I have been meaning to visit Punta Faro de Capones for two summers already but it was just this summer that I’ve been able to finally give it a go. We were already on the coast of Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales before the dawn breaks in. Our boatman, after quite a long wait of getting the boat and life vests ready finally started to set our outrigger boat off to Capones Island.
A thirty-minute boat ride and we were braving the currents to cross our way from our boat to the shores of Capones Island, as the boat can no longer be docked near the rocky shore. We held our cameras and gears upwards so as the water won’t get them wet. Luckily, nobody slipped; otherwise, one of us would have been crying for a camera that went for a quick dip.
That part of Capones Island isn’t a white beach. The shore is covered with fist-sized rough and soft white rocks. We were soaking wet when we went up to the higher part of the island to see the Lighthouse. On the way up, I can’t help but notice the number of slippers and flipflops which straps had snapped and were just left on the trail.
Upon reaching the gates of the vicinity, one cannot ignore the fact that the place is in total neglect. There were candy wrappers, plastic cups, bottles, etc., obviously left behind by people who have been there. The rickety structure that used to be the keeper’s house is in a ramshackle condition. Even then, the Lighthouse stands there, amidst the ruins, a captivating beauty and a poetry in its own.
We went up the Lighthouse for a 360-degree view of the island. The rusty stairs that sway each time we take a step gave us a scare.
But the windows of the lighthouse, with shattered glass, rusty frames and all, are a heavenly sight.
Three more ladders and we’re on top. The view is breath taking—the morning mist, the deep blue sea, the light blue sky, the gradient of greens among the trees surrounding the island, the soft wind, and the flare of the sun early in the morning felt like God presenting us the world at its best.
I took a deep breath, took all the fresh air into my lungs— ah! the same feeling I feel every time I get the chance to see the awesomeness of God. To witness the sunset from this island would have been a different story, even more dramatic.
We went down after awhile, went to the cliff side and took more snap shots. From the cliff side, one can have a nice full view of the lighthouse and the ruins of it’s keeper’s house, with cogon grass on the foreground and the blue ocean on the background.
Looking away a little farther, one can get a glimpse of the famous coves of Zambales.
The water below is clear, corals can be seen from where we stand. More boats were coming in, and more tourists were climbing up the island when we decided to go down.
Although frequently visited by a lot of people, it is but sad that the lighthouse is in its neglected state. No one to regulate the influx of tourists; and no one to maintain the cleanliness of the place. People just come and go, bring foods and drinks then leave everything else behind.
I can only hope that the local government would start to care, or at least tourists would start to care in their own way. The deterioration of the keeper’s house is understandable. It’s a beautiful irony. But the accumulating tetra packs, wrappers, plastic cups and bottles in the place is an issue of irresponsible tourism.
The light house and the whole island of Capones speak of contrasting emotions—beauty and calmness amidst ruins and loneliness. At the end of the day, the lighthouse stands there, alone, yet an important piece of light for seafarers sailing in total darkness.
I have always been fascinated with lighthouses. For introverts like I, lighthouses are a metaphor of our personality. They are alone in the middle of nowhere but they shine and most useful when it is dark. They suffer in neglect but their existence can never be totally put in oblivion. They are tuck away from the crowd but they always posses a certain charm and mystery that often times leave anyone in awe and poetry at the back of their minds.