I got another chance to revisit Ilocos Norte a few weeks ago with my brother and sister-in-law who were on vacation here for a month. My brother, who is also into photography (you can find his gallery here), had no questions about the itinerary I prepared which included visits to places scheduled at hours most tourist would consider "ungodly".
Our first stop was Bangui, site of the famous Bangui Northwind windmills. We decided to stay in a small resort within the quiet town, a few minutes walk from the first windmill on the northern end. I was excited to see the windmills at sunset (last time I was there our group left before sunset) as well as sunrise.
We headed out to the center of the column of 15 windmills by late afternoon.The windmills are a popular attraction among those visiting Ilocos Norte as evidenced by the bus loads of tourists one can see there. They look really spectacular at sundown, towering like giants among the visitors.
We stayed a bit late while most headed to the nearby resorts in Pagudpud after the sun went down. On the way back, I notice the sky's color turned a hue of pastel pink and blue. I stopped our tricycle and hurriedly looked for a possible vantage point. My brother, who perfectly knew that time is of the essence, decided to forgo shooting and instead helped with setting up my tripod while I scramble for the necessary filters. We were able capture a couple of frames before the colors faded and the night finally won.
We were back at the windmills at 4AM the next morning. This time the place was empty. It was still dark but I could already see thick looming clouds over the eastern horizon. I was expecting for a dull and gray sunrise. I was glad nature proved me wrong.
The dawn's early light diffused through the fog and clouds created a surreal mood. The entire landscape was painted in hues of orange, pink, and blue, more vibrant than what we saw at dusk the previous day.
The sun finally broke through the clouds and fog. The haze turned from soft pastel colors to deep warm tones. It was amazing to see such transformation happen within a few seconds.
The first batch of vans and buses arrived by the time we packed our gears. A few folks are already enjoying the huge waves. I, on the other hand, am already famished. A light display like that can certainly work up one's appetite.