Congress Declares Camarines Norte as Bicol's Surfing Capital

It hopes to boost tourism in Daet.

(SPOT.ph) It’s no secret that the Philippines is home to a number of surf spots that even surfers from around the world can't wait to ride. In Bicol Region alone, we have at least three: Puraran Beach in Baras, Catanduanes; Buenavista Beach in Gubat, Sorsogon; and Bagasbas Beach in Daet, Camarines Norte, with the latter being one of the first surf tourism destinations in the country. It's no wonder that a bill was filed "to declare the province of Camarines Norte as the Surfing Capital in the Bicol Region." House Bill 7049 was submitted by Rep. Marisol Panotes in January, but it wasn't until December 20 that the bill was approved by the House Committee on Tourism.

PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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Unlike most surf towns in Luzon, the small barangay was able to maintain its countryside charm. Its boulevard lined with small restaurants has a good distance from the shore. It is a good 15-minute tricycle ride from the center of the municipality, which somehow isolates the spot. This makes Bagasbas' three-kilometer stretch of fine gray sand a piece of peaceful paradise.

PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
The first leg of the first-ever Bicol Surf Jam, the country's only regional surf circuit competition, was held in Bagasbas Beach in 2015.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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"The realization of the noble objective of this bill will certainly help develop not only [Barangay Bagasbas] but the entire province of Camarines Norte due to the possible influx of surfers that will greatly contribute to further growth of tourism in the Bicol Region," the bill continued.

Mocha Vargas from Daet zips through a double overhead (Bicol Surf Jam 2015) 
PHOTO BY Renato Jao
Elvis Legaspi from Catanduanes tries out the waves in Daet (Bicol Surf Jam 2015)
PHOTO BY Renato Jao
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Should the "Camarines Norte Surfing Capital of the Bicol Region Act" move swiftly in the Upper House, it will mandate the Department of Tourism, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and other government agencies to prepare a tourism development plan. This implementation includes construction and maintenance of facilities and infrastructure to ensure accessibility and security.

How to get there: Bus lines like DLTB, Philtranco, and Superlines have trips to Daet daily. Travel takes 10 hours. Alternatively, you can book a flight to Naga in Camarines Sur and travel by van or bus to Daet for two hours.

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