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Cape Bojeador Light House
Town/City:  Burgos
Province:  Ilocos Norte
18° 30.725N   120° 35.867E
Listed in Gallery:   Lighthouse

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Tallest lighthouse in the Philippines

They call it Faro Cabo Cape Bojeador, as it set majestically on a hill overlooking the South China Sea, located approximately 35 kilometres north of the City of Laoag, the lighthouse is the most accessible of all lighthouses in the north of the Island of Luzon. It was built in 1892 and is still functioning to date, serving ships passing by the northern part of South China Sea. This is one of the famouse historical landmark in the province of Ilocos Norte. It is the highest lighthouse in the Philippines above sea level on top of a hill named Vigia de Nagparitan (estimated a total height of around 160 meters high; tower height = 17 meters approximate) and is located in the town of Burgos.

The Lighthouse is the most western of the lights on the northern coast of the island, and in the approach of vessels from the China coast on the northwest. It lights the bend that marks the northwestern corner of the Island of Luzon, separating it from the South China Sea and the Babuyanes Channel. Similarly, it also assists ships heading towards the ports of Salomangue in Ilocos Sur which is 87 kilometres south from the lighthouse, and Curmimao, which is 60 kilometres away in Ilocos Norte. The Light flash once in every minute.

Completed on the 30th of March, 1892, the design and construction of the Lighthouse of Cape Bojeador was initially undertaken by the Engineer Magin Pers y Pers but was subsequently reconfigured and finished by the Engineer Guillermo Brockman. Built of locally made brick, the tower is octagonally-shaped and has an inner dimension of two meters and an exterior dimension of three and half meters.

The mechanism fitted into the lighthouse at Bojeador was of the basic specification for all first order lighthouses (Ed, take note, this is why you were astonished to see similarity with that of the Capones Lighthouse). It contained a winding mechanism composed of a counter weight which when wound would enable the lantern supporting the lenses to rotate. The housing of the counter weight is located in the centre of the spiral staircase which when wound would drop all the way to the bottom of the stairs. It takes approximately one hour for the weight to reach a full cycle, which would enable the lantern to rotate numerous times. The job of the lighthouse keeper was to religiously wind the mechanism to ensure the continuous rotation of the lens throughout the night. This practice was subsequently stopped when the tower suffered damages during the 1990 earthquake.

Compared to the Lighthouse at Cape Enga?o in Palaui Island, the Lighthouse in Cape Bojeador is in an envious position among Philippine Spanish Lighthouses. Not only does it protect one of the more treacherous bends of the vast Philippine coastline, but it has as well earned the distinction of being the most visited light station in the country. The lighthouse of Cape Bojeador today is not only a mere light station with an obvious functional use, its pavilion has now been transformed into a mini-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. Its tower is quite accessible and with little enticement from its friendly light keeper, accesses to its lantern and, if the winds are not that strong, the precarious perch from its overhanging balcony is possible. As a tourist attraction in a politically powerful province, the lighthouse of Cape Bojeador has ensured its preservation and protection for years to come.

This is one of the must see landmarks when visiting Ilocos Norte province.

Getting There:

From Laoag/Baguio/Vigan or La union : Follow the northwestern coastal national highway that is commonly used going to Ilocos provinces until you've reached some dramatic and exhilirating view of the sea and upon reaching the town of Burgos in Ilocos Norte. There is a sign board at the right side of the highway indicating the entrance to the winding road leading to the base of cape Bojeador Lighthouse.

Waypoint narrative by: paulperez 2005     follow paulperez on Facebook

Additional narratives or blogs:
Burgos Lighthouse is also known as Cape Bojeador. Standing on the top of Vigia de Nagparitan Hill, it has served as a beacon to sea navigators for more than a century. It started operations in 1892. The structure is made of local red bricks and accented with cast iron grill work,and stands 65 feet/20 meters high, considered the highest elevated lighthouse in the country. Cape Bojeador was declared a National Treasure by the National Museum.

If one wants to appreciate the Burgos Lighthouse, he must be prepared to do a lot of climbing- one has to go up the hill, climb several flights of stairs to the building, then muster enough will power to "conquer" the spiral staircase and steep,steel ladder to reach the beacon light area. I did... well, almost... I finished climbing the spiral staircase but I didn't dare go further to the beacon light area. Sayang nga, but I was already very dizzy.

By: Cyndy_Coronado 2008



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