Located in Gubat, close to the turbulent San Bernardino Strait. Rizal Beach is long and sandy. An ideal place for boating, swimming and beachcombing.
According to our host, Rizal Beach is the only white beach in Bicol Mainland (or maybe one of the few, not including the beaches of Cantanduanes and Masbate). Anyway, it’s 5 minutes from their house. So after arriving in Sorsogon at about 8pm after a 13-hour or so travel from Manila, we headed to this Rizal beach for a night dip. The water is calm, truly enjoyable. Swimming is free but there are cottages and houses along the stretch for overnight stays.
The beach was crowded with people (lots of youngsters) on vacation. The water is clean and clear but sadly, not much fishes we saw when we tried snorkeling.
The time we were in Bicol was around Holy Week. There were lots of religious (Bicol is highly religious. Take note that it is one of the earliest Spanish settlements in the Philippines) activities going on then. Our host’s mother compelled us to join the Good Friday procession. Of course, it’s nothing alien to me as we have that in Manila also, so I joined. But I had no idea that the routes of the procession there is three times! longer there than in Manila. My feet were terribly aching though I was already wearing comfortable slip-ons. But in the end, I was glad I joined because it’s an altogether different experience again.
The reciting of rosary during the procession was broadcasted via their local radio station, cool eh?
We visited our host’s brother’s farm, a 45-minute drive from our lodging in Sorsogon. The farm is actually not a place where the crops produced are sold for business/profit, their house is located in the farm and they just enjoy the fruits of it.
WHAT WE DID IN THE FARM:
1. Feed the pigs.
2. Looked in the fish fond, lots of tilapia
3. Had fresh buko (coconut) juice and buko meat.
4. Picked pili nuts from the tall trees.
There are numerous centuries old churches in the Bicol region. I especially like the ones in Sorsogon, well-preserved and almost mysterious. Attending Mass in churches like these always give me a special feeling compared to when I say Mass in Manila. Of course faith has got nothing to do with the physical church itself. Just that an old structure hold so much story and history.
MASACROT NATURAL SPRINGS
From San Benon Springs on the way to Bulusan Lake, we dropped by Masacrot, (Bicol meaning, bitter). It is a naturally carved pool set amidst tree groves and botanical garden. There are huts and cottages for rent cheaply. The set up is suitable for youngsters or group of friends and maybe for lovers, too.
ENTRANCE FEE: P20 for swimming
P10 sightseeing only.
Since we just came from a 5-hour swimming stint in San Benon, we decided to just look around in Masacrot. So we paid for sightseeing only. However, upon seeing the pool, the kids decided they didn’t have enough swimming in San Benon, and since they’re still in their swimming wear, just headed on to the pool. We were not charged anymore for swimming.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
MATEO HOT SPRINGS
Sorsogon has numerous hot and cold natural springs. One of them is Mateo Hot Spring. Also known as San Benon Springs, it is a hot spring of Bulusan Volcano. There are about 4-5 pools, some are shallow enough for young kids to enjoy. The resort is kept clean. Cottages or huts can be rented out and grill area per hut is provided. Bringing and cooking of own food is allowed, but there are also food stalls around. My observation was this particular spring is suitable to family outing or gathering.
ENTRANCE FEE: P20/adult
- Water Sports
- Mountain Climbing
VIEW MAYON VOLCANO
LOCATION: Albay Province
ELEVATION: 8,077 feet
CHARACTERISTIC: perfectly cone-shaped
Mayon volcano is a beautifully symmetrical volcano with a steep upper slope of 35-40° and is capped by a small summit crater. Mayon eruptions produce lava flows, pyroclastic flows and mud flows which threaten populations at the base of the volcano. It is one of the 22 active Philippine volcanoes, making it an exciting mountain to climb.
We were not able to get any nearer to Mayon than when we were at the ruins of Cagsawa. But we had viewed it and photographed it many times along the way to and from Sorsogon.
- Mountain Climbing
- Road Trip
Lake Bulusan s located within the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park, (previously known as National Park). The area has been dubbed the “Switzerland of the Orient”. The lake is surrounded by secondary growth forest that is home to a number of bird and butterfly species. About 40 species of trees may be found there. You will notice that there are no rivers or streams that flow into the lake. It is the seepage from underground water surrounding the lake that supplies water to the lake. One may walk around the lake in 45-minutes.
I’ve heard that Bulusan Lake has interesting legends. This one I read from the internet: It is said that a village once stood where Bulusan Lake is currently located. The legend suggests that a pagan chieftain once managed the land, and one day when he did not honor a promise he made to set his slaves free, waters came from the skies and flooded everything creating the lake. His slaves that were working in the fields survived the floods and are believed to have been the founders of the city of Bulusan.%c
Entrance Fee is P10/per adult, kids as usual is free.
- Mountain Climbing
- Sailing and Boating