For a weekend escapade, Sorsogon is probably a less popular choice compared with Boracay or Bohol or other places in the country renowned for white beaches and luxurious vacations. However, Sorsogon would be THE CHOICE if you want to encounter the whale sharks. So I thought adventures in Sorsogon starts and ends in Donsol alone. But our recent trip to Sorsogon changed my whole perception of the province. Sorsogon has a lot more to offer than a short encounter with the whale sharks. And no, there are no mercenaries or men with bad intentions who would abduct you when you go on your own exploring the southern part of the province.
When we got promo fare tickets to Legazpi, we decided to maximize our time in the Bicol Region and give ourselves a chance to explore Sorsogon, too. We did not avail of any tour packages and just went around commuting our way to and fro.
We initially planned for whale sharks encounter in Donsol. But we put it off on the first day and head to Irosin and Bulusan. We settled our things first at Fernando’s Hotel in Sorsogon City, then commute our way to yet another town we’ve never been before.
On our way, I can’t help but be impressed with vast rice fields and rows and rows of coconut trees on both sides of the road. It was like a journey 30 years back when local communities were still young, fields were still green and mountains are still covered with thick green trees, no touch of harsh developments, nature and community in perfect harmony. And normal daily scenes include locals enjoying their little siesta under a tree or feeding their chickens and goats, or plowing their fields with their carabao, or drying their harvested palay—the simple laid-back lifestyle we miss and would love to go back to when city life gets too intoxicating.
The sky was gloomy when we reached Bulusan Lake. Bulusan Volcano is covered with thick, gray clouds thus disappearing in the background of the lake.
As much as we love to explore the waterfalls and take a relaxing dip to natural hotsprings near the area, it was already getting dark. So we called it a day and went back to the center of Irosin, spent 5 pesos for bread with home-made peanut butter spread, and took a passenger jeepney that would take us back to our hotel.
The next day, we still did not push through the whale shark encounter in Donsol and contacted a boatman in Matnog instead. Matnog is actually the southernmost part of the island Luzon. The ferry terminal here is the jump off point to the Visayas.
From the municipal building of Matnog, we met Kuya Lopito’s daughter in law. She accompanied us to the market to buy food and off we went with the friendly boatman who toured us around with pride for Sorsogon’s hidden gems. We didn’t really know what to expect with our itinerary for the day, but remembering now how it went, the butt-numbing trip (form Sorsogon City to Matnog) to the southernmost tip of Luzon is all worth it! Surprisingly worth it.
First stop: Tikling Island. It suddenly felt like summer time upon seeing the relaxing pristine blue waters of Tikling Island.
The beach is white. Some parts of the beach has fine powdery sand, while some parts are covered with pebbles, crushed corals and shells.
Our boatman accompanied us to the other side of the island where waves are crashing against big rocks. It is very cool to see how waves do high fives with the rocks. \m/
Fully charged with natural happy pill, we climbed one of those rock formations. If I could swim, I’d jump from this rock and do a splash. But no, I can’t and I won’t. The gigantic waves are just waiting to eat me alive and banish me to the ocean once I take a wrong move and slip.
Kuya Lopito’s brother lives in Tikling Island. We ate lunch with them by the beach. Oh, they have a wild boar! The wild boar was walking and sitting around just like a dog, waiting for us to throw some food. Kuya Lopito’s family here also gave us coconuts fresh from the tree for free. They’re the sweetest coconuts I’ve ever tasted. They said it is because the nearer the coconuts are to the beach, the sweeter its fruit becomes. I instantly believed so.
Next stop was Subic Beach in Calintaan Island. I’m from Subic, Zambales, but hey, their Subic Beach is THE OTHER SUBIC BEACH—the way better and way more gorgeous Subic Beach! It is actually a cove with fine powdery sand. It is popular for its pale pink sand—pink due to the presence of dead and pulverized pink corals in the area.
There’s a bigger Subic Beach nearby that gets touristy during summer time, but we preferred the smaller Subic Beach. There were no other tourists around during the time we were there. Waves here are calm, water is strangely cold, and you got lush green trees in the background—yeah, it’s my kind of beach. 🙂
We were no longer able to go for whale sharks encounter in Donsol the next day because we already head back to Legazpi to see the famous Lady of Albay, but we’re not disappointed at all. Exploring Sorsogon is a bliss! We’ll go back for the whale sharks maybe some other time, but I think the overwhelming pleasant surprises that the Southern part of Sorsogon offered us in this trip would suffice to hold still our itchy feet, for now at least. 🙂
On a side note, here’s a glimpse of the laid back city of Sorsogon: