Catanduanes is an island province in the Philippines situated east off the Mainland Bicol of Luzon Archipelago.
Catanduanes has a great deal to offer to guests with its varied blend of Spanish Colonial churches, waterfalls, waves perfect for surfing, and beaches that are still untouched even for most of the locals.
Catanduanes is dubbed as:
- Isla de Cobos – by the Spanish Conquistadors when they happen to visit the island.
- Land of the Howling Winds – due to frequent typhoons that visit here every year.
- Happy Island® – for the beautiful places this island can offer for visitors and for the resiliency of the locals after devastating typhoons.
September 26, 1945
Catanduanes is divided into two Districts, West Catanduanes & East Catanduanes.
West Catanduanes is in the western part of the Island and is composed of three (3) Municipalties; Virac, San Andres (Calolbon) & Caramoran while East Catanduanes which is in the eastern part of the island is composed of eight (8) Municipalities; Bato, San Miguel, Baras, Gigmoto, Viga, Payo, Bagamanoc and Pandan.
The province is geographically situated at the easternmost part of the Bicol Peninsula, separated from the mainland Bicol by the Maqueda Channel and the Lagonoy Gulf. It is the first landmass of the Philippine archipelago to kiss the Pacific Ocean, making it directly open to the path of tropical cyclones, thus the moniker, “The Land of the Howling Winds”.
The Philippine currency is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. Next to the peso, the US dollar enjoys the wide acceptance. Most foreign currencies can easily be changed at banks. There are no money changer establishments in the island. Credit cards are accepted in hotels.
Attire and Climate
Dress codes are normally very casual. Light clothing is the most comfortable and suitable. The best time of the year to visit Catanduanes is from the month of March to June when the weather turns dry. It is coolest and rainiest from October to early part of January, hottest from March to May.
There are no taxis in the island. Getting around Catanduanes, one may take a bus, jeepney, van, tricycle or a motorbike. In the capital town of Virac, tricycles are the common public transport. Some accommodation establishments have their own transport vehicle for visitors checked in at their hotels.
Language / Dialect
Bicol is the common language used with different nuances and variations in tones especially when one gets to the northern towns. English and Tagalog are commonly spoken and understood.
Abaca, sugbo/lasa or tiger grass, coconut, rice, timber, pili nuts, marine products