There were so many things that we weren’t able to do during our visit in Catanduanes – simply because almost everything is under construction. The road to Maribina Falls? Under construction. Virac Cathedral? Under construction. Bato Centennial Church? Under construction. Public market? Under construction. Hotel swimming pool? Still, under construction. Can Catanduanes really substantiate its moniker as “The Happy Island” when there’s so much that they have to work on? Well, yes.
After feasting our eyes on the beauty of Mt. Mayon, my colleagues and I decided to visit its nearby island province – Catanduanes. It was formerly known as the “Land of the Howling Winds” because of its close proximity to the Pacific, making it a typhoon prone area. But when the coast is clear, Catanduanes is truly a must-visit most especially for outdoor lovers. It has great spots for surfing, beaching, hiking, and Visita Iglesia.
Places visited in Catanduanes
A trip to Catanduanes would never be complete without having to meet the gorgeous rolling hills and astounding rock formations in Binurong Point. This is a pastoral cliff which is often compared to Batanes because of its cinematic landscapes and Pacific ocean view. Going to Binurong Point requires a short trek and is best done early in the morning as the place can be really hot by midday.
Bato Centennial Church
If you are up for a historical adventure, then visiting Bato Centennial Church is a must. According to locals, this church was originally built with woods; however, because of the location of Catanduanes, Bato Centennial Church was rebuilt into stones in 1830s. The church was still under construction upon our visit in preparation for its grand reopening. St. John the Baptist Church is located in Bato, Catanduanes.
PAGASA Radar Station
In case you want a perfect place to have an overlooking view of the shores of Catanduanes, then PAGASA Radar Station is the best place to be. This is located in Buenavista, Catanduanes. PAGASA Radar Station is considered as one of the furthermost advanced radar stations in the world. However, we learned on our visit that the station no longer functions as it was before after being constantly destroyed by the storms that hit the province. Still, this remains as a meteorological facility utilized to monitor the weather system of the country.
Twin Rock Beach Resort
Nothing is better than being served with the best seafood treat, Bicol express, and laing after a whole day trip around Catanduanes. Thanks to Twin Rock Beach Resort, we were able to experience more Catanduanes’ culture. Aside from the gastronomic adventure, we also marveled the beautiful rock formations and other activities that can be done in the resort. Twin Rock Beach Resort is an idyllic cove perfect as prenup location and place to bond with family and friends.
Batong Paloway Church
This miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on a stone is found in Batong Paloway Church. We also had a hard time believing how such stone was able to transform into something as that of Batong Paloway. The stone is now venerated in the altars of Our Lady of Sorrows in San Andres, Catanduanes.
Talisoy Beach Resort
Creativity runs in the blood in many Filipinos – such of the visual imagery formed in Talisoy Beach Resort. This well-kept beach has rock structures that seemingly looked like the head of Jesus Christ looking down and sideways. Also called as “Talisoy Cove” or “Jesus Face Beach”, Talisoy Beach Resort is located at Barangay Talisoy, Virac, Catanduanes.
Puraran Beach Resort
Home of the well-known “Majestic Wave”, Puraran Beach Resort is best place to learn surfing in case you are in Catanduanes. It is an intimate beach resort with restaurants and cottages that serve as home to many foreign and local surfers. Puraran Beach Resort is also a good place to take beautiful IG-worthy photos, thanks to the tropical mountain backgrounds and nearby islets.
Batag Rock Arc
It’s not everyday that you get to see a natural arc formation – this is what makes Batag Rock Arc a familiar destination upon exploring the beach areas of Catanduanes. It is a pebbled beach located next to Marilima Beach.
Yes, there were places that we were not able to visit, but there are MORE ‘HAPPY PLACES’ that we have been to. Plus, we were blessed with a very good weather in our three days stay in Catanduanes. How cool is that?!
We often complain when roads are under construction. We love to attribute to other people when things don’t go according to how we plan them. Yet we all know that repairs and changes are bound to happen for our own benefit, for the benefit of the common good. We just need to be a little patient, a little more understanding. In the end, all these constructions are part of stabilizing the economy of this province, for the betterment of our country.
GETTING AROUND CATANDUANES
For a hassle-free tour around Catanduanes, feel free to contact Virac-based travel agency Island Escape Travel & Tours. They are DOT accredited and provide everything that you will need for the tour – from hotel accommodation to land tours, meals, and even tour guide.
For a convenient stay in Catanduanes, you may book at Lucky Hotel and Resorts located in Virac, Catanduanes. Rates are from 1,200 – 6,300 depending on room size. They provide buffet for breakfast and free service shuttle to and fro San Andres Port. Strategically located at the heart of Virac, Catanduanes, it is very accessible to everything you need – supermarket, laundry shops, churches, mall, and many others. Sadly, we were not able to access their pool upon our stay but since their WiFi is very stable, we just stayed in the comforts of our room. HAHA.
In case you want to stay near the shores of Catanduanes, you may also stay at Puraran Surf Resort. Rates range from P250 (tent rental) – P1,000 (AC room). It’s also a better starting point when planning to visit Binurong Point so that you can witness the magnificent sunrise on those rolling hills of Catanduanes.
Note: Rates may change without prior notice.