Despite the frequent wanderlust attacks, heaven knows I’m not really an avid fan of trekking, especially if it involves slippery walks through damp swamps, uneven rocks, and mountain slopes. I’m the laid-back beachbum type, and as such, mountain climbing and trekking are on the last of my list of to-do’s and to-try’s in terms of adventure. So imagine my brother’s effort in convincing me to accompany him to join the trek (this was actually just a looooooong walk with a few hills and slopes to climb – author’s brother) on Kapurpurawan Rock formation in Ilocos. Being the doting sister that I am (*ehem* *ehem*) plus the constant prodding and nagging from my mom to accompany my much younger brother, I agreed but with the condition that my brother will and should literally stay by my side during the entire stretch, lest I slip, fall, or worse, roll while trekking. Brother agreed with the return condition, that I will be his official photographer while he poses ala-Johnny Bravo during the trek.
The trip to the Kapurpurawan Rock formation was part of our Photoholic Ilocos trip (under Travelfactor). This awesome and unique work of Mother Nature can be found in the town of Burgos in Ilocos Norte (a northern province in the Philippines). From afar, and in my opinion (and sometimes crazy imagination), the rock formation appears like the head of a sea serpent or dragon. It is facing a vast sea, which according to our tour guide, was already the South China Sea. The trek would entail a looong walk from an unpaved dirt road which then opens to a vast open landspace filled with some moss-like swamp-ish marshlands (which I think are portions of the sea water seeping through the land), and finally a stretch of dried, white-sand covered big rocks which leads to the foot of the hill/mountain – on top of which rests the rock formation. For me, the walk or trek was a long (and seemingly endless) one. I thought my supposedly mountain trekker’s sandals, would give up after I almost tripped in one of the in-between-rock paths we crossed. I was just thankful that Brother dear was able to grab me before I totally slipped and slumped on my b*tt. Nonetheless, all feeling of fatigue disappears when one gets to come face to face or at least close enough to the rock formation itself. My brother, who was more physically fit than I am, was able to go up the steeper slope and was able to reach THE rock formation itself. After almost slipping, I was contented viewing its magnificence from the the 2nd level slope (i.e. a slope just above the base or foot). Aside from the rock formation, the sight of the mid-size waves crashing on the land and the breeze from the sea was also breathtaking and calming. Seeing the sparkle in my eyes, my brother nudges me with a “Buti sumama ka.. Kita mo na kung ano ang mami-miss mo kung sakaling nagpaiwan ka sa bus… ” (It’s a good thing you joined. Just imagine what you would miss had you chosen to stay in the bus.). He was definitely right.
I must admit that for a non-experienced trekker like me, the walk was really tiring. The uneven trek paths, plus the occassional slippery damp marsh-like portions made it difficult, add to it the climb to the slope of the hill/mountain where the rock formation was resting. A bit of advice for those who are planning to visit – make sure that your trekking shoes or sandals have sturdy straps. This would prevent slipping and would ensure that your feet are safe (from possible sprains) when you need to cross those big, uneven rocks. And though no one can predict the weather 100% correctly, try visiting the place during the summer peak season. This would ensure that there are really no or very minimal rains. We were fortunate enough that during our visit, the rain poured on our way back to the bus. At least we were still able to enjoy the view before the heavy downpour. Overall, the experience was worth the view. I must say that I will really be regretful had I not joined and just listened to my brother’s personal testimonial. 🙂