Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines. It was first lit on March 30, 1892, and is set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador where early galleons used to sail by. After over 100 years, it still functions as a welcoming beacon to the international ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.
The light marks the northwestern-most point in Luzon. The northeastern-most being Cape Engaño Lighthouse on Palaui Island, Santa Ana, Cagayan.
The 66-foot-tall (20 m) octagonal stone tower, the most prominent structure in the vicinity, can be seen from as far away as Pasuquin town in the south and Bangui on the east on a clear day. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the highest-elevated nor tallest lighthouse in the Philippines. But the highest elevated still original and active Spanish era lighthouse in the country. Corregidor Lighthouse is higher at over 600 feet (180 m), and among the Spanish Colonial lighthouses, the tower of Cape Melville Lighthouse is the tallest at 90 feet (27 m). In Mindoro Strait, the recently erected modern tower at the Apo Reef Light Station rises to a height of 110 feet (34 m).
Standing 65 feet tall, Burgos Lighthouse’ octagonal tower was first lit in March 30, 1892 to guide merchant ships like Spanish Galleons as they pass by the rocky coastline of the town. Once illuminated by old Fresnel lenses but due to earthquake damage in ’91, it was replaced by a solar-powered electric lamp.
Cape Bojeador lighthouse is the most accessible of all the lighthouses in the island of Luzon . Access to the lighthouse is through a two-lane narrow concrete road that starts from the Maharlika Highway in Brgy. Paayas, Burgos, about 40 km. north from Laoag City, capital of Ilocos Norte. After passing Paayas, a sign on the right side of the highway indicates the winding road that leads to the base of the lighthouse.
The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse provides for a scenic view of the WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
At the parking lot, visitors climb a flight of concrete stairs to the perimeter wall which offers a good view of Cape Bojeador and South China Sea and enter the courtyard. Look for the lighthouse keeper and inform him of your intentions. The service buildings and the cistern are located in the courtyard. The elegant T-shaped stairway leads you up to the verandah of the main pavilion. The hallway of the main pavilion takes you to the foot of the covered stairs that lead to the entrance of the tower. A spiral staircase leads the visitor to the lantern room on top. Only a certain number of people are allowed in the tower at a time. Access to the gallery depends on the outside wind condition.
The pavilion has now been transformed into a small museum as well as lodging for people seeking basic accommodation, though except from shared cooking facilities and water from the cistern, no other amenities are provided.
Visiting the area is recommended in the months of June to August when the moderate monsoon revitalizes the surrounding vegetation that adds to the scenic view of the area. November to January is not advisable for the weather is very wet and cold due to the effect of the Siberian Winds (Cold front from Siberia, Russia) affecting the northernmost tip of Luzon Island.
Seeing the lighthouse and marvel at the rich history of the Philippines is more than enough. Make sure to pay a visit at Cape Bojeador lighthouse in your itinerary when you visit Ilocos Norte! It is indeed a must-see and it’s something you should not miss!
– Erik Gatmaitan is the author of http://www.pinoyrider.com – Journeying the Philippines SOLO on a motorbike.
Follow his adventures on his website or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PinoyRider