Catanduanes presents Cock Rock Festival on a ‘sexy’ island » Manila Bulletin News

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by Jinky Lou Tabor

Bagamanoc, Catanduanes — Experiencing the Philippines has taken new form in this part of the archipelago as it launched recently its first Cock Rock Festival, a two-day event that drums up tourism in the province.

The celebration in the first weekend of June was action-packed with events like skimboarding by the beautiful black sand beaches and skateboarding competitions down the winding highways of the town.

FAIR-FEATHERED FRIENDS — Festival dancers dressed as birds fire up the streets of Bagamanoc, Catanduanes with their spirited performance. (Jinky Lou Tabor | Manila Bulletin)

A climb up the mountain was also enjoyed by campers what with the rolling hills of Palestina and the breathtaking view of the bay from above.

For adventurers, exploring the islands completed their experience as bancas are readily available.

“It was a successful launch. We’ve opened Bagamanoc to travelers and tourists from around the world,” Catanduanes Member Vincent Villaluna, who hosted the launching, told The Manila Bulletin.

While the day events showcased skill and adventure sports for skimboarders, skaters and climbers, the two nights of rave parties kept the spirits of visitors up until dawn on Bacak Beach – another indicator that the event was successful, said Villaluna.

He said the Cock Rock Festival’s main objective was to put Bagamanoc out there in the tourism map, promising visitors a relaxing getaway on the islands of south Luzon.

WHY ‘COCK ROCK’?

It may be odd for a festival name and some may even cringe at the suggestive words put together, but the people of Bagamanoc have embraced the Cock Rock Festival as part of their cultural identity.

There is a tale that an immortal named “Kurakog” fell in love with a native of Bagamanoc, a young lady called “Kalarab.” Because Kurakog was a supernatural being, Kalarab’s family went against their relationship.

BEACHSIDE THEATRICS — Whether it be skimboarding or Abaca weaving, it has to be captivating at the Cock Rock Festival in Bagamanoc, Catanduanes last June 3. (Jinky Lou Tabor | Manila Bulletin)

BEACHSIDE THEATRICS — Whether it be skimboarding or Abaca weaving, it has to be captivating at the Cock Rock Festival in Bagamanoc, Catanduanes last June 3. (Jinky Lou Tabor | Manila Bulletin)

The beautiful maiden, pregnant with Kurakog’s child, fell into despair and took her life by jumping off a hill into the sea.

Mad and vengeful, Kurakog whipped up a storm that washed out three villages and killed many Bagamanocnons. It said that the three barangays are now part of the seabed.

But after the storm rose the islet that was named “Boto ni Kurakog” (Kurakog’s penis).

The penis-shaped in this northern town of Catanduanes is now must-see for travelers and often in the bucket list of island hoppers.

On this island are found white and black sand beaches and a hilltop with a 360-degree view of the vast pacific ocean and the islands nearby.

THE PEOPLE

If the sites are worth seeing, the people, too, are worth meeting.

Catandunganons are very warm people and eager to host visitors.

Ajah Aguilar of “Go Catanduanes!” said Catandunganons are very vocal of the fact that wherever in the world they may be, it is still the beauty of the island that they look for and long for.

Aguilar said they organized the two-day festival because they can see the potential of the town comparing and its people in being one of the best tourist destinations in the country.

Waterfalls are also within easy reach and seafood choices are tastier in the northern towns of Catanduanes.

Catandunganons want their province, once known as the “Crab Capital of the Country,” to regain that title from Negros Island.

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