Experiencing Majestic Puraran
by Danny Tariman
The Puraran Beach is top beach destination in the province of Catanduanes. It prides of the barrel wave that even pro-surfers from other countries rave about. This surfing destination appeared in a surfing magazine published abroad as “Majestic”. Its unspoilt creamy brown beach is perfect for families – even for children to play – for a beach outing.
My family went to this stunning beach in summertime. I thought we will not be able to experience the surf, as it is the time of the year when the seas are calm. But to our surprise, our children were still able to ride the surf.
We went with our extended family – with cousins and their kids. We traveled by land. Some of us came all the way from Mindanao, while others from Laguna. We all met, in 5 cars, at Tabaco Port in Albay for our boat ride to Virac.
In Virac, we had a ‘homestay’ accommodation in my sister’s family. Thank you Ne & Gay for the accommodation. We enjoyed the stay and the food! Who will forget the fresh seafood? We like so much the latik (glutinous rice in sweet sauce) and the other local food prepared. It was a gastronomic experience for us!
From Virac, we traveled about 25km to Puraran. We passed by the town of Bato, where a centuries-old church still stands today. You will notice this old church as you pass the Bato bridge.
When we reached the town proper of Baras, my memories brought me to my childhood days. I remember the shoreline of the bay as my “playground”, the boat rides to Minabalay island. The bicycle rides to Paniquihan. Memories…
We drove further to Puraran. You will not miss it; you will see a welcome arch announcing that you are to enter the famous beach. As we drive down hill to the beach, the view is simply stunning!
We were billeted in one of the accommodations at the beach. The price is fantastic too, at unbelievably low price!
We had some family fun activities in the evening. It was the first time that cousins – young and old – stayed in one big room together! We were 25.
Very early in the morning, I and my wife had some morning meditation by the sea. Really a good place to commune with the LORD in prayer. We had a good time too walking on the beach together!
My kids and their cousins took surfing lessons in the morning. I was a bit nervous as the waves were quite big and were near the reef-breakwater. But as soon as I saw the kids riding on the waves, my jittery was replaced with excitement and joy.
The kids were lucky that they were able to get as their surf coach the legendary Ezra (may he rest in God’s peace) whose fame reaches pro-surfers in Baler, Quezon.
We also had a good taste of fresh seafood at the resort. A tip: pre-order your food as it takes time to cook. They cook the food as you order. And the best thing is that food prices are really cheap.
I had been to other surfing destinations in Luzon. I would say the Puraran is one of the best! With its unspoilt, stunning beach, and big waves for surfing, who can resist?
Going to Virac:
By air. Take Cebu Pacific Air from Manila to Virac. Plane usually leaves at about 6am. Travel time is about 1 hour.
1. Take any of the buses in Cubao, Pasay, or Alabang bound for Tabaco. Travel time is about 10 hours
2. From Tabaco, take a boat ride to Virac or San Andres. Virac takes about 3 ½ hours boat ride while San Andres is about 2 ½ hours ride. If you take San Andres, take a jeep ride Virac which is about 30 minutes away.
If you plan to take a drive from Manila, it will take you about 9-10 hours depending on your driving speed. You can take your vehicle to Catanduanes as the boats can accommodate cars and buses aboard.
There is also a bus that takes you to Virac – all the way. The bus boards the boat in Tabaco. You may leave your baggage in the bus while you are in the boat. Upon reaching San Andres port, you ride the same bus again to Virac.
From Virac, you may rent a jeep or a tricycle to Puraran, or take a public transport to Baras town. From Baras, take a tricycle ride. You need to have a good haggling skills for the tricycle rides.
While in Catanduanes, you may want to visit Twin Rock Beach, Mamangal Beach, or go island hopping in Caramoan Islands (the set for the US TV reality show “Survivor”)