Asia DESTINATIONS Islands & Beaches Philippines Travels

First Time in Catanduanes

..."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."

In 2012, I finally stepped on the island of Catanduanes. My ex-boyfriend then, proudly introduced to me his hometown.

Our vacation to Catanduanes was nothing but superb! 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.

Village Lifestyle

On my first day, we toured around the town of Virac. It’s a small town, Virac has an area of (152.4 km2 (58.8 sq mi), most of the people here know each other.

While driving through the countryside, these trees caught my attention. The best thing about living in the country is being one with nature. Nature makes a big difference to someone who loves our planet and appreciates all it has to offer.

Life in the countryside is for people who feel like there is nothing to lose when only living with the bare essentials.

The Marvelous Unspoiled Beaches

Since it’s an island – I have high expectation on the beaches. And true enough, some of the gorgeous beaches in the country are located in the island provice of Catanduanes. Here are four of them.

Batag Beach

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 Beach

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.

Mamangal Beach

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

It’s 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.

Fabulous Waterfalls

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.

Credit to the owner

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 which introduced Catholicism in the island.

The Oldest and Longest Bridge in Catanduanes

As we approach the town of Bato, I saw a placid river amid the mountains. According to ex-boyfriend, it is the Bato River, then the Bato Church is just across the river. And with that I saw the long bridge that we have to pass in order to get through the town. It was breathtaking to see the bridge, the river, and the mountains.

Happy Island

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.

This is Catanduanes. A rugged but happy island.


Hello Stranger! We're thrilled you're here. We are Ed and Shay, originally from the Philippines but living in Ireland . We are both health enthusiasts and passionate about God's wonderful creations and making the most of our days on this earth. We dream of setting foot on every single country on planet earth, meeting adorable strangers and learning about new cultures. Our mission is to inspire you to live your best life -- be more adventurous, try new things, discover off the beaten path places and provide you with the best tips for your next trip.

1 comment on “First Time in Catanduanes

  1. Pingback: Caramoan Island Hopping via Catanduanes

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