ILOCOS NORTE: KAPURPURAWAN ROCK FORMATION

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The word kapurpurawan means kaputian or whiteness in Ilokano.  The place was named as such due to the different majestic white lime stone formations in the area.  Located in the town of Burgos, Ilocos Norte, the unusual rock formations are a sight straight out of a sci fi movie… Tantooinish somehow.

It was a short drive from the highway, passing through hills… and a dirt road, which is currently under construction and will soon a concrete road leading to the parking lot and entrance of Kapurpurawan.  After paying our entrance, we descended a concrete staircase that lead to a path through a “tunnel” of thorny tree branches.  I found walk through the “tunnel” a respite from the unforgiving heat of the midday sun.  We finally emerged to find several makeshift stalls that sells almost anything that visitors need… water, softdrinks, crackers, even slippers.

There were this orange fruit shaped like a grenade hanging in the stalls.  I asked a couple of vendors what it was, but I couldn’t quite understand (or maybe I just can’t remember) what they said.  I should have gotten one before we left, but all I could think of after walking to and back the rock formations was I needed a drink.  All I got was a photo and no name.

A scenic view of rocks, hills, pools of sea water and small patches of vegetation was before us.  On top of the rugged coast of Kapurpurawan are patches of bonsai mangroves.  It used to be that the only way to get a closer view of the rock formations was through a maze of spiky corals… Today there’s a concrete trail that makes the hike easier but it’s still a long way under scorching heat.  One can opt to rent a horse to ride all the way to the rocks for a Php 100… and you also get a guide who will happily take your photos.

When going to Kapurpurawan, sunblock, umbrellas, caps, or whatever that will protect you from the sun is a must.  During the trek to the rocks, there are no trees to hide under… though there cliffs from time to time cast shadows that gives shade where you can temporarily escape from the sun.

The Kapurpurawan Rock was naturally shaped by the strong wind and waves from the South Philippines Sea.  Its unique beauty was enhanced by the blue water of the South Philippine Sea and blue sky.

I was beat after walk back.  More than the distance, the heat really got to me.  There was no hiding from the sun here.  Halfway through the trail there were makeshift huts but I’d rather not stop and just push on.  Was I so happy to see vendors at the start of the trail… water and Coke never tasted so good.  Unfortunately, to get back to our vehicle we still needed to walk through the “tunnel” and go up the stairs that led to the entrance.

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