Pure Nature: The Beauty of Palumbanes

Pure Nature: The Beauty of Palumbanes
by Danny Tariman

My family had been talking about this “newly discovered” adventure-tourist spot off the island province of Catanduanes. We had seen a number of TV programs showing this stunning place where nature is at its best.

The pristine beach of Palumbanes

Palumbanes is an island off the coast of Caramoran, a northern town of Catanduanes province. It can be reached by a 45-minute boat ride. Caramoran is about 55km from Virac airport, passing though well-paved roads, zigzag at some points. My family drove for about 1hr and 40 minutes — quite slow — as this was the first time we drove this way. We had to take some photos, enjoy the view, while driving.

We were warmly met by the Palumbanes village head upon reaching the jump-off point in Caramoran. There is a safe parking area near the wharf, where we left our car overnight.

Upon reaching the island, we were awed by its pristine cream-colored beach! And crystal-clear sea water! With no other people in the island — except the 4 of us! We were indeed for an awesome, nature adventure trip!

My family — all alone in the beach.

We brought with us a couple of tents for our family, but the good village head offered us a native hut made of bamboo and palm leaves. This added to our nature outdoor experience!

We stayed in this secluded island in Parompong beach — a long stretch of fine cream-colored sand. My family is almost alone! We can play, we can swim, and we can do just about anything without any interference!

Just near the beach is a rich marine garden! My children were able to spot clown fishes playing in its natural habitat — a blanket anemone!

Clown fishes playing just few meters from the shore.

Oh yes, the corals! Our host took us to a nearby deep snorkelling area. My children, of course, take turns doing their free-diving to about 15-18 feet. I and my wife also took a dip into that snorkelling area. We were just awed by its colorful coral formations.

As the day was about to close, we all watched for a spectacular view of the sunset! We were not failed! Golden rays booming out of the clouds, with the sea at its foreground, a perfect shot indeed!

The golden sunset of Palumbanes

In the night, it was another almost magical experience for my family. We saw a couple of trees along the beach inhabited by fireflies! My 2 children (and me too!) immediately took their mobile phones to take photos, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. My son took out his DSLR camera, but then again, the fireflies can hardly be seen. But the experience was just awesome!

All alone in the beach that evening, we were just gazing the heavenlies. We enjoyed a night of pure nature: just the moon and the stars lighting the beach and the entire surroundings! There was no electricity, and no lamps. In my about 2 decades living in the city, this was the first time I enjoyed the moon and the stars! Really wonderful, what an experience!

My son on top of a rock formation. Note the stars in the background, this photo was taken in the night

Here’s another experience: we cooked our dinner on firewood! Wow, indeed outdoor experience at its best!

We were assisted in this adventure by a passionate promoter of the Catanduanes Island as a tourist destination — Ferdie Ocol Benavidez — who led me to meet our tour guide, and Palumbanes village head, Kap Tiloy Condeno who guided us. Kap Tiloy can be reached through his mobile phone at 0948-4165370.

We left the island the following morning with many good memories to keep. Amazing, awesome, wonderful experience!

My family floating at the snorkeling area.
My wife and I taking a selfie while watching the sunset
Our children taking photos of the beautiful sunset.
My daughter taking the 18-ft deep.
With our puppy who traveled 600-km with us from Manila.

Awesome Binurong Point

Awesome Binurong Point
by Danny Tariman

It was raining very hard when we first attempted to trek to Binurong Point, in Baras, Catanduanes. While waiting for the weather to improve that morning, my family met with the village head, who is my cousin. It was decades since we last met. But after about an hour of waiting, and there seems to be no let-up for the rains, we decided to go first to Puraran Surf Beach (I have a separate story for this), to try out surfing, with the weather permitting.

An awesome view of Binurong Point, in Baras, Catanduanes

The following day, we woke up to a good weather: the sun was rising up the horizon without rain clouds. And so we drove back to the jump-off point for our trek to Binurong.

We were met by the village head’s wife, who acted as our trek and tour guide. We were so glad that a relative accompanied us in this trek. And I am so happy that she knows a good story about Binurong Point, and knows the best angle for the photo-shots!

My family, with our 3-month old puppy, started our trek passing through the rocky end of the sea shore. After a few meters we were on the trail going up the hill. We passed through some muddy trail as there was a heavy rain the day before our trek. But after about 30 minutes of trek, the beautiful view of Binurong Point was just in front of us!

A spectacular view of point ##1

The view was just awesome! It was a perfect blend of the hill, the sea, and the sky! As our trek guide would tell us, there are 4 “points”, but we just explored the first 3.

The first point is the left-most, facing the ocean. It is for the daring heart! I tried but couldn’t walk the hill as I have this fear of heights. The hill is quite steep on both sides with a not-so-wide trail on top. I remember that this was the hill where a motorcycle-riding TV-host had a very good shot while he run through the trail on his bike.

The “amphitheater ” with a pond in the middle of the valley.

Between points 1 and 2 is a valley that looks like an amphitheater. In the lowest area of the valley is a little pond, or lake as you may call it. My cousin would imagine bringing musicians in this area where the audience can just sit in the beauty of nature that surrounds the place.

We had wonderful shots taken at point #2. It was quite easy for me to explore this cape as the top had wide flat area for photo-ops. But whether it is point #1 or #2, whether you take the left side or the right side as the backdrop, all angles are just perfectly beautiful!

My family, with our 3-month old puppy, at point #2.

Onto the third point, we passed through another awesome sight of the waves splashing into a rock formation. Wow! Really beautiful! Our puppy enjoyed this place too as she continued to run around and explored the place!

What an experience! What an awesome sight!

The rock formations going to point #3

After a little over an hour exploring the place and taking photos, we decided to trek back. Upon reaching the village, we treated ourselves with ice-cold halo-halo (a mix of fruits and jelly, topped with shaved ice and milk).

We thought it was all for the treat. But there was one more: as we were leaving the small village, little children were waving at us and saying “good bye” and “see you again!”

A warmth of hospitality as shown by little children of Binurong Point

Really awesome! Awesome views, awesome experience, awesome people!

My son at the edge of point #1
Another photo of my family: just enjoying the scenic views of Binurong
By daughter at a rock formation
The point #3 at the background
My wife and I with point #1 at the background