Sorsogon Travel Guide/Map/Attractions
Sorsogon is not on everyone’s list of must-visit provinces. But you would be surprised that this no-so-familiar Province offers a lot of secrets to the passionate traveler. I’ve been to this province thrice and I hope I can offer an overview of things to do when visiting Sorsogon.
Sorsogon is part of the bigger Bicolandia Region or Region 5. It is the gateway of Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao because of the roll-on-roll-off service in Matnog.
Going to Sorsogon:
By bus: Buses are available in Pasay Bus Station and Cubao Bus Station. Travel time take 12-14 hours depending on the traffic. Take the AC bus as non-AC buses are slower.
By air: Major Airlines have daily flights to Legaspi City, Albay. From Legaspi City, you can take the van or buses that goes to Sorsogon, travel time more or less 2hours.
I prepared a tourist map guide for everyone wanting to visit Sorsogon
A little history first, Sorsogon came from the word “Solsogon” (you would notice that Bicolanos change “L” to “R,” Daraga from Dalaga, Mauran from Maulan, etc). Solsogon means “tracing the river by going upstream.” As many of Filipino name origins, it supposedly from a local who was asked by a Spaniard ‘what do you call this place?’ The local not understanding Spanish thought the foreigner was asking for direction. So it was named Solsogon and later became Sorsogon.
Robert Fox also did some archaeological excavations and found some burial jars, stone tools and some artifacts that dates back 91 B.C. to 79 A.D., most came from Juban and Bulan. I won’t be surprised as there are a river in these towns. When there is a river, there is civilization.
10 Sorsogon Tourist Attractions
Okay, before I bore you with history, here are 10 Tourist Attractions in Sorsogon Province.
10. Watch the Sorsogon Sunset at Donsol.
I love sunrise and sunset. Sunrise gives me hope and sunset reminds me to relax and enjoy the sight. The romance of sand and sea while the sun fades, it gives hues that are relaxing to the eyes. After a tiring day of biking and and whaleshark watching in Donsol, I sat down on my sarong to be awed by the beauty of the sun. If you are a sunrise person, Rizal Beach in Gubat offers a nice viewpoint too.
9. Pagugiran Island, Bacon District, Sorsogon City.
A proud Bicolano recounts her experience in Pagugiran island, “After checking out the mangroves at the other end of the beach and walking back to the resort, I saw people emerging from what looked like a islet with a rocky outcrop. Then it dawned on me this was actually the same islet with a beautiful lagoon inside that I had seen on the brochure before.”
8. Bayugin Falls, Bulusan.
The falls is easy to visit and you just have to ay Php5 for entrance. There is a shallow part below it where kids can swim. Its also amazing to get inside the waterfalls and be massaged by the falling waters. Bayugin Falls is a good sidetrip coming from Bulusan Lake.
7. San Benon Hospring, Irosin.
San Benon Hotspring is there because of the Bulusan Volcano. Its good that the government developed this spot for some local tourists. Families from the nearby towns visit the hot and cold spring to relax on weekends. I haven’t tried this yet but will surely visit next time.
6. Barcelona Church Complex, Barcelona.
Aren’t you surprised that we have a town named after one of the great cities of Spain? Barcelona is a historic town in Sorsogon named Barcelona by homesick Spaniards because it reminded them of home. When we went there I saw a ruined watchtower and an old building called “La Presidencia” which is actually the office of the “Governadocillo.” Meaning this town served a very important role during the Spanish rule. The watchtower actually served as protection during the Moro raids replete during the 18th and 19th century. There is a tunnel from the watchtower leading to the Church in case of retreat from the invading Muslims.
I saw that the church, St. Joseph Church, made of sea corrals and put together using lime and egg white is undergoing altar repairs. The original altar is being altered. Sigh.
5. Kayaking at Bulusan Lake, Bulusan.
At Php200 for some kayaking session? Why not? It was a refreshing sight to see the flourishing trees around the lake making the lake so green. I also saw a lawin flying over the lake to catch some fish. You will also notice the nets around the lake as some locals grow tilapia here.
4. Surfing at Rizal Beach, Gubat.
I’m a wannabe surfer and when I hear that there is a surf spot in an area, do count me in. I’m always on the look out of places where beginners like me can have a ride. We were lucky when we had a glimpse of swell while we were in Gubat last June. Local surfers say that surf season begins October and continues til May.
UPDATE: I went back to Gubat and guess what? There was a 3-day swell because of a low pressure area in the Pacific. Here’s one of my many rides:
So, let’s? I can’t control myself from saying STOKED. \m’
3. Beach Camp at Subic Beach, Matnog.
For beach lovers like me, the sight of a white sand beach and the thought that its secluded is a welcome sign me. I guess I really need to add this on my itinerary this year. Who wants to tag along? Camping-style only, dirt cheap travel.
Blog guide: Subic Beach and Tikling Island, Matnog by The Pinay Solo Backpacker
2. Hike Bulusan Volcano, Bulusan.
When I was asking Sir Gideon on what’s the most beautiful mountain he hiked, he mentioned to me Bulusan Volcano. Those words are very promising, coming from someone who hiked more than 100 mountains in the Philippines. In fact, the title of the Bulusan Album in his FB Fanpage is Bulusan: The Craddle of Beauty.
Blog guide: Bulusan Volcano Hiking Itinerary and Guide
1. Whaleshark Interaction, Donsol.
Here’s my short note of how heavenly the experience was, “For 10 solid minutes I was just there, peacefully swimming with the whaleshark. I don’t know how to compare the experience- but you could say that it was like __________ (fill the blank with anything you think is blissful, unbelievable and paradise).”
Blog guide: Close Encounter with the Whaleshark
If you are a Sorsogon local and knows a stunning destination that I forgot, please add to the list. Thanks in advance.
I stayed at Dancalan Beach Resort in Donsol, Hilton Lacsa Beach Resort in Gubat and Xandra Hotel in Legazpi City, Albay. Don’t ask me about the price.
Additional blogs for reference:
Pasyar sa Bicol: Things to do in Sorsogon Province by Azial Batanggala
10 Things to do in Sorsogon by Lakwatsera de Primera
Travel Guide: Sorsogon by Pinoy Adventurista
Hope this encourages you to visit Sorsogon one of these days. Plan now!