On my Holy Week escapade to Ilocandia, I got a chance to visit some of the popular tourist spots of Ilocos, including those on its northernmost coast.
The three northernmost coastal towns of Ilocos Norte are Burgos, Bangui and Pagudpud. I have been to the last six years ago, and explored the town pretty completely including Saud Beach, Patapat Viaduct, Kabigan Water Falls, Bantay Abot Cave, Maira-ira Beach or Blue Lagoon, Agua Paraiso and Bantay Abot Cave. So this time, I focused on Bangui and Burgos.
The ride from Laoag to Bangui took less than two hours on a wide open road, morning of Good Friday. The fare for the specially mounted trip doubled due to scarcity of public transport, P100 from the original P50.
The jeepney stopped in a street leading to Bangui Bay where I got off. I checked my GPS phone and the street was quite long, perhaps three kilometers or so, the sun was up and the scorching heat was burning me. I looked around and saw a parked motorbike in the corner, I asked the owner to take me to the famed spot of Bangui – its windmills.
So I rode the motorbike to the windmills of Bangui Bay with Rex, the owner, to the towering structures that dot the shore of Bangui and considered as one of the icons of Ilocos Norte. It is the first and only wind farm in the Philippines and the biggest in Southeast Asia, providing 40% of electricity to the province.
I was able to see these windmills from Pagudpud a long time ago, but this was the very first time that I got to see these beautiful structures up close and I was amazed. Sweating hard and not minding the heat, I strolled around, took some pic while Rex was waiting for me.
I asked Rex if he can take me to Kapurpurawan Rock and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, he agreed. I asked again how much but he never gave me a figure. I only budgeted P500 for the three spots and I was hoping that he will give me a figure close to my budget, but he still refused to give me a price.
He brought me to Kapurpurawan Rock. Rex has never seen the place before but he knew the place exists. The ride from Bangui to Kapurpurawan in the town of Burgos took only half-an-hour, and the motorbike stopped in the jump-off -point where I needed to walk under the scorching heat of the sun for another ten minutes to get close to the rock formations. The site is filled tourists when I got to the spot but still, Kapurpurawan Rock stands beautifully with its white limestone rocks forming a unique natural sculpture.
I wanted to have a photo of the place without much people in it but the tourists keep coming so I decided to leave and just proceeded to our next stop, the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse or simply the Burgos Lighthouse.
The Spanish era lighthouse of Cape Bojeador stands on Vigia de Nagparitan Hill, overlooking the South China Sea. It was constructed in 1890’s and still being used up to now. The place reminds me of Capones Lighthouse, with its red brick keeper’s house, water well, gates and the plight of stairs leading to the lighthouse, a beautiful Spanish heritage.
Like Kapurpurawan Rock, the place is filled with tourists, so after taking some pics and wandering around the compound, I decided to leave. I told Rex to drop me off at the main highway where the buses/vans going to Laoag pass, he asked P700.00 for the entire trip.
Kuya Rex wanted to wait for me to catch a trip back to Laoag, but fifteen minutes passed and I was still on the highway so I told him to go ahead. I was left alone in a waiting shed, hungry, tired and in all sweat. I waited for an hour and still no luck so I decided to walk under the noon sun.
I rested for a while after nine kilometers of walking and there a provincial bus going to Laoag passed. I hopped in and took the vacant seat by the window and enjoyed the comfort and scenery until I reached Bacarra to continue my church visits of Ilocandia. It was a very short visit to these famed spots but I got to enjoy and appreciate Ilocos more. I can’t wait to go back 🙂