Exploring Capitancillo Island in Bogo Cebu
Philippines has hundreds of beautiful island that tourists from other cities and countries would really like to visit and enjoy its refreshing sea water and tropical sun. Choices are countless that it is hard for them to decide which lovely island to explore and discover. One good choice is the Capitancillo in the beautiful island of Bogo City in Cebu. It is a tropical island paradise, where you can find an old lighthouse and a rich marine life that surrounds the islet. Its rich marine diversity is inviting for snorkeling and diving enthusiast.
Capitancillo’s legend is mystical. Legends said that the island was formed when Capitan Basillo, a skipper of a trading vessel during the early years of Spanish rule made a mistake by insulting a powerful local chieftain with magical powers named Bugtopasan. Angered by Capitan Basillo’s disrespect, Bugtopasan rode his enchanted white horse and went after Capitan Basillo’s vessel. Bugtopasan cursed and put a spell on Capitan Basillo followed by the sound of thunder and lightning transforming what is known today as the islet of Capitancillo named after Capitan Basillo.
Capitancillo is a six hectare coral line islet found between Cebu and Leyte. It is under the local government of Bogo citys’ watch. It is 10km southeast of Bogo and 100kms north from Mactan island. At the center of the island is a solar powered lighthouse. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the province. Its true beauty is under the sea as snorkelers and divers will surely have lots of time exploring the place.
To reach the place, tourists need to travel to Bogo via public buses or vans for hire from the Cebu north terminal. It is accessed by 2 1/2 hr banca ride from Mactan, 1hr from Sogod or by road to Bogo on the east coast of Cebu. It has an average depth of 80ft and its maximum can reach up to 150ft. A pumpboat can be rented and will accommodate 15 people for only 1,000 to 2,000 pesos.
Capitancillo is a famous tourist destination that has a great treasure beneath its blue waters. The islet has a coral reef that measures around 2-3 kilometers from north to south. Its well preserved reef makes it a good spot for divers because of its pristine corals with colorful fish species and abundant marine life. A haven for divers and snorkelers, Capitancillo has 3 dive sites – Ormoc shoal, Nunez shoal and its very own southwest wall. These sites have shallow reef tops with soft corals, gorgonian sea fans, caves and black corals and an occasional sighting of manta rays will captivate the visitors. Though there are no diving operators on the island, there are 3 certified divers that charge 100 pesos for foreign tourists and 50 pesos for local.
Relaxing on this beautiful tropical islet is also a good way to spend your stay. Sit idly and relax on its fine white sand or swim on its beautiful water that surrounds the islet. You can also walk around the island or visit the solar generated lighthouse and enjoy the breathtaking scenery on this islet. Day huts here can be rented for as low as P200 for a whole day use. The islet is being watched by guards and cleaned by staff.
The islet is being protected by the local government and has declared Capitancillo as a marine sanctuary. It is not large to house inhabitants and it is more valuable as a marine preserve and as a tourist attraction. Capitancillo has been declared as a safe dwelling for different marine life, a visit to this island will definitely teach tourist local and international the value of preserving some of the natural wonders of the environment.