#Shookt in Bagamanoc


The sexiest island in the world. Need I say more?


Hollywooding in Bagamanoc
It got postponed twice: the first due to logistics constraints; the second, to lack of time. Elusive. Very Elusive. It's like playing hard-to-get. So I told myself, "It must be worth it."

Bagamanoc has been in our list since the very first time we visited Catanduanes, but it was only on our third attempt when we finally had a chance to explore this town off the north-eastern side of the Happy Island.

A dizzying, albeit scenic, two-hour ride from Virac brought us to a simple, quiet coastal town that is Bagamanoc. The town has so much story to tell--from how it was discovered to the tales of Kurakog--all of which we learned from no less than Provincial Board Member Vincent A. Villaluna. I will not be sharing the story here so that when you decide to visit the place, you will hear them firsthand. #nospoilers.

Our Base Camp
We arrived at a resort owned by the Villalunas in Pantaw, Bagamanoc. Within the resort are a restaurant (which serves really good food at reasonable "resorty" prices--insert crabs, beef caldereta, and sizzling fish here) and the soon-to-rise Villa Felina, a 10-room accommodation building that is expected to open soon. Tours can also be arranged from here, and for the divas and diva-wannabes, they have a videoke, too!

Cardiac delight

Boarding time
What to See in Bagamanoc

LORAN Station
Not too far from our base camp is the Long Range Navigation (LORAN) facilities, or rather, an abandoned American naval base. It is tucked in an island fringed by a powdery cream shoreline and lush greenery. To visit the ruins, we had to take the concrete stairs (a bit of an effort from someone with zero exercise like me) up, and from there, another bamboo ladder leads to the rooftop, which gives an amazing 360-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and the nearby Palestina Hills and islets.

LORAN's beach may not be as glistening white as that of Bitaog and Tignob beaches in Palumbanes, but it is very serene and quiet. The underwater (at least from a few meters away from the shoreline) might not be as rich as Carorian, but our guide said there is a cove on the other side near Palestina that has a potential to be a good snorkeling site. I guess LORAN is one of those beaches where you go and indulge in the art of doing nothing--a luxury that many, including me, would definitely enjoy.


LORAN Beach

Sporting the timeless classic 4-way wrinkle resistant top from @beachinout 

Latte-hued shoreline of LORAN Beach

A view of the hills from LORAN Ruins



Our Little Big Star, Shiela =)

Our bebe Glen



Saw an owong (as what it is called in Lake Sebu) or a wooden boat





Palestina
Catanduanes, as many people say, is Batanes' twin sibling, mirroring breathtaking views and beautiful beaches. While I dearly love both, I feel Catanduanes is more accessible and has more destination varieties than Batanes. Take for example its rolling hills. In Batanes, I only got to see maybe 2-3 spectacular rolling hills that are open for tourists to visit; in Catanduanes, I feel like in every town I go to (okay, that's an exaggeration), there's some sort of a verdant rolling hills calling you to photograph them and upload with #wishyouwerehere #blessed #thehillsarealive. From Binurong Point in Baras to Balacay Point in Bato and Cagnipa Rolling Hills and Hiyop Highlands in Pandan, you'll never run out of beautiful backdrops to flaunt your flowy maxi dresses while gliding "Sound of Music" style. Of course, Bagamanoc has a stunning rolling hills, too! Just a few minutes away from LORAN is what they call the Palestina. Accessible by a few minutes' trek, this spot commands sweeping vistas of the infinite Pacific Ocean.

It was gloomy but the hills are very much alive still

Palestina's breathtaking vistas




Pusgo Island
After an exhilarating trek to and from the Palestina, cross the murky waters by boat and it will lead you to another secret gem--the Pusgo Island. Nestled atop the unassuming island is a well-appointed private villa that can also be rented should you want to stay in solace for a night or two. As PBM Villaluna said, it is very magical to witness the moon rise from the ocean while having a pour of Bordeaux at the villa's veranda. I can imagine myself sitting there, reading Kevin Kwan's Rich People Problems while having a flute of Dom Perignon. #pakganern

From the veranda of Pusgo Island's villa
Ilihan Point, popularly known as Boto ni Kurakog 
Saving the best for last, we waited for the tide to get low until late in the afternoon so that we could go to the world's sexiest island. Dubbed as Boto ni Kurakog (translated as Kurakog's male reproductive organ), this spot features a rock formation that resembles "such" shape.

As told to us, the legend behind it was that once there was a giant named Kurakog who would always watch over the shores of Bagamanoc. He was captivated by the beauty of Kalarab, a young lady who would usually stroll down the shores to collect shells and dead corals. He fell in love, courted her, and they became a couple. Kalarab's parents were shocked (or as millenials now say, they got #shookt) and they were all against their relationship. It was already too late though as Kalarab was already pregnant at that point. Kalarab committed suicide by jumping off the cliff into the sea. Upon learning what had happened, Kurakog, also in so much pain, whipped up a curse, devastating the villages in the area. He then committed suicide, too. And the next thing the locals knew, the rock formation appeared amidst the ocean.

Boto ni Kurakog
Today, Boto ni Kurakog has become a famous ritual site for those praying to have a child, a partner, or for married couples, to have a lasting and strong marriage. To ask for his intercession, you have to go to the rock by boat (they said if Kurakog does not want to grant your wish, you will not even make it to the rock as the waves will get strong and unbearable), and once there, say your wish and throw fresh eggs on it. The eggs should smash onto him. Three from our group performed the ritual and we couldn't wait to see if Kurakog will grant their wishes.

Paday Falls
From Boto ni Kurakog, we went straight to a black sand beach and from there road a car to Paday Falls. The falls features a tall drop and an uber deep natural pool that no one had ever reached its bottom yet. Going down the falls might be easy, but the real challenge lies on your way back as you had to ascent on rocky trails. Get your lungs and legs ready.


Paday Falls

With PBM Vincent Villaluna. Dios mabalos!

Dora!

Bagamanoc may not be taking the limelight now but it possesses rare gems that are raw and unadulterated. As PBM Villaluna said, Bagamanoc is a spot for soft adventures--not intense but not plainly boring as well. Just like how you would like your coffee: right kick, right sweetness, right temperature, but is sure to awaken your senses.

So was it worth the long wait? It truly was. The #titasofthetravellingpants got #shookt.

To view a summary of our Carorian and Bagamanoc adventures, watch the video below. And, ye, it is available in HD!





Dios mabalos Ms. Carmel Garcia, Shiela Idanan, Marjorie Avila, Kuya Alan and Kuya Rey 
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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