Immediately after graduating, I jumped right into the slave-like life we young(ish) ‘uns like to refer to as the “corporate world.” 8-to-5 jobs are not very friendly to traveling plans, and I guess I just kind of let that excuse get in the way of my desire to get out and see more of the world–something I suspect I’ll regret till I’m wrinkled and gray.
Lately, I’ve been trying to cram as much traveling as I can get in to my very limited free time. No matter how tight the budget is or how much time constraints there are, I’ve been doing my best to grab every opportunity to go on outings and out-of-town trips. I make time. I scrimp on stuff to save money. Anything I have to do to make sure I get someplace new, I do it. I’ve been pretty lucky this year in this regard: friends and family make plan after plan to go here and go there and climb this and swim that. It’s been a busy year so far, and one of the best trips we’ve done so far is touring Ilocos.
It’s such a beautiful place with so many beautiful things to see that we almost didn’t mind the 12-hour travel time. After a grueling ride at the back of the van, our butts hurting and our limbs stiff from the long drive, we finally reached our first stop: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.
It’s a sweet, nostalgic place that made me think of clandestine meet-ups of star-crossed lovers from warring families, the kind that local soap operas never seem to grow out of. I can just hear the cheesy lines in my head: Magkita tayo sa taas ng Bojeador, ang mga tala ang magiging saksi ating pagmamahalan (Meet me on top of Bojeador. Stars will be witnesses to our love.)
It’s too bad that we couldn’t climb all the way to the top, though. The doorway leading there was closed that day (or visitors are no longer allowed to go there, I’ve read somewhere that the structure is quite aged and fragile).
Nevertheless, the view was still spectacular. The sea was especially blue that day and looked so cool and refreshing–it was all I can do not go running towards it screaming and start splashing around. The bricks were rough and weathered, and quite a number of people have left their marks on the walls. I usually frown on graffiti, but in this case I actually found it quite charming–like the scribbled messages of your classmates in your yearbook. I wonder if these were left here a long time ago, and do these people lead different lives then than they do now, who left the first mark.
The building was beautiful in an old Spanish-time kind of way (it in fact kind of resembles the oldest building from my school in UST), but there wasn’t a lot of things to do. It’s mainly just a sight-seeing kind of spot. The perfect first stop where everyone can just stretch their legs and take a breath of fresh, salty air after being stuck in the stuffy interiors of the vehicle for more than 12 hours. It’s a short climb from the bottom of the stairs, but it could be quite irritating if you went to visit on a day as hot as the day we went. That’s one more thing to remember, especially if you’re going during the summertime: bring sunblocks, hats, and wear sturdy shoes.
TRAVELER’S TIP: Parking is free but limited, and could be an issue during peak season. There were a few vendors selling some souvenirs at the bottom of the lighthouse. Our group bought a few after climbing down from the lighthouse, not knowing that there will be more of these at the Bangui Windmills, where the same souvenirs are cheaper by 10-50 PHP.
Other posts in this series: