Sunday, July 29, 2012

3-in-1 of Ilocos Northern Coast

Dos Hermanos Islands, Bantay Abot Cave, and Blue Lagoon are three tourist spots Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is proud of. These three are located northern coast of Maira-ira Point. From the entrance point which is an elevated ground you can see the beautiful place below. The vast blue ocean, vegetation and white sand. There is a entrance fee of Php20.00 per head for you to see and visit all these places.

If I were to ask, there is really nothing so special about Dos Hermanos Islands, Bantay Abot Cave, and Blue Lagoon. But if you will ask me if you should visit these places, then I will say "yes" because of the following reasons:

  1. Because they are considered natural landmarks of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and since you are visiting the place, might as well visit every thing and every place that it offers.
  2. Will you just content yourself with the pictures and descriptions provided in books, magazines, and internet? Isn’t it best to be there and experience them yourself?
  3. So you have stories to tell and snapshots to show. Do not believe everything the you see, hear, and read. Most of the time experienced realities are better than stories.

Dos Hermanos Islands

Don Hermanos' shot from afar 
This is a twin islands located off the northern coast of Maira-ira Point in Barangay Balaoi. You will pass this natural landmark on your way to Blue Lagoon. Dos Hermanos Islands is two identical mountains. Its name came from the word “hermanos” which means brothers.

According to our guide, the two mountains are two brothers who were very close to each other and made a vow to remain together until death. One day they went fishing and they were caught in the middle of typhoon. They stayed together and drowned keeping their promise to each other.

Too bad it was high tide when we visited the place and we failed to get near Dos Hermanos Islands. They said that below the island rocks are caves, haven for colorful tropical fish and delicious gourmet seaweeds known as gamet.

Bantay Abot Cave

panoramic shot of the cave
A hill with a hole
Do not expect a cave with stalactites and stalagmites because Bantay Abot Cave is no way like that. It is just a hill with a hole in the middle where you can see through the other side. They said that the hole in the cave was created when an earthquake wrecked the hill in the 80's.  To get to the so-called “cave”, one has to go down a concrete staircase and trek the rocky part of the sea shore.

Maybe I have been to a lot of beautiful places that I find Bantay Abot Cave an ordinary natural landmark of Ilocos. It is not breathtakingly beautiful nor majestic. The cavern is not big enough to accommodate at least 10 people freely. It is just fine.  This popular attraction is surrounded by slippery  rocks and shallow saltwater. The top of the hill is covered by green vegetation.

This cave however is very photogenic (although I do not have a great shot of it, since we only brought a cheap digital camera). If you are visiting the place or any place for that matter, it is always good to bring a decent camera. Like other beautiful pictures across the net, you can also snap a few images of this photogenic spot from a distance to have a copy for yourself.

Blue Lagoon

Pagudpud has white sand beaches of its own.  In fact, it has its own “Boracay of the North” which is more popular as Blue Lagoon, also known as Maira-ira beach. From the entrance, the Blue Lagoon looks like a kingdom beside the sea. It is composed of several resorts; Hannah’s being the most prominent. If you will see Blue Lagoon upclose, it does not possess the finest nor whitest sand, there are rocky areas at the shore, the waters can get very rough at some parts (which is the reason why the place is ideal for surfing), and there are hills blocking the view of the horizon; however, it has a beauty of its own. 

the shot of Blue Lagoon from the entrance  
I do not know exactly why they compare Blue Lagoon to Boracay but if you already visited both, you will see that the similarity lies on the infrastructures and business district that people have created by the beach. There are big hotels, stores, and facilities within the area.

For me, i still find un-commercialized beaches more amazing and beautiful. Blue Lagoon is not ugly, however I don’t think that the “kingdom” they created fit the otherwise rustic feel of the beach. And that saddens me.

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