Thursday, May 08, 2014

Sorsogon: Bulusan Lake & Volcano, Barcelona Church & heritage houses in Juban

Sorsogon Provincial Capitol
If you're looking for something else to do in Sorsogon after whale watching in Donsol, drive down south! The province has a few interesting sites south of Donsol, particularly in the towns of Barcelona, Bulusan, Juban and Matnog.

The capital of the province is also named Sorsogon. Sorsogon City is actually two towns that were merged when the city was created: Sorsogon and Bacon. Drop by the Sorsogon Provincial Capitol which has a really elegant park with centuries-old trees still standing. Taste seems to be a missing element among many local governments. But Sorsogon proves that it still exists.

Barcelona Church, Sorsorgon
A few kilometers from Sorsogon City is the town of Barcelona. The Barcelona Church is the best preserved Spanish colonial church in the province. But the altar has been altered. In front of the church are ruins of the Old Barcelona Presidencia. We noticed construction going on beside the ruins of large letters which spell "Barcelona, Sorsogon." By now, it should be finished and I'm sure this will be a popular photo spot for visitors.

Bulusan Lake, Sorsogon
Further down is the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park where Lake Bulusan is located. The lake, on the southern slope of Bulusan Volcano, is quite small at 28 hectares. There are facilities for rowing and kayaking. You can also walk around the shore which is a little over two kilometers, or hike up to Bulusan Volcano.

The town of Bulusan used to have a fortress church. The church is no longer there. But the walls and belfry, which must have doubled as a watchtower against Moro pirates, are still standing.

Bulusan Volcano, Sorsogon
Bulusan Volcano towers over the towns in the southern end of Sorsogon. We got a really nice view of the volcano from Irosin Church.

Grajo Heritage House, Juban, Sorsogon
On the way back to Sorsogon City, we passed by Juban which has five elegant heritage houses namely Alindogan, Alindogan-Gorospe, Grajo, Lasala, and Olondriz.

Anyway, you can visit all of these sites in a day. At the southern end of Sorosogon is Matnog, the jump-off point for Samar. The town has the best beaches in the province, particularly Subic Beach on Calintaan Island. That's my next target.

Here's something for you. Saw this quite a lot around Sorsogon. How many people are in this tricycle?
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