Monday, June 27, 2011

Timmangtang Rock & Bantay Abot Cave, Ilocos Norte

Part of the Ilocos Norte tour, we went to see Timmangtang Rock. The place was a bit far from the place we were staying at but one thing I liked about Ilocos, is the road. It's well maintained, spacious and no traffic. So even if it's far, the ride is relaxing. . 

No history about this rock. From the road, you'll just see one huge rock. It is said to be a bell shaped one but I disagree. Not even close to a distorted bell shape.

 I like beaches so when we walked closer to the waters,
I enjoyed the view especially with the waves hitting the rocks.

Just a few meters away from Timmangtang Rock, you can see the Bantay Abot Cave,
which means Mountain with a Hole

You still have to drive to get there though. It will require you to go down steep steps and walk on the rocks.

View from the hole

  Extra care is needed here as the rocks are slippery. (I've witnessed two people slipped)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Patapat Viaduct, Pagudpud

When I first saw the photo of Patapat Viaduct, I asked my former colleague what it was and what's in there. She just said it's just a nice road where you can take a photo. So when it was our time to go there, we did just the same. When I was preparing to make this blog, I googled it and there I learned what it was. It's sad to think that there are tourist who goes to places for photos and never learning about the place. In my defense :)  the place was nice and can't help but take photos. I did remember asking our trike driver but he wasn't helpful at all.

I don't even know what a "viaduct" is (ha ha). Well as per Merriam-Webster, it is a long elevated roadway usually consisting of a series of short spans supported on arches, piers, or columns. Patapat is said to be 1.2km in length that connects Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It is the fourth longest bridge in the Philippines.

You will be amazed by the view of the snake shaped viaduct and the sea. The road is not that busy with vehicles...more of tourists right by at the middle of the road. You can stop and just take photos. The vehicles passing by would slow down as they are aware that this area is a tourist spot. The fun about this is when you are posing in the middle of the road and you can see a vehicle coming, you would hurry to get that shot.

*some photos were taken by Chando

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud

It's always exciting to see waterfalls. Each one that I have visited has different stories even if they say that waterfalls always look the same...

Kabigan Falls is located in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. I'm not sure how far it was as we took the tourcycle where we rented a tricycle to take us around. By the time we got to the registration area, the sun was all smiles. We had to hydrate ourselves with fresh buko juice and cold water before the trek. For an entrance fee of 20 pesos and 100 pesos for a tour guide, we started our 1.5km , 30minutes trek. They also let you borrow umbrellas for free. It was an easy trek where you'll pass by flat areas, hills going up and down. The locals made it easier as they formed steps and built bridges so you won't have to go on the rocks over the streams. As a tourist, you interview the guide. This is the first time I've met a female guide. She is like the other guides I've talked to who works really hard under the sun, farming, harvesting and on the side, would tour guide. I'm a sucker on this kind of stories. I know they are real. So I gave an extra tip after. 

We were so excited to get to the falls because it was hot and humid. You have to be careful while trekking because you'll pass by giant ants which they call "hantik" and the locals actually eat them. Good thing we were not invited to do this. When we saw the falls, we got excited. It was approximately 87ft with a concave basin. Your jaw won't really drop but it is always fun to see waterfalls. I've seen a nicer one. We dressed up right there with the use of our sarongs not caring about the many tourists around. Did not take too much photos as they all look the same. We wanted to feel the fresh water on our sticky skins right away. This was also my first time to swim on the falls. It wasn't as deep like the others but it was cold. I had fun.

Getting to know the locals

Fresh Buko Juice break before the trek

Start of the trek with our guide, Ate Regina

You can borrow umbrellas from the locals

Flat land....on the way to the mountain

Kids taking a dip at the stream

We had to stop and give way to a carabao and a way!

The locals made bridges for easier trek to tourists

It was up and down the mountain

Easy trek

Tourists enjoying the falls

We took a dip on the cold but refreshing water.

With our very friendly guide, Ate Regina

It was easier going back. We had lunch near the registration area where we had a simple meal of Papaitan, Adobo, Dinuguan and rice that was half cook. Too hungry to complain but we did tell Ate so she can correct it. Though there's a little hut that cooks food for you. They prepare it while you trek. It costs 800 pesos. A little pricey. So we went for the carinderia style.       

*some photos were taken by Chando

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Burgos, Ilocos Norte


While I was enjoying the view of the mountains inside the bus, I saw a tower from the hill. Then I saw the signeage that says Cape Bojeador. I got excited. It was far from where we were staying and since we were backpackers, we took the public transportation available which is the tricycle. It is a tiny one compared to the Manila trikes, very lowered and can only fit 3 people. Good thing that the roads in Ilocos Norte were nice and no traffic. We did not even see a single jeepney there.
From Manila, you will see the Cape Bojeador on the right side. You won’t miss it. By the way, it is found in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. First time I saw a lighthouse far from the shore. The view of the waters is beautiful. It would have been relaxing if there weren’t so many tourists so we had to keep moving to give way. The steps going up were a bit hard as it was too high and steep. We went up the flights a bit fast as we can feel the sun on our skin. We were not able to go on the top of the tower as it was closed. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse was built in 1892 to guide ships on the South China Sea so it’s super old and is considered as a national treasure heritage. It is still functional.

A view from the bus




Map of Burgos

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The first leg of our Ilocos tour was Pagudpud. We took the Florida Bus Transport from Cubao, Quezon City which wasn’t bad at all. They were all pink and the one we took had a toilet inside. Fare cost 700 pesos each. We left at exactly 8:00pm. We took the night trip as it was going to be a long ride. As we were nearing Pagudpud, I saw the windmills from the road. It was exciting to see it as it is a very popular tourist spot in the North. The bus driver dropped us near the place we were staying at around 6:30am.

Not in Pagudpud, the Bangui Windmills are found in Bangui, Ilocos Norte. These are wind turbines facing the South China Sea where it produces renewable energy sources and it helps reduce greenhouse gases that causes global warming. The windmills were supplied in the 90’s by a Dutch power firm and were patterned similar to those in Denmark. This was initiated by Governor Bongbong Marcos when he reached out to NAPOCOR (National Power Corporation) on the poor quality of power at the Ilocos area. They stand on a single row on-shore and all facing the sea. It first started with 15 turbines and just recently added 5 more.  It would have been lovely to get to all 20 but the sun was smiling as we started out around 9ish.

Taking photos of the giant windmills

Our guide brought us to the View Deck where we can see all turbines from afar.
 Only to find out we had a good view from the place we were staying at which is beach front.     
Here's a map of Bangui