Friday, January 27, 2012

Capones, Zambales: A Sweet Sidetrip

Capones Prelude 
November 6-7, 2010 (Celebrating 25th year of Existence) 

  Capones Island: View from atop the hill. On the Far end lies the elusive Lighthouse (Faro   de Punta Capones) 

We just left Nagsasa Cove and soon, as the boat sailed its way across the placid water, a deafening silence followed. We silently and patiently waited, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Capones Island.

En route, amidst the placid sea, the motorized banca stopped. A floating plastic wrapper was caught by the torpedo. I was shaking my head when I heard the cause of our little stopover. For a few minutes there, I imagined the possibility of being stranded in the middle of the sea. Terrifying! Terrifying for someone who doesn’t know how to swim.

After an hour, we finally saw the island of Capones and as we came closer, the tip of the lighthouse came into view… we were all glowing with excitement. But our boatmen were quick to announce that unfortunately the boat can’t dock due to strong currents. 

I felt like screaming. We were so near, almost 50 meters away, and yet they were telling me how impossible it was to dock. I felt like saying, “anu? (what?)” How can they say that when we were almost an arm-stretch away from the shoreline! 

  The other side of the Island as seen from afar.  

In the end, we decided to heed our boatmen’s advice not to attempt docking. The waves were really a bit unpredictable, I agree. And shoreline was showered with boulder rocks. The fragile boat crashing to the rugged shoreline seemed a likely scenario. But my mind was shouting expletives. 

Still, we heeded. I guess our own security comes first. I shrugged my shoulders at the thought. Ya ya ya…There would always be next time. But I hate next time. And I hate to admit it, but I was so disappointed. I was craning my neck, trying to catch a glimpse of the lighthouse, as the boat slowly sailed away from the place. My disappointment prevented me even to take a picture of the old structure. 

  Boulder Rocks: The large rocks that adorn the shores of  Capones Island  

There you go Capones Lighthouse… There you go nights and nights of wanting to see that 19th century Structure… There you go profile pics… So much for the excitement to experience that lonely sentinel of time!

The boatmen must have sense our disappointment because minutes later, they decided to dock us in the other side of the island. At first I was not very enthusiastic. The lighthouse was my goal. Everything else pales in comparison.

But as soon as the boat touched the beach, I started to feel good again. Capones Island has much to offer aside from the ancient lighthouse. We started treading our way up the small hill and after a few minutes later we found a rather beautiful spot to enjoy a panoramic view. Atop the grassy hill, you’d feast your eyes with picturesque landscape and seascape inherent to Zambales. You might see many postcard perfect shots of Philippine beaches, but Capones’ views are rather unique. Something that will carve a niche in your memories…

If only we had ample time, we could have stayed longer. But after an hour we decided to head back to the boat. My camera registered “low bat”. Well, just in time. The waves were stronger the time we sailed back. It was almost 4pm.

Before we knew it, we were back at San Antonio and waiting for buses plying the Subic route. Suddenly I remember an incident that happened along the way from San Antonio. While we were crossing the bridge on a rented tricycle:

Tina: “ Kuya driver teka lang. Pababa ako jan.”

Driver: “ha? Saan?”

Tina: “kuya teka lang! Diyan lang sa tabi. Magpapa-picture ako sa kalabaw”

Driver: “Bakit? Wala bang kalabaw sa inyo?” (And it was the most quotable quote of the whole trip. And to Tina’s anger, the tricycle driver did not even bother to fulfill her request. LOL ) 

Travel Buddies 2010

"Travel is a caprice in childhood, a passion in youth, a necessity in manhood, and an elegy in old age... "

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