Sorsogon is one of the exciting destinations in the Bicol region. It has beaches, historical places and even hot spring! You just have to plan your travel really well to explore these sites.
But no need to worry because I’ll show you how were able to explore Sorsogon in two days. We did this travel last August 2016 when I joined a group travel and met some new friends. We started the trip by traveling to the farthest part of Bicol, at the tip of Luzon. This is the town of Matnog where the port is located for travelers going to Samar and the rest of Visayas and Mindanao. It would be better to rent a van for this travel to cover all destinations in two days. If you want to go DIY, you need at least 3 days or more.
So you get the strategy for this travel? Travel to the farthest part first then back, until reaching Albay then go back to Manila. Let’s start.
DAY 1 : Islands of Matnog, Sorsogon
We traveled like about 14 hours from Manila to Matnog. It was one of the longest land travel I did recently. It was about 2PM when we arrived in Matnog and went straight our boatmen’s house (Contact Alex 09183045437) to prepare for the island hopping.
Matnog is blessed with tiny islands off its coast that are worthy to discover with its pristine beaches. Our first stop is the island of Tikling.
The name of this island comes from a kind of bird which is also named Tikling. These birds abound on the island. But the one that is noticeable once we arrived is its pinking white sand. It’s something different from the usual white sand beach that we all love.
Being a privately owned island, there’s no resort there yet. We only met one family living there as caretakers. Going back to the other side of the island are small and huge rock formations. This is definitely a must when you explore Matnog. 🙂
Juag Marine Sanctuary
A few more minutes of travel from Tikling we arrived at the inner parts of the smaller islands and found a small lagoon. There’s a small house which turned out to be owned by our guide. Her father was the one who started the marine sanctuary.
You can find a lot of fishes there in different colors and sizes. We were lucky to have a chance to swim with these fishes. Woohoo! Juag Marine Sanctuary is a way to preserve and propagate different species of fishes.
It was already late afternoon when we arrived at Subic Beach. Not Subic Olongapo, okay? Hahaha!
Now Subic is not exclusive to the popular Export Processing Zone and port, because in Sorsogon, there is also what they call Subic that can surely give you your much needed peaceful summer getaway.
We spent the night there by camping on the beach. But the best part was the dinner and also the drinking session with new travel friends. And did I mention that this also has a pinkish white sand? Exciting right? Is that enough reason for you to explore Sorsogon? If not, then I’ll go on and tell our travel stories on the next day.
It was such a nice experience waking up to the stunning beach of Subic, but we need to leave the island to explore more exciting places of Sorsogon. We were back at the mainland to explore more of the province. [READ: Subic Beach: The Wonder of Matnog, Sorsogon]
Day 2 : More Tourist Spots from the mainland Sorsogon
San Benon Hot Spring in Irosin
Located in Irosin, Sorsogon, San Benon Hot Spring was just perfect for us. After a day of island hopping, the hot spring was enough for us to have our much needed relaxation.
This is located at the foot of an active volcano which explains about the hot temperature of the water there. The pool was soothing, relaxing your tired muscle (and fats hahaha). [READ: Irosin, Sorsogon: A Walk to the Hilltop Church]
After being recharged and revitalized by the hot spring, we were treated by another exciting nature tripping on our next location.
[READ: Bulusan Lake in Sorsogon ]
Bulusan Lake in the town of Bulusan is one of those peaceful body of water. It’s so peaceful that you’ll feel something mystical about it, especially when I tried kayaking and I’m in the middle of the lake. The feeling was extraordinary. I don’t know if that’s what they call connection with nature. Every destination has a different effect on every traveler, but for someone like me who always ponder on my thoughts and think deeply, Bulusan Lake is something special.
Barcelona Church and Ruins
It was time to learn more of our history by visiting the church and ruins of Barcelona, Sorsogon. If you are not that familiar with the province, I bet you’ll be surprised to know that not only Spain has Barcelona. Hahaha! Philippines also has one.
Barcelona Ruins is the first site I noticed when I got out of the van. After talking to some Tourism Officers there, they told me that the early settlers of Barcelona are the tribal communities of Danlog which were mostly hunters and fishermen.
In the early 1800’s Spaniards arrived and claimed the entire community. They later named the place “Barcelona” in honor of then Capital town of Spain which is Cataluna. They later constructed the church which is just across the Ruins Park, they call it St. Joseph Church which is now popularly known as Barcelona Church. This is one of the oldest churches in Bicol.
I had a chance to go inside the church and pray. Honestly, I had a very profound experience while praying inside this church. It was a time in my life when I was still deeply grieving for the death of my father. I don’t now but after all that happened, I now look into churches in a different way. Before I used to just view as a new destination to explore and learn about its history, but now it’s a different case. Now, every church I visit, I always find myself praying, deeply praying.
Paguriran Island in Bacon, Sorsogon
So it was already late afternoon and we still have to visit one more spot in Sorsogon. And it turned out to be one of my favorites!
Paguriran island is just a few meters away off the coast that you can actually walk going there during low tide. We did that and once we arrived there, we were welcomed by a lagoon within the small island surrounding with lush green plants and trees and clear waters.
I once read somewhere that the lagoon when we viewed on top looks like a place where mystical creatures and mermaids live. Well, look at that!
I enjoyed swimming for a few minutes then decided to hike my way up on top of the highest point. It was a spectacular view of the lagoon and also by the Pacific Ocean to the other side. Wow! [READ: Paguriran Island and Lagoon: The Hidden Charm of Sorsogon]
So there you have it. This is just a sample itinerary or travel to Sorsogon. But one thing for sure, you’ll enjoy what Sorsogon has to offer. It’s now your chance to visit this wonderful province!
Note: Other destinations to explore in Sorsogon are Whale Shark Watching in Donsol, Surfing in Gubat and other attractions in Juban and Magallanes. If you have more time, there are also worthy to explore.