Ilocos Norte: Southbound Tour and way home

Finished our lunch a few minutes after 12 noon.  We went back to Ate Cathy’s to get our things then checked out.  Two vendors are selling some Pagudpud souvenirs for quite a low price. There are key chains and fridge magnets being sold 3 for 100Php which could be as low as 25Php each.  I got a shirt for 120Php from 150Php original price.  Wala talaga sa budget ang pasalubong pero syempre minsan lang mapunta dito, kaya kahit souvenir man lang eh makabili. I haggled with one of them, that for a hundred pesos, I can get a frog fridge magnet (I wondered why frog), white tree shell paper weight (which costs 60php) and another paper weight shell with Pagudpud imprint. Nasampulan ko ata si ate ng pagiging kuripot.. 😛 kinulit nya kasi akong bumili eh.. 😛 Salamat po!

First Stop: Pagudpud Ark

Where we at..

..that according to the elders is a deep Ilocano word which means soft sandy soil “kuppuoy” a kadaratan..

Umanggulo.. ang camera..

It took us 20-25 minutes going here from Saud Beach.  No other vehicles passing by and I wonder where the Ilocanos have gone.  I suppose everyone’s at work, in school or just at home?..

Second Stop:  Bangui Windmills

.. officially referred to as the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project..

.. windmills that I only get to see in pictures are right in front of me..

Travel time is roughly 20-30 minutes from Pagudpud.  I realized how tough these tricycles are for they can really travel loooooooooong distances.  Not to mention that it carries 3 persons with all of our bags inside but still managed to run 30-40kph.  Tough indeed!

The windmills are unexpectedly gigantic up close – there are 20 of them I think :P.  Each has three vertically oriented rotor blades on top of a 50m-high tubular tower.  Before I took pictures, I stared at this multi-million dollar project for a while.  I still can’t believe that it’s just in front of me.  Aside from its main environmental/economic purpose, it has become of the most sought after spots in the Philippines.

South China Sea lies just beside it.  The waves are much more active as strong winds hit the shore. Little pieces of rocks and sand are already hitting our knees but despite that, we still managed to stay for a few more minutes.

Locals are selling key chains and other windmill souvenirs.  Ever since I was young, I’m really fascinated with this huge windmills so I brought one home.  50Php for a windmill miniature – cool!

Third Stop:  Overlooking view of the Bangui Windmills

Windmills from afar.. start the count!

Rice fields of Bangui

Time Check:  3:20PM

I was just reminded that we need to be at Cape Bojeador Lighthouse before it closes at 4:30PM.  It’s still a few kilometers away and by this time, we really need to get going.

Fourth Stop: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

This way..

We’re supposed to see Kapurpurawan Rock Formation next after the windmills but along the way, Kuya Arnel decided that we see the lighthouse first.  He might’ve thought that we might not make it on time.

At 3:45PM, we arrived.

Stairway to Lighthouse

Situated 160 meters on top of a hill named Vigia de Nagparitan, it serves as a station point for ships veering towards the Pacific Coast heading towards the Babuyan Channel.  Standing 160 meters above sea level, it is considered to be the highest elevated lighthouse in the country.


Faro de Cabo Bojeador up close

There is no entrance fee but to maintain the cleanliness of the place, a donation box is placed before you go up the lighthouse. The caretaker jokingly told me, “Okay na sa amin ang ISANG LIBO.. ” sabay ngiti.. Ang sabi ko naman, “Hindi ho ba kayo tumatanggap ng CHEKE?”.. natawa si Manong.. 😛

It’s my first time to go up a lighthouse and it’s freaking me out a bit.. hehe I know I don’t have any fear of heights, until this time 😛 The winds are so strong that the couple ahead of us opted to go out. With the winds blowing, I remembered how strong typhoon Milenyo and Reming was.  Some of the panels are already broken and missing and the wind’s pressure freaked me out more. A few more steps then I reached the top.


the light.. of the house.. still working BTW


View from the top.. with South China Sea at the back..

A few clicks is all we need and we went down.  The winds are getting more and more aggressive! 😛  It really is a good thing that Kuya Arnel dropped us here first.  We missed it already on Day 2 and I can’t afford to miss it the second time.

Fifth Stop:  Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Along with the Bangui Windmills, this is also one of the spots I was looking forward to see in this trip.  Pictures I saw from travel blogs interest me to see it for myself. And I thought that the way going here is easy.  I guess I missed reading that part.  Rough road along the way baby!

It’s the ultimate test of the ATT (All Terrain Tricycles) and surprisingly, it didn’t hurt a bit. 😛


Trekking begins here..

Hello there South China Sea..

See the rock formations?.. Ayuuuuuuuuunnnnn!

.. All of us should wear a shirt like this..

Some say that for you to achieve something great, you must work hard for it.  Apparently after 20-25 minutes, it held true.

Kapurpurawan at last!..

Hard to believe that there is something like this in our country.  These rock formations are truly amazing.  Nature-made.  *speechless*

The waves are hitting high..

Though Kapurpurawan originated from the Ilocano word, “puraw” which means “white”, the rocks are not as white as it is during summer. That probably is because of the changing weather during the first quarter.  Nevertheless, it’s still majestic.

Group pic as the day wraps up

We spent the remaining minutes taking pictures and just suck in the experience.  It isn’t everyday we get to see something awesome like this.  That’s why I’m also thankful.  Ilocanos are very lucky to have all these unbelievable places near them.  They truly have a lot to be proud of.

It’s 5PM.  It’s the perfect time to conclude the day as the sun sets right before my eyes.

It's a wrap..

As we left the tricycle, we thanked Kuya Arnel and his friend who served as our guides during the tour.  I know Ilocanos are kind, hospitable and humble but he’s awesome! And I cannot say goodbye without taking a solo picture of him.


That's Kuya Arnel and his friend at the back (09186890723 | 09265880666)

If you get a chance to visit Pagudpud and the rest of Ilocos Norte, contact him.  He has both a tricycle for groups of 2-4 and a van for bigger groups.

He brought us to the bus stop at the highway right outside Kapurpurwan where we can catch a trip back to Laoag.  Lucky us, we’re just in time for one.

At exactly 7PM, we set foot in Laoag again and had our dinner.  Our flight back to Manila is at 9:30PM.  While we still have a lot of time to spare, we roamed around to buy some goodies to bring home.  We’re still craving for empanada and good thing we found one right across Laoag Wet Market.  This looked different and more stuffed unlike the one we had in Hidden Garden.  For only 40Php, you’ll get a special empanada with egg, monggo, bean sprouts and longganisa right off the pan. Not to mention that I enjoyed eating it more.

We left the city and arrived 8:45pm at the airport.  At exactly 9PM, the flight back to Manila started boarding and 10 minutes after that, we left Laoag.

With this kind of experience, I can’t be more thankful for the 72 hours of tiring yet a lot of F-U-N adventure.  My travel year has kicked off with a bang!


20 responses to “Ilocos Norte: Southbound Tour and way home

  1. your windmills shots are nice.
    and of course yung kapurpurawan, that;s just amazing!

    thanks for getting mang arnel. mejo tumaba sya.. hehe siguro mejo mayaman na sya ngayon.. ^_^

  2. hahah! Legendary na si kuya. Kasali na siya sa postcards. Ibang klaseng promotion mo chyng hahaha! pag nagawi ako dyan siya din kontakin ko.

    Ang ganda nung 2nd to the last shot. Dramatic. Prang Ben Affleck sa Pearl Harbor. hahaha! ayos!

    • Salamat kura! Pearl Harbor’s my favorite astig!

      Parang pag may nagpunta ng Pagudpud, hindi puwedeng hindi magpapicture kay Kuya Arnel.. Part na rin syang tourist spot!.. hehe.. 🙂

  3. how can I ever forget Kapurpurawan, nilakad ko xa. haha Kumuha din ako ng tour sa Northbound, lahat pala ng trike drivers dun eh nag-o-offer ng tours,sayang I forgot to take note of kuya Arnel’s number. Pero yung sa South bound nag-commute ako until a trike driver saw me at pinasundo ako sa isa nilang kasamahan. I just observed na the trike drivers sa South ng Ilocos mas mabaet at d pa maxado commecialized or business minded, unlike sa North bound trike drivers na tours na talga kinabubuhay.

    • Hi Gael!

      I have a different observation naman, kasi sa Vigan most of the tryk drivers na nakasalamuha namin eh mejo mataas ang singil. Fare is 8php lang for short ride then 10 ang sinisingil nila.. and ung mga per hour tours nila, may kataasan, over hundred pesos to know na hindi naman ganun kalalayo ung bawat puntahan unlike sa Pagudpud na talagang kilometers away.. Lucky us ambabait ng mga Ilocanos na na-meet namin.. Masarap sila kakwentuhan.. and you’ll feel their humility.. 🙂

      I’m looking forward to your Indonesia adventure! Ingat po.. 🙂

  4. abah si khantotantra hindi pa tlga nagcocomment.. talagang my sakit.. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh.. hinding hindi ko talaga makakalimutan ang falls and yung kapurpurawan.. astig!

  5. Wow!!! The best mga kuha mo ng Bangui Windwills. Kapurpurawan – dapat kong mapuntahan yan.

  6. Same tayo ng reaction nung nakita ang windmills! Hahaha!

  7. I’ve always wanted to go to Pagudpud! One of these days! It’s just a bit too costly that’s why it’s best to travel with a group. Maybe one of these days, I’ll definitely have my picture taken with the Windmills! 😀

    • It’s all worth it Ed. I was surprised rin to know na hindi ganun kalaki yung nagastos namin.. especially when you only want to visit Pagudpud.. 🙂

  8. galing ng shots jepoy, one stop pa lang yan at ang dami nyong napuntahan. sulit na sulit ang trip.. I love the shots especially the windmills and the rock formation..

    • The best yang windmills and rock formation.. you’ll know what it feels pag nakita mo sa harap mo ung mga pinapangarap mong mapuntahan.. indescribable!

  9. good job! I got some tips like about when the lighthouse closes. when I went there it was morning and manong let me in along with 4 other students who were touring (he allows 5 at a time) and those steps up to the lighthouse isn’t to be taken lightly specially if you have ‘hika’ or heart problems! LOL the gov’t should maintain the place better specially the dingy museum room and window panels on the way up and on top of the lighthouse.

    • Yep I agree. Some of the wind panels are missing/broken already. Spots like this lighthouse should be maintained para makita rin ng future generations.. Ilocanos like you are very lucky to have these places.. I really enjoyed my stay in Ilocos, will definitely come back..

  10. Hi Jeff!

    Thank you for visiting Ilocos Norte. I am from from the province but I have never been to Kapurpurawan. I only see this rock formation thru travel blogs. Good you and your group did.

    Again, thank you and umay kayto manen :]

    • Hi Miles.

      We really enjoyed our trip back and will definitely stay longer in Pagudpud when time and budget permit.. haha Thanks for dropping by and hope you see it for yourself.. That’s one of the precious places Ilocos Norte can really be proud of..

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