I took several Philippines Studies courses at UP years ago and I had never heard of San Juan Island, Philippines, until this week. Some say that the island vanished like Atlantis. Kinda far fetched.
Alex R Castro is a historian and museum curator at Holy Angel University in Angeles City. You do not have to buy a book to read his very interesting story online about the Island that vanished in the Philippines. San Juan Island, aka the Phantom Island, lost for a century, has been rediscovered.
Century old maps of the Spanish, Portuguese and Jesuits clearly show San Juan Island, off the coast of Mindanao. It is too large of an island to just vanish off the face of a map. Alex R Castro, with the help of others, discovered what happened to the Lost Philippines Island of San Juan.
Believe It…Or Not
My interest was sparked and I did a little research for myself. From what I gather, San Juan Island was inhabited by Negritos from the Philippines and Indigenous people from Indonesia. San Juan Island was governed by the Manila based Spanish Captaincy of the Philippines.
To make a long story much shorter and without going into greater detail. San Juan Island was taken over in 1899 by the German Empire. In 1914, the Japanese took over San Juan Island from the Germans, during WWI, and they took over other islands in what is now Palau. During WWII, the USA captured San Juan Island and Palau from the Japanese. Today, San Juan Island is known as Sonsorol of Palau. After a terrible typhoon in 2012 and an evacuation, Sonsorol/San Juan Island is inhabited by only 42 people in one village.
The mystery of Lost San Juan Island of the Philippines is solved.
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.
~ Gary ~