Most of my memories from my childhood in Illocos are all centered around Vintar and my big, beautiful home. With that being said, I was on a mission to see as much of Illocos as possible in a short amount of time. What better way to achieve this goal than through a road trip! In one day and about 14 hours, I was able to see so much!
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
The day began bright and early at 7am and our first destination was a lighthouse. Living in Las Vegas, I don’t get to see too many of these, especially one that has been in use since 1892. It marks the northern most point of the Luzon island. It has great views of the surrounding ocean and it really does make you feel on top of the world. It doesn’t take much of your time to walk around the lighthouse, which was beneficial for the day I had planned.
Bangui Wind Farm
After the lighthouse, the next destination was the Bangui Wind Farm. Not a typical tourist destination by any means, but it was still super cool! I already enjoy looking at windmills in the states, but seeing them upclose (as opposed to driving on a freeway) and all lined up by the shore is a fun image. On a quiet beach facing the West Philippine Sea, it’s lovely to see a merge of the old and modern. It was oddly peaceful to watch.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Near Bangui, there is a place called Kapurpurawan rock formation. This was probably my favorite location on the road trip. So much so, that it will get it’s own post very shortly! But to sum it up, it’s close to the Wind Farms, and you can actually see them in the distance. It was so beautiful, it was a take your breath away moment. I don’t want to spoil too much for my next post since I can go on and on! So we’ll just leave it at that for now.
I do remember coming to Saud when I was younger and it was nice to see that it hadn’t changed at all. I would compare Saud to Hawaii. Or at least, the Hawaii that most people imagine. White sands, clear waters, palm trees and NO PEOPLE. It was already a shock when I visited Sexy Beach and there was no one, but it was more surprising that there were no visitors at Saud, since they are known for their resort. Regardless, I wasn’t complaining. It was wonderful to be out in the warm sun, alone with your thoughts and just appreciating your surroundings. In that moment, I never wanted to come home.
A road trip of Illocos wouldn’t have been complete without stopping at a church. Paoay Church is a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines and it’s not difficult to see why. The church is gorgeous. It’s a different type of old church, much different than those I’ve seen in London or Paris. It was completed in 1710 (Just 10 years younger than St. Paul’s Cathedral in London!) but it exudes an image of ruins. The stone facade is massive and it makes it look like the church is just rising from the ground. It’s a site worth seeing and I would go back again and again. It is still in use today! There was even a wedding taking place inside when I visited. I hope the church will be around for another 300 years.
The last stop on my road trip was much further south. About 2.5 hours away from my starting point, Vigan is actually in Illocos Sur. It’s one of the few Hispanic towns where the buildings have remained in tac. I’ve been told it looks like Havana, Cuba… one day I’ll give you a first hand account. 🙂 Vigan was beautiful, very old world. They even have horsedrawn carriages to boot. They also have a dancing water show at night, which suspiciously looks a lot like the fountains at Bellagio and the fountain at Aria… but the local tourists seem to enjoy it. After letting my jaded Vegas brat go… I too enjoyed it. Overall, a joyous and colorful end to my day.