Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 1 – Driving along Laguna-Quezon Area)


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.

Due to the proximity of SM San Pablo to most of the Laguna and Batangas towns, signs pointing to its direction have proliferated along the highway. It's really hard to miss since it's just located along the Maharlika Highway and is one of the causes of heavy traffic in San Pablo City.

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).

Between Lucena City and Paranaque City, you will pass by the following cities and towns (this is in order from Paranaque City):

SM San Pablo is located along the Maharlika highway and can cause huge traffic jam during peak hours.

Candelaria Town Hall, Laguna



Welcome arch of Alaminos, Laguna, if one is coming from the north. Unfortunately, it's partly covered by SM's sales ad.

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.

A parked pick-up along the Maharlika highway. One of the major causes of traffic accident in the area.

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).

Note: Between these 2 towns, one will find the Quezon National Park. You have to

Forested and winding road of Quezon National Park.

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

Collette's buko pie is a popular souvenir from Laguna. You can find several of its stores along the Maharlika highway going to Quezon.

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.

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7 Responses to Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 1 – Driving along Laguna-Quezon Area)

  1. Pingback: Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 2 – Driving along Quirino Highway) | Sorsogon City

  2. Pingback: Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 4 – Driving along Sorsogon Area) | Sorsogon City

  3. Pingback: Driving from Manila to Sorsogon (Part 3 – Driving along Bicol Area) | Sorsogon City

  4. Pingback: First Taste of a Virgin Beach at Lukang Island, Pagbilao, Quezon | Stories of My Wandering Feet (& Mind)

  5. WiL says:

    Sir, I’m planning on driving from Taguig to Legazpi. This will be my first road trip to Bicol. What route do you suggest I take? I will leave here Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at around 2 AM or 3 AM. What towns/road should I pass? I’ll drop by National Bookstore later to buy a map. Thanks in advance! I have portable internet but I’m not sure if all towns have signal for me to use google map :).

    • sorsogoncity says:

      Hi Wil,

      On this 4-part series, I mentioned all the towns that you have to pass. Yes, if you can get hold of a map that’s helpful. I do use my mobile internet and Google Map works just fine even in the remote area, as long as you have a signal, of course.

      Travel safe!

      Sorsogon City

  6. Pingback: Tips for Travelers Going to Sorsogon – Semana Santa 2015 | Sorsogon City

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