Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and its Spoiled Wonders

The Kapurpurawan rock formation is one of the gems of Ilocos Norte located in Burgos. It is a rock formation that got its name from Ilocano word puraw which means white. Kapurpurawan in Ilokano dialect basically means “kaputian” or whiteness. Our guide said that the stone is whiter during months of April and May; enough reason why it was off-white when we visited the place in August.

The place is amazing not because it is beautiful beyond compare but because the sight of it will give you the idea on how many years it took for the limestones to form that geological deposition of minerals. The vast view of the West Philippine Sea is the silent witness of its transformation. Kapurpurawan has a beauty of its own which cannot be found in other 7,107 islands of the Philippines. Instead of sharp coral rocks that are usually offered by sea shores, it gives out rocks with formation of smooth curves.

I already had an idea on what to expect about the place as I have seen a lot of photos and articles about Kapurpurawan and each is discussing and featuring its beauty. Sad to say though, I saw less beauty than what I expected. Unlikely sights are more predominant instead. No one published a photo of the quarry nearby nor the closed portion of the rock formation as it is undergoing rehabilitation. The rough terrain that leads to the rock formation is a rugged black limestone with patches of big and small ponds. The off beaten path freckled with wild bonsai trees was covered of oil and grease from the quarry/construction site nearby. All of these things have successfully spoiled the beauty of the place. The supposedly masterpiece of Mother Nature’s art is messed up by human intervention. 

This part of the rock formation is close to public for the purpose of rehabilitation.

The trashes that had started to accumulate in the area are evidences that it is a well-known destination for travellers and photographers alike. I would not be surprised if one day the boasted walls of Kapurpurawan are filled with graffiti. Kapurpurawan rock formation  is not made up of hard rocks; you can easily scratch off its surface like that of the chalk. It is a harsh realization that by stepping on its surface, we are deteriorating the place that has been created by Mother Nature for thousands of years. I am guilty of this and I hope to spread this harsh truth to everyone through this blog. I know that it is possible to enjoy the natural beautiful monument of Kapurpurawan and preserve it at the same time.

I hope that there is a way to strike a balance between enjoying a place and minimizing tourists’ impact. If the local government of Ilocos Norte can create designated trails and wooden walkways in the area, it can help a lot in preserving its natural tourist spots.
Tourists enjoying the white wall of the rock.

How to Get There

If you are in Laoag, take a two-hour bus ride to Burgos then you can rent a tricycle to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation (15-30 minutes away). From the jump-off you have to walk down a cemented pathway that leads to an open field facing West Philippine Sea and from there you will see the view below:
You have to go around the hill to the other side following a rough path to see the whiteness of the Kapurpurawan.

Kapurpurawan is part of the different tour packages offered by the tourism department of Burgos, Ilocos Norte. You can simply rent a tricycle from the town of Burgos; the rate is Php300 per tricycle for 3-5 tourist spots.  

*Photos were taken using a cellphone camera, as the digital camera we brought ran out of battery charge.


  1. may mga grafitti na?:( dapat talaga ma-regulate ung pagbisita dyan.

    1. Oo nga eh. I hope the LGU of Ilocos Norte will do more than just promoting the site.


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