Sorsogon: The Land of the Whale Sharks
Sorsogon City, Sorsogon Province's capital, is situated on the southern end of the island of Luzon. Those travelling by sea from the Visayan Islands to Luzon will have to pass by Sorsogon in order to gain access to other popular locations. The city is quite populated and is one of the leading urban cities in the region.
Sorsogon City Weather
There is really no distinct dry season in Sorsogon City since you'll generally have rain throughout the entire year. However, visitors should take note that some months will have fewer rains than others will. The months beginning from November until January will have more rain and the months from April to May will have far fewer rains than any other months of the year. March to May is often considered summer, however is only marked by less rainfall.
A Brief Brush with Sorsogon City History
The name of the place was once spelled as 'Solsogon' if you look at old Spanish maps. The name literally means 'to trace a river upstream'. The name of Sorsogon City has been spelled differently in various occasions during its history. The Spanish explorers got lost upon the discovery of the territory until they reached what is now called Sorsogon Bay. They asked the locals the name of the place and the locals mistook the question as asking for directions. Thus they were told 'sorsogon' or 'solsogon', which meant trace your way following the river upstream, which eventually became the name of the town.
The city was overrun by Japanese Imperial Forces in 1942 but was liberated in 1945. Sorsogon officially became a city under the Philippine Republic on August 16, 2000.
Things to See and Do
Perhaps every traveler to Sorsogon City will have heard of whale shark diving when they hear the name of the city. The place to go whale shark diving is in the nearby town of Donsol, which has been dubbed as a whale shark capital. Locally known as butanding, these gentle whale sharks can be seen from October to December as they come to feed on krill and plankton. The town of Donsol is only around a half-hour drive from the city.
Another reason for visiting Sorsogon is its fine exquisite beaches. All you have to do once you're there is to ask for directions to the Bacon District. One interesting place for an escapade is in Paguriran Island where you'll find white sand beaches. The Bulusan Mountain Lake Resort is another ecotourism destination for nature lovers. Other places where you can have fun in tropical waters are Rizal Beach Resort and the Libanon Beach Resort.
Sorsogon City's Lodgings and Accommodations
You'll mostly find mid-range and budget class accommodations in Sorsogon City. Rates may vary slightly from one inn or hotel from another but they generally fall within the same bracket in spite of the differences. Rates here start around $25 and can go out as much as $50 to $100 during peak seasons. The amenities will also vary depending on the resort or hotel you choose to stay in Sorsogon. A deluxe room will usually have air conditioning, cable TV, hot and cold water, living room area, and a phone.
Some hotels and resorts of note are Fernandos Hotel along N. Pareja Street, Dalisay Lodge on VL Peralta Street, La Vista Resort, Tolong Gapo Beach Resort, and Padaraw Beach Resort. Traveling in and around and locating these lodgings in Sorsogon City will be easy since these resorts and hotels are easily accessible.
Dining Options in Sorsogon City
Most of the places to eat here in Sorsogon are fastfood restaurants though there will be food stalls that offer the local cuisine. Local fastfood restaurants that you'll find here are Jollibee, Quick and Hearty, Jane's Fastfood, and Graceland, which serves some local dishes. Some restaurants you will find here are Casa Dominga, Kalundan Restaurant, Acacia Grill, and Dahon Saging Restaurant, which serve the best of the region's dishes.
A trip to Sorsogon City will mostly bring you to a close encounter with the butanding. Others visit the place not only for the exotic wildlife but also for a fine time under the tropical sun.
As one of the main provinces in the entire Bicol Region, Sorsogon is one of the rising tourist spots in the Philippines today. Situated next to the province of Albay, this one has assigned Sorsogon City as its capital. Additionally, this place is known to be adjacent to pristine marine habitats such as San Bernardino Strait and Bicol Peninsula. Basically, this place has a total of 14 municipalities under its jurisdiction, with a couple of congressional districts and 541 barangays.
Known as the ‘Land of Kasanggayahan,’ which is basically an agriculturally related word, the people at this place are naturally fun-loving and can be described as very religious. One of the major facts that can attest to the deep religiosity of its people is the streets, which are named after various patron saints. An annual fiesta honoring some of these saints is the biggest religious event celebrated devotedly and passionately by its people.
Meanwhile, two of the most anticipated and highly celebrated events in the province are Kasanggayahan Festival and Pili Festival. At Kasanggayahan Festival, local residents organize several botanical shows and other painting events. Furthermore, musical and dance concerts, as well as carnivals are organized as well to create a festive mood and keep everyone entertained. On the flip side, Pili Festival tries to promote one of the province’s local products, which is the pili nut. To highlight the product, local residents wear costumes made out of pili nuts. At the same time, they would dance joyously all over the city as the fireworks explode from above. Meanwhile, cooking contests are held as well, involving various dishes and delicacies that use pili as a key ingredient.
In the municipality of Bulan, Padaraw Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. This event is in honor of the local fishermen, who tirelessly work for the welfare of their families. In the meantime, the municipality of Irosin holds an annual event called Hin-ay Festival. Beauty contests, food fests, and agricultural trade fairs mark the festivities in this very special occasion.
When tourists and guests are staying at the province of Sorsogon, they can also witness and participate in the other festivities and activities within Bicol Region. At Mount Bulusan, they can spend countless hours trekking, plus enjoy the beautiful scenery provided by the mineral water spas and hot springs surrounding the area. Ultimately, they can also enjoy some adventurous island-hopping, covering nice places such as Santa Magdalena, Barcelona, and Prieto-Diaz. Lastly, they can also try attending Sorsogon AgroForestry Eco-Tour as well as Kasanggayahan Heritage Tour.