Catanduanes

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Catanduanes Province
Provincia nin Catanduanes
Lalawigan ng Catanduanes
Provincia de Catanduanes
Province

Flag

Seal
Map of the Philippines with Catanduanes highlighted
Coordinates: 13°50′N 124°15′E / 13.833°N 124.250°E / 13.833; 124.250Coordinates: 13°50′N 124°15′E / 13.833°N 124.250°E / 13.833; 124.250
Country Philippines
RegionBicol Region (Region V)
FoundedSeptember 26, 1945
CapitalVirac
Government
 • GovernorAraceli Wong (Independent
 • Vice GovernorJose Teves, Jr. (Lakas-CMD)
Area[1]
 • Total1,492.16 km2 (576.13 sq mi)
Area rank71st out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total246,300
 • Rank66th out of 80
 • Density170/km2 (430/sq mi)
 • Density rank48th out of 80
Divisions
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities0
 • Municipalities11
 • Barangays315
 • DistrictsLone district of Catanduanes
Time zonePHT (UTC+8)
ZIP codes4800-4810
Dialing code52
ISO 3166 codePH-CAT
Spoken languagesBikolano, Filipino, English
Websitewww.catanduanes.gov.ph
 
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Catanduanes Province
Provincia nin Catanduanes
Lalawigan ng Catanduanes
Provincia de Catanduanes
Province

Flag

Seal
Map of the Philippines with Catanduanes highlighted
Coordinates: 13°50′N 124°15′E / 13.833°N 124.250°E / 13.833; 124.250Coordinates: 13°50′N 124°15′E / 13.833°N 124.250°E / 13.833; 124.250
Country Philippines
RegionBicol Region (Region V)
FoundedSeptember 26, 1945
CapitalVirac
Government
 • GovernorAraceli Wong (Independent
 • Vice GovernorJose Teves, Jr. (Lakas-CMD)
Area[1]
 • Total1,492.16 km2 (576.13 sq mi)
Area rank71st out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total246,300
 • Rank66th out of 80
 • Density170/km2 (430/sq mi)
 • Density rank48th out of 80
Divisions
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities0
 • Municipalities11
 • Barangays315
 • DistrictsLone district of Catanduanes
Time zonePHT (UTC+8)
ZIP codes4800-4810
Dialing code52
ISO 3166 codePH-CAT
Spoken languagesBikolano, Filipino, English
Websitewww.catanduanes.gov.ph

Catanduanes (Bikol: Probinsya nin Catanduanes), (Filipino: Lalawigan ng Catanduanes), is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region of Luzon. Its capital is Virac and the province lies to the east of Camarines Sur across Maqueda Channel. As of the 2010 census, the population of the province is 246,300 people.[2]

The province consists primarily of Catanduanes Island (also called Virac Island), but also includes Panay Island and a few other minor surrounding islets.

Etymology[edit]

"Isla de Cobos" was Catanduanes' first name, given by Spanish conquistadores during the early part of 1573 when came upon several tribes living in the thatched huts called cobos.

Catanduanes, is a hispanized term derived from the word tandu, a native beetle and the samdong tree, which were both found in abundance throughout the island. Common reference to "katanduan" or "kasamdongan", meaning a place where the tandu or the samdong tree thrives in abundance, led to the coining of the word Catanduanes.[3]

History[edit]

Pre-Spanish Period[edit]

The scions of the then Bornean Datus who had moved on the island of Panay and then, spread out throughout the archipelago were the first settlers to have set foot in Catanduanes. The island was not spared from the adventurous raids of the Moros who came from the island of Mindanao. Because of these destructive raids, many records of the past were destroyed and lost.

Spanish Period[edit]

Juan de Salcedo arrived in this island in 1573, hunting for pirates, and conquered the natives. Three years later, a galleon expedition from Acapulco was shipwrecked near the island and the survivors were either killed or made servants. The Batalay Church in Bato, just several kilometers from the capital town of Virac, marks that historical event.

The Christianization of the island started some twenty years later. The conquistadores, after subjugating the Bicol mainland, came back to the island with Franciscan missionaries. From 1600 to 1857, the colonizers were able to put up nine centers of local governments through the establishment of parishes.

American Period[edit]

During the American Regime, the local insurgents refused to recognize the sovereignty of the United States. Most of them fled to the mountains. The American occupation did not last long. In 1934, the Americans had ceased control of the island.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, Catanduanes was not spared from Japanese invasion. The Japanese erected garrisons in different parts of the island. The Japanese committed so many atrocities in the island province.

Major Salvador Rodolfo (a.k.a. Phantom) organized the Catanduanes Liberation Forces.It was the back bone of the resistance movement in Catanduanes. It performed numerous ambuscades against the Japanese Imperial Army and conducted intelligence gathering, which was necessary in paving the way for the eventual liberation of the province by the combined American and Filipino troops. During his exploits as a guerilla leader, Rodolfo was rumored several times to have been killed in battle but time and again he keeps on coming back to destroy every vestige of enemy control in the province of Catanduanes, hence he was called "Phantom" or the Man who never dies.

On February 8, 1945, when Rodolfo was about to declare the independence of the province after he and his men killed every Japanese Imperial Army and burned every Japanese garrison in Catanduanes, one of his men approached him and said that there were Japanese reinforcements on board 2 vessels approaching the island. He then talked to his men, most of whom were wounded and exhausted, he said:

Japanese reinforcements are coming. I have two options for you, we can go to the hills and save ourselves and wait there until the joint American and Filipino troops was arrive, but I assure you that all civilians left behind will be massacred by the incoming Japanese, or we can repeat what happened in the Battle of Thermopylae and stand our ground. Most of us will die, but we will live forever in the pages of history as the men who fought for the liberation of Catanduanes.

With that, everybody decided to stand their ground and fight the incoming Japanese. They went to their posts to wait for the enemy’s arrival but then, as if by providence, American planes arrived and bombed the Japanese vessels. Rodolfo declared independence of the entire province on February 8, 1945.

When the local Filipino soldiers and officers of the 5th, 52nd, 53rd, 55th, 56th and 57th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was landing the beaches and captured the liberated from the island province of Catanduanes and helping the local guerrilla fighters and American liberating troops and defeated and fought against the Japanese Imperial armed forces during the Battle of Catanduanes and ending World War II.

Independence Day[edit]

Three months after the Philippine independence from the Americans, Catanduanes was finally recognized as a separate and independent province from Albay by the Commonwealth Act No. 687. It was approved by Congress on September 26, 1945, signed into law by President Sergio Osmena, Sr. on October 24, 1945, and took effect on October 26, 1945.[4][5] Catanduanes became the sixth province of the Bicol Region with the signing of the Act.

Geography[edit]

Mountainous view of Viga
Cargo Cable Car used to transport goods and cargoes

Catanduanes is situated in the easternmost fringe of Luzon: 13.3 to 14.1 degrees north latitudes and between 124.1 to 124.3 degrees east longitudes. The island bounded on the west by the Maqueda Channel, on the south by Lagonoy Gulf, and on the north and east by the Philippine Sea. Several islands compose the province, but beside the main island, they are all too small to be of relative significance. Its aggregate land area totals approximately 1,511.5 square kilometers or 151,150 hectares. The coastlines, that stretch to almost 400 km (249 mi), are jagged with many bays.[6]

The topography of Catanduanes Island is rugged and mountainous, becoming more pronounced towards the central portion of the island. Less than 10 percent of the land area has a slope gradient under 8 percent, mostly fractured and narrow strips of plains located along the coastal areas where most of the inhabitants are settled. The highest mountain peak is in Boctot, located between the municipalities of Virac and San Miguel with an elevation of 803 metres (2,635 ft) above sea level. It is the premier mountain range with broadly spread old growth forests and watershed which exerts widespread influence over its immediate environs that include the municipalities of Virac, Bato, and San Miguel. Other prominent mountain forms with important significance include the ranges: Obi in Caramoran, Cagmasoso in San Andres, and the Summit and Magsumoso ranges within the Viga and Gigmoto areas.

The lowlands include the Virac Plain, Viga Plain, San Andres Plain and the Bato River Flood Plain. The coastal municipalities with limited lowland agricultural areas are Pandan and Caramoran. The more extensive lowlands are found in the southern parts of the province. The largest coastal plain is the contiguous wetlands of Viga, Panganiban and Bagamanoc over which lays the widest area of rice paddies and nipa mangroves.

The province is mostly rugged and mountainous terrain. Its slope characteristics are 13% gently sloping to undulating, 1% classified rolling to hilly, 2% very hills and mountains, 47% level to very gently sloping, 32% steep hills and mountainous, and 5% undulating to rolling. Ten of the eleven municipalities of the province are situated along the coastal fringes, over which locate its mostly fractured plains. The only landlocked municipality is San Miguel with its poblacion [town center] sitting in a location entirely devoid of flat lands. The majority of the built-up areas occupy zones that are classified as flat to rolling.

Weather and climate[edit]

Without a pronounced dry season, precipitation is distributed fairly well throughout the year becoming wetter in the last quarter into the early months of the first quarter, when tropical disturbances and monsoon wind bring in heavy rains. Other months are characterized by short periods of dryer days and fine weather except in July and August, when the dry and gusty northwest monsoon winds intensify.

Catanduanes' geographical position has it lying completely exposed to the Pacific Ocean. Therefore it is known as "Land of the Howling Winds" because it is frequently visited by tropical storms.

Subdivisions[edit]

Capitol building of Catanduanes

Catanduanes is subdivided into 11 municipalities.

MunicipalityNo. of
Barangays
Area
(hectares)[7]
Population
(2007)
Population
(2010)[8]
Pop. density
(per km2)
Bagamanoc188,07410,18311,370140.8
Baras2910,95011,78712,243111.8
Bato274,86218,73819,984411.0
Caramoran2726,37425,61828,063106.4
Gigmoto918,1827,5698,00344.0
Pandan2611,99019,00519,393161.7
Panganiban (Payo)237,9969,2909,738121.8
San Andres (Calolbon)3816,73133,78135,779213.8
San Miguel2412,99412,96614,107108.6
Viga3115,82319,26620,669130.6
Virac (capital)6315,24064,55466,951439.3

Demographics[edit]

Population census of Catanduanes
YearPop.  ±% p.a.  
1990187,000—    
1995202,464+1.60%
2000215,356+1.24%
2007232,757+1.12%
2010246,300+1.90%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

In May 2000, its total population was 215,356 with an annual growth rate of 1.42% from 1990 to 2000, and a population density of 142 per sq. kilometer. Over the following 10 years the average annual growth rate was 1.35%, increasing the population to 246,300 persons in the May 2010 census.[2] Almost all of the people of the province are natural born citizens. Naturalized citizens mostly Chinese and some other nationalities is only about one per cent of the population.

The number of households totaled 41,019 with an average household size of 5.25.[4]

Language[edit]

Two dialects of the Bicol language are being spoken locally: Northern Catanduanes Bicolano and Southern Catanduanes Bicolano. The northern accent has a very pronounced letter R that becomes a diphthong of non-vowel letters L and R in the southern towns. In written form, the conventional mainland Bicol language is used. Tagalog, by virtue of being officially taught in schools and the affinity of most Bicolanos to it, is the second most common language and easily the most understood by people of all walks of life. English is the normal medium used in primary communications. The use of the Spanish as a local language seems to have vanished after the turn of the 21st century.

Ethnic groups[edit]

Migrants from Visayas and Mindanao regions far outnumber other ethnic groups. A good number of people of Chinese descent are also living in the province.

Culture[edit]

Traditions[edit]

Traditions and inherited lifestyles are being slowly supplanted brought about by a high degree of exposure to the western culture. Significant shift in values, beliefs, morals and customs and outlook in life of younger and future generation will likely take place with the advent of digital information age. State-of-the-art technologies in Communication and Information unheard of in the last decade bring a wide range of information to an increasing number of island residents. Television sets link to satellite cable television system are now common in households notably in areas where local television broadcasts are not accessible, computers linked to the internet, satellite phone and cellular phone services are some of these technologies.

Festivals and Celebrations[edit]

The folk festivals celebrated as part of the local religious rituals are with unique traces of the Spanish colonization. Among these festivals are:

Education[edit]

Catanduanes State University (CSU) Main Building

The Philippine elementary school begins from Grade 1 to Grade 6. The high school program takes six years to finish, taken after graduating from elementary school. Virac is the main educational institute in the province. It has several colleges, institutes and a state university with a university branch in the northern town of the province and a number schools specializing in various courses such as Nursing, Engineering, Nautical courses, Business and Accounting, Education, Computer and IT and other professions. The most prominent are the Catanduanes State University (CSU) with campus in Panganiban, a northern municipality of the province, Catanduanes Colleges (CC), Catanduanes Institute of Technology Foundation (CITFI), and Christian Polytechnic Institute of Catanduanes (CPIC).

The Catanduanes State University located in Calatagan Virac, the capital town of Catanduanes. It was elevated to university status in October 2012. The Catanduanes State University (CSU) is an institution of higher learning in the province of Catanduanes in the Philippines. It was established on June 19, 1971 by virtue of Republic Act 6341,authored by the late Catanduanes Congressman Jose M. Alberto, which converted the Virac National Agricultural and Trade School into the Catanduanes State Colleges. On July 8, 1972, Republic Act 6590 provided for opening of additional courses at CSC.

Palarong Bicol 2013 - Catanduanes Athletic Complex

Economy[edit]

Virac Youth Center Mall

Agriculture, Fishing and Tourism is the other source of living in this beautiful island. Several handicrafts, jewelry manufacturing, other small-scale industries and manufacturing enterprises also one of the contributors to the province's economy. The province is rich in natural resources, forests, waterfalls, rivers, mineral deposits and productive soil made fertile by volcanic ashes of distant Mayon Volcano. Rattancraft, fishing, buri hat and mat making and abaca fiber craft are its most and among the important industries of the island.

Nipa Palm Plantation

Virac, the capital town of the island was among the top in terms of infrastructure in 2012 Most Competitive Municipality category according to the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

Industry[edit]

From 2001 through 2010, the Philippines production of abaca fiber (Manila hemp) averaged 65,701 mt per year and had been decreasing at a minimal rate of 0.8% per annum caused by the devastating typhoons in 2006 coupled with abaca viral diseases that continued to affect the plantations as well as the dampened foreign demand brought about by the global economic recession beginning in the latter part of 2008, considered as the most severe downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Production reached its peak in 2008 at 77,387 mt as outputs of all producing regions, particularly Bicol, Davao Region and Caraga, substantially increased during the period. This was primarily the effect of the incremental production from the abaca plantations established in 2005 and 2006 under FIDA’s program Goal I “Development of New Agri-Business Lands” and the continued strong demand and attractive prices offered for the fiber by local traders, processors/manufacturers and exporters. The abaca industry, however, suffered a setback in 2009 when fiber yield slumped to its lowest level of 54,584 mt due to the weakened market demand and falling prices as a consequence of the worldwide financial crisis.

Then year 2009, Bicol Region emerged as the biggest producer of abaca, and the Island province of Catanduanes remained the biggest producer of Manila Hemp in the country. The home of the finest grade of abaca fiber.

Tourism Industry in the province is relatively growing despite of almost year round typhoon, naming the province as a "Typhoon Capital of the Philippines" with a tagline "The Land of the Howling Winds". Catanduanes is famous for its unspoiled beaches, pre-historic caves, exotic places, quaint stone chapels and massive churches. Despite the typhoons, safe anchorage are provided by its many bays and coves notably Kalapalan, Gigmoto, Soboc and Cabugao. Its Pacific coastlines are havens for surfers. Known as the home to the "Majestic Waves," this slice of surfer paradise in idyllic Baras, Catanduanes is the perfect spot for guests who want to enjoy riding the waves in a secluded, pristine setting.

Virac Skyline - Capital of Catanduanes

Notable People from Catanduanes[edit]

Services[edit]

By comparison, the prevailing peace and order situation in the province is much better than that of the other provinces in the region. This is attributed to the inherent affable character of the Catandunganons, the all-out government support and a vigilant religious hierarchy. To arrest attempts of criminal elements to make the province a market for illegal drugs, the police force with the support of LGUs launched a massive information campaign for a better-informed citizenry.

Police Services - The Philippine National Police in the province is composed of the local police force and the fire brigade’s services. Among its objectives, the PNP organizes missions to protect lives and property, enforce laws and maintain peace and order; to prevent crimes and to investigate the commission of all crimes and offenses and to bring the offender to justice; And finally, to take the necessary measures to prevent and control fires and to maintain public safety.

Virac Port Passenger Terminal

The prevailing peace and order remains the best argument for promoting the province. The province crime rate is 6.39 in 2006. Crime volume over the same period was 191.

Accessibility[edit]

By air, daily flights are available from Manila to Virac which takes less than an hour flight by commercial jet or an hour by propeller plane. Over land, a 12-hour bus ride from Manila to Tabaco in Albay province, is needed to cover the 580 km (360 mi) distance. Several ferry services in Port of Tobacco offers connection to San Andres which takes about 2½ hours or go Virac Seaport, at 3½ hours.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Brief Historical Background". About Catanduanes. Retrieved on 2012-04-17.
  4. ^ a b http://www.bicolperyodiko.com/index.php/catanduanes
  5. ^ Provinces of the Philippines. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 2011-11-26.
  6. ^ http://www.congress.gov.ph/bis/hist_show.php?save=0&journal=&switch=0&bill_no=HB04408&congress=14
  7. ^ "Province: Catanduanes". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Dinahit Festival". About Catanduanes. Retrieved on 2012-04-17.
  10. ^ Tiger Grass. Flowers of India. Retrieved on 2010-06-12.
  11. ^ Reaching Catanduanes. Catanduanes Island Promotion. Retrieved on 2010-06-11.

External links[edit]