Towns and Cities
         
VIRAC

The provincial capitol and commercial center, Virac is also the seat of an independent diocese of Catanduanes.

Places to See
  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
  • Igang White Beach, in Brgy. Igang, located 8 kms. southwest of the town.  It has nearby caves and coral formations.
  • Balite Beach (Brgy. Balite)
  • Buyo Cave (Brgy. Buyo)
  • Magnesia Beach (Brgy. Magnesia)
  • Marilima Beach (Brgy. Marilima)
  • Marilima Cave (Brgy. Marilima)
  • Talisoy Beach (Brgy. Talisoy)
  • Talisoy Cave (Brgy. Talisoy)
  • Vargas Cave, in Brgy. San Vicente, has a narrow opening
Brief History
  • During pre-Hispanic times, tribal chieftain Lumibao, scion of Datu Dumaguil, came to the Philippines with his wife Milbigan and the 13 Malay datus, settling near Vidak spring where he founded a settlement.
  • During the Revolution, a bloody battle between the Spaniards and the rebels was fought at Virac (Sitio Ili, Brgy. Danicop).  The Spaniards left before the arrival of Filipino troops from Luzon in 1898.
  • During the Philippine-American War, the Americans entered Virac in 1900.
  • The town’s name is said to be a derivation of the word Vidac while others claim it is a contraction of the Spanish version of the word burac, meaning “flower.”
Climate

With a Type II climate, Virac has no dry season.  Average annual precipitation is between 2,500-3,000 mm. As it is in the middle of the typhoon belt, the town, as well as the whole province, is always battered by typhoons from July to October.

Economy

The economy is sustained primarily by farming, with rice, corn, bananas and root crops as the principal produce. Other means of livelihood are copra and abaca production, fishing and mining.  The province has vast forest preserves and minerals such as coal, copper, manganese, phosphate and cement.

Location and Topography

Virac is bounded by Caramoran on the north, San Andres on the west, San Miguel on the northeast, Bato on the east, and Cabugao Bay on the southeast. Almost half of the town is rugged and mountainous, with its topography interspersed by hills and plains dotted by marshy land and rocky jutting cliffs and crags.

General Information
  • Area (sq. kms.): 187.78 (the province's third largest)
  • Population (2007): 64,554 Viracnons
  • No. of Barangays: 63 (11 urban)
  • Income Class: First
  • Zip Code: 4800
  • Area Code: 052
Where to Dine
  • Babe’s Fastfood - Brgy. Sta. Cruz (tel: 811-1160)
  • Café De Paul - Brgy. San Jose (tel: 811-1160)
  • Cafeteria Marina
  • Catanduanes Restaurant (Salvacion St.)
  • Calosa Bar
  • Eddi Sol BBQ
  • Josie Steak House - Brgy. Sta. Cruz
  • Mickey Bob Burger
  • Plaza Quincemil
  • Trellis Garden Café
Where to Stay
  • Armenia Beach Resort - Palawig
  • Balin Resort - Palawig
  • Bosdak Beach Resort, along Magnesia Beach, is located in an idyllic bay 12 kms. southwest of the town.  It has airconditioned and non-airconditioned hillside cottages with bath, restaurant, disco, conference halls, function rooms, swimming pool, sundry shop, table tennis, darts, bowls and offers laundry service, motorbikes, bikes, paddleboats, boating, snorkeling and fishing.  Manila booking office: Fax: (632) 634-2332.  Cel: (0912) 860-8204.
  • Catanduanes Midtown Inn, Bar and Resort, along San Jose St., has 18 airconditioned rooms with bath and cable TV (3 standard single, 3 standard double, 7 de luxe, 3 royal, 1 family suite and 1 executive suite), coffee shop, bar, aircon function room, spa (Ispa), beauty salon (Salon D’Virac) and souvenir shop (Gabud’s Handicrafts and Sudsea Beads and Accessories).  It also offers laundry, safety deposit box, airport and seaport transfers and room service.  Tel: 811-0527 & 811-1526.
  • Cherry Don Resthouse, along Don Pedro St., has non-airconditioned rooms.
  • Christopher Inn - San Jose St.
  • Daloy's Beach Resort - Ibong Sapa, Brgy. Sta. Cruz
  • Erickson Resort - Palawig
  • Johnny's Beach Resort - Brgy. Balite
  • Kosta Alcantara Beach Resort, in Brgy. Marilima, has airconditioned double rooms, cottages and picnic tables and a central building with restaurant and terrace. Tel: 811-1459 & 811-1356.  Fax: 811-1603.  Manila booking office: tel: (632) 801-0445 & 521-1631.
  • L & H Resthouse, along San Jose St., has non-airconditioned rooms.
  • Mely's Pension House
  • Monte Carlo Inn & Resort - Brgy. San Vicente
  • Monte Cielo - Palawig
  • Pension de Paz
  • Roadside resort & Restaurant - Brgy. San Vicente
  • Sandy's Pension House, near the wharf, has non-airconditioned rooms and a restaurant with a terrace.
  • Solybel Travel Lodge - Don Pedro St.
  • Sorelli Chateau - San Jose St. (tel: 811-1546)
  • Stars  and Stripes Resthouse - F. Surtida St.
  • Surtida's Lodging House, along Don Pedro St., has a restaurant.
  • Twin Rocks Beach Resort, along Igang White Beach, has non-airconditioned cottages with or without bath, airconditioned and non-airconditioned rooms with bath, restaurant, function hall, swimming pool, picnic huts and 200-m. long private beach.  Sales and booking office: August Loi Eatery, L. Arcilla St., Salvacion.  Tel:  811-1513.  Cel: (0912) 871-6541. Manila booking office: tel: (632) 522-3738.
Where to Shop
  • Bazaar (tel: 811-1714)
  • Century Trading (tel: 811-1629)
  • Gabud Handicraft
How to Get There

BY AIR

Destinations (Virac to:)

 

  • Manila: (1 hrs., Cebu Pacific Air and Zest Air)

The airport, located 4 kms. southwest of Virac, has a 5,100-ft. long paved runway.

 

Airline Offices

  • Philippine Airlines - Virac Airport (tel: 922-9750)
  • Zest Air - Greypac Corporartion, San Jose St. (tel: 811-1757, 811-1056 & 811-1035)

BY SEA:

  • Tabaco City (Albay): (3-3.5 hrs., MV Eugenia, Star Ferry and the MV Regina Calixta)

BY LAND

Philtranco, RSL Transport and Tawtrasco buses ply the Manila-Virac route including the ferry from Tabaco City (Albay). Jeepneys at the market connect Virac with the nearby towns of via San Andres, Baras, Brgy. Tambugnon via Viga and Gigmoto via Brgy. Puraran (Baras).

Festivals
  • October 22-27 (Catandungan Festival) - the province's foundation anniversary, it features an agro-trade fair, sports, guided tours and photo exhibits.
  • December 8 (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception)
  • December 16-25 (Kagharong Festival) - reenacts the search of St. Joseph and Virgin Mary for a place to stay in Bethlehem. A troupe goes from house to house and sings before the door asking for shelter. When they are refused, they move to another house. The owner of the house then shakes the hands of the leader and hands over some donation in form of money.
Banks
  • Equitable-PCI Bank (San Juan cor. Rizal Sts.)
  • Landbank
  • Philippine National Bank - Rizal Ave., San Jose  (tel: 811-1207, fax: 811-1176)
Medical Assistance
  • Dr. Antonio B. Zantua Memorial Hospital (32 beds) – Brgy. Francia (tel: 811-1680-81)
  • Eastern Bicol Medical Center (100 beds) - San Isidro Village (tel: 811-1384 and 811-0219)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital, Inc.
Spotlight
Provincial Capitol (Photo: Bernard Supetran Katandugan Festival (Photo: Bernard Supetran) Katandugan Festival (Photo: Bernard Supetran)
Katandugan Festival (Photo Bernard Supetran) Katandugan Festival (Photo: Bernard Supetran) Twin Rock Beach Resort (Photo: Bernard Supetran)
Twin Rock Beach Resort (Photo: Bernard Supetran) Twin Rock Beach Resort (Photo: Bernard Supetran) Twin Rock Beach Resort (Photo: Bernard Supetran)

  

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