A lighthouse, parola in Filipino and other dialects in the Philippines (and in Spanish, I suppose) guides ships and anyone at sea. The Philippines is an archipelago, composed of thousands of islands and, quite understandably, a large number of lighthouses. I’ll be surprised to know if you haven’t seen a lighthouse.
[Read VisitPinas Itinerary for a 3-day Ilocos Trip]
The first lighthouse I saw was in our town, which was created in the last half of this century and so its lighthouse is also relatively a new structure.
The more famous lighthouse I encountered is the old Spanish lighthouse in Corregidor Island. It was constructed and became fully operational during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. I thought the lighthouse itself (or the view from the top) is the most amazing I have ever seen.
I still believe the view is still amazing, but the label “most amazing” now belongs to another lighthouse — the Cape Bojeador lighthouse found in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. The historical marker placed in this lighthouse states that it was designed in 1887 and finished in 1890. It is the sole example of of a 19th century lighthouse architecture.
It’s one of the must-see stops when one goes on a roadtrip to Ilocos. Burgos is the town immediately before Bangui (where the Bangui Wind Mills are found) and Pagudpud (where the white beaches are found), so there should be no problem looking for these contiguous places.
A little problem, maybe, if you intend to go to the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse on the way home from Pagudpud. The lighthouse is not visible from Pagudpud, or maybe we just missed it. There’s no problem locating the lighthouse driving from Burgos, as the lighthouse is perched on top of a hill. It’s a short climb up the hill and if you go there during peak season, there might be a problem with parking.
If it’s any consolation, there is no parking or entrance fee, except that one has to pay in sweat to climb a few flight of stairs leading to the base of the lighthouse (then another set of stairs to go up the lighthouse itself). The view is worth all the effort.
The architecture itself is impressive. If I’ll have my house of choice, I’ll most probably incorporate this kind of architecture. The underlying bricks showing through the outside layers, like the lighthouse furiously resisting as time slowly eats its way into the very heart of the structure.
What’s more impressive, however, is the view from the top. A friend characterizes the landscape, just before the land gives way to the South China Sea, as reminiscent of Scotland shores. I haven’t been to Scotland, though, so I can’t really say. Let’s hear what others have to say.