Inagurated by President Noynoy Aquino last May 2, 2012, the PAGASA-DOST Weather Radar Station in Barangay Buenavista, Municipality of Bato, Catanduanes is considered as one of the most advanced radar station in the world. It is the eighth radar station installed in the country at an estimated cost of 500 million pesos with fundings from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
It is part of the 1.7 billion peso JICA grant, which includes two other Doppler radar systems to be installed in Aparri, Cagayan, and Guiuan, Eastern Samar, next year.
This will surely help PAGASA in monitoring the weather in the Philippines. For the last 5 years, our country experiences 20 tropical cyclones every year. As part of the efforts to improve the Meteorological Radar Systems in the country, these weather stations aim to effectively reduce the casualties caused by tropical cyclones and other severe weather occurences passing the Philippine area of responsibility.
We were lucky to have visited it in March this year, while it is on its finishing stage. We were not able to get inside as we don't know who to ask permission to enter the radar station.
Nonetheless, we enjoyed this quick stopover as we were also afforded breathtaking view of the bay and islets as seen from the radar station.
For more photos, you could check out DOST's Science and Technology Information Institute's album here.
HOW TO GET TO CATANDUANES
By Air: Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Zest Air offer direct flights from Manila to Virac, the capital of Catanduanes. Travel time is about an hour.
By Land and Sea: From Manila, take a bus bound for Legaspi City which takes about 10-12 hours. From there, take a jeepeney to Tabaco City port and take a RORO to Virac. Ferry leaves at 6:30 AM in Tobaco City and 1:00 PM from Virac daily. Fare is about Php 220.00 per person.
HOW TO GET TO PAGASA-DOST Weather Radar Station
By Public Transportation: From Virac, take jeepney bound for Baras or Bato and ask the driver to drop you at the road leading to the Radar station in Brgy. Buenavista. It is about 2 km away from the hi-way. I didn't see any tricycle terminal there, so you have to walk uphill towards the radar station situated on top of a hill.
By Rented Vehicle: Due to the scarcity of transportation, I highly suggest that you rent a transportation in exploring the island. I recommend our driver, Kuya Chris Marasigan, you can contact him at 0929-1092780. The whole day tour includes Puraran Beach, PAGASA Weather Radar Station, Bato Church, Maribina Falls and Twin Rocks Resort. One day tour is at 2,500 pesos on his Isuzu Crosswind which could fit around 6-8 persons.
This is part of my Catanduanes-Caramoan trip that happened last March 24-26, 2012 with my friends Billy, Cris and Edmund. Catanduanes is the 57th province on my list and this trip is my 2nd time to visit Camarines Sur. We had an awesome time just hanging around and exploring the stunning sights of this island province in Bicol region. Join us as I continue my journey to visit all 80 provinces in the Philippines!
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