All about Catanduanes;
- The province is also known as the Land of howling wind and Happy Island
- It is the 12th largest island of Philippines
- It’s capital is Virac
- Catanduanes is an Island province located in the Bicol Region of Luzon.
Holidays of Holy Week is a welcome break for an employee like me because it would be the longest non working day of the year. So yeah, let’s take a break…
On the night of April 17, holy wednesday, joiners of Galaph Catanduanes escapade gathered at KFC Vxi Bldg. along buendia ave. Makati City. At around 10pm we started the journey going southbound to Bicol region, at this time since today is last working day of the week we were greeted with heavy traffic because as always people take this time to vacation with their family or otherwise spend holy week in the province.
15 hour later we are at Tabaco port, catching a RORO boat bound to San Andres,Catanduanes. Travel time is 3 to 4 hours and ferry schedules are not 24hrs but have a specified time.
Tabaco Port schedule bound:
To San Andres – regular schedule 7am and 1pm
- Fare – php 300 air-condition room and php 230 regular room.
To Virac – regular schedule 6:30am and 1pm
- Fare – php 300 air-condition room and php 230 regular room
Luckily on a Holy Thursday there was a special trip at 3pm to accommodate more passengers for the holidays.
Day 1 vacation done with all day travel thanks to holiday rush.
Day 2 is a promising action/adventure filled day with a call time of 5:30am, schedule is from sunrise to sunset.
First stop is Balacay point in Baras Catanduanes, an hour away from Virac where we stayed. We did not catch the sunrise as scheduled because the driver was late on the call time but the amazing view of Balacay point’s rolling hills, the wave of pacific ocean, herd of cows grazing and breathing a mix of cool salty/fresh air more than make up the lost time for the sunrise watching.
Together with the morning sun which serves as natural lighting, pictures captured were stunning.
*** If you are visiting with a car you can take it up so you wouldn’t need to trek around 10 to 15 minutes walk uphill.
Next stop, the much anticipated Binurong point, a must visit site at Catanduanes. It captured the attention of local traveller from being featured in travel segment of KMJS.
From Balacay point our next destination is Binurong point and while on our way stopover at a local carinderia to order for our lunch, since it’s a holy week there are lesser eatery that are open so best choice is to order in advance as we are 26 in total.
Going to Binurong point in a van is easier, you’ll drive to Guinsaanan, Baras, some roads are cemented and other part still rough and dirt. At drop off, you would need to log and take a guide with you. Guides are mandatory, one guide for a team of 5 were assigned to us.
Can’t help but mention that at drop off point, you will also see some cottages selling souvenirs, food, drinks and shirts which signals booming tourism and hopefully locals are gaining income from visitors.
As informed by our guide, one way trek to Binurong point is about 30 minutes or more depending on your pace. The trail is mostly uphill but good to know that most parts are forested so we have a shield from the heat of the morning sun. According to our guide we are trekking on a new pathway since the previous one was already closed because it is now privately owned.
After the trek you will be delighted to see lush green hill, waves of Pacific ocean bouncing through boulders and scenery that are similar to Batanes. What a sight!!! Worth the 15hrs land travel from Makati City.
Other places visited around Catanduanes;
* Twin Rock Beach Resort
*Puraran surf resort
*Pag-asa weather station
*Courtesy call – Provincial capitol 🙂
Photo credits to;
Raffy Tuan, Diday Garcia, Tetet Verzo dela Torre, Archibald Sarmiento, Trip ni Mariane, Galaph