Friday, October 1, 2010

Ilocos Norte: Northern exposures

Ilocos Norte - Kaangrian Falls Water Pathways
The pathways of Kaangrian Falls
One of the pitfalls of having a diversity of things to offer the tourist is the lack of funding to promote each and every attraction, not to mention the confusion these can cause to the communication.  Take Ilocos for instance.  Say Ilocos and Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur comes to most people's minds.  But truth be told, Ilocos is so much more than a strip of old houses on a cobblestone street.  Much much more.  In Ilocos Norte alone, there are wonderful stopovers worth more than a cursory glance.
Ilocos Norte - Rock Pools Reflections
Kapurpurawan Golden Reflections
Natural and structural wonders abound here, best explored via roadtripping.  Sure, it's a long drive but the highways are mostly smooth, the vistas scenic, and the local color come in various hues.  In areas where you have to pass through rough roads, the incredibly beautiful sceneries that await makes up for the tough drive or in the case of the falls like Kaangrian, a hot and humid hike.
Ilocos Norte Bojeador Lighthouse Window
Cape Bojeador Window
Being the former home province of a strongman, many point to the strong possibility that there's still hidden wealth stashed here.  I do agree to that because even without the benefit of a fact-finding commission or senate investigation, there's so much natural wealth for all to see and share (and not to forget, to preserve for the next generations).
Ilocos Norte - Bangui Banca Sunset
Sunset at Bangui Bay
Venture to the numerous falls.  Explore the otherworldly Kapurpurawan rock formation (but please, refrain from scaling the increasingly fragile rocks).   Survey the lowlands from the vantage point of the Bojeador lighthouse.  Wonder at and wander among the exquisite colonial churches (the one in Paoay is a sunset must-visit).  Gape at the windmills at Bangui.  And since the province rests on the western part of northern Luzon, it's but a must to catch a sunset or two near the coasts.  The compass points to the north and at times, following the needle is a good way to get started on your own northern exposure.
Ilocos Norte - Kaangrian Roots and Falls
Kaangrian Roots and Falls
Read my related post on Ilocos Norte: Light in the northern towns


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