CATANDUANES Food You Should Not Miss to Eat :)

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I love Catanduanes food specially the Mud Crabs and fresh seafood, Pili Nut (which is like Macadamia nut), the Catanduanes Cacao, and different kakanins.

Food in Bicol uses a lot of coconut milk (gata) but those in Catanduanes are not as spicy as in other Bicol towns. 

I also love the scenic picnic lunch by the beach and boodle fight in Sea Breeze.

Your Catanduanes Trip is not complete without trying these Catanduanes food:



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An-It (Mud Crab) cooked in gata with pako and ginger with Kuyog Katas with Kalamansi & Salt

This is my #1 favorite food in Catanduanes — Mud Crabs specially this one cooked in gata and ginger and with a special pako topping. 

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The mud crabs are freshly harvested, quite big, and the meat, very tasty.

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Ensaladang Fresh Pako (Fiddlehead Fern)

It is best eaten with the native Pako salad with tomatoes and onions.

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You can enjoy eating them with the Catanduanes hand-made utensils made of bamboo and coconut shell. 

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But the best way is to throw caution in the wind, and enjoy it with your hands.

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Another mud-crab variation is cooking it with sili, onions and curry sauce.

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You can’t help but suck the yummy juices from your hands.

During the Surf & Turf 052 tour, we got a chance to catch our own bobo mud crabs: 

Surf and Turf Tours from The Cinematic Studio

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One of the primary sources of seafood in Manila is Catanduanes. You can buy fresh fish, as big as this, from the port early in the morning 🙂 

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Best way is to just grill it and let the fresh meat do the talking.

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Kupapha and Banagan (sea lobster)

Another seafood treat in Catanduanes is the fresh Kupapha and Banagan. Make sure to request for this when you are in Puraran.



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The Pili is a unique nut in the Philippines that grows abundantly in Catanduanes. It is often compared to the Macadamia nuts in Hawaii.

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You’ll know that it is ripe when the skin is dark and a bit soft. You can boil it and eat the meat surrounding the nut. 

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I must admit eating this is an acquired taste. It’s usually dipped in vinegar with sili or …

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… in brown sugar.    

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The nut is then dried and the shell is cut in half with a bolo.

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The nut inside is very delicate so be careful not to damage it.

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The skin is fried and converted to Pili Chips. They also produce pili nut oil.

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My favorite is when the pili is crushed and mashed and combined with condensed milk and shaped into bars called Mazapan de Pili.

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Buy the Pili nut goodies by Belen.

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You can visit Belen’s house where she makes the goodies in Brgy. Santo Niño in Virac.

(Contact Belen’s Mobile: +63 921 410-9504, +63 909 715-6449)

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Don’t miss to visit the Pasalubong Shop in Virac to get your Pili goodies. (It closes at 7pm)



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Another Catanduanes treat is its organic cacao. It turns from green to yellow when it is ripe.

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When you cut it open, it resembles the guyabano fruit but with atis-like seeds.

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You can eat the sweet white covering the cacao nut itself.

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The cacao is dried and roasted.

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Then finely ground to produce 100% cacao. In Catanduanes, they usually have 1 unit of cacao for every 1 unit of sugar.

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They pack it in tablea ball form or in pulvoron type of molding. 

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I love the Bicol Hot Chocolate because it is of the sweeter type rather than bitter.



Make sure to try these kakanins when you are in Catanduanes:

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Binanban – Rice, Coconut, Sugar

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Ibus – suman sticky rice with gata and asin.

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Camoteng Kahoy

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Fried Banana Chips

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Ginataan Bilo Bilo with coconut milk, saba, and sago.

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Garyang – a special kamoteng kahoy, that is best harvested after 15-20 years, cooked in gata. This is a favorite of my lolo.



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I would recommend Seabreeze in Virac for its cool ambiance by the sea and good Bicol food. It’s located along the bay near the port in Virac town.

Catanduanes Day 1-150.jpgSea Breeze MenuPizza, Burger, Sandwich | Pasta & Toast | Noodle | Rice & Potato | Live Lobster & Crab | Top Notch Fishes | Shrimp & Prawn | Squid & Fish | Chicken | Beef | Pork Chop & Belly | Pork Knuckle & Others | Vegetable | Soup | Sushi | Tempura | Desert & Ice Cream |  Fresh Fruit, Fresh Salad | Breakfast Combo Meals | Hot & Cold Beverages | Soda, Juices, Tea, Beer | Red & White Wine, Local & Imported Spirit


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Grilled Tanguigue (Spanish Mackerel) – P200

You won’t go wrong with ordering fresh seafood.

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Adobong Pusit (Stewed Squid) – P160.

Stuffed Adobo squid is my all-time Filipino favorite.

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Ginataang Ugob

One unique dish in Catanduanes is Ugob which belongs to the same family of Langka but it’s smaller, meatier and with less seeds. It taste like tuna meat.

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Sinalpungan (Fried Carabeef Tripe ) – P140

You got to try carabeef which is popular in the island.

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Thank you  Carlo Romano for showcasing the yummy Catanduanes cuisine! Mabalos 🙂


Catanduanes Surf and Turf Area 052 Food and Cultural Tour by ROUTE +63 
Catanduanes Surf and Turf Poster

Catanduanes Standard Package at (P7,900)
1. Room accommodations (3d 3n)
2. Pick up from and to the airport
3. Van transpo for the whole tour
4. Complete meals (b-l-d) 3d 3n
5. Travel insurance
6. 1 hour Surfing lesson or skim boarding

Catanduanes Premium Tour (P8,900)
1. Room accommodations (3d 3n)
2. Pick up from and to the airport
3. Van transpo for the whole tour
4. Complete meals (b-l-d) 3d 3n
5. Travel insurance
6. Additional in-between meals/ merienda for three days.
7. Surfing and skim boarding fee
8. Souvenir items supporting the livelihood program.

Contact Information:

Facebook Fan PageSurf and Turf Area 052
Mobile Number: +63 917 804-8429 (globe) and +63 918 588-4004 (smart)


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If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at

Full Disclosure: Our Catanduanes trip was courtesy of the Catanduanes Surf and Turf Area 052 in partnership with Route +63 Travels. 

I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it.

As a policy, I don’t receive compensation from food and travel places we feature in the blog. 

P.S. If you are looking for desert or after dinner hangout place in Virac. Go to Blossoms.

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It’s a quaint two-storey neighborhood cafe.

Blossoms MenuPica Pica, Solo Meals, The Sandwich Wagon, The Noodle House | The Pasta and Pizza Trail | Mains: Soup Kettle, Ways With Rice, Healthy Options | Mains: From Yonder Sea |Mains: From the Cattle Farm, From the Butcher’s House, From the Chicken Coop | Drinks, Shakes, Something Hot, Sweet Success

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I would recommend the frozen mango cheese cake or 

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…  the chocolate cake paired with brewed coffee.

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Check out Blossoms Restaurant in Virac town.

6 thoughts on “CATANDUANES Food You Should Not Miss to Eat :)

  1. Are you from Catanduanes? If not, d ouble kudos for job well done! You did your research very well. I was born in Catanduanes, and will shortly go back there for a short vacation, after so many years. Thank God i discovered your blog! Yes, we have amazing, beautiful places in the country!

  2. Catanduanes Is. , I would say is truly a wonderful place, I spend some time during my detail assignment . You’ve missed to mention one if their kaka in made of Gabi (taro) which is the inner position is scraped then the scraped portion is mixed with desicated coconut, then cooked in coconut milk. the outcome is awesome especially when the coconut milk has curdled. Just don’t leave it unattended or else somebody or ants will feast on it. And another delicasy is the Giant mountain snail cooked like “kandinga” (bopiz).
    Both my folks are native of Catanduanes.

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