Catanduanes was captivating. I got to appreciate the simpler, fresher and cleaner provincial life. I also got to be awed by its wonderful scenery. Though I was only able to visit a few attraction, they do have it all from waterfalls, large greenery along the coast lines, fine white sand beaches and a whole lot more.
I rarely do travel blogs now because a lot of my travels now are linked to my fitness activities. I spent the full weekend supporting a friend’s event for the very first Isla Catanduanes Ultra Marathon. I was impressed by what Catanduanes has to offer. I got to appreciate the simpler provincial life that feels so refreshing and energizing. Thanks to the organizers of the event for letting me witness the awesomeness of the mighty and the proud ultramarathoners, who joined the 65 and 110 kilometers category of the race. The course was hot, humid and had a lot of climbs. Hats off to you guys.
The Simpler Life
I arrived together with Mike via Cebu Pacific flight last Wednesday. Surprisingly, everything was on time. Red Cross was kind enough to give us a lift to Jojo Lodge, which would be our residence for the next two days. It was a bit overcast weather because of the upcoming typhoon Lawin. I missed the simplicity of the provincial life. For most of the day, we’d just walk our way heading from one destination to another. When we had breakfast, we were surprised with the cost of our breakfast. 3 eggs, 2 hotdogs, 2 servings of adobo, coffee and unlimited rice, all for P140. We spent the rest of the day resting because we came from an early morning flight. We were able to hang out out at Virac Town Center since there was Wi-Fi and yes, that’s among the drawbacks of the place. Weak signal but it’s good to get disconnected sometimes. We did manage to go near Virac Port to appreciate the coast line.
We went home early since it was Game 6 of the PBA and YES!!!! Ginebra is finally champion again after 8 long years.
The next day, we had breakfast at Jollibee and had lunch at Sea Breeze Restaurant, which had a really nice coastal view. We then went to the nearby Maribina Falls, which is just around 3 kilometers around Virac Town proper. Maribina Falls was about 3 layers of water falls. Maribina Falls was perfect for a cold dip and the view was really amazing with a large basin catching the strong falling water above.
I was able to go to the top most of the falls and see the water source leading to the falls. I am just awed by Waterfalls as it’s an amazing testament of nature’s raw beauty. To think, this is just one of the waterfalls in Catanduanes. After a short time at Maribina, we headed to the provincial tourism office to pay a courtesy visit.
We were able to meet some participants of the race during dinner before getting ready for the next day.
The next day, I joined race organizer Lao Ogerio and Emon of Red Cross in touring the Lictin part of the course. This would be around 43 kilometers of the 110 kilometer distance from Virac. The place had a lot of scenic views like the Twin Rock and several fine white sand beaches. It also excited the trail runner in me that there were some dirt roads that’s included in the course. I guess that’s one of the characteristics of an ultra race, you gotta get what the road structure gives you. There was also a beach part as the road above had landslides. That was Sitio Mamangal. The sand were really fine, soft though run-able. We went on to see the other side of the shore and our car got stuck. We had to get creative to be able to pull the car back to the road. The rest was our scenic journey back to Virac. The runners would have a visual treat on race day. The briefing was held in the afternoon and the race started at 10 pm for the 110 km distance and 4 am the next day for the 65 km.
I went on to do support chores in the morning of the race though I was planning to squeeze in some tourism. I got my chance in the afternoon with a trip to Binurong Point with Jham’s cousin taking me there. It’s about 45 minutes by motor going to the area. It was a first for me riding a motor that long so the ride was an experience on its own especially with unlimited climbs heading to Baras. There was a short trail heading to Binurong Point. That was a big bonus for me as I love the trails. It was a short climb on forest trails for about 10-15 minutes. After we got out of the trails, I was impressed by the vast green lands in front of me. It felt like Batanes and was really a scenic masterpiece. I was so excited that I was running from one point to another.
I was just a small dot in the wonderful view. I had to go from one area to another just to watch the waves clash with the rocky limestone at the bottom of the cliff. I’m glad even if I had a little time to tour in Catanduanes, I was able to see this area.
We spent some time here going around the vast area before heading back to the trail. It was faster descending the trail as we were already familiar with the area.
Balacay Point was just about 15-20 minutes away from Binorong Point. It provides a higher perspective though Binorong Point is bigger. Balacay Point had a nice vantage point from above seeing the Pacific Ocean, Pururan Beach and the islets nearby. It was also nice to see some water buffalo call this area their home.
It was about sunset when we hit this point so it was a bit darker already. After a few snapshots, we were on the way back with about an hour traveling on motorcycle. We also saw runners on their way back to Viray on the way of finishing their distance. Once we’re back in Virac Plaza, we went on to watch the closing ceremonies as well as runners beating the buzzer en route to finishing their race.
I know I was just able to visit a few land marks of Catanduanes but I’m impressed and captivated. I would definitely come back for more.