The Bicol region’s allure is more than just its spicy food and the Mayon Volcano.From ridges to reefs, summits to seas, the province of Sorsogon has an array of attractions that best cater the dynamic topography of the region.
To kick-start your wanderlust this 2018, we dare you to visit these six destinations when you’re a nature lover in Sorsogon.
Located in the heart of Bulusan Volcano Natural Park, the crater lake has such a quiet charm to it that you’d think you’ve been transported into another world. The water, placid and a glittering emerald, serves as a mirror for the thick forest that circle it. It lies at the foot of the active Bulusan Volcano and is home to many endemic species of freshwater fish. Jade Vine, a sought-after flower that can only be found in the Philippines, also blooms here. There is an entrance fee of P15 per person so one can get to enjoy kayaking, boating and trekking through the many forest trails in the park.
One of the Scattered islands that dot the Sorsogon Bay is the Malawamawan Island (also spelled Malaumauan). This uninhabited island shaped like a tadpole boasts a stretch of pristine beach with chalky, ochre sands. The whole island can be explored in a single day and there’s a lot to see here. Aside from its pristine waters, migratory birds frequent the area so prepare for a bird show come dusk. Since people have yet to discover this destination, there’s a great chance you wouldn’t have to battle for space. To reach the island, head over to the port in the village of Macalaya in Castilla, Sorsogon. Boats can be chartered for P500 for a two-way trip.
Nasipit River is one of the newest ecotourism destinations in the province of Sorsogon. Located in the town of Castilla, this tributary is part of the larger Dulangan-Nasipit-Pili estuary. This waterway runs along three villages: Poblacion, Libtong and San Isidro. It features a ribbon of cerulean for its waters, rich and teeming with the local shellfish called kunaw. Swarms of fireflies also frequent the mangroves that flank its banks—a sign of how pristine the place is. The outline of the Bulusan Volcano can also be seen in the distance. Cruising aboard a floating hut can be done here, as well as feasting on fresh sea hauls prepared by the locals.
Another one of Bacon’s contributions to Sorsogon’s horde of natural attractions is Mount Pulog (not to be confused with Mount Pulag). This hiking destination is part of Bicol’s Pocdol volcanic mountain range. It looms above all of Bacon (pronounced buh-kuhn), with the Pacific Ocean on one side. Its trail is barely touched, thick and overgrown with vegetation. The trees here are tall and various animal sounds can be heard along the trail. On its summit is a crater called danum by the locals. During the rainy season, danum gets filled with water. The locals believe that if the crater overflows, all of Bacon will be submerged. It takes about six hours to complete the backtrail of Mount Pulog. The trail head is at the upland village of Sta. Cruz.
A beautiful beach surrounded by pebbly, cream sands and crystalline waters lays nestled in the charming town of Bacon. Located in the village of Sawangga, the beach-cum-island offers a somewhat raw experience because of its almost bare shores. Cottages with thatched roof line are there, yes, but there are limited options for lodgings. Most opt for bringing a tent and camping under the stars. As for the “island,” it actually is lagoon rimmed with limestone formations set a few meters from the shores. Here, you can swim with colorful fish and do some cliff-diving. On a clear day, you get to stand on a sand bar that connects the lagoon to the beach. You might even get to see the Mayon Volcano in the background.
San Mateo hot and cold springs
Popular among both tourists and locals for its rumored healing waters, the springs of Irosin are fed by the active Bulusan Volcano. Since the waters are sulfuric, the place smells a bit like rotten eggs. But once you get in, you’d immediately forget about the odor and feel your ails flow away. The fact that these springs are nestled within a forest also doesn’t hurt. An entrance fee of P35 per head is collected to gain access to the springs. Cottages, bathrooms and changing rooms, a canteen and grilling stations are also available in the premises.
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