Islands and Beaches

The Legend of Capitancillo: A Captain’s Island


Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Jun 01, 2015
The Legend of Capitancillo: A Captain’s Island

The small, 6-hectare coral island is found in the waters of the Visayan Sea near Bogo City, Cebu. It is part of the protected marine sanctuary that features a lighthouse and three dive sites around the island.

According to legends, the Capitancillo islet was named after the captain of a Spanish trading vessel, Captain Basillo. Story goes that he offended a local datu, Datu Bugtopasan. The datu cursed the captain by transforming his ship into an island.

On top of the small island, you’ll find a solar-powered lighthouse beside what’s left of the original old structure. The Capitancillo Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in Cebu province. It was built in 1905 and was reconstructed in the 1950s with the white steel tower. The 83 feet (25 meters) high tower flashes three white lights every 10 seconds. It was listed as one of the 27 major lighthouses of the Philippines in the Faros Españoles de Ultramar. Lighthouse designation is ARLHS PHI-079.

To divers, the 3 dive sites are the main attraction of Capitancillo:

  • southwest wall of Capitancillo –also ideal for snorkeling
  • Nuñez Shoal
  • Ormoc Shoal
"Capitancillo Islet (5751157394)" by tacit requiem (joanneQEscober ) from Marikina City, Philippines - Capitancillo Islet. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The dive sites are abundant in many varieties of reef fishes, vibrant soft corals, reef sharks, sea fans among others. It also features overhangs and underwater caves.

What to Expect on the Capitancillo Islet:

  • No Stores – so bring what you need especially food and drinking water
  • No Accommodations – there are no hotels or cottages available for you to stay

For more information, contact the City Mayor Office of Bogo City, Cebu at (032) 251-2001 or 434-8688.

How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Cebu (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, 45 minutes). And from the Cebu Airport, you will need to hire a cab to go to the city proper or to your destination.

Bogo is 101 kilometers away from Cebu City. From Cebu, you can take a bus (estimate of Php150-180, one way, about 2 hours 20 minutes) at the North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City.

From Bogo, the jump-off points going to the Capitancillo Islet (15-45 minutes) are:

  • Marangog Cove
  • Nailon Wharf
  • Odlot Hideaway
  • Polambato Port
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