July 9, 2015

Catanduanes: The Land of the Howling Winds

Sometimes, happiness is the sound of crashing waves and howling wind at night. This is something you are most likely to experience when you are on the Eastern coastal side of Catanduanes.  The lone island province of Bicol Peninsula is the first area to be hit by the strong killer waves of the Pacific Ocean.

It feels good to be back, re-exploring the island that once captured my heart.

I made Twin Rock in Igang, Virac my home base.  Situated in a cove, the idyllic resort is so-named because of the two iconic karst rock formations just off shore.

Batag, a neighboring beach of Igang is known for its natural rock archway which leads to another quiet cove.

Less than an hour away from Virac is Puraran in Baras, home of the well-known “majestic waves” with its awesome long-barrel-type surf. It was actually the Europeans who put the island in the tourist map when they discovered these majestic waves, ideal for surfing. Since I don’t know how to surf, I just relished the magnificent sight of the beach and its gorgeous rugged rock formations over a platter of fresh seafood – shrimps and lobsters. Ganun ako katakawI


A few minutes away from the beach is a hiker’s destination - the Balacay Point, a prominent peak overlooking mountains, islets and the raging sea of Puraran.

Before heading back to Virac, I decided to drop by Bato and visit its historical and natural attractions – the century-old St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, the clean and green Bato River, and the enchanting Sakahon Beach of Barangay Bote.

Several surfers and true-blue adventurers consider the island a “diamond in the rough”. And I wish to stay it that way. I mean who needs a zipline when you can just ride with the waves. And exhilaratingly crash with them.

Tip: Kinontrata ko lang ang unang tricycle driver na pinarahan ko (na nanghiram ng motorcycle) to visit all these sites for one whole day for just P800 + tip. For the time constrained, this is better and faster than commuting.
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