Ilocos Norte

Ilocandia Tour Day 1

We attended a conference in Baguio city. I and my friends decided that we will do Ilocandia tour after the conference.

Due to time constraint, we decided to avail a package tour by an agency to make things easier.

We chatted with the travel agency, we gave our itinerary and gave us a good price. We paid 4950 pesos each person (3pax) this is a 2 days and 1 night’s tour package. It covers North and South Ilocos. It includes transportation, entrance fees, and one-night accommodation.

We took a bus from Baguio and a driver will meet us at the Laoag bus terminal. We arrived around 4:30 in the morning. Carlo, our guide met us at the bus terminal. We ate our breakfast and we started our tour.

First, stop Kapurpurawan Rock formation

We are very fortunate because it is early morning when we arrived at the Kapurpurawan rock formation. Literally, it is only us on the site.

This rock formation indeed is a masterpiece of nature. It is nestled along the coast of Burgos town, it overlooks the Bangui Bay and stood the strong waves of the sea.

It was formed thousands of years ago by the forces of nature; waves and winds. This unique formation is a must see in Ilocos Norte.

Next stop Bangui Windmills

The location of Ilocos Norte is between the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is ideal for windmills. The Bangui windmills are the largest windmill in Southeast Asia.

The Northwind Bangui Bay Project estimates that 56,788 tons of CO2e (tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) of greenhouse gases will be reduced per year for the duration of the project activity. That’s 1.2 million tons of CO2! (www.pagudpud-ilocos.com)

This gives Ilocos Norte when combined with hydro-electric power generation, one of the lowest carbon emission footprints in Asia and certainly within developed or developing countries. It is something that Filipinos can be proud of.

Patapat Viaduct

Patapat Causeway Bridge is one of the most scenic and most photographed destinations in Ilocos Norte, in the Philippines.

It is 30 meters above sea level. Its length is 1.3 km long, built along the coast of Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte. It connects the Maharlika Highway in Laoag to the Cagayan Valley.  The fourth longest bridge in the country, this winding concrete is said to be the northernmost part of the Philippines.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

It is also known as Burgos Lighthouse because it is located in the town of Burgos. The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is a cultural heritage structure in Ilocos Norte. It sat on top of the Vigia de Nagparitan Hill, overlooking Cape Bojeador. A long time ago, the cape was a main route of the galleon trade before. It’s been more than 100 years since it was established and it is still fully functional — a watch tower that gives signals to ships that they are approaching the Philippine territory.

The lighthouse was constructed as part of Spain’s master plan of lighting up the Philippines. The initial design was started by Magin Pers in 1887 but was finished by Guillermo Brockman’s Lighthouse Service. The lighthouse tower is 65 feet tall and is octagonal. The walls are made of bricks. It was first lit up on March 30, 1892. During that, the Philippines was under the Spanish rule at the time.

 

Malacanang of the north

The Malacañang of the North is a 5-hectare property that overlooks the tranquil Paoay Lake. It used to be the official residence of the First family when they visit Ilocos Note during their regime.

The house was converted into a museum. It showcases the memorabilia of the ex-President and his family. The house is made of hardwood materials like narra and mahogany.

 

Sand dunes

An 85 square kilometre, desert-like landscape. It stretches as far as eyes can see. It was declared National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Science in 1993.

The sand dunes were formed by the erosion and deposition

Paoay Church

Paoay Church is one of the few baroque churches in the Philippines. It is designed to withstand earthquakes by the Augustinian Friars in 1694 and completed in 1894. It stood the test of time. It survived wars, typhoon and earthquakes.

 

The church was made of coral stone and bricks. It has 24 enormous buttresses on both sides and at the back. The three-storey bell tower on the right side of the church.

The church is a historical and architectural site, hence it is awarded as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

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