August 10 of 2013 ( I know, so late!) which was a Saturday was spent travelling to the northernmost towns of Ilocos Norte. These places are among the most popular tourists destinations and you will see later why. These three towns have some of the most beautiful natural attractions I’ve seen in the Philippines!
We started the day the very early. Before going to Ilocos, I already contacted a tour operator, Kuya Bhoy, to pick us at La Eliana at around 6 AM. We were already up as early as 4:30 AM which allowed us to witness this very beautiful sunrise from our hotel room:
Kuya Bhoy arrived late at around 6:30 AM because he had to drive all the way from Pagudpud which was about two (2) hours away! We were already very hungry by the time he arrived so we dropped by a Jollibee drive thru before embarking on a road trip. Just a little after a hour on the road, we already reached our first destination the Cape Borjeador lighthouse in the town of Burgos.
Cape Borjeador Lighthouse
There is no wonder that the lighthouse itself would still last for sometime because of its stone structure. However, I am bit worried for the pavilion beside it. The building is already a century old and the damage brought by time was already obvious. It saddens that me that in the near future all the history that pavilion with will just rot away with time.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
After the quick stop in Cape Borjeador, we hopped back on the van and made our way to Kapurpurawan rock formation. The rock formations were quite far from the Natioanl Highway. From the highway, we had to traverse first a rough road before reaching the assigned parking are for vehicles.
From the parking area we had to walk again for another 15-20 minutes to reach the rock formations. The walk itself however, was such an experience because we passed by some interesting shrubbery.
After sometime, there were no plants! But we welcomed by these…beautiful beautiful scenery:
These pictures don’t do any justice to this place. It was simply breathtaking and I love it much more than the white rock formations themselves. I’ve been down south in the Philippines this year but I think nothing tops Kapurpurawan. The way how the rocks reflect in the water, the manner how the rocks were interspersed, and even the color of the algal blooms gave an impression of being perfectly orchestrated by nature.
Just a few more more meters past these bodies of water, we finally met the limestone rock formations. Some of the rocks were already obviously “polished” by the local government unit to make walking for tourists easier, an observation which I abhorred. However, I just let it go because the beauty of the formations mar whatever alterations done to them. How these rocks were formed and what kind of tectonic activities happened in this place is simply unimaginable.
We did not stay for long around the formations because the sun was scorching hot already. The way back to the van was still a long walk so I decided to try what the locals were offering: ride a horse! It was my first time riding one and I must say…it was fun! I pity the poor horse though because I seemed so heavy for him. 🙂
Bangui Wind Mills
From the rock formations, we proceeded to the tourist spot that is probably best associated with Ilocos Norte and the town of Bangui: its windmills. It’s quite a feat when you get to see the windmills because I think is the only place in the Philippines with functional windmills.
From a distance, they just looked light rotating rotating pinwheels. Up close, these gentle giants were actually so intimidating.
It would be great if there would be more windmills in the country. They are a good source of renewable energy. Too bad, they are very expensive to build and maintain.
We actually visited more places during this day but I will give Pagudpud its own post because the town also has so much to offer. I spent a total of six (6) days in Ilocos. This day was probably the day I loved the most because I got to realize that when God showered blessings, the province of Ilocos Norte was probably the first in line. Again and again I say, the place is so beautiful and has simply too much to offer.
See you in my next post and here’s to praying I finish all my Ilocos post by September before school activities kill me again. 🙂
Credits to Kuya Vince Tumlos for some of the pictures used in this post.
This is the Part 3 of my Ilocos Series: