"Isla de Cobos" was Catanduanes' first adopted name. It was earned as such during the early part of 1573 when Spanish conquistadores came upon several tribes living in the thatched huts called cobos.
Catanduanes, is a hispanized term derived from the word tandu, a native beetle and the samdong tree, which were both found in abundance throughout the island. Common reference to "katanduan" or "kasamdongan", meaning a place where the tandu or the samdong tree thrives in abundance, led to the coining of the word Catanduanes.
The folk festivals celebrated as part of the local religious rituals are with unique traces of the Spanish colonization. Among these festivals are:
Kalbaryo or Calvary which is commonly staged during the Holy Week is a reenactment of the passion of Christ’s way of the cross.
Kagharong is a native depiction of the nativity scene is held every year during the yuletide season.
Pantomina is purely a native dance, popular on occasions of importance. It is a dance interpretation (pantomime) of a rooster courting a hen. Pantomina dance is mostly practice in rural areas.
Padadyao sa Tinampo is purely native cultural presentation of street dancing held every 24 October to commemorate the province‘s founding anniversary.
Sugbo Festival is a very recent addition to these traditional festivals. The notable contemporary event is celebrated by the seven barangays of Hitoma in Caramoran that produces sugbo or tiger grass - a bamboo like perennial grass used to make brooms. Celebrated every month of May coinciding with the Hitoma barangay fiesta, it is being institutionalized with the support of the provincial government, LGU of Caramoran and national line agencies to promote the commercial development of the local lasa or tiger grass industry and to create signature products from tiger grass.