ice cream man, as told by his elders, about a century ago, an American was owning the place. He had there a beautiful house with a light house and they were living there. They say he owns the island back then. One day, when he was away and his family was left there, pirates invaded the island and destroyed his property and murdered his family. He didn't know of this until he came back and since then, the place was abandoned with lost souls. There are creepy stories told in this place and none knows if this is true.

If you ask me, I sense the sadness of the place. There are areas I don't want to go into knowing I could disturb something thriving there. However, this is my story. I don't mean to convince everyone but something strange happened when we were at the lighthouse. There is this hole at a level inside the lighthouse. I am not sure of the purpose but I think it was for the stairs or I may be wrong. Anyway, I wanted to take a photo of it since the view there is the spiral staircase and while waiting for the person going down there exit my view, I was practicing shooting to check on the lighting conditions. As I was watching him from the view finder of my camera and waiting for him to clear the view, I half pressed the shutter button to focus and i was surprised on what I saw, a face of a man. I didn't know why it appeared and why I full pressed the shutter button. I was taken aback then however since I didn't want to entertain thoughts up there I just clicked on again since the view was clear. And I looked at the images I captured. I was hoping I wouldn't find any but to my surprise, the image of the face was on the picture. different from what I saw but on the exact spot where I saw it (what I saw was really a face, not light in a shape of a face. I am not sure it it was my imagination but it was creepy to think of what I saw. If only my mind would print the image to let me show you how it looked like). Anyway, as I have said, I am not convincing you to believe me but i will share the images I captured.

Image taken after what I saw
What I saw. see for yourself

After a lot of picture taking (I am not telling what I saw since I don't want to spoil the fun, I just saved it for later) we all headed back to our boat. The sun was about to set and it was a long way to Nagsasa and we still need to put up a camp. I was so happy to have been on the lighthouse since I was so disappointed the first time I went there. At least this time, I could really say I saw the lighthouse of Capones!

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