At Talisoy Beach, Happy Island of Catanduanes, Bicol, Philippines
This pandemic has brought fears to the people in our Country, much more now that COVID-19 cases shoot-up rapidly, everyday. A culprit, as what the people say, is the “Balik Probinsya” Program of the Government, which aims to help the locally-stranded individuals from Manila (Capital City) to return to their hometown. Although it has achieved its aims, it backfired with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases through community transmissions by those who availed of the Program and did not go through the process of self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days.
While fears creep within us, slowly consuming our slightest hope that this pandemic will end soon, I wish to share an amazing natural sculpture I saw at the Happy Island of Catanduanes. The locals believed that these images are faces of Christ, naturally carved on a mountain at Talisoy Beach. Although similar with the mountain sculpture at Mount Rushmore, the images at Talisoy Beach are purely natural, an effect of geographical changes, seasons and weather conditions.
Talisoy Beach doesn’t boast of a powdered beach, but the images on the mountains. Although these aren’t clear-cut, nature’s art, but it gives off a sense of quietness that my mind was stilled, my heart was calmed. These images seemed a reminder that everything – our pains, heartaches, longing for someone, fears, and doubts, will pass in God’s perfect time. This time will soon pass and will be part of our history.
Aside from the mountain sculpture at Talisoy Beach, the people of Catanduanes (called Catandunganons) take pride of its unspoiled beaches, rolling hills, old Spanish-era churches and waterfalls.
Catandunganons are resilient, always smiling and happy. They love to eat ‘Latik’, a glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves with sweetened coconut milk as a dip/sauce. For adventure seekers, you’ll surely be busy in Catanduanes. As for me, I enjoyed the zipline and zipbike at Twin Rock Beach.
How to enjoy the place?
To enjoy the place, it would be best that you try activities they offer. Try joining a cooking class of local dishes, try the boodle fight (eating using bare hands) for a taste of Filipino culture, try their local dance or try singing local songs. When you’re immersed with their activities, you would understand more the people and their culture.
Every time I get bored, I would browse through my old photos. I regret I didn’t take so much photos back then. I also wish I wrote more travel journals before so that I may have a full remembrance of the place I visited.
How to get there?
I recommend that you take a flight from Manila to Virac, Catanduanes for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to avoid long travel by land and sea (for about 14 to 16 hours, depending on the bus (for Manila to Tabaco City) and the ticket you’ll buy for the ferry (from Tabaco City to Catanduanes). There are cheap flights available for those with advance bookings. For your accommodation, you may book in advance to avoid spending much. To ensure that’s everything is well-arranged and ready, contact Bicolanong Rabas headed by Stephen Saberon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider the Happy Island of Catanduanes in your future adventure!