Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

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On the coast of the town of Burgos are masterpieces brought about by natural causes. Nature and the process called sedimentation formed these limestone cliffs for thousands of years.

This place reminds me so much of Jeju Island. Not that I’ve been there, but based on the K-dramas that I watch. It’s such a wonderful sight.

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Since the area is facing the ocean, strong winds will welcome you to it. Thus, the community of Burgos decided to create its own wind farm to harvest the energy given by the wind.

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You can tour the rock formation by riding a small horse for PHP 100. If you’re up to it, you can just walk. The main venue isn’t that far from the locale.

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This is the main attraction. However, this is cordoned off. There have been a lot of accidents from people trying to climb their way to the top.

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And this is the view from the other side which is a better backdrop if you’ll be taking pictures.

Kapurpurawan comes from the root word puraw which means white in the Ilokano dialect. Thus, white limestone carvings.

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There’s an art installation, too, that gives honor to one of Ilocos’ heroes, Lam-ang. This installation talks about how Lam-ang took down an alligator with just his bare hands.

 

 

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

In the town of Burgos, Ilocos Norte is the landmark for the north-westernmost tip of the Luzon Island.

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To get to the lighthouse, there are two options – tricycle or walk. Since it is just the early morning, the sun cruel yet. So, we had to walk the incline to the building. It isn’t a long walk so taking a tricycle will just be a waste of money.

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Like most tourist places in the Ilocos Region, you won’t have to pay to enter. You can just enjoy the grandeur and workmanship of the people involved in the building of said lighthouse.

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It was built during the Spanish era to guide incoming galleons from the rocky coast of the town. And, to this date, it still remains a working lighthouse for international ships carrying goods for trade.

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Paoay Sand Dunes

Ilocos Norte is not just a place of history. There’s a lot more to it than it seems. I, as a Filipino, am also quite surprised to realize that there’s a place like this in my own country.

Sand dunes. I relate sand dunes to the hot and dry places of the Earth such as Saharan Africa or the Gobi Dessert in Mongolia. As soon as I heard something like this exists, I was intrigued.

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We went there on the tail-end of our first day in the Ilocos Provinces mainly because the sun was so hot during the afternoon. I agree. For PHP 2500 per 4×4 vehicle which can accommodate 5 people, you can have an adventure of a lifetime.

And, when the driver asked us to rest, we were greeted by a beautiful sight – a Philippine sunset.

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Included in the 1 hour ride is sand boarding. It is my first time to try it and I enjoyed. I would have wanted to try standing but that station was full of people.

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It’s one of my favorite parts of the itinerary and would love to do it again!

 

Malacañang of the North

This two-story house is the estate of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his family during their trips to the North.

For just PHP 30, you can enter the house and get introduced to their lavish lifestyle.

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It has very strong hits of colonial architecture integrated with local flavor such as capiz shells.

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Wouldn’t you want to just chill with the beautiful Paoay Lake in the background?

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However, they could’ve used the fees they collect to restore the other parts of the estate.

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Paoay Church

Also known as the Church of Saint Augustine, is Roman Catholic church in the town of Paoay in Ilocos Norte.

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It is considered a National Cultural Treasure by the government of the Philippines and declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site being one of the four Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

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Ilocandia Tour

The recently concluded APEC and its accompanying holidays made room for a quick getaway to the northern provinces of the Philippines. We said hello to both Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.

I’ve been here once when my friend’s father asked us to come during his campaign period. But that was way back in 2007. Now, it will be a more comprehensive trip of the North.

Here’s our itinerary:

Day 0

10:30 PM – ETD from Marikina City

Day 1

6:00 AM – ETA to Vigan

6:00 AM – Breakfast, Heritage Village, Baluarte, Bantay Bell Tower

11:00 AM – ETD from Vigan

1:00 AM – ETA Ilocos Norte and Lunch

2:00 AM – Paoay Church, Malacanang of the North, Fort Ilocandia, Sand Dunes

6:00 PM – Check in for the night

Day 2

6:30 AM – Breakfast

7:30 AM – Sinking Bell Tower, Cape Bojeador Light House, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Bangui Windmills

1:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – Patapat Viaduct, Blue Lagoon

6:00 PM – Dinner

7:00 PM – Check in for the night

Day 3 

7:00 AM – Breakfast

8:00 AM – Check out

9:00 AM – Marcos Mausoleum

10:00 AM – ETD from Ilocos Norte

1:00 PM – ETA in Vigan, Lunch

3:00 PM – ETD from Vigan

12:00 AM – ETA in Marikina

Quick and action-packed – that was the trip. And a productive way to spend the holidays. Posts will be uploaded soon!