by Danny Tariman
Sorsogon was the second leg of our Bicol Road Trip. Our first stop was the Caramoan Islands where we had an exciting experience of the beach, the islands and the food.
Back on the Road
We left Caramoan at about 10:30 in the morning. We were ferried by the resort’s private boat to Sabang, reaching the port before 12. We immediately drove back to Maharlika Highway en-route to Legaspi where we plan to sleep for the night. Along the way we dropped by Bigg’s, a local fast food chain that offers not only the usual burger-pasta-chicken menu, but also Bicol dishes served in style.
We were nearing the town of Daraga in Albay when we saw this food stand selling local delicacies – baduya, kalingling, and a few others. Since I told my family that in our trips we will eat local food (part of tasting local culture), we stopped and ate our afternoon snack.
We finally arrived Legaspi for our evening rest at about 5:30pm. But before going for the rest, we went to the Mass as St Raphael Cathedral in downtown Legaspi.
Sorsogon Here We Come
We left our lodging in Legaspi City early at 7 in the morning. We were all excited as we were headed for Donsol, Sorsogon to interact with “butanding”, the giant whale-shark as called by locals. We reached Donsol tourism office at about 8:30. We saw the shark replica at the office. We also saw the vast sea in front. Unfortunately, we were advised by boatmen that it is off-season (it was mid-June) and chances of an encounter with the giant fish is very small.
Not willing to take the risk of spending for nothing (renting a boat with nothing to see), we decided to explore the Bulusan Lake/Volcano. And so we hit the road again, this time heading towards Bulusan.
Bulusan Lake & Volcano
We had a long drive, passing through Sorgoson City but did not enter the city proper and instead used the diversion road, and through the towns of Gubat and Barcelona, and finally reached the lake and volcano at about 11:30. We were a bit hungry by then and there was no decent food – except for instant noodles and canned goods. If you plan to go to Bulusan Lake, make sure to bring your food so you have something to fill your tummy while you enjoy the lake surroundings.
The lake is so serene with its color in perfect harmony with the surrounding tropical rain forest. There are some boat rides available for a minimal fee. And if you want to explore the lush forest, you can opt to trek assisted by a local tour guide. This is a very relaxing place, I would have taken a nap but the excitement is still boiling inside of me so I can’t sleep.
After about an hour stay and rest, we drove back. Along the way, we were captivated by this beautiful and pristine beach. I pulled our car to the side and checked the place. The rural, unspoiled charm of the beach was irresistible. And so we decided to stay for a while, have some swim, and enjoy the place.
We stayed until about 4pm and then we headed back to Legaspi. We passed by an old church which caught our attention again. We can’t let this pass, and so we had some photos taken. This trip is indeed full of surprises as there is not much blogs or articles on this route.
When we reach Sorsogon City, we saw this line of vendors along the highway near a sea shore selling an assortment of seafood. From fish to crabs, to shrimps, to shell fish. What caught our curiosity is this long fan-shaped shell fish – about 8 to 10 inches long. We would have again tasted a local delicacy but we don’t know how this is cooked. And so we passed an opportunity to have taste of a Sorsogon delicacy. Maybe next time.
This is the third day of our 5-day Bicol Road trip. Definitely a most enjoyable ride!
It’s fun to explore Sorsogon!