Before I came to know that this is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and the fourth in Asia (aside from South Korea, Japan and China); before I came to know that it now supplies 40% of electric power to Ilocos Norte; before I came to know that it was constructed by a Danish company together with a Japanese firm; and before I came to know that they were shipped from Europe, I had my first encounter with the windmills which I will never forget…
I have a friend who used to work for the Department of Energy and I remember him mentioning about a government project to put up windmills in Bangui (Ilocos Norte). The purpose is to generate power from the wind. That was the first time I heard about “wind power.” Years later, or about last year, I heard my mother telling me about the completion of the windmills. When some of my friends came to Ilocos in May of 2005, I mentioned to them the windmills not knowing how it looked like and where the exact location was. All I knew was the place which is Bangui. So, on our way to Pagudpud, we decided to check out the wind mills (aside from the usual attractions of the places we passed by.)
When we entered the municipality of Bangui, we started looking for a sign where the windmills can be found until we saw a small sign (which you may not notice unless you are consciously looking for it) which says “windmill” (with arrow pointing left). There was no visible pathway where the arrow was pointing at except tire tracks which we followed until our car was stuck and we decided to walk. We didn’t know where we were going. All we did was to trust that small sign which says that was the way to the windmills. After walking for sometime, we saw from afar several white sharp objects all of them moving clockwise at irregular intervals. I thought I was immediately transported to an “X-Files” setting. One of my friends described what she saw as “scary.” What we saw from afar as white sharp objects are the tips of the blades of the windmills, the whole structure being what you see in the pictures here.
After some brief picture taking, we then went to Pagudpud to spend the night there. What was funny was, while driving from the site where we saw the windmills to Pagudpud beach, there were a lot more sites to view the windmills, much better and definitely more convenient than where we saw it the first time. We were definitely trapped by that small sign that we saw. Well, how would we know? We reached Pagudpud beach in the night, after going further to “Patapat” viaduct and the water falls of “Mang Anton.” The next day, as if adding insult to injury, we saw all the windmills from Pagudpud beach in its full glory! Had we known, we should have gone straight to the beach!
I never thought that I could see windmills of this structure. I always thought of old-fashioned windmills such as those in (old) Europe. This is literally and figuratively a “breathe of fresh air” not only to the locals but to visitors as well. Just when you thought that Ilocos Norte is all beaches and old churches, the windmills of Bangui gives you an attraction a notch higher in technology than the viaduct of “Patapat” or the “Quirino Bridge” of Ilocos Sur. The next time you are in Ilocos Norte, try to experience the “wind!” See the other wind farms of Asia .)