[UPDATED] Bernardino Monreal (Sorsogon Governor – 1902 to 1908)

Bernardino Monreal of Casiguran is a physician by profession. He has the distinction of the first elected Provincial Governor of Sorsogon under the American Regime after Sorsogon had acquired its independence from Albay as a province. Among the major accomplishments of the late Bernardino was the construction of the Provincial High School concrete building. This was another tourist attraction here in Sorsogon before the Pacific War. In grateful acknowledgement of the varoius improvements introduced by Governor Monreal, one town in the island of Ticao was named after him. The province of Masbate then, including the island of Ticao, was part of Sorsogon province.

Is Bernardino Monreal in the picture? The author suspects that one of the persons in the picture is the late Governor Monreal. The picture is from http://opac.filipinaslibrary.org.ph/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=22004.

Source: p471, Philippines: A History of the Bikol Region, Jaime T. Malanyaon, AMS Press, 1991

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Jose P. Zurbito (Sorsogon Governor – 1917 to 1919)

Governor Jose Zurbito, who hailed from Masbate. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Jose Zurbito, who hailed from Masbate. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon

Among the Bikol Politicians, Jose Zurbito stands as one whose records could be considereed very outstanding. He was twice elected as Member of the Philippine Assembly: 1909-1912, and 1913-1916 of Sorsogon; 1916-1918, then Governor of Masbate; in 1919-1924, he became the Asst. Director of the Philippine Library and Museum. On his retirement from the government service he engaged in agriculture-farming and livestock which by his example people of both Sorsogon and Masbate learned the hard and successful ways of living in a region frequently ravaged by typhoons.

Zurbito was born in Masbate, Masbate on February 15, 1884 to Gaspar Zurbito and Josefa Cervantes. He was a lawyer and an agriculturist and belonged to the Nationalista Party.

Source:  p471, Philippines: A History of the Bikol Region, Jaime T. Malanyaon, AMS Press, 1991

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Why Sorsogon is today’s cool option


At least once in your life, as a Filipino, you should experience the sight of landing at Legazpi airport, Albay, and see the perfect cone that is Mayon volcano. It is a majestic picture—one you’ve seen so often in textbooks, postcards and other tourist stuff, but it’s quite different when you’re descending on it and it’s ascending before you.

That sight greeted us last Holy Week as we went for the second time to Siama Hotel in Sorsogon. Siama is a one-hour drive away from Legazpi airport.

So beautifully designed, with classy accommodations, good food, Siama makes a good base when you’re in Sorsogon. From there, you can see the sights of this very verdant destination and enjoy its beaches.

You’ve been to Bohol, Cebu, and your kids shoo you away from Boracay (especially if it’s “Laboracay”), so that makes Sorsogon a very attractive option for the rest of summer. It’s relatively unexplored and unexploited.

Thanks to our good friend, leading architect and designer (Movement 8 fame) Milo Naval, we first ventured out to Sorsogon about two years ago to see the boutique hotel Naval had conceptualized, designed and furnished, and which he and his lean and pretty wife Kat have been running.

Modern tropical

With less than 30 rooms, Siama has a modern tropical feel which has been lauded in features/shoots here in Lifestyle, Cocoon design magazine and other local and foreign glossies. Naval, after all, has won acclaim for his modern Filipino furniture and interior designs that have brought pride to the country in various showcases, from international exhibitions abroad to the Apec receptions last November.

At Siama, native materials such as rattan and abaca, and native wood, are cast in contemporary lines, creating a symmetry that is very clean and elegant—be it as rattan sliding doors or ottomans covered in solihiya pattern or in the butaka that greets the guests entering the lobby.

The lobby that also has the social and dining area has an open-plan design, like a tropical home should be—hardly no wall between the outdoor and the indoor. But just brace for the typhoon. And Sorsogon has its share of battering typhoons.

Home cooking

Although there’s an a la carte menu, the guests welcome the buffet at the lobby/dining room or in the social hall, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dishes are home-cooked, typical of the coconut-rich food of the region, yet they have been tweaked a little to suit a city slicker’s palate, from the escabeche pampano to different native vegetables (sigarilyas, kangkong, to name a few) cooked in coconut milk to the popular lechon kawali and inasal chicken. Even the desserts are sumptuous but healthy, like sweetened kamote.

One can just chill in the boutique hotel, in the pool, or in a vast divan in the garden.

Or, from Siama, guests can venture out to Donsol, more than an hour’s drive away, for the world-famous “butanding,” or enjoy the beaches.

We went for lunch on Pagol beach, with a side tour to Banao Port on the way to the beach. Siama set up an ihaw-ihaw seafood/chicken/liempo lunch on the beach. One can swim and paddle-board. It’s only a 30-minute scenic drive away from the hotel.

Sorsogon has a lure to the young and fitness junkies. It’s a  surfing destination. Siama has a tour package to Gubat, a surfer’s paradise, where the community members—and they are young and many—can teach you how to surf.

One can get surfing lessons in Lola Sayong in Gubat.

Youngsters just hit the beach with their boards just like in the American movies.

Among them is 12-year-old surfing champion Vea Estrellado (Philippine Wahine Classic 2014, first runner-up of  Majestic Surfing Cup 2014, second-runner-up Aurora Surfing Challenge 2015, among other surfing events in the country).

There are old churches to tour, which we did last Holy Week: the Annunciation church and San Roque parish in Bacon, and the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon City.

Easily, Sorsogon can be the next hot destination, and this summer is your chance to enjoy Sorsogon before the crowds come.

Follow the author on Instagram  @ThelmaSiosonSanJuan

Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/228163/why-sorsogon-is-todays-cool-option#ixzz49RJ2ppdU

Note: additional pictures from the author’s collection has been added on this article.

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Missing Sorsogon principal found dead, minor suspects nabbed

Christian ‘Qris’ de los Angeles. Bicol Today

SORSOGON CITY, 17May2016 – Police authorities Monday evening found the body of the missing high school principal in a canal at Bacon District, this city.

The body was discovered after police apprehended 5 suspects, all minors, and revealed that they dumped the body of Christian de los Angeles, the missing high school principal, in a canal at Sitio Gabao, Barangay San Roque.

A follow up operation Monday night by city police found the body in advanced state of decomposition.

Police authorities were looking for the chop-chop, or modified motorcycle of the victim as important lead in solving the case, and the lawmen discovered the suspects were using the motorcycle.

The body of the victim will undergo autopsy. Police is now conducting follow-up investigation of the case.

De los Angeles was reported missing by his parents last May 4, but search for the missing principal had remained unsolved, which had triggered wild speculation in the city.

The principal’s parents officially reported him missing to the police, prompting the city law enforcement unit to launch a manhunt and dig out more leads in solving the case.  The police manhunt led to the apprehension of the suspects Monday evening.

Original article is published at Bicol Today on March 17, 2016.

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DepEd Sorsogon, other units have new officials

LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Education (DepEd) Sorsogon Schools Division Office (SDO) has new top officials headed by Dr. Loida N. Nidea, CESO V, as the schools division superintendent (SDS).

Joseph John J. Perez, DepEd Sorsogon SDO information officer, last week said Nidea came from DepEd Iriga City whose personnel even accompanied her during the recent turnover ceremony.

During the same occasion, Dr. Ma. Jeany T. Postrado also officially assumed as the new assistant schools division superintendent (ASDS) of DepEd Sorsogon, replacing Dr. Fatima D. Buen who is now assigned in Albay province, Perez said.

Postrado was formerly assigned in the province of Masbate.

Nidea replaced Dr. Danilo E. Despi who was promoted as assistant regional director for Region IV-B or Mimaropa, where the regional director is Dr. Lorna Dig-Dino, who is also from Sorsogon.

Nidea hails from Legazpi City while Postrado is a native of Catanduanes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bernie Despabiladero, who was the former chief of the Curriculum Implementation Division of DepEd Sorsogon, has also been promoted as officer-in-charge ASDS of the province of Catanduanes.

Also present during the turnover ceremony were Dr. Freddie Gavarra, the former ASDS of Iriga City who is now assigned in Camarines Norte, and Dr. Jose Doncillo, the SDS of Masbate province.

Both Gavarra and Doncillo are natives of Sorsogon, Perez said.

The original article is published at InterAksyion on January 25  2016.

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How Safe is Sorsogon City Compared to Davao

And I thought Davao is safe! Check this out.


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

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Storm Surge Hazard Map: Sorsogon City (Poblacion)


Hazard map for storm surge in downtown Sorsogon City. Screenshot from the ARKO apps (DOST’s Project NOAH).

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