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Catanduanes is for beach bums, sports lovers and history buffs |

Travel and Tourism

Catanduanes is for beach bums, sports lovers and history buffs

STILL TALKING - Enrico Miguel T. Subido -

This month marks the 66th Foundation of the Province of Catanduanes and it seems, with all the activities lined up, this would be the best time to visit. And with the local Catandungan Festival in full swing, the province puts its best foot forward, celebrating its rich culture, history and natural attractions.

The Catandungan Festival is an interesting one, as it serves to unify several other festivals on the island. Since its inception in 1995, other municipal festivals have begun celebrating their own townships: from the Lasa Festival of Caramoran, Dinahit of Pandan, Manok-manok of Bagamanoc, Paray of Viga, Kinis of Panganiban, Tinagcrosanof Bato, Abaca of San Miguel, Badas of Baras, Maparoy of Gigmoto down to Calo of San Andres and Sarimagyo of Virac. The Catandungan Festival aims to amalgamate all these into one celebration, and also serves to demonstrate the local color and divergence of the region.

Bato Church has retained its original exteriors of limestone and coral mortar from the 1800s.

The essence of the Catandungan Festival is the rich and varied stories of its people and the place that they live in. The people, without a doubt, are warm and accommodating. The capital city of Virac is populated by very friendly and helpful people, ready to assist tourists in any way.

The festival also highlights Catanduanes’ main strength, and that is its natural attractions. It is a nature lover’s destination. Much of the land remains undeveloped, with forests, reefs and beaches kept pristine and intact. While many towns in Catanduanes do not possess the luxuries many city folk are accustomed to, its ruggedness and quaint little-town-by-the-beach nature attracts visitors throughout the year. There are no frills here and, for some, that’s the way they like it.

Experiencing the natural assets of Catanduanes during the Catandungan Festival is one way to make your stay on the island complete. First, there is Puraran Beach where you can experience majestic waves with breathtaking barrels — perfect for beginner and more advanced surfers. From Puraran Beach, a quick boat ride will take you to Nahulugan Falls, which boasts a tall drop and three tiers of pools where bathers can relax and take it easy.

Another attraction would be the outdoor activities and water sports held at Twin Rock Resort, a beachside establishment nestled in between green hills and with a view of two small island formations. The resort has its own zipline, a 40-foot climbing wall, canopy walk, ATVs and a Wipeout-style obstacle course.

For more leisurely nature trips, a trip up north can be made from the Bagamanoc coastline to the LORAN station, short for Long Range Aid to Navigation. This is right up the alley of historical buffs, too, as it was a former American outpost in the 1950s that guided ships sailing in the Pacific. Panay Island is on the opposite side of LORAN which is an emerging dive site, rich with marine life in a tranquil environment.

Further north, Hiyop Point at Pandan awaits everyone with its rolling verdant hills and serene vistas of the Pacific Ocean. For beach bums Palumbanes Island at Caramoan, known for its powdery white sand and clear blue waters, is perfect for just lazing around.      

With a host of different activities and adventurous destinations, Catandunaes and its Catandungan Festival offer a wide panorama of colors and attractions for visitors to experience.

Mara na kamo sa Catandunaes!

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For more information contact the Tourism Promotion Office, Old Capitol Building, Virac, Catanduanes. Call (052) 811-3229.

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