About Catanduanes Province, Philippines

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Catanduanes Province
is an island province in the Bicol region, southeast of Luzon. It is separated from the mainland by the Maqueda Channel on the west and Lagonoy Gulf on the south. The north and east sides are flanked by the Pacific Ocean.
BRIEF PROFILE
Capital: Virac
Land Area: 1,511 sq km
Population: 187 000
Cities: none
Number of Towns: 11

The land_______________________________

The whole island is virtually a single mountain mass, with low mountains rising almost directly from the western shore. A narrow depression runs in the midsection of the island. Its limited plains along the coast face the Pacific Ocean.

Catanduanes' geography exposes it to frequent typhoons. It has no dry season as rain falls throughout the year.

A Brief History___________________________

The province was formerly known as Catanduan, meaning "where tando trees abound".

In 1573, Juan de Salcedo explored the island and found Malayan settlers believed to be descendants of the Bornean datus who came from Panay in the 13th century. Up to now, one of the islands off the northeast coast of Catanduanes is called Panay.

In 1576, a galleon sailing from Acapulco in Mexico to the Philippines was shipwrecked near the coast of Catanduanes. Ten Augustinian friars were aboard. It is said that survivors of the disaster were either killed by the natives or made servants of the datu. The Holy Cross of Batalay in the town of Bato is said to mark the burial site of the Augustinian´s leader Father Diego de Herrera.

Throughout the Spanish era and the American occupation, Catanduanes was a subprovince of Albay. It became a separate province on September 26, 1945.

The People______________________________

The inhabitants speak the Bicolano dialect with a distinctive accent. The natives are known for their religious fervor, which many attribute to their constant exposure to typhoons.

Commerce and Industry_____________________

Major crops are rice, corn, coconut, abaca and rootcrops. Fishing ranks second to farming as the main source of livelihood. The province has no major industry except cottage industries which are abaca- and forestry-based.

Getting There and Away_____________________

The capital is accessible by boat from Tabaco in Albay province.

Domestic flights to its capital from Manila are also available.

Map of Catanduanes
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