If there are two islands in our country that I feel deeply rooted to, these are Catanduanes and Palumbanes Island. Catanduanes, my own province is where I spent most of my childhood years, while Palumbanes Island is where I spent most of my childhood summer days.
Palumbanes sits at the northern part of Catanduanes, a part of the town of Caramoran. It has a local community where fishing is the main source of living. During the typhoon months, where the sea could be dangerous to small fishing vessels, the villagers opt to backyard farming (they plant rice and camote, and raise poultry).
The island is picture-perfect especially during summer. It has the view of a beautiful sunrise, green-contoured mountains, smiling children, and great off-white sand.
Most of the time, we go there via three-hour boat ride from the town of San Andres. The water is calm during summer (February to May) and extra-ordinarily rowdy during the rainy season. The other way to get there is by a four-hour land trip from Virac to Caramoran. Once you reach Caramoran, you can make arrangements to hire a motorized boat to sail you in a 45-minute ride going to the island.
Despite it's rouge beauty, the island is an underrated tourism destination. There are no nipa huts where travelers can rent and spend a night in. So I suggest you bring your own tent. Water is scarce but there are a few public faucets that can be used. There is also no problem with basic grocery items as there are a lot of sari-sari stores within the community.
|I have relatives living in the island so my visits there were well accommodated.|
A trip to Palumbanes is never complete without hiking its green mountains, pass by the lonely lighthouse, visit to its neighboring and equally beautiful island Tignob, and a dive in the awesome blue-green water of Bita-og beach.
|a view from the summit|
The island is very much near Caramoan Peninsula, but unlike its neighbor that is getting high-profile tourism attention, Palumbanes is way lagging behind. Well, I personally would want to retain the simple pleasures of my trips to that unspoiled island. Somehow, it makes me think twice if I should share this small piece of paradise to the rest of the traveling nomads. I just feel the need to protect it from over-development.
Join our literacy project for the schoolchildren of Palumbanes Elementary School. For more details, check BookSail here. :)