Author’s Note: Around the time of 2011 Summer time, one of the most popular searched phrases is about traveling to Sorsogon. This 4-article series is to provide some insights to those who are interested to drive their own vehicles to the author’s beloved Sorsogon.
It depends where you are in Manila, but one can take Paranaque as a starting reference. From the author’s driving experience, without taking the SLEX-STAR toll way, it will take you 3-4 hours to Lucena during regular school days; worse if you pass by a town during start or end of school day or during lunch break. Thus, taking the said toll way will save you an hour or a bit less of travel time (the Calamba stretch of the Maharlika highway is a busy highway during early morning until late in the evening).
- Calamba, Laguna
- Santo Tomas, Batangas
- Alaminos, Laguna
- San Pablo City, Laguna
- Tiaong, Quezon – famous for its tourist spot, Villa Escudero.
- Candelaria, Quezon
- Sariaya, Quezon
This whole stretch is full of busy places since one passes by the town proper, except for San Pablo City. For example, one can experience a morning traffic that starts right before one enters Alaminos from Santo Tomas up to Tiaong! And beware of the 2-line highway, especially during at night.
Lucena City is the most appropriate stop, especially if you left your place around 4am, just in time for late breakfast in Jollibee (Lucena Bus Terminal, near Total gas station).
- Pagbilao, Quezon
- Atimonon, Quezon
Note: Between these 2 towns, one will find the Quezon National Park. You have to
take right turn to the diversion road going up the mountain. The diversion road is just a few kilometers down the road after the main road connecting the Bondoc Peninsula. It’s a 10-minute drive, if there’s no traffic on those extreme corners in the mountain. For new drivers, always take the instruction of the traffic volunteers in the park.
It takes 2 hours from Lucena City to Calauag City. The road between these 2 cities
can be from worst to best; sometimes it depends on the season – rainy season creates havoc to the highway, while the public works would try to repair the damaged highway portion right before or during summer.
Calauag City is the favorite stop for those taking the south road (a Bicolano reference to the southern direction when taking the Maharlika highway). It offers more than a couple of gas stations, which if I remember it right, never changed since the first time I took the bus. The fuel price in this area is normally 3 pesos more expensive than Metro Manila; after that, the it increases by a peso depending which part of Bicol are you in.
Approx. 18 kilometers away from Calauag, one can find the intersection going to Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte or to Tagkawayan, Quezon (via Quirino or Andaya Highway). Actually, the intersection is already part of Sta. Elena.
- Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 2 – Driving along Quirino Highway) (sorsogoncity.wordpress.com)
- Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 3 – Driving along Quirino Highway) (sorsogoncity.wordpress.com)
- Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 4 – Driving along Sorsogon Area) (sorsogoncity.wordpress.com)
- Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (DPWH Highway Markers) (sorsogoncity.wordpress.com)
- Beware of Parked Cars Along Maharlika Highway (sorsogoncity.wordpress.com)