Caramoan Peninsula Unveiled - PDI

The newly published “Captivating Caramoan: An Explorer’s Guide” is what it professes to be—a picture story of the Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur that unveils unique sites to discover in this rugged place jutting toward Catanduanes Island across the sea.


Author Ricardo Perez, chief of the multimedia services of the University of Nueva Caceres, has been shooting spots in the Caramoan Peninsula since the 1990s while also working as chief of the Capitol Audio Visual Center of the Camarines Sur provincial government.

For several years, he explored places to document and shoot interesting sites for the provincial government’s production of this coffee-table book. This exploration led him to untouched places documented through the lens for the first time.

Returning several times to the most interesting spots he’d discovered, Perez compiled hundreds of photographs that capture the unique features of Caramoan. Collaborating with him were homegrown photographers Arnel T. Tolete, Jovi Villareal, and Jun Pasa.

Glossy and hardbound, this 246-page book gives a vivid account of this site in the northeastern side of Camarines Sur not only in color photographs but in literature about its inhabitants and peculiar geologic formations, its coves, white-sand beaches, secret lagoons of many shapes and sizes, caves and waterfalls.

In this “easy-to-tuck-in-the-backpack” material, Perez gives the traveler a synopsis of things to expect with specifics on where to stop for the night and find hospitable accommodation.

It’s a virtual guidebook on what to look out for in departure areas, travelers’ bases and sites that should be explored or avoided, all the while giving glimpses of community life and historical accounts of certain places.

The book also gives directions, insights on the environment, terrain, creatures, and plants to watch out for. There’s more. Perez, also chairing the environmentalist Nature Movement (Philippines) Inc., cautions: “What is worth showing and showcasing is worth protecting and preserving.”

In travelogue format, he makes use of numbered thumbnail photographs to present the exact locations of 20 interesting spots in mainland Caramoan and another 12 spots in an island named “Lahuy,” all plotted on maps of the peninsula.

In these unique spots along the coast on the northern side are islets of limestone, granite and volcanic rocks strewn along the bay adjacent to the Philippine Sea— all of them comparable to famous sites in Palawan and Phuket, Thailand.

Isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur’s towns and connected only by sea lanes during the wet season, Caramoan is relatively unexploited by commercial tourism.

“This picture book makes no pretensions at being perfect. Neither is it complete or authoritative,” says Perez in his foreword. But it is an invitation to come and see Caramoan’s surprises for yourself.

By Juan Escandor Jr.
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 11:26:00 04/13/2007