Dos Hermanos Islands - Cagayan

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 serve as a backdrop of the seascape pictures taken from Cape Engaño Lighthouse.

Dos Hermanos Islands

Dos Hermanos Islands Details

For the locals, the word "dos hermanos" means two people. 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 a 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 a sister. He said that the local meaning dates back before he was born. In my mind, 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, but in the Philippines "salvage" means to kill or execute in cold blood. 

Dos Hermanos Islands - Sta. Ana, Cagayan

Dos Hermanos Islands as seen from Cape Engano Lighthouse

As seen from the Cape Engano Lighthouse

When I asked our guide about the islands and their names, he explained that the island was called Hermano (man) and Hermana (woman) because of their special characteristics. The island referred to as Hermano has a towering rock pillar on its western side. According to our guide, this pillar is the phallic icon of 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, my co-teachers and I got to see Dos Hermanos Islands during our Northern Luzon 360 Road Trip Adventure. The 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 in Cape Engaño Lighthouse. So don't miss a chance to do it if you happen to visit.

Why visit Dos Hermanos Islands?

As was mentioned, the islands are both off-limits to visitors. However, the islands are both picturesque and are worth seeing. Head up to Cape Engano Lighthouse for the best view of the islands. 

Getting to Dos Hermanos Islands:

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.
Boat ride to Cape Engano: P1800


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  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) - Saludos!

    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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