We only have a few hours left in the afternoon. And bringing in people along for the first time in Ilocos Norte, it’s hard not to show them the mega structures which has defined the place. Particularly, these are Cape Bojeador and the somewhat new Bangui Windmills. From Bacarra Church we drove the scenic coastal road up to Burgos for our first top, the lighthouse. It’s comforting we have a Van now, first time I went around Ilocos Norte, we did it by public transpo, meaning, from Burgos Highway, we had to make our way up there by foot.
Nothing much has changed from this 1900s built structure since I last visited. There really is no sign of development on this place. I’m not sure if it’s bad, but I’d prefer they do some maintenance or even spruce up the place a bit. I know having a rustic feel is nice but I hope it doesn’t go to the point of decay.
The place proved to be still popular as there were a couple of groups visiting with us. One is a bus load of young tourist, probably a college trip and the other has their own van like us. We did the usual climb up the spiral staircase until we reached the giant lantern at the top. The views are nice as usual, and the broken glasses are still there, except now they placed some mesh wire to prevent people from going through it.
From Burgos, we go to Bangui. From the once quiet windy town, it became a mark on the Philippines Map when the Bangui Windmills were erected there. It’s the only place in the Philippines where one can find such large structures and in sheer numbers as well. I remember, first time I’ve been here, there were only 12 of these gigantic windmills standing. Now there are about 24 of them. I’m all for these structures because aside from making this bare beach scenic, it’s a source of renewable energy.
I also noticed a few stalls by the beach selling souvenirs. And these are really nice wooden windmill figures and key chains that the locals there made. I made sure I bought a couple of those key chains and figurines for home. It would help the livelihood of the locals here.
As much as I want to stay here for the sunset, we had to go early since we still have a long drive back to Vigan. We caught the tail end of the setting sun on the road to Laoag and as always it’s captivating as the cliché goes. How else can you describe that scenery while on the coastal road. Our hosts family wanted us to see the beaches up north but we’ll reserve that probably in the future. We had a dinner stop in Laoag then drove again all the way back to Vigan. It was a long day and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it. Big thanks to our host family for taking us around Ilocos Norte.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.