While this city may not be as popular as Legazpi in Albay, booking at a hotel in Sorsogon City is still a good option for most travelers. After all, it has its own fair share of attractions, from a popular baywalk to a hidden lagoon less than an hour away from the city center. With the amount of development this city has seen in past years, it’s definitely now more than just a stopover.
Sorsogon City was only formed in 2000 with the merger of two municipalities, Sorsogon and Bacon (pronounced Bah-kon, sadly not referring to food). Hence, it has the unique advantage of offering both a rapidly urbanizing city center and a laid-back, more rural side for those seeking some R&R. That’s one of the perks of being the largest city in the region in terms of land area, yet only being the third most populated.
With numerous bus and jeepney routes threading this city, Sorsogon City is also a great jump-off point for exploring the entire province.
The nearest airport to Sorsogon City is the Legazpi Airport, which has daily flights between Manila and Cebu. From the airport, simply ride a tricycle to the Legazpi Bus Terminal, and from there ride a bus to Sorsogon City. Shuttle vans may be also available at the airport.
Many bus companies operate trips to Sorsogon City from Manila, in particular their Cubao and Pasay bus terminals. These include DLTB, Isarog Line, and Philtranco. Estimated travel time from to Sorsogon is 12 hours, inclusive of stops.
Like most cities in the Philippines, a range of public transportation options are available in Sorsogon City. These include jeepneys, buses, and of course, the city’s unique tricycles. It is said that there are over a thousand tricycles operating in the city; this popular mode of transport can take you anywhere within the city limits.
As the political center of the province, Sorsogon City has its own fair share of landmarks. These include the Sorsogon Provincial Capitol Building, which was built during the American colonial period. Another is the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, with its majestic exterior and ornate interiors.
Last but not the least is the Sorsogon Baywalk, which is colloquially called the Rompeolas. Here you can hang out, eat at the many food kiosks, and admire Mt. Bulusan from a distance.
Other than checking out the various landmarks in the area, there are also a number of activities that you can do in Sorsogon City. You can start your day early with a run at the Rompeolas or join the locals in one of their aerobics classes. Then go kayaking in the same area in the afternoons—kayaks are free for use at the pier.
You can also hail a tricycle to explore the beaches in the Bacon district, especially the hidden Paguriran Lagoon in Brgy. Sawangga. This picturesque lagoon is the perfect spot to chill. The best part? It’s less than an hour away from the city.
If you’re looking for Filipino food, head on to Mango Grill or Casa Dominga, which are both mainstays in the area. Try ordering Casa Dominga’s baby back ribs as well—it is said to be the best in the city.
The city also offers a range of international cuisine. One popular spot is Leonardo’s on Burgos Street, which serves both Japanese and Italian dishes. Another is Una Pizzeria, found in an ancestral home and as the name suggests, offers many different kinds of pizza. A café culture is also emerging in the city, with popular coffeehouses such as Bookshack Café, Cafe Ysabelle, Gaftea Cafe, and Cafe Amore attracting a young and hip crowd.
Sorsogon City offers a number of accommodation options for all budgets. First is the luxurious Siama Hotel, which is found at the heart of a coconut plantation away from the city center. Meanwhile, those who want to stay closer to the urban side of Sorsogon City can stay at Fernandos Hotel, a family-friendly establishment open since 1994.
Those who are looking for a fun summer getaway can opt to book at Paradise Resort, which has its own swimming pool. And those who wish for a taste of the sea without leaving Sorsogon City can stay at Sirangan Beach Resort in Bacon, which has an infinity pool facing the shore.
Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, especially if you’re going for a DIY walking tour.
Go gaga over pili nuts. It’s one of the city’s biggest exports and for good reason: this delicious nut has a unique, nutty flavor when roasted.
Check bus or jeepney schedules before heading out at night. Since schedules change all the time, it’s best to ask if you’re riding the last trip before boarding. That way, you don’t end up stranded and unable to return to your hotel in Sorsogon City.