Majestic Waves of Puraran: To Surf or Not to Surf?

Yael at the splashy beachside of Puraran

(click here to read Day 1)

Day 2

'Ma'am maalon pa din po.' is what appears on the text message.

Ok fine. We give up, no Caramoan for us. No Matukad island, no island hopping, no caving, no beach bumming, no snorkeling, no secret lagoon, nothing! Guess we're left with no other choice but to give a particular surfing spot a chance, the Puraran Beach in Baras, Catanduanes. It's that one tourist destination we consistently hear from the locals. Problem is, we don't know how to surf!

To surf or not to surf? Guess we'll decide when we get there.

From Catanduanes Midtown Inn, Yael and I walked our way to the nearby Virac port and asked the locals the jeepneys plying to Baras. There we met van owner Mr. Salvador Tayam who offered us Php45 ride dropping us to the actual beach itself. Transportation in Catanduanes, as we found out is limited and takes some luck and patience.

We waited along with other passengers for more than an hour just to leave as we needed to wait for a particular passenger arriving from the said port. Sure, there were jeeps leaving to Baras every now and then but had we taken the jeep, we could've shelled out additional Php150 for the tricycle fare going to Puraran. But thank God Mr. Tayam's house is a stone throw away from the beach, and realizing the scarcity of transportation, we also grabbed his Php600 van rental for return trip to Virac.

The road leading to Puraran is well paved but reminded me of the winding road to Sagada, but this time graced with panoramic coastal views from the road side. In less than an hour, we arrived at the Majestic Puraran Beach Resort. We can clearly see and hear the majestic waves from this spot. This is it!

us at the entrance of Majestic Puraran Beach Resort

my first ever surfing spot visit

It was just us when we arrived at the resort. Sure we saw a couple of locals play skimboarding, but for the most part of our stay, it was just us. It was past lunch and we can already feel our stomachs creating their own little waves inside. Hungry, we started asking a local from the resorts humble dining area. He seems to be surprised when he saw us. It's door was half closed, they obviously weren't expecting any guest.

We asked if we could order some food and there we met Ate Aireen who manages the resort and a surfer herself. She said that set meal is very limited and may take a while so we contented ourselves with a sandwich meal. We're that hungry!


left: sandwich meal  right: resort's main buildg

I have to consume my coffee immediately as the wind blowing from the dining's picture window was crazy cool. Good thing we're not big eaters, the sandwiches sufficed. While eating and watching tv, we had a chance to chat with ate Aireen as she tells us wonderful and scary stories that has happened at the resort.

She said crew members from the famed Caramoan Survivor series after the shoot spent weeks to a few months at the resort simply enjoying the island life. Local celebrity Jericho Rosales surfs there too.

If Pag-asa announces signal no. 2, they automatically evacuate and find a safer place above grounds. In 1998, the whole resort has been literally washed out during a nasty storm but they didn't lose hope and reconstructed the resort, a strong testament to the resiliency of Catandunganons.

It was the Europeans who placed Catanduanes into the surfing map of the world after discovering Puraran Beach's Majestic Waves, the province's main draw. July to October are best left to veteran surfers.

January waves

When you say Catanduanes is windy is a huge understatement. It ain't called the "Land of the Howling Wind" for nothing. Ang pinaka-mahangin na lugar sa Philipinas na napuntahan ko. So if you want to experience the strongest of Philippine wind, guess this is the place to be.

To surf or not to surf?

We're 2-3 months ahead of summer, the best season to surf for beginners. The January waves of Puraran is not in anyway safe to swim, more so to surf.  Now that answers our question, we can't surf, they won't allow it. Pure luck!!!!! Ugh!

Ate Aireen told us that on a good weather, tourists can visit several snorkeling spots within the area. She urges us to revisit during summer, when the water is way clearer and the wind is friendlier. And since we couldn't swim and surf that day, we just delighted ourselves with a good splashy beach stroll, admire stunning rock formations, submerged our tired cold feet on the fine cream sand while being guarded by some of the friendliest and playful island dogs I ever met.

chillin' with the island dogs

panoramic view of Puraran

Right after a good chilly stroll, I badly wanted to sleep in one of the nearby huts. I figured, the place's laidback vibe and windy feel makes up for a good relaxing siesta. And just when I was about to settle down, the mighty rain came crashing my open hut so I ran fast inside the building. Maka-timing naman talaga!

We went back to Virac inside the rented van, safe from the cold rain. 

Puraran Beach, Catanduanes

We may not get what we ideally went there for but the trip reminded me of a saying from T.S. Eliot, “The journey not the arrival matters.” 

Catanduanes may be one of those provinces regularly battered by typhoons. But beyond its fearless tagline, Catanduanes idyllic atmosphere, unspoilt natural wonders, unlimited beachfronts, and word-class waves makes up an interesting island life worth discovering.

Read more of my Catanduanes series:
Travel Video: Catanduanes
A Bittersweet Exploration in the Land of the Howling Wind 
Majestic Waves of Puraran: To Surf or Not to Surf?
Catanduanes: 3D2N Itinerary and Expenses


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