Located at the southern tip of Luzon, the province is the gateway to the south of the of the Philippines via the town of Matnog where the ferry terminal is found.
Nature has showered the province with unexplored and pristine tourist attractions, boost by mountain lake cradled below Mt. Bulusan, rising at 2000 feet above sea level.
Awed by the wild vegetation around it, the succulent environment of the forest and the idyllic mixture of the wildlife’s enchanting aura, foreign tourist have compared it with the cool and enthralling country of Switzerland, naming it “Switzerland of the Orient.”
Sorsogon blessed with rich reserved of aquatic resources It is the major supplier of fish food all over the Bicol mainland. By twist of fate, an amazing discovery of grandest scale surfaced.
The world’s largest fish-whale shark (scientific name Rhicodon Typus) locally known as butanding shelters near the shores of the towns of Donsol and Pilar.
In 1570, Fathers Alonzo Jimenez and Juan Orta of the Augustinan Order led a group sent to explore the island of Luzon . Upon reaching its southern shores, they found a small fishing village at the mouth of Ginangra River in what is now Magallanes town. The village, called Gibalong by its residents, became the first Christian settlement in Luzon . Later, the friars called the whole Bicol region "Tierra de Ibalaong".
When the Spaniards had settled in Gibalong, they set out to further explore inland. Upon reaching a small river emptying into what is now Sorsogon Bay , they asked a native they met for the name of the place. The native, not understanding Spanish and thinking they were asking for directions, answered, "Solsogon" meaning "trace the river by going upstream". Through constant use, Solsogon became Sorsogon.
Sorsogon was established as a province on October 17, 1894 .
Bicolano on is the predominant dialect but because it is a gateway to the Visayas, their version is a unique mixture of Visayan and Bicol dialects.
Commerce and Industry
The fertile soil due to past volcanic eruptions and year-round rainfall make Sorsogon a major producer of abaca. It is said the province produces the best hemp in all of Bicol.Other crops widely grown are coconut and rice.The province also has a significant fishing industry as it is surrounded by rich fishing grounds.Raw materials abound for cottage industries.Deposits of sulphur, kaolin, limestone and coal are largely untapped.
Archaeological excavations in 1959 unearthed stone tool and burial jars in Bato. These are now in the National Museum in Manila . Golden crowns, believed to bre from 91 B.C. to 79 A.D were also found in Bukan and Juban.
Century-old towers or Baluartes remain in the towns of Sta. Magdalena, Bacon, Matnog, Casiguran, and Bulusan.
Irosin has a hilltop church and is situated in an ancient sunken crater.
Bulusan Volcano is a landmark especially to sailors approaching the San Bernardino Strait . It has two summits, the eastern one is the remains of a circular crater, the western, the still active peak. Its slopes form a 37 sq kilometers national park.
Bulusan Lake , at an elevation of 635 m, is at the hearth of the national park. It is a small, round crater lake surrounded by lush forest teeming with orchids, wildflowers and ferns.
In barangay San Roque is Masacrot spring, a man made pool with bubbling, cool, natural soda water.
On the other side of Mount Bulusan , in Barangay Mombon before Irosin, is San Benon spring, a newly developed resorts with a mixture of sulfuric, steaming, lukewarm and cool waters.
Irosin has Bulus Spring, with the coolest and cleanest water in the region, and Mapaso Spring, literally hot, whose water is belived to have curative effects.
Bacon, north of the capital, is famous for its Limestone Cave , which is actually three caves, two of which were once burial grounds as evidenced by human bones, beads and drinking cups made from shells found there.
Tulong-Gapo Beach , also in Bacon, has three naturally-formed stones in the sea which swimmers use for diving and resting.
Matnog, the southernmost town, is where the buses linking Manila with the Visayas and Mindanao make the ferry crossing to Samar . Bulan, on the west coast, is the ferry port for Masbate.
How to get there...
Bicol is served by three airlines: Philippine Airlines(PAL), the nation's flag carrier, Air Philippines and Asian Spirit. PAL flies to Legaspi City only; Air Philippines serves Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Masbate; and Asian Spirit flies to Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Masbate.
By Land Major bus companies offering accomodation ply the Manila to Bicol-Visayas-Mindanao route, passing through picturesque roads via the Pan-Philippine Highway. Terminals are located at Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Pedro Gil St., Manila and EDSA, Pasay City. Bicol is also served by the Philippine National Railway, the only railway in the country, plying daily from Manila up to Legaspi City,Albay.
By Sea Shipping lines offer regular trips to the region's major port of entry from Manila to the island-province of Masbate and to the province..