Lying east of Bicol mainland, Catanduanes is an island paradise in the pacific, covering a total land area of 1,511.5 sq km.
Your visit to this island is more than just wxploring its unspoiled beaches or enjoying surfing at Puraran Beach located on the northside.
Catanduanes offers much more. It is rich in history, belnding quality with the peaceful jutting mountains all over the island.
Adventurers hike the twisting trails of Gigmoto and San Andres and enjoy the cool refreshing waterfalls. The religious visit to the ancient church of Bato and hike to the stone chapel a kilometer away where the first mass was believed to have been celebrated byt the Spanish conquerors.
Island life is not quite as it seems. The capital town of Virac is irresistible for an oceanfront entertainment and arousing videoke bars. A hotel offers a breathtaking view of the entire island as its penthouse restaurant.
Resorts abound to accomodate leisure-sseking travelers, with a chain of picnic sheds and cottages over a well-manicured, surrounded with lush greeneries.
The province was formerly known as Catanduan, or "where tando trees abound".
In 1573, Juan de Salcedo explored the island and found Malayan settlers belived to be descendants of the Bornean datus who came to Panay in the 13th century. Up to now, one of the islands off the northeast coast of Catanduanes is called Panay .
In 1576, a galleon sailing from Acapulco in Mexico to the Philippines was shipwrecked near the coast of Catanduanes . Ten Augustinian friars were abroard. It is said that survivors of the disaster were either killed by the natives or made servants of the datu. The Holy Cross of Batalay in the town of Bato is said to mark the burial site of the Augustinianīs leader Father Diego de Herrera.
Throughout the Spanish era and the American occupation, Catunduanes was a subprovince of Albay . It became a separate province on September 26, 1945 .
How to get there...
Bicol is served by three airlines: Philippine Airlines(PAL), the nation's flag carrier, Air Philippines and Asian Spirit. PAL flies to Legaspi City only; Air Philippines serves Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Masbate; and Asian Spirit flies to Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Masbate.
By Land Major bus companies offering accomodation ply the Manila to Bicol-Visayas-Mindanao route, passing through picturesque roads via the Pan-Philippine Highway. Terminals are located at Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Pedro Gil St., Manila and EDSA, Pasay City. Bicol is also served by the Philippine National Railway, the only railway in the country, plying daily from Manila up to Legaspi City,Albay.
By Sea Shipping lines offer regular trips to the region's major port of entry from Manila to the island-province of Masbate and to the province..