Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I've reached the northwestern edge of Luzon!


 
I may have a knack for exploring the edges of a country I'm visiting. When I was studying in graduate school, I ended up reaching the easternmost part of mainland Australia (Cape Byron) while on a drive with friends and acquaintances from the medical profession. Then I've been to Calatagan, a beach town right in between the West Philippine Sea and the Balayan Bay.

During the Ilocos adventure, Ate Bing and I made a pitstop at the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. This is one of the oldest structures I've ever seen before that is still functional (others have been converted into other uses). And this is the first lighthouse I've visited, as far as I can remember. 

By the way, this is also the northwesternmost part of Luzon island.
Located on top of a hill, this lighthouse is not an easy walk in the park to reach, nor was it an easy drive up with its narrow hairpin turns. Moreover, the long and winding stairs, sans handlebars, prove that a strong sense of balance is needed (for visitors) to reach the top of the hill. 

 

But for everyone who took the time and the effort to reach the lighthouse, it's worth the fatigue because the view's amazing! Imagine having a bird's eye view of the town! Times like these, in which I could see from high up, are really rare. So I'm drinking the view all in.

As always, I ended up trying to learn more about the place aside from what's written in the historical marker. I 'interviewed' Mang Celso, the lighthouse technical crew about the structure. According to him, the light automatically turns on and off at specific times of the evening. He sounded very knowledgable about the Bojeador lighthouse and has had what seems to be a long and colorful career taking care of different lighthouses. He showed Ate Bing and me the interior spiral staircase of the lighthouse tower, a place that visitors couldn't access without a guide. We just weren't allowed to go up the stairs; only the technical people were allowed to go up. As late afternoon approached, it was time for us to leave as Mang Celso started packing up.

No rest for the weary, though. Cape Bojeador was just en route to our final destination for this leg of the road trip: the windmills of Bangui. Now that's a sight to behold!!