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.
|| 1,511 km²
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, which means "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
Throughout the Spanish era and the American occupation, Catanduanes
was a subprovince of Albay. It became a separate province on September
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.