My Great Wide Somewhere: Catanduanes

I remember one night, just a year ago, my lola and I are having some serious life lessons conversation type, then she was back at it again with the usual comparison of my life and her younger years life. She’ll always tell me how her hometown had taught her to live in simplicity because it’s surroundings has all that it’s have to be thankful and appreciate life at it’s fullest. She was raised and lived in the beautiful island of Catanduanes, and it has been a childhood dream to step my feet on that God-breathed place.

Catanduanes is an island found in the southwest Luzon and considered as part of the Bicol region in the Philippines. It is known as the door of the country to different typhoons that may enter the country. Geographically speaking, the surroundings of Catanduanes can be classified as typhoon-proof because even if it is an island facing the Pacific Ocean it is covered and protected by long mountain ranges that will serve as the shield of our country to different strong typhoons. Inspite of this, you are going to fall in love with the island once you had arrived there.

20170412_085436

Stop over at the boundary of Atimonan and Gumaca Quezon. Long drives gives you the perks of watching the sun rises on the road.

Going to Catanduanes is a dream come true for me. I haven’t gone there ever since I was a child even if it is my mother’s birthplace, I was so unlucky back then because I have the travel sickness that I have just overcome going up. Thanks to the family reunion that made the province as a venue,  we are able to gaze at it’s wonder, talk to some relatives and explore the root of our ancestors and the place they had been. The long drive, that I am definitely enjoying, is all worth it even if it a leg-numbing experience.

For our first day in Catanduanes, we had the opportunity to wander some of it’s hidden gem. We had gone to the capital town, Virac to buy some pasalubong, the province is known for it’s broom made from abaca, some other handcrated abaca stuffs and the very tasty Pili nuts. We also manage to gone through the port of Virac, my cousins tried to swam there. They are totally enjoying the freebies of the sea and waves.

20170413_114728

At the Port of Virac.

20170413_115643

My cousins are enjoying the waves.

IMG_20170428_084812

After that we went to Luyang Cave, which is found along the highway of San Vicente. Unlike my first experience of caving, inside has a really guided trail, inside you can see different stalagmite and stalactite, sleeping fruit bats, water falling from the top, and some deep excavation. It was told that the cave had served as a hiding place during the time of war. Passing through the cave is like passing to the road upward. It was afterall an experience even if it is not that challenging. I am expecting for some crawling and rolling so sad for me.

20170413_135213

Yow. Luyang Cave.

20170413_141815

20170428_110225

They feel triumphant after entering the cave.

In the afternoon, we had one of my favorite activity even if I am the clumsiest person ever created; trekking, river crossing, chasing waterfalls. We went to Hicming Falls. On our way there, we lost our way, no, we don’t know the way so we asked the locals where it was located and some answered as tricky directions that end us up on the top of the mountain, with very narrow road and very deep cliff; the road doesn’t have very secure railings. In the end of course we had found it through the help of some youngsters, there is a language barrier though, they are talking Bicol we aspeak Tagalog, but as Paolo Coelho said, let the language of nature speaks and we enjoy the solitude of Hicming Falls.

20170413_175244

My travel buddy is ready for some river crossing.

20170413_175130

This is it. Let’s enjoy the rocks.

20170413_170506

I always love the idea of trekking and chasing waterfalls. It’s can be compared to life because no matter what hardship you may encounter. You may slip while hiking you may be sprained but in the en you’ll find solemnity by gazing at the wonders of nature. The sound of water rushing from the mountain shouts tranquility.

IMG_20170428_145257

IMG_20170428_143342

Arrival @ Hicming Falls

20170428_144916

Can I be your type of wandress, baby?

20170413_171841

Hicming Falls

For our second day, we had attended the grand family reunion with the clan of Ceballo, my lola’s roots. It is a total struggle because they feel like talking like aliens, they are talking Bicol and my cousins and I can’t understand a thing, as for me I understand some words, just words. Total nose bleed, I really should learn it soon cause I want to come back. We had manage to get to know some relatives. It feels like we are long lost.

The venue of the reunion is at Panganiban, Catanduanes, and we are staying at Virac. We need to travel three hours to get there. The jaunt is really enjoyable, you can see the awestruck beauty of the island. The road we are heading is surrounded by cliffs, and it feels like going up and descending from the mountain. We also see some rivers that has many palm trees and wide plains and rice fields.

Our last day is a total last because it’s beaching time. We checked in at one of the place’s finest beach famous of it’s white sand, Twin Rocks Resort. We are totally enjoying the dryson (dry season) in the country by having the what they called Vitamin Sea. We swam at the morning and at lunch time during low tide we had managed to explore some little islands by walking in the seashore, it just feels so sinful to walk or slipped in the fishes habitat. I’m too clumsy that is why I feel like committing a sin stepping unto coral reefs. I’m totally sorry. That is why I prefer the mountain side. The sea brings tranquility tho.

20170430_074106

Presenting Twin Rock Beach Resort. Viewpoint from our cottage.

20170430_100002

Selca, cause I managed to swim in the balsa. Hahaha.

I realize that it also feels great to enjoy the sea and the island life. I am not fond of beaches and swimming activity because I’m a little bit scared of water. I know how to swim, but not enough for survival, just the swimming pool time of skills, and I am afraid to drown. In the sea when you fall there is nothing to keep you alive, nothing to hold on unlike in mountains you just need some survival skill. Some life hacks. This is my opinion.

20170430_100233

Cousins are forever. (Some our my second cousins)

IMG_20170430_134201

IMG_20170430_134208

This getaway is sobrang bitin because I want to get to know more of the island so I just promise myself that I need to go back there. I had to. That was the place my ancestors came from to begin with. Add the fact that, the place had many things to fall in love with.

IMG_20170430_150348

Define Tranquility.

IMG_20170430_143618

My cousin enjoying the sun. He’s my only co wanderlust, so he’s my buddy in this trip.

20170412_085310

#ChasingSunrise

20170412_085633

Golden Sun.

20170412_090053

Long Drives and view at the back.

20170412_160213

Back View of Mayon Volcano @ Tabaco, Albay  #EnRoute

IMG_20170430_142539

Wacky.

IMG_20170430_150319

Selfie sa Tag-Init.

IMG_20170430_151220

Sinong mas nangitim sa tin type of selfie.

20170416_085632

Boarding and Going Home. Second Sunrise.

20170416_121738

Mayon welcomes us as we arrived at Tabaco Pier. #WayBackHome

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s