Capul Island

San Bernardino Strait

Map of Northern Samar with Capul highlighted
Location within the Philippines

Coordinates: 12°25′N 124°11′E / 12.417°N 124.183°E / 12.417; 124.183Coordinates: 12°25′N 124°11′E / 12.417°N 124.183°E / 12.417; 124.183

Country Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Province Northern Samar
Congr. district 1st district of N. Samar
Barangays 12
 • Mayor Isidro S. Bandal
 • Total 35.56 km2 (13.73 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 12,659
 • Density 360/km2 (920/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6408
Dialing code 55

Capul is a fifth class island municipality in the province of Northern Samar, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 12,659 people.[3] Prior to its founding as a town, Capul Island itself with its lighthouse built on the island, served as a guidepost for the Acapulco-Manila galleon trade vessels passing through the treacherous waters of San Bernardino Strait. It also served as the capital of Samar from 1848 to 1852. The name Capul came from the word Acapulco, an old trading post in Mexico.[4]

Capul is the only town in the province of Northern Samar with a distinct dialect, Inabaknon, instead of Waray-Waray, the native language spoken by the locals of Samar island.


Capul is politically subdivided into 12 barangays.[2]

  • Aguin
  • Jubang
  • Landusan
  • Oson
  • Poblacion Barangay 1
  • Poblacion Barangay 2
  • Poblacion Barangay 3
  • Poblacion Barangay 4
  • Poblacion Barangay 5
  • Sagaosawan
  • San Luis
  • Sawang



Capul has a different language from the rest of Northern Samar and the rest of Eastern Visayas. The native language in the island-municipality is Inabaknon. Inabaknon has been classified by linguists as a Sama language related to the Sama languages of Mindanao, rather than a Visayan language. Nonetheless the Capul people understand the Waray language, as spoken by the majority of the people in Northern Samar.


  • Capul Church and Fortress

The church of Capul, built during the Spanish Colonial Period, is dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola and is surrounded by a square fort with bulwarks of dissimilar designs.[5] The church structure was actually the third that was built on the site. The first two structures, made of hard wood and nipa roofs, were razed when Moro pirates plundered the island in 1615 and 1768. In 1781, Fr. Mariano Valero, a Spanish architect-priest led the restoration of the church and built the stonewall fortress similar to that in Intramuros, Manila that would fortify it against Moro attacks.[6]

  • Capul Watchtower

Located on a hill near the Capul fort overlooking the town harbor, a stone watchtower was erected to serve as a sentry or warning system and a refuge for indigents during Moro raids.

  • Bitō Cave

Bitō Cave, also known as Beto Cave, is a popular natural attraction located in Sawang.

  • Timon-timon Rock

Timon-timon is a rudder-shaped rock formation located near the southern point of the island.


External links

  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Capul Island Travel Guide
  • Local Governance Performance Management System
  • Explore Capul Island
  • Capul on Biyahero, Philippine Travel Portal
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