Ivory giants of the north - Bangui Windmills

One of the main reasons why I wanted to reach Ilocos is to admire the beauty of these towering colossi which harness 40% of Ilocos Norte's electricity needs. A common misconception is that the windmills are located in Pagudpud, but during my trip here, I found out that they are located in the town of Bangui, a quaint, coastal town bordered by rivers that dry up during the summer season and the Bangui Bay, where the windmills are facing.

One of the picturesque views often seen in postcards






Bangui is a laid back town reminiscent of little suburbs of Manila, but with more trees!

It was midday when our group reached Bangui, and definitely not a good time to check out the place. Apart from the searing hot sand of the beach, you'll get toasted from the dry wind which blows from the sea -- not to mention the sun looking down on you!

How to get there: From Laoag town proper, you can ride a bus to Pagudpud (just ask for directions of the terminal, it's just a street behind the Municipal Hall, i think). Fare is around 60php per head, and it's an ordinary bus, with no aircon. I suggest you ride this one so you could appreciate the view on the way while enjoying the fresh air. From pagudpud town proper, a lot of tricycle drivers are offering a South loop tour for 600php (max of 4 persons per trike). It will include a tour to Kapurpuraoan rock formation, Bangui Windmills, Bangui Viewpoint and Cape Borjeador Lighthouse in Burgos.



From the National highway, the windmills are visible jutting from the trees that line up the shore. One has to turn left if coming from the south, after which you will pass a series of dirt roads until you reach the coastline. These windmills, officially called as the Northwind Bangui Bay Project, is an effort by the local government of Ilocos Norte to promote and practice renewable energy.

Getting an opportunity from the wind that blows from South China Sea toward the land, the location is optimal enough in generating enough electricity and windbreaks. Also, the location of our country being near the Asia-Pacific monsoon belt is ideal for installing these wind turbines. PAGASA attests that the Philippines has a mean average of about 31 watts per square meter of wind power intensity. If only all these factors (wind resources) are considered in developing renewable energy in most parts of the country, then the people won't be bothered by the rising prices of power consumption because we are already a self-sustaining country. (Not to mention these things are considered an international tourist attraction for being the largest wind turbines in Southeast Asia!)


Facing west


Upon observing a single turbine, the 50-meter column is made up of metal coating painted in white. Diameter ranges from 5-7 meters and sturdy enough to hold the three vertically-oriented rotor blades. There were even scary sounds emanating from the wind turbine.

We had our lunch under one of the wind turbines, seeking refuge from the heat of the sun via its shadow.

Forgot to bring a picnic mat
Ilocos specialty: Bagnet for lunch!
Look how big those goliaths are!
While these giants are great to be with up close, nothing beats the experience of viewing them from afar, most especially if you're like a bird flying over it. So after checking them out, you might want to proceed in the Bangui viewpoint, a few kilometers west and going up into the mountains before crossing the Burgos-Bangui boundary. Here a few souvenir vendors will offer a much discounted price compared to the ones sold in Pagudpud! Too bad I bought my windmill souvenirs for double the price in Saud beach. :(


Bird's eye view of the town of Bangui

17 comments:

  1. Yup! Pagudpud is just where the beaches are, I think.

    Ikaw ba yung naka-aquamarine nail polish? Lol.

    I was supposed to go to Ilocos a few months ago but had to cancel last minute because of work. This is still definitely on my list for next year. But I'm afraid of seeing the windmills in person. I'm afraid of mega structures. >_<

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  2. Wahahaha siyempre hindi ako yung nakanail polish, yan yung kasama kong kikay na babae. Thanks robbie! Nakaka-gulat din talaga kung g'ano kalaki yung mga yon.

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  3. Great photos! I've been always looking forward to visit this place. Hopefully I can go there before the year ends.

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  4. I have been to Ilocos Norte twice, but have not seen these windmills up close :( And cute ng souvenirs! Me want one...

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  5. Damn, I miss Ilocos. And seeing the giant Bangui windmills alone is overwhelming...

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  6. nakakamiss nga ang windmills na ito. hehe. at memorable saking 'tong place na 'to dahil tinangay yung P20 ko dya nung nag-jumpshot ako.

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  7. Bayaan mo, kung san man napunta yung 20 pesos mo, sa lupa yun napunta kasi dun papunta yung hangin, hehehe

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  8. That's true! Especially upon hearing them roar up close!

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  9. It's cheaper if you buy them at the viewpoint :D It's a nice experience to reach these giants up close! :D

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  10. Thanks for the tip on where to buy the souvenir. Will visit Ilocos in January next year.

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  11. Okay, how could you have had lunch under the turbines? Hindi gumagalaw? Case in point this post, sobrang sakit sa legs ng flying sand! HAHAHA. It's fun when I read your blog and we've been to the same places, high five Byron! http://saylala.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/cape-bojeador-lighthouse-bangui-windmills/

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  12. And i regret not buying those miniature windmills when we were there! Akala namin meron pa sa market pero wala na. Sad face.

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  13. Oh, I've been here as well. Cheers! ;p

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  14. It's a beautiful place. :)

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  15. Lol at Robbie's comment. Ang ganda ng mga pictures mo. Naalala ko tuloy ang isa sa paboritong libro ko. Don Quixote hehe.

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  16. Oo may parang ganitong feel dun! :D Apir!

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It would be nice to get a feedback from you :)