Finding Happiness in Catanduanes (Part 6) - Beaches, Beaches, and More Beaches

When we arrived in Catanduanes, our guide said we need two weeks to a month before we can explore all the alluring sites in the province. At first, we thought that's impossible as the island is relatively small and there's not much accounts on the internet that speaks of the many destinations one can explore in Catanduanes. We were wrong. It was already fourth day and we only get to see about half the island province. There's too many spots to see, beach or not, famous or the road less-traveled. On our third and fourth days, we explored other beaches aside from Palumbanes Islands, which we visited on our first day. Here are some of them:

Talisoy Beach
Virac, Catanduanes

The cove, which is just a few minutes away from Virac town proper is a quiet cove embraced by crystalline waters and beautiful rock formations, of which, the most famous is the one that reesembles the face of Jesus Christ. It is a nice place for beach bumming or swimming, however, the waves further away from the shore can be unpredictable. The seabed is a bit rocky, too, so best to wear aqua shoes! The beach is also known as Jesus' Face Beach or Tampad Beach.

Talisoy Beach



Up close, you could clearly see the face of Jesus 

Sakahon Beach and Bote Lighthouse
Bato, Catanduanes

Besides Palumbanes Islands, this beach is one of my personal favorites. Why? It radiates serenity; a place for some peace and quiet. While there are locals who frequent this cove, there are no resorts or cottages here yet, although I've heard that there are plans of developing this area. The white powdery sand beckons... and in front is the popular Turtle Island and Nagngangang Buwaya Rock Formation enveloped by blue-green waters. As if these are not enough, this spot is also the entry point to Bote Lighthouse, where one could see a stunning, awe-inspiring 360-degree of the island! The catch? You would need to trek for about an hour on angled slopes. I wish I have the strength to do just that; I wish I can hike that high. Sigh.

Alone in Sakahon Beach

A view of Turtle Island

Nagngangang Buwaya Rock Formation


Since I was not able to go to Bote Lighthouse, Kuya Allan Sarmiento shared his photos taken from the top of Bote Lighthouse during the visit of Biyahe ni Drew in Catanduanes a week before we went there. All photos were taken using his phone. If you have a drone, do not miss the chance to capture this view from Bote Lighthouse. I guess the hard trek is worth it!

Turtle Island and Nagngangang Buwaya (photo by Allan Sarmiento)

Nagngangang Buwaya (photo by Allan Sarmiento)

Turtle Island and Nagngangang Buwaya (photo by Allan Sarmiento)

Turtle Island and Sakahon Beach  (photo by Allan Sarmiento)

Twin Rock Beach Resort
Virac, Catanduanes

On our fourth day, hubby booked a room at Twin Rock Beach Resort in Brgy. Igang in Virac. The resort has many amenities that you can enjoy like the swimming pool, zipline, kayak, floating bar, and yeah, videoke. Although, I highly suggest that you schedule your visit or stay here on a weekday as it could get crowded and a bit noisy (thank God, they don't allow videoke past 10:00 pm!) during weekends and holidays. Imagine about five cottages each with their own videoke.

Twin Rock Beach Resort 











Spicy  Squid

Fish Cocido


Twin Rock Beach Resort also has sprawling white sands and clear waters, although we did not see a spot for snorkeling. The restaurant serves good food in generous servings, and is also a good station while waiting for sunset. The resort also offers complimentary airport transfers that you can book ahead of time.
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Besides these alluring beaches, we also went to Luyang Cave in the town of San Andres, and in the Museo de Catanduanes right atop the Provincial Tourism Office.

The historical Luyang Cave is said to be a hideaway of the Christian inhabitants of a village called Binanwahan in the 18th century (now Brgy. Lictin), who, during those times, were attacked by the Moros. In their website, it says:

The ever vigilant inhabitants have assigned lookouts near the shores of the now Brgy. Palawig to forewarn the residents of the imminent danger of the invading enemies by tolling a big bell and building a smoke. When the Moros arrived one day, they were surprised to discover that the village was empty of inhabitants. They however hid and waited patiently for the villagers to come back. Soon a woman was seen coming to shore to catch fish. The Moros wittingly followed her coming back to the hiding place where a rock opening of cave was discovered by them.

The villagers who all hid inside the cave had filled its entrance with dried tree branches and twigs to conceal them and ground chili leaves and fruits to discourage the invaders from entering the cave.

When the invaders finally tried to enter the cave, the inhabitants burned the pile thinking that the smoke would prevent them from going inside. But the wind direction instead blew the smoke towards inside the cave which suffocated them to death.

The cave now historically named Luyang Cave Park, is a mute witness and testimony of the tragic fate of inhabitants trapped and died inside. A memorial service is yearly celebrated in memory of those who perished.

Guests can go deep into the cave with trained tour guides. If you plan to go inside, wear something that can be wet as they said there are portions where you have to swim from one point to another.



The entrance to Luyang Cave

To learn more about the culture and history of the locals of the Happy Island in a nutshell, we also checked out the Museo de Catanduanes at the third floor of the Old Capitol Building, in the same property as the Provincial Tourism Office. The museum showcases memorabilia and other artefacts about the province's glorious past.

Old tapayans (jars) at the Museo de Catanduanes

Made of abaca fiber

This wraps up our four-nights, five days journey to the happiest place in the Philippines, the island province of Catanduanes. So now going back to my question in part one of my blog posts, why is it called the Happy Island? How " happy" is it to be in the island that was once dubbed as the "Land of the Howling Winds"? The answer? It will not be called the Happy Island for nothing. The views are breathtaking, the underwater so clear and rich, the people warm and welcoming, and the food are oozing with distinct Bicolano twists and flavors. Each leg, each aspect will make you smile. It would be hard for you not to call it a happy place. As we board our plane to Manila, I remember the well-curated playlist we've been playing in the car all throughout our stay in Catanduanes. Ed Sheeran was right... we found love right where we are. 

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Here's a short video that gives a sneak peek of the Happy Island. The video can also be viewed on HD (720p or 1080p). Enjoy!







Dios mabalos Ms. Carmel Garcia, Shiela Idanan, Marjorie Avila, and  Allan Sarmiento 
for making our trip to Catanduanes an enjoyable one!!! Happiness on the Happy Island indeed!
Know more about Catanduanes. Visit their Facebook page here.



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