Catanduanes Island



Where to go in the Philippines after this pandemic? Check Catanduanes Island.


Catanduanes is the 12th largest island in the Philippines. 


I am so lucky to have an adventurous husband, so we head on to this journey in 2018 after booking a Piso Fare. We had three backpacks complete with our snorkels, stove, a tent, and utensils. 




I did all the planning for two months. I focused on the best snorkeling spots on the island, but of course, I also considered their top tourist spots.


My husband also speaks the dialect, so I took advantage of that by not booking tours. We can haggle for the best deal because he can bargain with the same language, or so I thought.






Every detail on my itinerary is strategic. Upon arrival at Virac Airport, we walked to our first accommodation, which is Queen Maricel Inn. Upon unloading our bags, we headed to the city proper and did the usual city tour. I have to mention that I love their museum. 


The museum itself needs a lot of improvement, but since they added value to their service I love it. From checking in to the check out was organized. We had our own guide, which is a working student. They also gave us a map of the whole island. Another map for where to stay, eat, and what to do. 


Then we headed to the Cathedral. All original Lego Bricks replica of the basilica will greet you on the main door. Each stone of the wall shows how rich their culture is. 




Snorkeling spot in Catanduanes? I bet Palumbanes Islands will be the top result. 


I believe much about jinx, but it seemed that the universe is not letting me publish an article about Palumbanes Islands. 


    Bitaog Beach


    Water Source at Bitaog Beach


Believe it or not, this is my fourth draft. Two of which were almost done. One is that I thought I published it but never seen it. The one before this was deleted because of a power outage.


But I still want to share with you the beauty of the islands. 


These islands can be reached when you go to the municipality of Caramoran. That is a two to three-hour drive from the city of Virac. The road is paved but be ready for zigzags. Take the vans that says Caramoran. Tell the driver you are off to the Palumbanes Islands. 


Another thirty minutes to an hour boat ride and you will reach the shore of Bitaog. The island is inhabited by local landowners that consist of a barangay. You have to look for a boatman that will take you to the island.


What we did was we started a conversation from the van driver. He then referred us to another passenger that lives on the island. If you want a confirmed booking for the boat you can look for Palumbanes Island on Facebook and message Sir Rustan for your travel needs to the island. 


Take note that this side of Catanduanes is ideal for backpackers. They don't have fresh water for drinking, so you have to bring provisions. The local store is on the other side of the island, over a hill. Cottages are unkept when we visited the island. There were a lot of mosquitos. Nonetheless, it is a worthy place to visit. We stayed in our own tent that we brought.


    Our Tent


    Sunset


    Right Side of the shore


    Sand of Bitaog


    The left side of the shoreline facing the island


They have fine sand, clear blue water, and a lavish sunset. The island has fewer visitors, so you'll have it all. It was so isolated that you will hear all creatures at night. You will see the sky full of stars too.


The power source for the island is each owner's fuel generator. The owner where we were brought in by the boatman runs its gen-set from six to eight in the evening.


We needed to get back the following day as we run out of foods and are so tired of the past eight days traveling.


Our boatman brought us to Tignob Island before heading back to the mainland. It is privately owned, but travelers are allowed to dock their boats. We left with a heavy heart. 



    Tignob Island beach


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