To the north, to the north

Pasuquin Bakery

Going up north, north of Laoag, translates to photo vomit. It starts with fresh biscocho from the Pasuquin Bakery and ends with “tres dulces” at Bergblick where you can savor bagnet prepared the professional Bavarian way by Chef Detlev Cotte. In between munches and de rigueur explication through the 7-hour northern exposure, at least if you’re with me, you will experience the highlights of the northern Ilocos coastline, yet there is more to thread — the max you can have due to time constraint.

Bakery TinapayPan de Mongo

-Pan de mongo

Pasuquin Biscocho

-A Manileño tourist discovers Pasuquin’s famous biscocho.

Pasuquin Bakery Soft BiscochoBurgos Coastline

-From the Cape Bojeador lighthouse, it is the Burgos coastline that beams at daylight.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, BurgosManuever: The spontaneity of Joshua Zamora

-Stumbling upon tall, lean and goodlooking Manuever, Joshua Zamora… spontaneity.

Manuever: In the frame with Joshua Zamora

-PGIN Tourism aide Arnel, who was with Joshua, was hesitant to disturb the dancer, but took the photo just the same when I wouldn’t settle for a paparazzi shot. (Thanks, Arnel!)

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

-My cool pack at the cultural heritage lighthouse, perched high on the Vigia de Nagparitan hill, first lit in March 30, 1892.

Red BrickVintage GateVerandahTerracottaWritings on the wallHoneymooners

-31st anniversary honeymooners on an Ilocos escapade.

Beyond the high voltage…

Restricted AreaTsika minute sa blogger

Tsika minute with tourists chilling around.

PeaceA rock beyond the thorns

  -The shrinking Kapurpurawan Rock Formation beyond the thorns.

5-Paysos Viewdeck

-5 pay-soses view deck for those who can’t hike to the white rock.

Framed Beach Scene

-At the Bangui Windmills area, cutting on a clean view.

Tilting at WindmillSunny Pagudpud

-Pagudpud white sand on my toes.

Pagudpud Sand

-China goes to Pagudpud:)

Bergblick  Deutsches RestaurantBergblick Deutsches Restaurant

– roadside Bergblick Deutsches Restaurant, Burayoc Point, Pagudpud.

Sauerkraut Platter

-The bomb! My sauerkraut platter, topped with homemade extrayummy-saltyish ham and Chef Detlev-sausage for the pack to share.

Three-Color PastaTuna PlatterBagnet prepared the Bavarian way

German bagnet for a change:)

Porkloin in Beer SauceThai Curry Chicken

-The awesomest, subtlest curried chicken I’ve had since a Bangkok tour.

Bergblick Pan

-The specialty of the house among other fine specialties — Bergblick Pan with cabbage roll, breaded pork, potatoes and sausage bathed in a special sauce!

And then the OMG butterscotch cake, creme brulee and crepe!!! Om nom nom nom.

Tres DulcesPhoto op with the Bergblick Couple

-The pack with the Cotte power couple of the house, Maritess and Chef Detlev.

Some photos by Marianne, Mike,  Peewee, Arnel and Reny
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Burgos: Transformations Through Time

Earth itself tells us we cannot defy time. Equivalent to rimples, pits, specks, grizzly hair, a paunch and whatnot are the land’s caverns, crevices and formations. Everything goes through the inevitable processes of change.

The hubby and I had the wonderful privilege to be invited to a cave exploration and assessment in the hinterlands of Ilocos Norte’s most visited town, Burgos, hearth of the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, an icon of the Spanish Colonial Era in the Philippines and a perduring beacon of light to vessels sailing along the rocky northern coasts until this day and age.

The call came from the town mayor, Cris Garcia, and Ms. Cora Marie Pugal, Engr. II of the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) Region I Office, who hosted the Caving Management Training and Assessment for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS), intended to capacitate Local Government Units (LGUs) and stakeholders for cave assessment and cave management planning, and organize a cave assessment team in the 1st District of Ilocos Norte. Ecosystem Management Specialist (EMS) Ronnie Jacinto of the DENR Reg I Office headed the exploration and evaluation crew of spelunking experts, trainees and eco-adventurers.Burgos prides itself with a plethora of natural assets. One exemplification is the Tanap Watershed Forest Reserve, a reforestation area supporting a sustainable water supply in the town and other neighboring towns.Mayor Cris shepherded us to the nooks and crannies of Tanap. Regardless of dull weather and  a damp earth, we were so ready to explore the dark underground cavities far off the beaten path.

A most unassuming (new breed) politician with an eco-oriented leadership, Mayor Cresente Garcia.

We were divided into two teams. The first team descended the Matakwal Cave I,  a 33-meter deep hollow. I didn’t get to see firsthand the wet cave, which they say has interesting formations. I tailed after the hubby, who trekked farther to Matakwal Cave II, which is shorter in length, but nevertheless worth the backbreaking footslog. Not to mention my four-hundred-fifty-pesos-but-efficient Ryder bike/sandboarding helmet saved me several times from near catastropheツAs if the keeper of the cave, an owl-like formation greeted us near the opening. Spelunking affords mere mortals like me to know the difference between stalactites and stalagmites and to learn speleology jargon such as flowstone, column, karst, dissolution, twilight, dead end, etc.ツThe experts snaked their way through two more potholes. The assessment brought about good news for ecotourism in the town. Ms. Cora says that majority of the caves she has surveyed are Class II or III Caves, which are suitable for tourism.The crew had time left for a cliff rappelling adventure within the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation area. The dreary skies rained on my fireworks. On my way to the location, I slipped off the mossy reef right after taking photos of the odd massive white rock. I swam with my left hand up while trying to save my cam. It was one damn fine wet adventure I’ll never forget. Thanks to sir Ronnie, who helped me regain my equilibrium. Just my luck! I was drenched, but not my trusty slave. I didn’t have extra clothing for yet another thrill with matching gusty winds. Rappelling opportunities never cease to come anyhow.Atmospheric factors have contributed largely to the awesome peculiarity of Kapurpurawan. Like all things on this planet, time changes things for better or for worse.Let’s learn to love the world we live in more.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2011

Romancing Ilocos Norte (by Ivon Claire Domingo)

The model and fabulous young fashion photog, Ivon Domingo. She ought to be in photos herself.

Ericke says of Ivon, “She marches to the beat of her own drum.” Her other name is Beb. Why Beb? Nabebebang daw ang mga guys.

Ivon is a leader in her own right. The pretty photographer from San Nicolas is currently a UP Baguio student taking up Journalism. She has worked as an intern at the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Company.

Location: Sta. Monica Church, Sarrat and Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos, Ilocos Norte. Model: Ericke Tan. Styled by Ericke Tan. All photos by Ivon Claire Domingo