Our vacation at Catanduanes was nothing but superb! It was in 2012 when I had ‘first’ set foot in the small happy island. Four days of tracing its periphery aboard a motorcycle came with a trove of happy memories. Yet I was rewarded with wondrous views and marvelous vistas.
Happy Simple Life
On my first day, we toured around the town of Virac. I was excited as always – as I have had a wonderful memories growing up in countryside. One is closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. There are fewer cars so there is less pollution. Furthermore, life in the countryside is slower so people here are friendlier and mostly know each other.
The Marvelous Unspoiled Beaches
Catanduanes might not be the top-of-mind destination when it comes to beach hopping. Maybe because we usually hear the word Catanduanes as a reference point whenever there’s a typhoon. But this little island will definitely surprise you with wonderful beaches perfect for strolling and unwinding.
Batag Beach is located in Batag, Virac Catanduanes. The beach is bordered by coconut trees and the back of the resort leans against the hill, giving fresh air. Its shoreline is covered with fine white sand and its pristine azure waters is irresistible to take a dip.
Balite has a narrow opening that provides a challenging point of entry and is hidden in the midst of thickets. The whole stretch of the beach continues to beguile visitors with its unspoiled beauty – an asset which the locals within the area are guarding zealously. The sprawling beach is covered with cool and shady trees and blessed with fine white sand, both in the shorelines and in the swimming area.
Driving through rough road and coastal villages was worth it just to see the view of the beach. Aside form unspoiled beauty, you got to love the beautiful sunset here too. Covered in trees that offer much needed shade and blessed with fine white sand. What else could you want for a beach holiday?
Twin Rock or Igang Beach
Located in Barangay Igang, Virac and just as its name suggests, is guarded by two rocks jutting out of the Pacific Ocean. Apart from the many activities available here, one of the highlights of my beach hopping was the “jumping off the cliff” at this resort.
Secluded and relatively unexplored, the waterfalls beckon trekkers for a refreshing dip; frolic in the cool waters and over the boulders. It was named after Barangays Marinawa and Binanwahan in the municipality of Bato.
Historical Catholic Churches
This Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Diocèse of Virac), founded in the year 1974 but due to typhoons it was reconstructed. It is situated at the heart of the capital town of Virac, remains a lasting proof to the deep faith of the Viracnons and its architectural heritage that is constantly being adored by locals and visitors alike.
St. John the Baptist Church also known as the “Bato Church” in the town of Bato. It was built in 16th century during the Spaniards era by which Catholicism in the island has been introduced.
The Oldest and Longest Bridge in Catanduanes
As we approach the town of Bato, you’d see the longest bridge in town and a placid river amid the mountains. It is called Bato River and just across the river is the oldest Catholic Church, St. John the Baptist.
The Bato River stretches as far as Viga to Cabugao Bay. Once it was abundant in marine life but due to erosion and consistent flooding, the riverbed has been dumped with soil and this caused the river to get shallow and dry up.
While typhoons still pass through Catanduanes and still a point of reference because of the PAGASA Observatory, its resilient folks say that the more destructive ones are now almost a thing of the past. Instead, they would like it to be known as the “Happy Island” because of the sheer happiness and solitude its natural wonders give a visitor minus the madding crowd of the popular tourist traps.
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