While numerologists and ordinary folks alike were preparing for or discussing about the end of the world last December 21, 2012, AJ and I were vacationing at Laoag and Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, unmindful of all the hype about end of the world date (if there is such one).
We were actually in Ilocos in December last year, but there were 2 special places that we weren’t able to visit so we promised ourselves that we’ll go back there to complete the tour. And we couldn’t have chosen a better time because if the world were indeed to end last December 21, 2012 (a Friday), we will be at any of these 2 enchanting places in Ilocos Norte:
Kapurpuran Rock Formation. Located in the town of Burgos (it’s a just a few minutes further from the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse), these limestones are unique because of their white color (thus the name “Kapurpuran” which means whiteness in Ilocano). Too bad we couldn’t anymore get closer to this ark-shaped rock formation that has graced numerous blog pages and travel magazines. The local government has sealed off this area because strong sea winds has caused mineral displacements (“weathering effects”) of the rocks which, over a period of time, can lead to a “break down” of its form.
These rocky stones eroded by wind and seawater gave it little craters that formed an interesting pattern: Being a natural wonder, it’s no longer surprising to know that the Kapurpuran rocks have served as onsite location for various Pinoy fantasy movies. In fact, you will still see some of the paper mache caves purposely built there for a movie (and which the production decided to leave in the area to serve as tourist spots).
The best time to see the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is early morning. Not only do you avoid the scorching heat by mid-day but this also allows you the luxury of enjoying the picturesque morning sunrise with perfect blue seawater and immaculately white limestones in your views.
Kabigan Falls. From Burgos, we traveled to Pagudpud and stopped at Brgy. Balaoi. It is here where you will start the trek to Kabigan Falls, which is just a 1.5 kilometer walk. But first you have to pay a registration fee of P10.00 (per head) at the Information Center, and then you will be assigned a trekking guide (1 for the whole group), for a fixed fee of P100.00. The first half of the trek will be on flat land – with rice paddies as your view to your left, and rocky streams to your right. Here are some of the rocky streams you’ll meet on the way:
Soon you will be led deeper into the woods, where you have to cross rocky paths and bamboo bridges like this one: The trek was actually an easy one, as long as you pay attention to the directions and steps of your tour guide to avoid stepping on the wrong stones and slippery patches of soil.
At last, after about 25 minutes of trekking (non-stop, no break at all), we reached our destination. It was a totally rewarding sight. Yey – I made it! AJ thought he could swim through the rocky pool of the waterfall but it was so cold. He just dipped his feet into the pool instead hehe. What a day it was! I don’t know if this is psychological but this opportunity to spend time with nature, away from the madness of the city and my work, gave me “recharged” energies. In fact, I don’t remember feeling exhausted after traveling back 2-hours from Pagudpud to Laoag on a trike(!), then travel from Laoag to Vigan the following day (1.5 hour travel, by bus this time) where we had lunch with my former boss (who’s also our host during our stay in Vigan last year) and then did some last minute pasalubong shopping, and sit through a grueling 11-hour bus trip from Vigan to Manila.
And so, the world did not end in my clock last December 21, 2012, but time did stopped the whole time we were at Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and Kabigan Falls. As a result, we had our lunch at 3:30 in the afternoon =)