The tricycle ride to Kapurpurawan, a splendid rock formation located in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, was long and bumpy. Rocks, some larger than one’s fist, were strewn all over the road. The tricycle screeched and screamed as it struggled to pass through the crests and bumps.
The rough ride ended when we reached a makeshift shed with the blue-colored sea beyond it. I could see on the far right, obscured by some trees, a majestic white rock formation. After a 15-20 minute ride, Kapurpurawan was now only a short walk away.
We then made our way down a flight of steps and through a short trail that led to a wide stretch of land. It was like I had stepped into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The place was part Shire, part Mordor. I half-expected Gollum to jump out of the puddle of water demanding for his beloved precious.
The ground we were standing on was made up of corals. The whole beach was practically covered with these dead marine organisms. The place most probably was submerged in seawater many years ago and a natural phenomenon could have caused the water to recede.
When we reached the rock formation, which was hundreds of meters from where we parked, the group who came before us we were leaving. We had the place to ourselves. We took advantage of the opportunity. We took photos. We took videos. We climbed on top of ledges where we could stand, take photos of the place, and have our photos taken.
I stared and took photos of the creases, curves, and black stains that lined the floors and walls. The floor looked like a river of water had passed through it for years, eating up the rock, and producing an intricate design.
In between shots I continued to marvel at the place, wondering how many years it could have taken nature to carve something extraordinary out of a big mountain of rock. I wondered who could have first discovered the place, it being so far from the highway and with no obvious human inhabitants in sight.