Text & Photo: Kaycie Gayle
The Names of Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is the most visited lighthouse in the Philippines for being a popular destination among local tourists in the Ilocos region. Due to its rustic aged look, it has become a favorite shooting venue for local television series and movies. It is also known to be the highest elevated Spanish era lighthouse that is still original and active in the country. It is located on a rocky promontory in the town of Burgos hence, it has been referred to as the Burgos Lighthouse. It was built on the hill named Vigia de Nagparitan which is overlooking Cape Bojeador – the northwestern tip of the island of Luzon. For this reason, it was often referred to as Faro Cabo Cape Bojeador. Faro meaning lighthouse and cabo which means ‘end’ or tip (aside from cape) thus translates to “Lighthouse at the end of Cape Bojeador”. It was constructed during the Spanish Colonial period in the country to serve as a guide to early galleons that sail by Cape Bojeador and those that enter the Philippine archipelago from the north.
How to get there?
One would have to pass by the winding Cape Bojeador Lighthouse Road and alight at the hill foot. From here, you would see a souvenir market, where tourists’ cars are also parked. In order to get to the lighthouse, you can hike up or ride a tricycle.
Parts of Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
To explore this 66-foot-tall octagonal stone tower, you would have to first climb the stairs to reach the entrance of the lighthouse. Upon reaching its main gate, you would have to pay for the entrance fee to get inside the compound. As you officially enter its premises, you would be welcomed by its courtyard. Here, you would see an old water well and other service buildings where the caretakers stay. The quarters in this area, are furnished with cooking facilities and basic house items. By staying on the open area and scanning the place briefly you would notice that the lighthouse is comprised of the courtyard, the main pavilion, and the tower which are all made up of old red bricks.
Main Pavilion (Museum and Veranda)
From the courtyard, you would see a T-shaped brick stairway where you can ascend to reach the veranda and the main pavilion. Upon going inside it, you would see a museum where some significant lighthouse items are exhibited. Some of the displayed pieces are old apparatuses, locally made brick used to build the tower and hanged informative panels that explain the history of the lighthouse and details about the featured items. In some rooms, there are beds and wooden chairs available for guests who want to sit for a while. If you want to explore more of the lighthouse just follow the path of the hallway to proceed to the next section of the compound. This will lead you to the foot of the covered stairs of the tower’s door.
Apparently, when I have visited the lighthouse, the lantern place was closed. Upon climbing the stairs and reaching its landing, there’s warning signage hanged on the door that says it is a restricted area due to the danger of high voltage. I heard some stories that others were able to climb up on the lantern room, however, I found out that it is almost always off-limits just like when we visited. So when you decide to see this place, it is better to manage your expectations and just follow the current rules when you visit it.
My Authentic Experience
Initially, I was disappointed that I was not able to climb up, but then it made me refocus on other areas of this Spanish colonial lighthouse. Instead of obsessing to climb up, I looked around to see other features that could interest me as well. I decided to go back to the pavilion and stay on its veranda to look around. While loitering, I’ve noticed the rustic walls and windows of the structure. Despite that, the place has been painted with white, the red bricks are still visible thus giving it an effortless shabby chic look.
Moreover, I was mesmerized with the sight of the lush greenery surrounding the lighthouse and the view of the scenic Cape Boejador. For a moment I was reminded that this is also the same panorama when Galleon Trade was at its heyday. The only difference is that there are no longer galleon ships to be seen now, but the calming view of the blue waters remain still. Staying in the lighthouse’s veranda is not bad after all because it gives you a moment to feel as if time stood still.
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is located at Burgos, Ilocos Norte
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All expenses were shouldered by the author. All photos are from Kaycie Gayle
Have an experience of visiting a lighthouse before? Share your story by writing it in the comment section below.
Happy Travels! 💛