How much is too much?

I've been to paradise!

Palpalokada was the most picturesque place I’ve ever photographed. It captured the imagination of people when I first posted it on Facebook.

Three weeks after Ilocos Norte’s best-kept secret came out in the news, a television crew arranged a shoot for its inclusion in a feature story about the country’s paradise-like places.

Some people who have visited Palpalokada would compare, it’s the nearer alternative to say Batanes or Hawaii.

I’ve grown attached to the blog header. I still get a lot of inquiries about the location.

Several weeks ago, an in-flight magazine wanted to borrow my old photos they stumbled upon in the net. I declined on purpose. What is there to promote to the world when that perfect, unusual landscape that Ilocanos thought they never had has been altered and can never be enjoyed whole again?

Fresh Perspective

I liked the Bangui windmills when they were the only ones standing along the windy coastline. They launched a million photographs. Those were the first in Southeast Asia.

Burgos and Caparispisan, Pagudpud, are the next hosts to industrial wind turbines. With a second and a third wind farm in progress, the appeal of wind turbines has turned cloying.

Wind is free, we know. But to the larger majority of residents in Ilocos Norte, there is no direct benefit. Power is sold to the grid and we buy power from the coop.

The turbines reduce greenhouse gases, we understand. But has it even occurred in the minds of the leaders that their constituents need to be consulted when hundreds of hectares of land to accommodate these gigantic turbines are compromised?

Is it enough that the project is labeled green?

What happens to an ecosystem that has been disturbed?

I say goodbye to the unsullied beauty of Palpalokada. Forever blown away in the wind.

PalpalokadaPalpalokada Rock FormationsTrekking in Palpalokada
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The Palpalokada kabalyeros in action in KMJS

Thank you for the favorable reception the previous post got. If you missed the Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo Travel Special aired the other day, I found a video of the second part.

It has always been my creed — never to promote anything as something it is not. Getting a seal of approval is cherry on top.

See more of Palpalokada in Ivon Domingo’s blog. Her photos are awesome as usual.

A reminder, please be a responsible tourist especially in fragile natural areas. We all want this wealth of wonders intact for future generations to enjoy. It’s more fun when we go back and see the same unadulterated beauty.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

The Burgos Outback: Palpalokada (BTS: Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo Summer Special)

Northern Coast

Merely three weeks after I posted stories on the new Burgos eco-adventure destination, a very enthusiastic GMA Network Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo team comes to Ilocos to shoot footage of Ilocos Norte’s best-kept secret. Apparently, they looked thrilled upon arrival, and they rushed to position the camera when the kabalyeros made their grand entrance — indeed cinematic. The thought gives me goosebumps, I’m not exaggerating. It’s perhaps because I can relate with the aim of the Burgos ecotourism project — to help the Pasto Communal of Burgos earn extra keep from the newly conceptualized horseback riding adventure, which is unique in Ilocos, considering that Burgos prides itself with a fabulous coastline in addition to the established distinct tourist attractions such as the Cape Bojedor Lighthouse, seaweed gamet production, REFMAD Farms, the first dragon fruit farm in Ilocos, and Karurpurawan Rock Formation.

To boot, the local government of Burgos, together with spelunking experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region I Office, have started exploring the rumored more-than-150-caves in Burgos alone. I’ve been inside only two caves, which means I have to flex those muscles in preparation for a future cave-hopping journey.

Northern Tip of the PhilippinesIlocos Horseback Adventure in PalpalokadaDSC_7232Burgos OutbackPalpalokada KabalyerosPalpalokada Horse

Pal-loka is an Ilocano term given to handmade sandals/slippers, made of used rubber tire for the soles and rope for the uppers, popular in the olden days. Palpalokada may translate to “their slippers”.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation (posterior view)

That’s the posterior view of the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, shot from Palpalokada. The view from the top was overwhelming.

Please watch Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo this Saturday, March 31st, 2012…. Palpalokada from sunrise to sunset.

Make Palpalokada your summer getaway. But please be a responsible ecotourist, take nothing but photos!

In behalf of the LGU of Burgos, led by Mayor Cresente Garcia, the Pasto Communal of Burgos,  Ilocos Norte, a huge thank you! Special thanks to Allan Lazaro, cameraman Wilier and Rudy.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012