The White Pride of Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Ilocos Norte

It was in an in flight magazine where I first saw an image of this stunning rock formation dressed in all white. At first, I even thought the photo was edited but upon seeing it with my own eyes during my visit at Ilocos, I was at awe in belief. It is indeed real!

Why ‘Kapurpurawan’?

The word “kapurpurawan” means “Kaputi putian” or white in Ilokano. The place was named as such due to the distinctive grand white lime stone formations within the area. The mighty winds coming from the sea causes a big part to the displacement of minerals and the instinctive and chemical weathering of this rock formation. Truly an amazing work of mother nature isn’t it?

Kapurpurawan Photo (3.5)

The trek to Kapurpurawan can be done in two ways: you could enjoy a hike towards it, or have a horseback ride for 50php.

Since me and my travel buddy wants to savor our adventure in Ilocos, we decided to go for the second option.

Horse Back Riding in Kapurpurawan

And yes, did I forget to mention that this is my first horse ride? And tell you, I love it!

Kapurpurawan Photo (3)

Kapurpurawan Photo (2)

During the journey to the stunning rock formation, you could see from afar the Kapurpurawan landmark, a giant sphinx cutting through the deep blue sky with all its whiteness.

Kapurpurawan Photo (1)

Upon our arrival, we were welcomed by these mini houses in white. The guide told us that these are just imitations ; a remnant of the cast of  “Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Ako” movie, one of the entries for the Metro Manila Film Festival for December 2012.

Kapurpurawan Photo (4)

Kapurpurawan Photo (6)

Setting Foot in a Chalk White Rock Formation

Moving on, we walked on to the inviting rock formation ahead of us and I found myself taking photos here, there and everywhere.

Kapurpurawan Photo (5)

Kapurpurawan Photo (7)

Kapurpurawan Photo (8)

Kapurpurawan Photo (9)

Kapurpurawan Photo (11)

Kapurpurawan Photo (13)

Kapurpurawan Photo (14)

Locals claim that the upper beak part that looks like a Sphinx or head of a sleeping dragon changes every year through natural conditions.

Kapurpurawan Photo (12)

After much photo ops, we headed back to our tricycle tour to explore the rest of Pagudpud.

Kapurpurawan, you are indeed a white pride!

Kapurpurawan Photo (16)

The above blog post is part of my Ilokandia Ultimate Adventure – Laoag – Pagudpud – Vigan tour series of posts in the Ilocos Region, Philippines that happened last November 28 – December 2, 2012. | Ilocos Adventure: Laoag Vigan Pagudpud Budget Itinerary | Laoag City Walking Tour: Places, Food, and Fun Treats | Ilocandia Sand Boarding and 4×4 Ride in La Paz Sand Dunes | Paoay Tour: Paoay Church, Malacanang of the North and the Paoay Lake | Bangui Windmills: The Answer is Blowing in the Wind | Historical Adventure at Faro de Cabo Bojeador | Trekking to Kabigan Falls | Bantay Abot Cave & Other Rock Formations | Scenic Views at Patapat Viaduct | The White Pride of Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Ilocos Adventure: Laoag Vigan Pagudpud Budget Itinerary

Know your limits, but never stop trying to exceed them.

After resting for almost a month, these itchy feet will now be on the go again. This time Adventuroj will be heading way up north. Guess where?

Clue: Have you watched the kilig movie of Erich Gonzales & Mario Maurer Suddenly It’s Magic?

Yep! That’s where we’ll be heading. Not in Bangkok (but I’ll be there soon as well. hehe) but this time it will be in Ilocos!

My chance to trace back my roots and see where my ancestors came from. Yes, I’m an ilocana by blood. *I just wished I knew how to speak the language fluently.

So enough with my ratting, here’s a pre planned budget friendly itinerary of the Laoag Vigan Pagudpud tour catered to fit backpackers like me. Feel free to use it and share the adventure with me!

The Ultimate Ilocandia Adventure Itinerary!

Day & Time Activity Est. Expenses
Wed Nov 28    
2:30pm Dvo-MNL 200
7pm MNL-Laoag 200
  Get out of Laoag Airport to the City proper – There is a jeepney that brings passengers from the airport terminal to the city proper, Fare is 60 pesos. 60
  Texicano Hotel, Laoag City
Address: J. P. Rizal Street, Laoag Ilocos Norte
Room Rate: Starts at 310 pesos for a single fan room
Contact Details: (6377) 7705776
Notes: Do not expect too much as this is a budget hotel
Thurs Nov 29    
6am Sand Boarding and 4×4 Ride in La Paz Sand Dunes 1000
  Rate: 2,500 pesos per group of four
Contact Details: 09088853669 look for Glenn Guererro
Notes: Package is for 1-hour sand boarding lessons, good for four persons. It also includes the 4×4 jeepney transportation to and from the sand dunes. Make an arrangement if you will be doing it solo.
  How to get to Paoay from Laoag – rent a tricycle for 250 pesos at Loaog City proper. It is more economical since some destinations in Paoay is not on the national road  
  Rent a tricycle in the city proper for 250 pesos, going to and from Paoay to visit the Church and Malacañang of the North, which are both located in the town of Paoay. Travel time is around 30 minutes. 130
  Another alternative is to take a Batac-Paoay jeepney. Fare is around 30 pesos.  
  Arrive at Paoay Church  
8am Paoay Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site  
  The St. Augustine Church or popularly known as Paoay Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
10am Malacañang of the North and Paoay Lake  
  Entrance Malacañang of the North 40
  Depart for Laoag  
12nn Arrive at Laoag, have lunch 80
  Lunch at Dap-ayan Ti Ilocos. It is like a food court / fast food where there are stalls offering a variety of food choices. Here, you’ll find the famous Laoag empanada and inihaw na longanisa.  
1pm A Walking Tour Around the City of Laoag  
  Laoag City tour – Ilocos Norte provincial capitol – Located in front of the Capitol building, the Aurora Park is where the statue of the maiden Pamulinawen – where the Tobacco Monopoly Monument was erected in 1882 – left of the park is the Laoag City Hall  
2pm St William’s Cathedral & the Sinking bell tower  
  Walking towards the street on the right side of the park will bring you to the St. William’s Cathedral –
  A few steps away to the left of the Capitol Building is the Museo Ilocos Norte.  
  Entrance to Museo Ilocos Norte 30
  Back to the hotel and check-out  
4pm Trip to Pagudpud Beach, “The Boracay of the North”  
  Tricycle to Van Terminal 10
  Arrive at van/bus terminal for Pagudpud 2.5-3 hrs travel to Pagudpud  
  Fare, Laoag-Pagudpud (van) 70
  How to get to Pagudpud from Laoag – Take a bus or van bound for Claveria Cagayan, it will pass by the town of Pagudpud, which is the last town before reaching Claveria Cagayan. Travel time is 1.5 hours.  
  Homestay in Pagudpud (for 1 night) 800
  Arrive at Pagudpud, check-in at Cathy’s Home Stay  
  Cathy’s Home Stay, Pagudpud
Address: Brgy. Saud, Pagudpud Ilocos Norte
Room Rate: 800 pesos, good for 4 persons for an air conditioned room.
Contact Details: 09195716680
Notes: One of the cheapest accommodations in Saud Beach, Pagudpud.
  Explore the beach  
  Dinner by the beach 65
Fri Nov 30    
  Here is the list of the activities you can do to appreciate Pagudpud.
Swim and surf in the breathtaking Saud Beach
Traysi tour of Pagudpud for P600.00
Thirty minutes trek to majestic Kabigan Falls
Stopover at Patapat Viaduct with blue skies and blue sea waters as backdraft
See Bantay Abot cave, where waves hit the cliffs
Drop by Agua Paraiso, where waves hit the rocks
Enjoy huge wave and white sand in pristine Blue Lagoon (Maira-ira beach)
Witness Pagudpud sunset
Visit Bangui Wind Mills, Bojeador (Burgos) Lighthouse, Curimao, Laoag, Paoay and Vigan
  Wake up and early morning walk by the beach 100
  Tricycle to and from Pagudpud town proper  
  Brunch 80
  Check out of the home stay  
8am The Windmills, Rock Formation, Lighthouse and the Church  
  South and North Pagudpud Tour (Tricycle)
Rate: 600 pesos per tour
Contact Details: 09208532047 look for Kuya Rene
  South Tour includes Bangui windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and the Cape Bojeador Light House.
North Tour usually includes Kabigan Falls, Bantay Abot Cave, Blue Lagoon Beach, Patapat Viaduct, Paraiso ni Anton and Aqua Grande. The town of Adams is also worth a visit if you have more time.
  South Pagudpud tour (tricycle) 300
9am Arrive at Bangui Windmills  
  Officially referred to as the North Wind Bangui Bay Project, it is a major source of renewable energy amounting to 40% of the power requirement of the province. Boasts to be the first wind farm in the Philippines and biggest in Southeast Asia, it is consisted of 20 wind turbines on-shore facing the South China Sea.
  Off to Burgos  
10am Arrive at Kapurpurawan  
  In Ilocano, “Kapurpurawan” means “white” – which describes the radiant and sparkling shade of this rock formation. It is a hill of white limestone rock created by forces of the wind, water and waves coming from the ocean – truly, an amazing work of nature. Adjacent to the rock formation is the ocean, which added to the breathtaking sight.
  The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos Ilocos Norte really really Rocks!!!  
  Arrive at Cape Bojeador  
11am Cape Bojeador or the Burgos Lighthouse  
  A cultural heritage structure built during the Spanish Colonial period. Octagonal in shape, it is set high on Vigi de Nagparitan hill overlooking the picturesque Cape Bojeador.
  Fare Burgos-Bacarra (bus) 40
  Fare to Bacarra Church (tricycle) 15
  Arrive at Bacarra Church  
  Fare to Bacarra Hi-way (tricycle) 15
  Fare Bacarra to Laoag (jeepney) 10
  Lunch 50
1pm Off to Vigan  
  Check in at Casa Teofilo Loge  
  Casa Teofile Lodge
Contact Numbers :
Mobile – 09326740438
Landline – (077) 7226482 / (077) 7222547
Aircon Rooms with private cr, cable tv and free wi-fi.
  Night Strolling at Crisologo Street  
  Start strolling at Crisologo Street. This major attraction of Vigan is its mestizo district which is filled with Spanish-style houses that evoke a bygone era when its people lived prosperously because of the Manila-Acapulco maritime trade.
  Though a trip to Calle Crisologo is enjoyable during the day especially because of the opportunity to shop for Vigan’s best products (antiques, abel woven products, bags, basi wine, burnay and dimili products, chicharon, jewelry, sweets, Vigan vinegar and woodcrafts) in the inobtrusive shops located in the ground floor of some of the grand houses, a walk through it is magical at night.
  try some of the local food like bagnet mixed with pinakbet and their famous longganisa  
  Café Leona Dinner  
Sat Dec 1    
6am Café Uno Bfast  
  see Crisologo Street,Hidden Garden and Baluarte plus the Vigan old church.  
  Crisologo Street – Crisologo Museum – Syquia Mansion – Plaza Salcedo – Burgos Museum – Pagburnayan Jar – Hidden Garden – Baluarte ni Chavit – Bantay Tower – Casa Teofila Lodge  
  Hidden Garden  
7am ViganBaluarte ni Chavit  
  It’s an 80 hectares of terrains, hills and mountain sides that serves as natural habitat for Gov Chavit Singson’s personal collection of wild animals
8am Vigan River Cruise  
  So, I headed out to my second destination via one of these tricycles. I left Baluarte at 10:28 am and arrived at the site of “Vigan River Cruise” 10:39 am. Fare from Baluarte to Mestizo River, the site of the river cruise, is Php 60. Ticket in the boat ride of Vigan River Cruise costs Php 100. Boats used in the cruise are like those small wooden fishing vessels used by many ordinary Filipino fishermen called “bangka” in Tagalog. Each boat has outriggers for stability and safety of riders, which is good for rough river. But don’t worry, the Mestizo River is calm all the way.  
9am Vigan Heritage Village  
  After enjoying the cruise which finished at 11:23 am, it’s time to get to the “Vigan Heritage Village”, the only colonial town in the Philippines and for which Vigan is known. I had made an arrangement with the tricycle I’d ridden from Baluarte to wait for me. Actually, he offered the service to the Heritage Village. I just accepted it for the reason of time management.
  At around 1:30 pm, I thought it’s time to go to bus terminal to be in Laoag before dusk. So, I just took a tricycle for Php 15 to reach terminal of Partas Bus. You just plug down a motorized tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Partas which is near. Wait for bus with “Laoag” sign.  
10am Vigan to Laoag 1.5hrs  
2pm Laoag-MNL  

You could also download the file here. Laoag Itinerary

Happy Adventures!

The above blog post is part of my Ilokandia Ultimate Adventure – Laoag – Pagudpud – Vigan tour series of posts in the Ilocos Region, Philippines that happened last November 28 – December 2, 2012. | Ilocos Adventure: Laoag Vigan Pagudpud Budget Itinerary | Laoag City Walking Tour: Places, Food, and Fun Treats | Ilocandia Sand Boarding and 4×4 Ride in La Paz Sand Dunes | Paoay Tour: Paoay Church, Malacanang of the North and the Paoay Lake