THE PROVINCE OF CATANDUANES is located in the Bicol Region in Luzon, Philippines and its capital is Virac. It is bounded in the west side by Maqueda Channel, north and east side by the Pacific Ocean, and Lagonoy Gulf and Cabugao Bay on the south.
In the earlier times, the province is known as "Catanduan, "Catandongan", and eventually became "Catanduanes" and was derived from "tando" trees that was abundant in the area then. Early inhabitants were said to be scions of the Datus of Borneo. Then in 1573, Spanish explorer Juan de Salcedo and his friars arrived in this island and christianized the natives. A few years later, a galleon expedition from Acapulco was shipwrecked near the island and the survivors were either killed or made servants. The Batalay Church in Bato marks that historical event.
The Americans also came in the Island and made governance till 1934. During World War II, Catanduanes was not also spared by the invasion, and guerilla movements took place. On February 8, 1945, the province was finally given its freedom. The guerilla forces controlled the barracks vacated by the Japanese forces. Three months later by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 687, Catanduanes became a separate and independent province that took effect on October 16, 1945.
The province was named as the “Land of the Howling Winds” since it is bounded by the Pacific Ocean making it directly open to the path of tropical cyclones. Catanduanes covers a total area of 1,511.50 square kilometers which includes the smaller islands of Panay, Palumbanes, Parongpong, Calabagio and 23 other islets. The Island is hilly to mountainous and the coastal plains are narrow and limited. The northeastern section of the province is considered as the rice granary of the province.
Catanduanes also has a current population of 215,356 inhabitants. Most of the residents are Bicolanos whose dialect indicates a strong Visayan influence, and predominant religion is Catholic.
On the other hand, the province climate belongs to the second type of climate which has no dry season with a very pronounce maximum rainfall from November to January due to the fact that it is within the typhoon belt and facing directly the wide Pacific Ocean.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN CATANDUANES
Catanduanes geographical position has a serious drawback to the economic development of the whole province. However in the northeastern section of the province major crops being produced are rice, corn, coconut, abaca and rootcrops. Fishing is also the main source of livelihood. The province only has cottage industries which are abaca and forestry based.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN CATANDUANES
YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
Catandungan Festival This is held every October 24 at Virac, in commemoration of the province’ foundation day, featuring street dance – Pantomina, beauty pageant, agro-trade fair, sports events, guided tours, photo exhibits, and more.
Dinahit Festival The Festival is celebrated at Pandan, every July 30-31 in commemoration of the first migrants to the island through “dinahit” sea craft. The celebration highlights the dinahit racing or “Layag” which is participated by fishermen from the town or from the other municipalities of the province.
Kagharong This depicts the event of the Nativity during the Yuletide Season.
Kalbaryo A re-enactment of the Passion of Christ, staged in all parishes during season of Lent or the Holy Week.
Padadyaw sa Tinampo This is celebrated every October 24 coinciding with the foundation day. This features street dancing highlighted by choreographed theatrics.
Surfing Competition A week-long surfing competition featuring local and foreign surfing enthusiasts held every October at Puraran.
The whole province is abounding with Abaca and Lasa. Native products made of abaca fiber like bags, lamps, utility boxes, handmade paper, among others, adorn the local souvenir shops and serve as local “pasalubong” and souvenirs. Lately, the indigenous abaca fiber, commonly called “pinukpok” has now found its position in the local and international fashion industry.
MUNICIPALITIES OF CATANDUANES
Catanduanes is subdivided into 11 municipalities, 315 barangays and Virac as its capital town. The province has one legislative district.
MUNICIPALITIES AND CITIES
NO. OF BARANGAYS
San Andres (Calolbon)
The locals relate that the image of the mystical face of Our Lady of Sorrows has been found in a flooded stream near the barangay of Batong Paluay. The image was etched on a piece of stone that has progressively increased in size. At present, one can view the image with bare eyes.
This is the former radar site of the Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II.
This Cave is where natives were massacred by the Moro pirates during the 17th century. In memory of this massacre, a “Requiem Mass” is said every April 28 of the year. The cave also features stalactite and stalagmite pillars and rock formations.
Catanduanes is simply home to a break called Majestics to an offshore reef 200m from the beach on Puraran Bay. This is no beginner's wave, especially when it's above 6ft, and the water drains right off the sharp reefs in front of the wave.
This is situated at the capital town of Virac where one can marvel at the stained glass windows.
Other places to visit:
ISLANDS/ RESORTS/ SURFING AREAS
ANCESTRAL HOUSES /MUSEUMS / LIBRARIES AND HISTORICAL LANDMARKS
Emmalyn Paradise Resort
Bosdak Beach Resort
Catanduanes is served by Asian Spirit. This airline flies direct from Manila to and from Virac daily.
Air Conditioned buses such as Philtranco and Tawtrasco travel directly from Manila to Virac daily. Other air-conditioned buses can take you from Manila to the Port of Tabaco where a ferry boat can take you across to Virac, Catanduanes.
Scheduled trips leave the Araneta Center in Cubao and in Pedro Gil St., in Malate, Manila daily.
Two shipping lines: San Pablo Shipping Lines and Star Ferry sail from the Port of the Tabaco to Virac/San Andres daily.