Last September (2016), my friends and I decided to visit Catanduanes. It is an island province located in the Bicol Region of Luzon in the Philippines.
It is the Philippine land mass closest to the Pacific Ocean, making it susceptible to tropical cyclones. For this reason, the island has been called “The Land of the Howling Winds.”
How to get there:
By air. Flying to Virac, Catanduanes from Manila takes just one hour. Me and my friends booked tickets with Cebu Pacific Air, which has direct flights to Virac every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
As we arrived in the airport, we rode a tricycle to go to our first destination. If you’re planning to visit, I recommend you contact Kuya Buboy at 0946-406-3711, a trusted local tricycle driver in Virac.
Below is the list of the places we visited in Catanduanes for 4 days and 3 nights.
1. Puraran Beach, Puraran, Baras
A promising surfing site in the town of Baras. It is the home of the well-known “Majestic” waves with its awesome long-barrel-type surf. Offshore waves are in their utmost shape during the months of August to September. Far out from the beach is a resting place set up for surfers who wants to rest and for spectators who wants to see the action up close and personal. If you’re a surfer looking for some nice secluded beach with majestic waves, Puraran would definitely satisfy your standards.
2. Binurong Point, Baras, Catanduanes
Binurong point is one of the newest attractions here in Catanduanes. In fact, this has been featured already at KMJS and other blogs too. Accoring to our tourist guide, it's called Binurong which came from the word "Buro" because before, people used to have fermented fishes only when refrigerators are still not yet available here which is basically their main source of income. If you can't afford to go to Batanes yet, I recommend you give it a try here. The cliffs, the ocean and the grasses will give you almost same feeling. It's all worth it. 🙂 Read more on my blog. Will post it when we get back in MNL. (And yes, I am currently posting this here in my room while getting ready for our next destination.) See yah! 🙂 #pilipinasmuna #iloveph #itsmorefuninthephilippines #catanduanes
Binurong point is located in Brgy. Guinsaanan, Baras Catanduanes which is one of the newest attractions here in the province. In fact, this has been featured already at KMJS and other blogs, too. According to our tourist guide, it’s called Binurong because it came from the word “Buro” since before, people used to ferment fishes because refrigerators are still not yet available which is basically their main source of income.
The way to Binurong Point is almost concreted when we went there. Upon reaching the registration site at Brgy. Guinsaanan, you will be required to pay Php20.00 or the registration fee and Php10.00 for the parking fee. A guide will be designated to you/your group and the guide fee is Php150.00.
If you can’t afford to go to Batanes yet, I recommend you give it a try here. The cliffs, the ocean and the rolling hills will give you almost the same feeling.
3. Twin Rock Beach
An idyllic cove, named Twin Rock by its former owner, a Japanese expatriate, the Beach Resort endows its visitors with calming vibrations that permeates the area and seawaters around it. Though not really similar in shape and size, the two rocks stand majestically, complementing each other, as if guarding the Viracnons from approaching storms.
The resort offers the comforts and luxury of modern day living amid the verdant surroundings. People came here to swim, snorkel, skin dive and play water sports in its crystal clear pristine waters.
Here are some of the activities we did in the resort:
a. Zipline for only Php100
b. Zipbike for only Php100 one way
Me: Kuya posible po ba na sumakay dyan kahit di marunong magbike? And the answer was yes! Yay! 🙌🙌🙌 What's more crazy about this is you can enjoy riding a zipbike without any guilty feeling since it's only for a hundred peso. Waaah! 👌👌👌 Masaya pala magbike. LOL. 🚴😂🚲 #zipbike #firsttime #happykidhere #gocatanduanes
c. Rappelling for only Php50
You can also do wall climbing, cliff diving and other activities.
4. Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Virac
Travellers like us who have made the trip to Virac are surely fascinated by stained glass windows of the Church of The Immaculate Concepcion at the heart of the town, Virac. This cathedral has been super-imposed over the old parish church. The Virac Cathedral, along with the many other churches and chapels in the barangays of Virac, reflect the people’s strong faith, as they use these structures throughout the ages to worship and socialize.
5. PAGASA Radar Weather Station, Brgy. Buenavista, Bato
This is the 8th radar station mounted in the country donated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Located at Brgy. Buenavista, Bato, Catanduanes and considered one of the most advanced radar station in the world.
6. Bato Church, Bato
Bato Church has withstood wars, calamities and the ravages of time to become the only remaining structure of its genre in the entire island and the second-largest church in Bicol region.
Captivated by the beauty of this old church in Catanduanes. In fact, this is the second largest church in Bicol region. Been 53 years in the making and has withstood wars even calamities. One of the landmarks that you need to see if you're planning to visit Definitely a must-see and an additional to your itinerary. #gocatanduanes #iloveph #pinasmuna #batochurch
Seen from the other side of the river, the old church looks majestic and imposing. Proudly the church stands as the oldest in the province.
7. Sea Breeze Sea Side Restaurant, Virac
This is located along seaside boulevard. Lined with huts facing the Pacific, and a great array of menu items that will surely satisfy your cravings. The restaurant is open during lunch time but it’s better if you’ll go here on the evening so you can enjoy the view better.
8. Batalay Church, Bato
The shrine is located at barangay Batalay in the town of Bato, Catanduanes. The site is where the first cross was planted in Catanduanes and was built over the burial place of Augustinian priest Fray Diego de Herrera who died in barangay Batalay in 1576. A spring of clear water sprouted near the cross, believed to have healings powers, which the natives regarded as an unusual phenomenon. It is flocked by devotees seeking redemption and healing.
9. Maribina Falls Bato
Maribina Falls is the most popular and widely publicized among the numerous waterfalls in Catanduanes. Entrance fee is only Php 20. This is a perfect way to refresh from a long trip/ travel.Rustic cottage ideal for picnics are available for rent in the area. No provisions for overnight stay are available.
10. Tuwad-Tuwadan Balangonan Island
Tuwad-Tuwadan Blue Lagoon is an amazing work of nature, a secret lagoon in the middle of a rock formation blessed with crystal clear blue-green water filled with corals and fishes. It’s a perfect haven for photographers and nature lovers alike. Its name was derived from the species of seashells abundant in the lagoon. However true to its word “Tuwad-tuwadan” meaning to stumble and fall, you’ll have to make an extra effort to get there, either by climbing over cliffs and stumbling down on grassy pavements. Perfect for travellers who’s looking for adventure.
11. St. Ignatius Loyola Pandan
The Pandan Parish Church took many years to complete and was finished in 1874. Big stones for the foundation and walls were gathered from the sea by the expert divers, lime was manufactured locally and sand and gravel were taken from the seashore by men working in groups. “Basi”, a sugar cane juice, was used as cement for the massive walls of the church that strongly defied time and elements.
12. Delicia’s farm Pandan
We were basically looking for a falls after our trip from Tuwad-Tuwadan however, seems like even the tricycle driver we hired didn’t know where it is located so we ended up on this place. Regardless of our misfortune on that day, the owner of this place still managed to entertain us even though we were totally strangers gate crashing their party. Now we know why you are called the “happy islander”. I recommend you also try to by here to know more things about farming.
Catanduanes is the 12th largest island in the Philippines and having said that, there are still a lot of other places to explore here.
I hope you enjoy reading! Please feel free to leave a comment below.