Tips for Travelers Going to Sorsogon – Semana Santa 2015

It’s summer time again and the most popular search for this site is about driving towards Sorsogon.

For everyone’s reference, these are the articles coming from Metro Manila via SLEX:

  1. Part 1 – Driving Along Laguna Quezon Area
  2. Part 2 – Driving Along Andaya (aka Quirino) Highway
  3. Part 3 – Driving Along Bicol Area
  4. Part 4 – Driving Along Sorsogon Area 

Or one can take the route via Tanay Rizal. The author advises the drivers to consider this route especially if you are going to be in Lucena area (on your way to Manila) around 4pm when the traffic starts to build up. Based on the author’s experience of driving, the traffic starts mid- or late afternoon ’til late evening during peak season.

Caltex Station in Gumaca offers a hotel, City Coast Hotel, a small store, and a wi-fi service. December 2014

Caltex Station in Gumaca offers a hotel, City Coast Hotel, a small store, and a wi-fi service. December 2014

For the techies, the author identified gas stations (outside Laguna area, of course) – Total in Lucena City and Caltex in Gumaca.

Or enjoy a hearty lunch at Lolo Ompo along the Maharlika Highway after Plaridel’s town

Lolo Ompo Restaurant along Maharlika HIghway, a couple of minutes away from Plaridel towards south.

Lolo Ompo Restaurant along Maharlika HIghway, a couple of minutes away from Plaridel towards south.

proper. It offers the usual lutong bahay and brown rice goes along with it. And if you get served with a cold viand, just put it under a steaming brown rice for a few minutes. Be careful during peak hours, it’s very difficult to park and getting off the parking slot; and vehicles coming thru are going very fast. In some cases, vehicles would park on the opposite side of the restos; not exactly a good idea during windy day and it’s high tide.

If one wants to make the best of the 12-hour trip, consider driving along the mountain road towards Quezon National Park in Atimonan. It has a government-owned stop that has a resto, restroom, cottages, and videoke. Try the resto for its bulalo. For those who are also dying to drink a freshly brewed coffee, one of the stores offer one.

Liempo being grilled for a waiting customer. It goes great with the brown rice. Inset: Choices of lutong bahay. Unfortunately, they don't heat it up when they serve it.

Liempo being grilled for a waiting customer. It goes great with the brown rice. Inset: Choices of lutong bahay. Unfortunately, they don’t heat it up when they serve it.

Looking for parking space when eating at Lolo Ompo is quite difficult during lunch time. Or one ends up along the sea wall.

Looking for parking space when eating at Lolo Ompo is quite difficult during lunch time. Or one ends up along the sea wall.

In Bicol area, we normally stop by at Bigg’s Pili. But I don’t suggest the Daraga branch. I was so disappointed last Dec’14, the taste was just horrible, as if I went to another fastfood.

Ingat tabi sa pagmaneho niyan na Semana Santa!!

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Looking for Baluko Suppliers

I got this messages from the site looking for suppliers:

  • Purchasing Wet (Yakimix) is looking for 100kg per day of baluko. His contact info: 851-0199
  • Sonny Sarte is looking for baluko supplies for his canteen as well

For Sonny Sarte, just email me, sorsogon@live.com, and I will course the message to him. Or just reply to the comments on the article about baluko.

Disclaimer: The website is not related to any of these entities and neither it will profit from this particular article.

Ginataang baluko, with some assistance from my mother-in-law, is now served.

Ginataang baluko, with some assistance from my mother-in-law, is now served.

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Quezon National Park – Atimonan, Quezon (Dec’14)

I am always fond of passing by the Quezon National Park on my way to Sorsogon and vice-versa. I guess I just love driving a winding road, and enjoying its fresh air (unless there’s a diesel-based vehicles infront of you). It also offer a government owned travelers’ stop, which offers enough parking slots for travelers.

Quezon National Park offers enough parking space for motorists.

Quezon National Park offers enough parking space for motorists.

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For those who have kids and haven’t seen a forest, this is a good experience for them. I haven’t tried the mountain trail opposite the stop. My daughter once climb thru the stairs, but didn’t stay for long.

One time, I let my daughter and my sister to pose for the picture. It seems part of the travelers' stop but is not maintained anymore. Still, a good place to enjoy the nature especially for kids.

One time, I let my daughter and my sister to pose for the picture. It seems part of the travelers’ stop but is not maintained anymore. Still, a good place to enjoy the nature especially for kids.

The traveler's stop at the mountain side offers several amenities, including a small resto. Inset: It even offers an outdoor wash area instead of going to the restrooms.

The traveler’s stop at the mountain side offers several amenities, including a small resto. Inset: It even offers an outdoor wash area instead of going to the restrooms.

For those who loves to eat, the resto in the traveler’s stop offers bulalo and other lutong bahay stuff. Even brewed coffee is available – one has to wait though since they only brew the coffee when one is buying. It has clean restrooms and I normally donate 10 to 20 pesos (this is a small price to pay for maintaining a clean restroom).

Quezon National Park offers clean restroom. The author encourages the guests to leave some donations.

Quezon National Park offers clean restroom. The author encourages the guests to leave some donations.

They don’t charge for the cottage formally, but you get embarrassed after using it because somebody cleans it up. I normally leave PHP100 and a separate one to the cleaning lady.

And don’t forget to bring a lot of coins – there are locales who beg for money along the road. Beware, PHP100 worth of coins can run out very fast on the 10-minute mountain drive.  I normally encourage my daughter to pick the old ones.

In my estimate, you don’t save a lot in travel time if you take the mountain road or the normal route. You get to lose more travel time because one tends to buy food or look around.

It’s all worthwhile.

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Starbucks City Mug

Took a picture of the city mug for Naga City in the Starbucks branch in Terminal 1. I like the design - Pili nut. I am proud to see Naga has its own city mug, coming from a city mug collector.

Took a picture of the city mug for Naga City in the Starbucks branch in Terminal 1. I like the design – Pili nut. I am proud to see Naga has its own city mug, coming from a city mug collector.

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P287-billion Manila-Sorsogon rail system ready by 2019

Tutuo na daw ini? Batit pa ako nababati ko na ini. 

PNR train crossing the Bicutan section.

PNR train crossing the Bicutan section.

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Retired Cop Gunned Down

CAMP GENERAL SIMEON OLA, Legazpi City – A retired police was shot to death yesterday morning by unidentified men in Bacon District, Sorsogon City.

Camp Salvador Escudero Sr., the provincial headquarters for the Philippine National Police. Back in the old days, it was known as Cuartel.

Camp Salvador Escudero Sr., the provincial headquarters for the Philippine National Police. Back in the old days, it was known as Cuartel.

Police report reaching the office of Chief Superintendent Victor P. Deona, Bicol police regional director, identified the victim as retired Senior Inspector Ongorio Coranes, of Barangay Balete, Bacon District, this city.

Malu Calubaquib, PRO 5 spokesperson, said Coranes was shot by three unidentified armed men in the backyard of his house at around 9:30 a.m.

The victim died on the spot from a gunshot wound in the head.

The armed men immediately fled onboard a motorcycle towards Sorsogon City after the killing.

Sorsogon police are conducting investigation to identify the suspects.

Original article is published at Tempo on February 13, 2015.

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Banking in Sorsogon City – Philippine National Bank

One of the original banks that remain standing up to this time - Philippine National Bank. I grew up going with my grandmother picking up her monthly pension cheques. Not until early 2000s that they added another branch along Magsaysay Street - the former location of Land Bank of the Philippines.

One of the original banks that remain standing up to this time – Philippine National Bank. I grew up going with my grandmother picking up her monthly pension cheques. Not until early 2000s that they added another branch along Magsaysay Street – the former location of Land Bank of the Philippines.

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