Imagine the trip I took to reach the island of Catanduanes,… brace yourself with a cup of tea while reading my tour, this is the longest blog I ever written, I hope I can tickle your mind to a place of simplicity, a nature of beauty and serenity…
Catanduanes – the “Land of the Howling Winds” , commonly named because of its geographical proximity to the pacific ocean,making it directly open to the path of tropical cyclones, typhoons are normally occurring any month of the year. Good luck to our trip, rain or shine, here we go! 🙂
The island has 11 municipalities : Virac, San Andres(Calolbon), Caramoran, Pandan, Bato, Gigmoto, Baras, Panganiban (Payo), Bagamanoc, Viga and San Miguel. We only have few days holiday so we thought, It would be nice to re-traced our memory lane to the place where we grew up ..in search for the famous “kinis” (king of crab) and who would not crave for the sweet taste of newly harvest parto (small shrimp) and “balisongsong” a native sweet glutinous rice/coconut wrapped in banana leaves! Hmmm so tasty that I was drooling (literally) in my dreams hahaha 🙂
Though I was not born in Catanduanes,l considered this as my home.I studied elementary in Viga and High School in Virac ,hence, I can speak both southern (Virac) and northern (Viga) bicolano dialect. Neither any one of my parents are natives of Catanduanes nor our ancestors. I was born in Lupon, Davao, where my father worked as Hospital Dentist. He was inadvertently assigned to Viga when I was only 6 years old. To make the story short, I considered myself as Bicolana.
Let’s move on…at 6:30 in the morning, we left Virac, the capital town of Catanduanes, passing through Cabugao to Bato.
Bato Bridge, the longest bridge I have seen in Catanduanes. Year 1980, I was a fresh graduate and worked at Bato Maternity Hospital, there was no concrete bridge then, I have to ride a small boat to cross the river and tricycle by land so I can go to work everyday.
We didn’t cross the bridge at this time but we did it the following day, we had a quick stop at Buenavista to see the DOST Weather Radar Station.
From Bato, we went to Baras to see the white beach of Puraran.
Well, lets go back to the main road, passing through the Bato bridge, we passed the mountainous and hills side of going to the North.
Here are some of the scenery along the road..It is common to see Abaca on the road, after all, Catanduanes remained the biggest producer of Abaca in the Philippines.
The ride was not bumpy at all, it was a good day for all of us 🙂
At the middle of our road trip, we found ” Cathy’s Spring Resort” at Sagrada, a well-kept resort , good for travellers to stop and dine or maybe take a deep breath, smell the freshness of flowers, the green mountains, sit down and relax…if I only knew, I could have brought my swimming gear and swim the whole morning! 🙂 but…it’s only road trip remember?
From Sagrada to Oco and when I saw the summit bridge, I knew were so near to Viga town proper, my heart was pounding so hard that I can’t concentrate which scenery I should took a photo. My childhood memories were coming back, this is it! 🙂 beautybeyondfifty…life is not all about work…life is looking back where I came from…
Hurray! finally were here…
Do you remember the day you went out of the school and didn’t come home on time? he asked. Rolling my eyes, who would not forget that day! I guess the town was in fiesta…like finding nemo..Where is mimi? hahaha, I can laugh it off now, but memories were still vivid, I can still clearly draw in my mind the face of my father, so furious to find out, I was not at school but where?… your guess is right! I was swimming, jumping freely with my classmates and the carabaos (water buffalo) lol!.
Suddenly, a group of adult and children were rushing to the river and in the middle of them all, my father stands tall, red face, his hand pulling out his belt .. hurriedly I came off the river, grabbed my clothes and in seconds. PAK! PAK! I felt the pain on my butt, there was no time to cry, I knew it was my fault 😦
Stop.. this is road trip, not a story of my life ..let’s move on (again) 😉
It was overwhelming to see the skeleton of our old house. I can’t get off my feet out of the car, it was the biggest house on that street and now? nothing left! ;-( so sad but don’t get me wrong, a lot of happy memories out there 🙂 for one, reminiscing the fun moment when there was no electricity and my father bought a live crab (kinis) for dinner. The crab was all bundled in a bucket and was placed at the corner of the kitchen. After awhile, I heard our helper screaming! Apparently one of the crab got out from the bucket .. crawled and bit her toe. It seemed, the crab had better eyesight at dark.Oh well, she survived( helper )and the crab didn’t! hahaha yummy Kinis (crab).
Parish Church at Viga town proper.
Not done yet? alright…have some more tea because were moving to Panganiban (payo) and Bagamanoc 🙂
Oh well, I changed my mind …let’s do a part 2 of this Road trip…shall we?
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