An Old and Haunted Lighthouse in Capones Island

Monday, October 29, 2012Ryan Mach

When I think about our side-trip in Capones, a small island in San Antonio, Zambales, I think about those massive waves which perpetually rocked our boat and made the ride bumpy, not to mention scary. The journey from Nagsasa to the island of Capones usually takes an hour but it took us longer than that because of those nasty waves. We had a hard time docking on the rocky shore too; the waves were too strong even if it was a fine, sunny day.
That is perhaps the beauty of Capones Island. It's playing hard to get.

We initially planned on spending just a short time on the island by lazing on the shore, but the scorching afternoon glare of the sun made it impossible for everyone to even take a dip. As soon as we were out of the water, we scurried under a huge boulder which shielded us from the sweltering heat. We could stay there and just enjoy the view but for the adventurous lot of us, we just couldn't let the time pass by without doing anything. There's an old lighthouse which the island is known for. Surely, it's worth checking out.

While the rest of the group took a rest under the huge rock, the four of us decided to go on a little adventure - and that was to find the lighthouse perched on top of a hill. We didn't know how to get there, which made it more exciting. The boat was going to come back for us in two hours. That meant extra challenge for the four of us. We had to get back within that time-frame otherwise we'd be spending the night on the island, which we didn't really fancy on doing.
We followed a trail which led to the other side of the island where tall grasses grew. We took a few steps down a dirt path and saw another sea (what did we expect, it's an island) with huge waves that looked ideal for surfing. There was no one there to ask so we relied on our gut feel. Slippery rocks littered beside the shore, slowing us down but we kept our pace. After 10 minutes of walking we came across a big rock with a painted sign on it, showing us to the right direction.
 It was a long way up to the lighthouse (mainly because we were tired). We were gasping for air and we were almost dehydrated. But we didn't give up. The hurried trek finally came to an end as we emerged at a rusty metal gate. The old lighthouse welcomed us with silence.
We didn't go there just to see the lighthouse, but to climb to the top of the old structure as well. Two of our companions were already climbing their way up, their excited voices reverberating through the narrow staircase which squeaked, swayed and creaked. The old state of the metal stair freaked me out. I couldn't do it, so I handed my camera to a friend who was brave enough to reach the top.
And these were some of the views I missed for being such a wuss.

On our way back, we took a different route, which proved to be much shorter and easier. We could have saved time and energy if we knew about the easy path but we're just as glad that we traversed the tricky one. It was already close to sundown when we left the island.
Inside the van on our way to Manila, we excitedly told the group about our experience at the lighthouse (how awesome it was to be there) when our driver butt in and asked us if we knew that the place was haunted. A few soldiers died there during the war. At night, the coast guards stationed on the island would hear weird sound from the lighthouse.
We all went silent. Of course, we didn't know that.

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