CATANDUANES ISLAND IS MORE THAN JUST TYPHOONS

BY RICKY MONTECILLO

September 5, 2016

Catanduanes is an island province in the southern Philippines. When people hear of Catanduanes, what immediately comes to mind are Typhoons. Whenever the country’s weather bureau announces in the news of approaching typhoons, this island is usually mentioned as a reference point. Fr. Raymond Aldave, assistant parish priest of the St. Lawrence Deacon and Martyr Parish in Baras, said that “Out of the 10 strongest typhoons that hit the country, 6 of them passed through Catanduanes.”

But the island is much more than just that. To our surprise and delight, we discovered how wonderful Catanduanes is. Our motorcycle group, THE LONG RIDERS, embarked on a 3 day 2 night ride-all- you- can adventure to Catanduanes and in such a short stay, we were treated to the wonders of the Island. I wish we had more time, but that’s the way for us workingmen, work hard and ride harder!

I will take you to the island through the pictures we took and hopefully I can capture for you our awesome adventure ride.

We took the work off last Friday, September 2 to meet up early morning at the Caltex gas station in the South Luzon Expressway. We rode all of 9 hours to Tabaco Albay in Bicol region. From Tabaco Port, we took the ferry to San Andres, Catanduanes.

Breakfast in Pares, Sta. Elena Camarines Norte

Breakfast in Pares, Sta. Elena Camarines Norte

Restie's BMW R1200GS had a flat tire. It pays to have a Tire Puncture Repair Kit and a Portable Air Compressor.

Restie’s BMW R1200GS had a flat tire. It pays to have a Tire Puncture Repair Kit and a Portable Air Compressor.

The sun was scorching and we had no sleep when we blasted from Laguna all the way to Tabaco. We rushed to register our bikes and buy tickets for the ferry. Good thing Brando Goyena, a native of Tabaco, helped us facilitate our ferry arrangements. It’s always good to have friends to help us out.

Tabaco Port. We rode for 9 hours covering almost 500 kilometers to make it time for the 1pm ferry boat ride to San Andres Port in Catanduanes.

Tabaco Port. We rode for 9 hours covering almost 500 kilometers to make it in time for the 1pm ferry boat ride to San Andres Port in Catanduanes.

Our Ferry. I swim faster than this boat and it took us 3 hours to San Andres.

Our Ferry the Calixta II.  I swim faster than this boat and it took us 3 hours to San Andres.

The ferry had few passengers and the air conditioned section had a lot space. This made the 3-hour long trip comfortable and we were able to re-charge. When we arrived in San Andres Port at around 4 pm, we had a very late lunch in one of the eateries in the port. After our meal, we made our way to the nearby site, Mt. Cagmasoso.

Mount Cagmasoso, San Andres, Catanduanes

A view of majestic Mayon Volcano from Mount Cagmasoso, San Andres, Catanduanes

Waisting no time, shortly after we arrived in Sand Andres Port, we had a quick meal and headed off to Mount Cagmasoso, San Andres, Catanduanes

Wasting no time, shortly after we arrived in Sand Andres Port, we had a quick meal and headed off to Mount Cagmasoso, San Andres, Catanduanes. Nice view of Mayon Volcano

Sael on his BMW Sertao 650 surveys the uphill and narrow road, “nope” he says “not for big bikes”

Night time had fallen as we rode to Virac, Catanduanes. It is the center and capital municipality of the province and we checked in at the Rakdell Hotel. It is a stone’s throw from the Virac Cathedral and the Pier. Our home for 2 days. Clean rooms with strong water and air-conditioning. Food is also good and the staff are efficient and friendly. After freshening up, we changed into comfortable clothes and rode for 30 minutes to Baras. Our new friend Fr. Raymond Aldave hosted dinner at the convent of St. Lawrence Deacon and Martyr Parish, Baras, Catanduanes. We were served lobsters, pancit, chicken curry and Pugita (baby octopus), with fried rice!

Our new friend Fr. Raymond Aldave hosts dinner at the convent of St. Lawrence Deacon and Martyr Parish, Baras, Catanduanes.

Our new friend Fr. Raymond Aldave hosts dinner at the convent of St. Lawrence Deacon and Martyr Parish, Baras, Catanduanes. We were served lobsters, pancit, chicken curry and Pugita (baby octopus), with fried rice!

Baby Octopus or Pugita

Baby Octopus or Pugita

Rider Mom Millie with her son Miguel

Rider Mom Millie with her son Miguel

View from the rooftop of Rakdell Hotel in Virac. Our home for 2 days. Clean rooms with strong water and air-conditioning, Food is also good and the staff are efficient and friendly.

View from the rooftop of Rakdell Hotel in Virac. Our home for 2 days. Clean rooms with strong water and air-conditioning. Food is also good and the staff are efficient and friendly.

Maribini Falls in Bato, Catanduanes. A small water fall with fresh, cool waters. We swam there and it was refreshing.

Maribina Falls in Bato, Catanduanes. A small water fall with fresh, cool waters. We swam there and it was refreshing. That’s the beauty of water falls, it gives the community a natural source of fun and beauty the best designed malls can never replicate.

Maribina Falls

Maribina Falls has two levels the higher one is the bigger one. We swam in the big catch basin and the water is cool and refreshing.

Restie takes-off for a plunge!

Restie takes-off for a plunge!

Ricky rests on the natural water massage.

Ricky rests on the natural water massage.

Group picture of the Long Riders in their naked form.

Group picture of the Long Riders in their naked form. Glen, Miguel, Rodel, Randy, Ricky, Wern, Sael, Glenn and Restie

Spanish era church the St. John the Baptist Church stand at a hill top overlooking a river. It still maintains the stone structure weathered by time.

Spanish era church the St. John the Baptist Church stands at a hilltop overlooking a river. It still maintains the stone structure weathered by time.

St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist Church

Notice the walls are greenish from the moss. Adds to the rustic antique form of the Church.

Notice the walls are greenish from the moss. Adds to the rustic antique form of the Church.

Resting by the Church entrance.

Resting by the Church entrance. Restie, Randy, Wern, Millie and Miguel

Waiting by the shade with with the river as background on the road side of the St. John the Baptist Church .

Waiting by the shade with with the river as background on the road side of the St. John the Baptist Church . Sael, Glenn P. and Glenn L.

We stopped over at a road ride shack and Restie gave away toys for the children.

We stopped over at a road ride shack and Restie gave away toys for the children.

Lola and Manay pose with Restie!

Lola and Manay pose with Restie!

Puraran Beach Resort is a popular surfing beach destination. We decided to have lunch here.

Puraran Beach Resort is a popular surfing beach destination. We decided to have lunch here.

White sands of Puraan Beach

White sands of Puraan Beach

Fresh lobsters from the ocean

Fresh lobsters from the ocean

Grilled Lapu-lapu and Bicol Express

Grilled Lapu-lapu and Bicol Express

Puraan Beach cottages

Puraan Beach cottages

Bagamanoc, Catanduanes

Bagamanoc, Catanduanes

ent/uploads/2016/09/IMG_3471-1024×683.jpg” alt=”IMG_3471″ width=”1024″ height=”683″ millie and miguel locals riding in tandem. bagamanoc.>

[caption id="attachment_957" align="alignnone" width="1024"] size-medium src=”http://ridingintandem.net/wp-con

“>
ads/2016/09/IMG_3459-1024×683.jpg” alt=”Locals enjoy swimming ” width=”1024″ height=”683″ /> Locals enjoy swimming[/caption]
s/2016/09/IMG_3464-1024×683.jpg” alt=”This time, Glenn Latorre’s Ducati Hyper motard had a flat tire from a small nail. ” width=”1024″ height=”683″ /> This time, Glenn Latorre’s Ducati Hyper motard had a flat tire from a small nail.
Second flat tire. This time Glenn's Ducati. Good thing it was he who brought the Tire repair kit and portable air compressor.

/Werner-at-Pandan.jpg” alt=”Werner at Pandan” width=”960″ height=”540″ /> Wern rides through the debris on his Ducati Scrambler
Ricky at Pandan

[caption id="attachment_1083" align="alignnone" width="960"] Ricky (that’s me) on his Bike

The unpaved roads and darkness prevented us from continuing the loop. We almost dared to proceed if not for the locals telling us otherwise. Before heading back to Virac we stopped over at San Vicente. We saw a small local store which had some fresh sea food for sale. How lucky can we get? Dead tired, dehydrated from the sweltering humidity but still in high spirits (riding does that), we bought some fresh lapu-lapu, pork bbq and rice.

The locals cooked the food for us and we had a sumptuous meal right there by the road side. It was getting late and we had yet to make the 3-hour ride back to our hotel in Virac! Talk about long riding, this takes the cake.

 

You'll never know what to expect in an adventure ride. Dinner at San Vicente town.

You’ll never know what to expect in an adventure ride. Dinner at San Vicente town.

Recharged with good local food and drinks, we headed off back to Virac. It was getting late and we still had to ride through the mountains back to Rakdell Hotel.

irac.jpg” alt=”Night Ride to Virac” width=”960″ height=”540″ /> Night Ride to Virac

 

Nope they're not slain drug suspects. They are dead tired rider sleeping on the pavement.

Nope they’re not slain drug suspects. They are dead tired riders sleeping on the pavement.

We finally reached the hotel close to midnight. But this didn’t stop the guys from having a last round of drinks to cap off the Catanduanes epic adventure. The lady bartender had to request them to leave so the staff can also rest at around 2:30 am.

Restie, Randy and I retired to sleep earlier than the guys and woke up to have breakfast. This also gave me an opportunity to walk to the nearby Cathedral and hear mass at 9am.

alt=”Diocese of Virac Cathedral” width=”1024″ height=”768″ /> Diocese of Virac Cathedral

Diocese of Virac Cathedral

Diocese of Virac Cathedral

We checked out at 11pm to ride back 30 mins to the San Andres Port where we had lunch and boarded on the 1pm ferry to Tabaco. This time the ferry had more load and the passenger section was full. However the trip was a bit faster and we arrived before 4pm in Tabaco Port.

We were warmly greeted by Brando Goyena again but this time he was all suited up in riding gear! He rode a black 650 cc Kawasaki Versys and he wanted to take us to a short side trip to the Mayon Rest House and the Kawa-kawa site in Ligao! So after all that riding in Catanduanes, there we were making more trips in Albay! There goes our promises to our families to be home by Sunday.

t=”Mayon Rest House group shot” width=”960″ height=”540″ /> Mayon Rest House group shot. Peak was slightly covered by clouds.

 

Last Supper in Kawakawa

Kawa-kawa hill is a tourist destination in Ligao City. It is a religious attraction as it show cases the larger than life stations of the cross built around a 500 meter trek.

Kawa-kawa hill is a tourist destination in Ligao City. It is a religious attraction as it show cases the larger than life stations of the cross built around a 500 meter trek. At the peak, you can see the view of Ligao and Tabaco cities.

IMG_3433

It was time to go home finally and it would take us 9 hours of night riding at high speeds back to our families. No worries cause they were all fast asleep by then. Another epic long adventure ride with The Long Riders! This blog hopes to immortalize the experience. I thank God for the safe, blessed and enjoyable adventure. Vvvrroooommm!

This entry was posted in Experiences, People, Places, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *