Sorsogon: Sauntering at the tip of the Bicol Peninsula

It feels great when you visit your relatives at least once a year to catch up with them. Our family used to go to Bicol every last week of May for the festivities at my father’s hometown. These recent years and due to pandemic, our plans were halted for more than 2 years to go to Sorsogon. As soon as restrictions were lifted, we sought revenge travel even only three of us. I missed Bicol so much that I spent one whole day visiting some towns and church-hopping around Mount Bulusan. Sorsogon is known as the ‘Land of Kasanggayahan’ or ‘A Life of Prosperity’. From its amazing tourists destinations to its heart-warming and friendly Sorsoganons, the province has a lot to offer.

Bicol, known formally as the Bicol Region or colloquially as Bicolandia (Central Bikol: Rehiyon kan Bikol; Rinconada Bikol: Rehiyon ka Bikol; Waray Sorsogon, Masbateño: Rehiyon san Bikol; Tagalog: Rehiyon ng Bikol), is an administrative region of the Philippines, designated as Region V. Bicol comprises six provinces, four on the Bicol Peninsula mainland (the southeastern end of Luzon) – AlbayCamarines NorteCamarines Sur, and Sorsogon – and the offshore island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate.
The regional center is Legazpi City and has one Independent Component City, the pilgrim city of Naga. The region is bounded by the Lamon Bay to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Sibuyan Sea and Ragay Gulf to the west. The northernmost provinces, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, are bordered to the west by the province of Quezon.
Sorsogon, officially the Province of Sorsogon (Bikol: Probinsya kan Sorsogon; Waray: Probinsya han Sorsogon; Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Sorsogon), is a province in the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. It is the southernmost province in Luzon and is subdivided into fourteen municipalities (towns) and one city. Its capital and largest city is Sorsogon City (formerly the towns of Sorsogon and Bacon) and borders the province of Albay to the north. Sorsogon is at the tip of the Bicol Peninsula and faces the island of Samar to the southeast across the San Bernardino Strait and Ticao Island to the southwest. Sorsoganons is how the people of Sorsogon call themselves.
My 9th Province!

Sorsogon seems underrated compared to its neighbors Albay and Camarines Sur, but it has its own collection of heritage churches and famous tourist spots. In this post, I’ll show some tourist destinations I visited in Sorsogon within that day. I’ll post here in my #project81 the articles related to each province. Presenting my sightseeing itinerary below with Municipality of Bulan as my start and end point, my father’s hometown:

My Sorsogon Travel Map doing clockwise loop. From Bulan to Sorsogon City, I rode a van and went back to Bulan from Irosin via jeepney.

SORSOGON PROVINCE HIGHLIGHTS:

Bulan
📍Bulan Presidencia
📍Bulan Municipal Hall
📍Immaculate Conception Parish Church
📍Sabang Park and Beach Resort for dine-in restos and other leisure activities
📍Bulan Freedom Park
📍Ilawod Beach Resort in Otavi

Sorsogon City
📍Sorsogon Provincial Museum and Heritage Center
📍Sorsogon Provincial Capitol and Park
📍Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral
📍Sorsogon City Hall
📍Sorsogon Sports Complex
📍Old Municipal Building
📍Sorsogon Rompeolas
📍Bread and Brew where you can buy Sorsogon souvenirs and other delicacies

Gubat
📍Gubat Heritage Center
📍Gubat Municipal Hall
📍St. Anthony De Padua Parish Church
📍Museo de San Antonio
📍Gubat Municipal Park

Barcelona
📍St. Joseph Parish Church marked as Important Cultural Property
📍Barcelona Ruins Park
📍Barcelona Town Hall
📍Barcelona Boulevard

Bulusan
📍Punta Diamante Fortress
📍St. James the Greater Parish
📍Bulusan Municipal Hall
📍Bulusan Volcano Natural Park
📍Zoe’s Resort & Eco-Adventure Park where Kambal Busay and Hidden Falls are located

Irosin
📍St. Michael Archangel Catholic Church
📍Irosin Municipal Hall
📍Rizal Park
📍View of Mount Bulusan at hilltop where Irosin church is located
📍Valley View

Sorsogon comprises 14 municipalities and 1 city, Sorsogon City.
Bicol International Airport (Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Bikol; Bikol: Pankinàban na Palayogan kan Bikol; IATA: DRP, ICAO: RPLK), also referred by some sources as Southern Luzon International Airport (Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Katimugang Luzon), is a major international airport in the Bicol Region, serving the vicinity of Legazpi, the capital city of Albay and the regional center of Bicol Region, in the Philippines. The airport still has the IATA code of the old Legazpi Airport, despite being located in nearby Daraga.
Dubbed as the Philippines’ “Most Scenic Gateway”, the airport is located in Daraga, an adjacent municipality of Legazpi.
Bulan, officially the Municipality of Bulan, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines. It is the most populated town in the province. Bulan has one of Bicol’s fastest growing economy and primed to be the next city of Sorsogon. Major exports of this town are from its coastal waters, agricultural lands produce rice, copra, abaca fiber. Most of the revenues come from the fishing port of Bulan and businesses. Its name means ‘moon’ in Bicolano and Visayan language.
Bulan Presidencia
One of the last remaining public buildings built in 1921 by renowned architect, Tomas Mapua, the Bulan Presidencia was funded by the then Bureau of Public Works during the U.S. Commonwealth period in the Philippines.
Now an Important Cultural Property, the Bulan Presidencia has withstood the test of time and was a mute witness to several milestones in the history of the country.
From its construction during the American colonial period, the Japanese Occupation, Martial Law, and the People Power Revolution, the Bulan Presidencia has proudly reached 100 this year.
Today, the Bulan Presidencia serves as a museum, tourism office, and library for the public to enjoy.
Sorsogon City, officially known as the City of Sorsogon (Waray Sorsogon: Syudad san Sorsogon; Central Bikol: Siyudad nin Sorsogon; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Sorsogon), is a 3rd class component city and capital of the province of Sorsogon, Philippines.
The component city was established on the year of 2000, from the merger of Bacon and Sorsogon municipalities. It serves a trans-shipment point from the Visayas and Mindanao provinces and is dubbed as the “Gateway to Southern Philippines”. Sorsogon City is one of the region’s leading cities in urbanization and the most promising city in terms of development.
Museo Sorsogon
A prominent structure in the province as the hub of the history and culture of Sorsogon. Curated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), with help from the Sorsogon Provincial Tourism, Culture and Arts Office, Museo Sorsogon tells the story of Sorsogon and its people. It is the old provincial jail repurposed as a heritage museum. This is one of the best provincial museums I’ve ever visited. I wish all provincial museums can be like this.
Sorsogon Rompeolas is also known as Sorsogon Pier. It is located at the Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon City.
Gubat, officially the Municipality of Gubat (Gubatnon: Bungto san Gubat; Waray: Bungto han Gubat, Tagalog: Bayan ng Gubat), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines.Gubat is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. The people who live here speak the Gubat language which is also a dialect of Waray-Waray of Eastern Visayas, a Southern Sorsoganon sub-language and they were called Gubatnons.
Barcelona, officially the Municipality of Barcelona (Waray Sorsogon: Bungto san Barcelona; Waray: Bungto han Barcelona, Tagalog: Bayan ng Barcelona), is a 5th class municipality in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines. 
It is bounded by Gubat in the north, Bulusan in the south, Casiguran in the west and Philippine Sea in the east.
The site of Barcelona was originally part of Gubat and Bulusan. The town’s name was known as Danlog, taken from the name of a local river. The change of name to Barcelona was recommended by a Spanish official who saw some similarities with Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). On April 16, 1886, it became a pueblo civil. Until 1868, it was part of the parish of St. James the Great of Bulusan. After 1868, it took St. Joseph as its patron saint and celebrates their town fiesta on May 19.
Bulusan, officially the Municipality of Bulusan (Waray Sorsogon: Bungto san Bulusan; Waray: Bungto han Bulusan, Tagalog: Bayan ng Bulusan), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines. It is bordered by the towns of Barcelona in the north and, going counterclockwise, the towns of Casiguran, Juban, Irosin and Santa Magdalena. The islets of San Bernardino, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) off the coast, fall under the jurisdiction of Bulusan.
Bulusan is home to the highest peak in Sorsogon, Mount Bulusan. This active volcano is the centerpiece of Bulusan Volcano Natural Park which covers a land area of 3,672 hectares. At the foot of the mountain is the equally popular Bulusan Lake, a scenic crater lake surrounded by a dense green forest and encircled by a concrete pathway. The lake is about 30 minutes drive through a paved winding road from the Bulusan town proper.
Kambal Busay Falls
(Malungoy-lungoy Falls in Google Maps)
Inside the eco-park are 3 natural waterfalls. The first two (Kambal Busay Falls and Hidden Falls) are a short trek away. Hulugan Falls is a 30-minute trek from the resort which we’re not able to visit.
This is one of the majestic waterfalls I’ve ever visited.🥰🇵🇭
#gayonsorsogon #ExcitingBicol #wheninbulusan #itsmorefuninthephilippines
Hidden Falls
#gayonsorsogon #ExcitingBicol #wheninbulusan #itsmorefuninthephilippines
Irosin, officially the Municipality of Irosin (Waray Sorsogon: Bungto san Irosin; Waray: Bungto han Irosin, Tagalog: Bayan ng Irosin), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines. Irosin has many potential tourist spots varying from natural parks, hot and cold springs, viewing areas and historical landmark. The famous tourism attractions in the municipality are the Mateo Hot and Cold Spring Resort, St. Michael Archangel Roman Catholic Hilltop Church and protected areas.
Irosin Presidencia
The construction of this structure started in 1888 in compliance with the requirement of the Consejo de Administration de Filipinas for an organized municipio and casa tribunal in a newly established pueblo. The building was attacked by members of NPA on April 10, 1989 and it was riddled with bullets but the damages it sustained have been subsequently and effectively repaired. A movie was later made about the siege entitled “Irosin, Pagputok ng Araw, Babaha ng Dugo” which starred Anthony Alonzo, Aga Muhlach, and Chat Silayan.

For detailed post on Sorsogon’s heritage churches, click below:

Visita Iglesia in Sorsogon

SORSOGON’S most famous produce
Canarium ovatum, the pili (Central Bikol and Filipino: pili), is a species of tropical tree belonging to the genus Canarium. It is one of approximately 600 species in the family Burseraceae. C. ovatum are native to the Philippines. They are commercially cultivated in the Philippines for their edible nuts and is believed to be indigenous to that country. The species is considered a flagship commodity of the Bicol region, the primary location of the pili nut trade. #pili #otop #delicacy #wheninsorsogoncity #GayonSorsogon #ExcitingBicol #itsmorefuninthephilippines
The pili nuts which are endemic in Bicol, according to connoisseurs, are of superior quality than the more popular almonds and macadamia nuts. Although pili tree is grown in other Bicol provinces, Sorsogon produces the best pili in terms of taste and texture. A pili tree can produce about a liter of elemi oil which fetches P6,000 per liter in the local market.
TIMITIM
Timitim is a local delicacy/pamahawon/merindalan of Gubat, Sorsogon. It is made of cassava (kamoteng kahoy) with coconut milk, topped with pili or corn with Cheese. Some toppings are salted egg and chocolate.
Made from extracting cassava or kamoteng kahoy in Filipino, according to one of the vendors, Grace Salvan, the delicacy’s name is derived from “patikim-tikim” (tasting) .
No one is quite sure how the tradition of timitim started in Gubat, but Salvan said a member of the Camara family introduced the delicacy in the 1970s.
Para siyang tikoy na pichi-pichi na sticky at malambot pero very light ang lasa.😋 Kaya kong ubusin sa isang upuan.🤣
#gayonsorsogon #ExcitingBicol #WhenInGubat #AnGubatNaAramKo #GoGubat #timitim #delicacy #itsmorefuninthephilippines
Abacá (Filipino: Abaka), binomial name Musa textilis, is a species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. The plant, also known as Manila hemp, has great economic importance, being harvested for its fiber, also called Manila hemp, extracted from the leaf-stems. Abacá is also the traditional source of lustrous fiber hand-loomed into various indigenous textiles in the Philippines like t’nalak, as well as colonial-era sheer luxury fabrics known as nipís. They are also the source of fibers for sinamáy, a loosely woven stiff material used for textiles as well as in traditional Philippine millinery.
Below are Bicol Abaca handbags bought at a shop in Bicol International Airport.🥰
#ExcitingBicol #buylocal #abaca #supportlocal
Salanigo is an indigenous weaving design of Gubat, Sorsogon. This native weave design usually found in “sawali” (woven bamboo) walls are incorporated in abaca slippers and bags making these Gubat town’s premier products.
Relief goods from Sorsogon! (n_n)

#MahalKongSorsogon 😁🏖️ (n_n)

 

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