Cagayan: Dos Hermanos Islands

Situated almost a kilometer away from the northern coast of Palaui Island in the province of Cagayan, Dos Hermanos Islands is a collective name that refers to the two islands which often serves as a backdrop of the seascape pictures taken from Cape Engaño Lighthouse.

The word "dos hermanos" means two men. However, the locals have separate names for each of these islands. They are referred to as Hermano, which means man* and Hermana which means woman*. On the side note, there is also a Dos Hermanos Islands in Pagudpod in the province of Ilocos Norte. However, I informed my guide that the Spanish meaning of hermano is brother, while hermana is sister. He said that the local meaning dates back before he was born and it was probably an effect of what is dubbed as the "localization" of foreign words. Much like the English word salvage which means to save, in the Philippines salvage means to kill or execute in cold blood. 
As seen from the lighthouse
When I asked our guide, Kuya Nanding Cabutin, about the islands and their names, he explained that the island were called Hermano (man) and Hermana (woman) because of their special characteristics. The island refered to as Hermano has a towering rock pillar on its western side. According to our guide, this pillar is the phallic icon if that island, hence the name man. The other island referred to as Hermana has a dome shape characteristic. According to our guide, the dome symbolizes the pregnant-like state of the island, hence the name woman. 
Hermano Island
Close up of Hermano Island

Hermana Island
Close up of Hermana Island
But for the playfully creative minds (like mine) Hermano looks like Godzilla's rugged back fins protruding out of the water like the one shown in the 2014 film. While Hermana, on the other hand looks like the back of Anguirus (minus the spikes). Anguirus was the very first monster faced by Godzilla in his films. The creature looks like a mutated armadillo. 
Check out Godzilla on the right...

Sadly, the islands are off limits to tourists. Since it doesn't have a safe shoreline for boats to land on, we could only admire it from a distance. Our guide/boat operator brought us about 150 - 200 meters away from the island of Hermana. We didn't dare approach Hermano because of the fear that we might wake him up. We all had Godzillaphobia for a moment there). Actually the seas are rougher in the area of Hermano. That's why boatmen avoid it as much as possible.
My friends and I loved the view! So EPIC!
Overall, Dos Hermanos Islands are best admired from the peak of Mt. Kabo. Like what I've written in the intro, it serves as a great backdrop for your pictures of Cape Engaño Lighthouse. So don't miss a chance to do it if you happen to visit.

Looks like: Godzilla and Anguirus
Minus the: Plasma beam and spikes

Getting there:



You can't set foot on the islands but you could view it from Mt. Kabo in Palaui Island. 
To get to Palaui Island, ride a bus heading to Sta. Ana in Cagayan. From there ride a tricycle to San Vicente port. Once you're in the port rent a boat that will bring you to Cape Engaño.

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Comments

  1. Hola Neil! Based on what I know about Spanish, "hermano" is "brother" and "hermana" is "sister". You can also check their definition and translation here (for your perusal) - http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=hermano. Saludos!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for the information. I pointed that out with my guide but he said that it was the local term. I guess they were lost in translation. =)
      I'll just add that detail to my blog so that my foreign readers will not be misinformed. Thanks a lot again!!!

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