There is more to see and do in Sorsogon beyond which it was famous for – “place where the largest fish comes.” Sorsogon has bountiful agricultural lands and serene coastlines which make it a great place for nature lovers. It is also home to Mt. Bulusan, the 5th most active volcano in the Philippines.
Sorsogon is also the number one producer of Pili Nuts that are high in fiber and Vitamin C.
Hope you’ll appreciate this reasonable guide I did to exploring the eco-tourism destination you shouldn’t miss.
The Bulusan Lake lies at the heart of the Bulusan Volcano National Park which covers a land area of 3,673 hectares.
It is sometimes dubbed as the “Switzerland of the Orient” for its picturesque view of tranquil waters with lush forests, the mountains as the backdrop and, of course, it’s accompanied by a cool breeze. Just because it is dubbed as such, please don’t expect alpine meadows, pine forests, or ice caps.
During our visit, I learned that the Bulusan Volcano National Park has (3) Main Peaks which are the following:
Bulusan Volcano (the highest among the three)
It also has three lakes which are the following:
Black Bird’s Lake
It is currently supported by organizations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bantay Kalikasan and Oxford University because of it has become home to endemic species of fish, birds, mammals, plants and flowers. Most importantly, Bulusan has a rich eco-system making it one of the top eco-tourism destinations in the Philippines.
The said organizations have also helped in measuring the age of the lake which is 2, 200 years as well as its depth which is 22 to 26 meters. As Bulusan Lake is the most accessible, there are different activities for everyone to enjoy.
We did a soft trekking in the lake’s established trail to see various unique species of flora and even ancient trees. Make sure to have a guide with you when you do this. Not only are you kept safe but you also support the locals.
We saw a canopy walkway that is set to be completed by next year so we still couldn’t set foot on it.
At the end of the trekking path, we rode a long boat not only to return to the entrance but also to explore the lake in a different way.
Riding the long boat is simply PhP 100 (or 2.06 USD) per person for thirty (30) min. or PhP 600 (or 12.37 USD) which includes boatmen to do the rowing for you.
If the long boat experience is still not enough, they also rent kayaks good for thirty (30) min. It’s PhP 50 (or 1.03 USD) per head for students and PhP 100 (or 2.06 USD) per head for adults.
I preferred savoring the gorgeous view and watching everyone from afar enjoy the pristine green waters. By the way, on our visit, the Mt. Bulusan had minor eruptions. It was then on alert level 1 so activities within the 4-kilometer radius were ceased.
I honestly never knew that we have a town named Barcelona in the Philippines.
The town got its name from homesick Spaniards who called it such for the similarity of the place’s topography to Barcelona, Spain.
The Barcelona Fort Ruins is good for a quick visit. It is actually the stone ruins of a Spanish fort. There is also a lighthouse that guides fishermen at night but I no longer took a photo of it as it was already a modern lighthouse.
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The fort served as an observatory against incoming enemies during the 19th-century Spanish period. According to the locals, beaten egg whites mixed with the native coconut wine and lime were used as an adhesive for the construction. Meanwhile, the slabs of stones were sourced from the sea and were stacked on top of each other to create the huge walls.
On the front side of the Fort Ruins, when you walk a bit further, you’ll see the St. Joseph Church, also known as Barcelona Church, which is the older church in Bicol region. I sadly wasn’t able to take a photo of it anymore since I felt sleepy and it suddenly rained for your reference.
Just to give you an idea, the Barcelona Church’s facade is still original and the church features a huge baroque-style dome-like structure. The walls of the church are interestingly made of coral rocks without cement or steel bars.
On the back side, it leads to a bay walk where the sea can be viewed.
That seems to be a lovely place to stroll in. Don’t you think so?
BARCELONA FORT RUINS
Entrance Fee: None because it’s FREE Location: Barcelona, Sorsogon
*Note: I’ll definitely add Donsol Whale Shark as a must-do activity here once I’ve done it sometime in the future.
Where and What to Eat
Where to Stay
Nestled in a coconut plantation, Siama Hotel is a haven for those who want to unplug from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Disclosure: This trip was generously sponsored by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Philippines as part of the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Bicol Express Familiarization Trip. Rest assured all photos were taken by me. Plus, everything I wrote is of my own opinion and insights except for the pertinent information related to an attraction or establishment.
Me-An a.k.a. Cream is a former corporate lady who quit so she can continue doing her passions which are traveling, blogging and managing a business. Plain as she may be, she can get quite interesting because of her prior numerous travel experiences and eagerness to go on trips from time to time. All that thanks to her generous dad and wanderlust mom. Being a well-traveled person, It is her desire for her other half, Yogo, to be able to visit where she has been to and be able to explore new places along with experiencing once in a lifetime adventures.