I have recently been to my hometown Vinzons, Camarines Norte for a week - long visit. It was a wonderful trip. I came home with a great sense of pride and admiration for my beautiful, but rather underrated, hometown.
Before my recent trip, I have never wandered around Vinzons for tourism. It is so laid-back and ordinary,I thought. So I focused on traveling to other places in Bicol, faraway, forgetting to explore the sights that are closer to home.
As and by way of fulfilling my filial duty to my hometown, I'm sending my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival that I am hosting for the month of May with the theme HOMETOWN . .
(For previous month's blog carnival posts please click on Estan's Langyaw)
Vinzons is my father's hometown. The Ojeda clan has its roots in the Sitio of Mangcawayan, one of the nineteen (19) barangays of Vinzons.
I was born,raised (but didn't grow up!)and schooled until Grade IV in Vinzons , so Vinzons is my hometown too!
The municipality of Vinzons was formerly known as Tacboan (a corruption of the word "takbuhan" because it served as a refuge in times of calamities). It was founded by Franciscan friars in 1581. The municipality was transferred to a place called "Indan" in 1624. By an act of Congress after World War II, Indan was renamed Vinzons in honor of the greatest Bicol hero and martyr executed by the Japanese on July 15, 1942, Wenceslao Q. Vinzons Sr. He was born on September 28, 1910 and nurtured in Vinzons and became a 1935 Constitutional Convention delegate.
Vinzons is located in the province of Camarines Norte in the Bicol Region (Region V), along the commanding vastness of Pacific Ocean on both sides. Please check to see map . It has a land area of 9,060 square kilometers, comprising 19 Barangays - sixteen of which are in the mainland (Aguit-It,Cagbalogo,Calangcawan Norte,Calangcawan Sur, Guinacutan, Mangcayo,Manlucugan, Mantango, Napilihan,Barangay I (Pob.),Barangay II (Pob.),Barangay III (Pob.),Sabang,Santo Domingo,Singi,and Sula) while three barangays form part of the Calaguas Group of Islands, namely Banocboc, Pinagtigasan and Mangcawayan Islands.
Vinzons is considered a 3rd class municipality and a satellite municipality being barely six kilometers away from the capital town, Daet. From Manila, Vinzons is about 209 km away or about 8 to 10 hours by land transportation.
MUST-DO / MUST - VISITS IN VINZONS
Vinzons has so much to offer every tourists -beaches to laze around, pristine islands to explore, and history to uncover. It has every sights and adventures for travelers, bloggers, nature lovers, photographers, kitesurfers, divers, swimmers, history buffs, foodie enthusiasts, or anyone with a spirit of adventure. Read on...
1. Calaguas Group of Islands – Every Photographers’ Dream!
Calaguas Group of Islands consist of around 20 plus Islands and islets. The two main islands are the Tinaga and Guintinua where Brgys. Banocboc, Pinagtigasan and Mangcawayan are located.
Seeing the beautiful island of Tinaga with magnificent view of nature, cool crisp water and ultra-fine, long stretch of white sand, and hearing that the sand beaches of Pinagkastilyuhan, Comalasag ( in Banocboc) and Cagtalisay have better sand, I can’t wait to be able to hop on the other islands and islets of Calaguas Group of Islands. My shutter bug instinct again!
2. Camp Out at Halabang Baybay in Tinaga Island – - Every Campers’ Dream!
Halabang Baybay Beach (Mahabang Buhangin or Long Beach ) is an attractive beach located on the northern part of Barangay Mangcawayan, Tinaga Island, Vinzons. When I visited it for the first time during the Holy Week, I was quickly fascinated by the long stretch of white sand and the cool crisp water in such a serene environment! I could say that it could be every campers' ultimate dream destination!
I really love Halabang Baybay . It is accessible, being just two hours away by boat from Vinzons' Port in Minaogan. True, there are no resorts or decent accommodation in the island yet, but a tent on fine sand, just in front of the water with the waves in hearing distance is an ultimate bliss. Besides, there are now make-shift toilets, pump wells, and a little store for some snacks and necessities.
You can enjoy this paradise at your own pace, either by doing a Do-It- Yourself adventure with your friends or participate in an organized tour being conducted in the area. I did join an organized tour and glad I did because the organizer has generator and the food is prepared by professional chef. I was able to just enjoy this paradise in my backyard to my hearts’ content!
Photo Credit: My Camarines Norte Photos
3.Quinamanucan - Spectacular Diving at the Virgin Island of Pleasure – Every Divers’ Dream!
Another undiscovered beauties of my hometown is the island of Quinamanucan in Brgy. Sula at San Miguel Bay dubbed as the Virgin Pleasure. This ultimate vacationers’ and scuba divers’ dream sanctuary is only 20-35 minutes by boat from Vinzons town. I have included this spectacular diving site in my “must-see” destinations. I can’t wait to dive in and personally attest to the impressive underwater gardens and laze around its 1,000 meter- long white sand beach and a giant footprint shape. I am hoping to avail of the organized package for only P1,800.00 to experience firsthand all that Virgin Pleasure has to offer.
4. The Saint Peter The Apostle's Church – Every History Buffs’ Dream!
This Baroque-style church of Saint Peter the Apostle is the oldest church in Camarines Norte. It was first built in 1611 by Fr. Juan de Losar and rebuilt at its present site in 1624. The facade is plain and traditional, with a triangular pediment and a flat wall. The Feast Day is every June 29.
Other Sights and Activities Worth Checking:
1.Vinzons’ Ancestral Home and Historical Shrine
The 2-storey, 1920s Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, Sr. Historical Shrine, at the Poblacion, contains his memorabilia plus pictorial exhibits on Philippine history, pre-war schoolbooks (at the ground floor) and household furniture. Open Mondays-Fridays, 8am-5pm. Admission is free.
(Descriptin credit: Vinzons Camarines Norte
Photo Credit: My Camarines Norte Photos
2. Surf At Del Carmen Beach and Mantigbi Beach
There are at least two beaches in my hometown that could be a surfers' haven given more development and focused by Local Government - one is Del Carmen Beach located in Brgy. Calangcawan Sur and Mantigbi Beach in Mangcawayan. Both beaches have big waves and strong winds perfect for kite surfing! Read more on Mantigbi Beach
3.Vinzons Town Hall
- The newly-constructed Vinzons Town Hall is by far hailed as the most beautiful and the biggest building in the province.
4.Vinzons Municipal Auditorium
- Situated adjacent to the Parish Church St. Peter the Apostle, the Vinzons Municipal Auditorium is considered as one of the best, if not the swankiest, authorium in Camarines Norte.
Vinzons Sumptuous Delicacies
A travel around Vinzons' exciting destinations must be coupled with a taste of the sumptous kakanin like angko, suman, pili roll and main dish sinantol, balao,laing, bicol express,etc.
Best Time To Visit:
- April and May (Summer) - because this is the driest month with little rainfall perfect time to explore the islands and laze around in the beaches)
- June 1, 2011 to June 1, 2012 - Quadricentennial Celebration St. Peter's Church
- June 25 -29, 2011 - BABAKASIN Festival
- September 28 - Vinzons Day
- January 6 (Huli White)- New Year's celebration
Source: Vinzons Cam Norte website)