Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017


Burdeos only became a full-fledged town in the Philippines in 1948 which makes most outsiders still perceive it as part of the town of Polillo from where it was culled. And it's perfectly alright to even refer to it as a Polillo Island destination because it's where it really is. However, it's hard to differentiate both towns once you're in the area because most shorelines look alike and the abundance of coconut trees don't help at all to make a specific attraction stand out. Inland, the scenery in Burdeos is heavily forested except for patches of land that have been converted into farms. It's been reported that at least three ships used to sail out of the town every month to bring timber for furniture to as far as Europe from 1950 to 1980.

It's only when rock formations start to fall on the disc of your vision during random travels when a place becomes unique. You stop on your tracks. Gaze to wonder at the massive spectacle jutting from the ground. Next thing you know, you're scaling it to see what it's made of. Such was the case when I recently visited Burdeos. A side trip to Barangay Amot offered me the chance to notice the secluded Ginatungan Rock Formation while en route for Barangay Aluyon. Towering above massive coconut trees that seem to have withstood decades of storms, the rock formation is not easily visible if you won't look up.

The jump-off point of the short hike
Nearby islands of Burdeos can be seen from the windswept rock formation

Massive coconut trees of Sitio Angib

Where This Burdeos Rock Formation Is

Ginatungan Rock Formation can be found in Sitio Angib which is just a few minutes away from the poblacion of Burdeos. The road is well paved for bikes and motorcycles, making the trip a bit intrepid. With scenic rice fields to see along the way, it's not going to be a boring ride for anyone.

The Lure of Ginatungan

For a hassle-free trek to it, I sought the assistance of a councilor and tanod who were currently on duty at an outpost of the village. According to them, it's not yet frequented by tourists and only adventurous locals -- mostly students -- have the temerity to scale it. This gives credence to the lack of a clear trail to the top of the rock formation which I discovered when I finally arrived in the area. The reason why the adventurous locals do it is because the view of Burdeos is breathtaking up there.

"Ginatungan Rock Formation can be found in Sitio Angib which is just a few minutes away from the poblacion..."

On a good day at low tide, a sandbar can be seen from this point of the rock formation
The convenient view of Burdeos' shoreline from the rock formation

The challenging hike to the rock formation

Two Trails To Reach Ginatungan

I was told that there's another trail somewhere but that entails hiking for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, I only had them as impromptu guides for a few hours, so I had no choice but to take the harder trail which involved advancing to an incline and through overgrown vegetation more than once. All in all, the hike up the rock formation took me 15 to 20 minutes to do with one short break in the middle to huff and puff. As we got closer to the top, the scenery became a lot breezier and more rock walls became visible.

Two Ways To Experience It

Up there, tourists can choose to peer through a decent rock wall opening that looks like a natural viewing deck or exert a little more effort to climb one last set of rocks where they can dangle their feet 40 feet from the ground. Both can offer a splendid view of the town's shoreline, including nearby islands and sandbars, but the latter will leave anyone with a windswept face.

If there's going to be a tsunami warning on the island soon, God forbid, this spot is where the residents can be perfectly safe. Sans the camouflaging coconut trees, the natural attraction is a rock citadel in this part of Burdeos.

There is currently no regulated hiking fees to Ginatungan Rock Formation. For your safety, make sure that your visit will involve the assistance of locals in the area. Once the tour guide regulations are in place, you can expect the trail to be more clear and possibly made easier for hiking beginners.

Ginatungan Rock Formation

Official Facebook fan page of Bejeweled Burdeos

Location: Sitio Angib, Barangay Amot, Burdeos, Philippines

Atop the Ginatungan Rock Formation
How To Get To Burdeos From Manila:

• Board an Infanta-bound van or Raymond Bus in Legarda (roughly three-hour travel time for Php200).
• Get off at Ungos Port in Real. The earliest trip is 6:00am.
• Board a passenger barge or vessel for Anawan Wooden Pier of Polillo (less than three hours travel time for Php200).
• Ride a Burdeos-bound jeepney from Anawan Wooden Pier (two-hour travel time for Php150).
• To reach Sitio Angib from the poblacion, charter a round-trip motorcycle ride.

Leaving Burdeos:
The earliest jeepney commute from the poblacion back to the Anawan Wooden Pier is at 3:00am. The next trip is at 5:00am.

Lodging Contacts In Burdeos

Andy's Lodging House
Contact Person: Andy Leynes
Mobile: 0912-464-9272
Burdeos Island Inn
Contact Person: Bernard Leynes
Mobile: 0949-683-6160

Want to know more about Burdeos?
Check out my blog post about Binumbunan Island of Burdeos.

More Photos Below:

Assisted by a village councilor and tanod
The rock formation veiled by thick vegetation
Tackling the harder trail


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