Saturday, October 20, 2012

Of Windmills and Rocks

When I drafted my travel plans for 2012, Ilocos has been one of my top choices.  I have been to Ilocos before but there is something out there that has kept me coming back.  Who can resist its beautiful landscapes, the abundant history, devoted and loyal people and the very famous bagnet and empanada?

A lot of people go to Ilocos because it's quite easy to get there.  One can either take atleast a 7-hr bus ride or hop on a plane and be there in about an hour.  There are a lot of places to explore and though I have been to Ilocos before, I still felt excited when we went out of the plane and greeted my Ilocana friend.

Ilocos is divided into two parts - llocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.  Ilocos Norte's capital is Laoag City while Vigan City is the capital of Ilocos Sur.  Aside from having very beautiful and  historical landmarks, Ilocos is also known as the birthplace of one Philippines' most controversial presidents, the late Ferdinand Marcos.

Our group hired a jeepney for the duration of our trip and paid the driver Php5,000 for the entire two days.  It was a bit expensive but we figured out that it was our best option since we only have limited time.  I've heard there are free shuttle buses from Laoag City airport going to the city proper so it would be easy to plan out your itinerary once there.

Our first stop was the Bangui windmills or officially known as the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project.  It was my first time to actually go near the windmills and it was a lot bigger than I have imagined.  The windmills stand tall facing the South China Sea. The windmills of Bangui has turned Ilocos' ingenious idea to use wind power to supply electricity to the nearby towns.

View from the Bangui windmills viewdeck

The windmills up close
Big waves crashing along the shores
Bangui souvenirs
Our next destination was the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.  The rock formation is characterized by a white limestones thus the name, "Kapurpurawan" meaning white in Ilokano unlike the rock formations in Magasang and Macadlao.  The provincial government has constructed a walk way going to the rock's view deck so it's a lot easier to reach it now.  But one still needs to go through the back side to actually reach Kapurpurawan.

The road that leads to the rock

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
 A nice scene to cap off our first day in Ilocos:

Sunset in Kapurpurawan

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