Bagatao and Sablayan Islands

According to Wikipedia article of Sorsogon City, the islands of Sablayan and Bagatao are under the supervision of the said local government. It doesn’t mention which barangay administers the said island.

Which barangay do these islands belong to? Image via Google Map

Which barangay do these islands belong to? Image via Google Map

 Would anyone know?

Dios mabalos!

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Sorsogon artists push for restoration of historical ancestral house via funshoot

This is the left corner of the old house. SPES is just on the other side, so, pupils find this place as an alternative playground for the Patio.

This is the left corner of the old house. SPES is just on the other side, so, pupils find this place as an alternative playground for the Patio.

Gov. Raul Lee. Image via


LEGAZPI CITY, July 3 (PIA) – The seat of government where the capital town of Sorsogon was born is now slowly dying and may soon be forgotten.

This prompted the newest accredited visual arts arm of Sorsogon Arts Council (SAC) Kurit-Lagting, a community-based arts organization to initiate a photo shoot project last June 22 at the Bahay ng Angkang De Vera, an ancestral house beside the Sorsogon Pilot Elementary School and the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral here to boost the efforts for its restoration.

“The photo shoot project, dubbed as “Pitik-Abante”, called on support in the restoration of the Bahay ng Angkang De Vera (De Vera ancestral house), an important historical edifice in Sorsogon that was once a grandiose house but is now a dilapidated remnant with only the concrete walls at the ground floor and posts at the façade surviving the natural disasters and elements,” Kurit-Lagting art director and founding member Geri Matthew Carretero told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol in an exclusive interview.

Aside from this porch, there's no indication that this house is originally a 2-story house.

Aside from this porch, there’s no indication that this house is originally a 2-story house.

“Pitik-Abante”, according to Carretero, was an avant-garde inspired shoot utilizing found-objects and recycled materials as costumes to produce experimental and innovative designs is aimed at promoting environmental awareness.

According to artist – entrepreneur Mari De Vera, also the granddaughter of the house owner Vicente De Vera, the Bahay ng Angkang De Vera was formerly owned by Lizarraga Hermanos which was sold to Selim Nassr in 1889. In 1902, Vicente De Vera (representative of Sorsogon in the First Philippine Assembly in 1907 and the first Senator from Sorsogon who served in 1916-1922) acquired ownership of the house. Vicente’s son and Mari’s father, Teodoro was also elected as a senator under the Liberal Party in the late 40’s also utilized the house as residence.

Prominent people from all over the world stayed in the historical house including General Vicente Lukban and Ananias Diokno in 1899; Richard Evelyn Byrd, before he became a Naval Officer and polar explorer; Alice Roosevelt, daughter of American President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 when she visited the province to together with then Governor General of the Philippines and later President of the United States William Howard Taft to officiate and witness the inauguration of the Sorsogon Provincial High School (now Sorsogon National High School) and Alice Bridge which was named after her; and Philippine Presidents Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmena Sr. and Elpidio Quirino in various occasions for their political sorties..

Due to its proximity to the town center, it's a favorite parking spots for motorcycles.

Due to its proximity to the town center, it’s a favorite parking spots for motorcycles.

The house served as the venue for the declaration of the town of Sorsogon as the capital of Sorsogon province in 1903.

This was also where Governor Bernandino Monreal stayed from 1902-1903 which was later used as station by the Japanese forces during World War II from 1942-1945. After Japanese forces occupied the edifice, the 158th U.S. Regimental Combat Team and the 56th Special Bicol Brigade made it a military post in 1945.

After the war, it was used by the Constabulary and became the office of San Miguel Brewery, Bureau of Internal Revenue, hospital and developed into a hotel (Bayview Hotel) in the late 1980s.

In 1987 the edifice was damaged by Typhoon Sisang.

The National Historical Institute (NHI) approved the historical marker for the house in 2006 but the unveiling was postponed after the house was destroyed by typhoon Milenyo.

Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee provided a seed fund for its initial restoration but it was again destroyed by subsequent typhoon Reming, thus the project did not materialize.

NHI has declared that it cannot install the marker on the historical site under the present condition but can be reconsidered after restoration works.

In January 2013, another descendant, Edgardo De Vera wrote the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to avail of its technical assistance program (TAP).

“We may work hand-in-hand with your experts in the preparation of the conservation and management plan,” De Vera wrote the NCCA.

Few days before the photoshoot, NCCA TAP project coordinator Flor Balibao informed SAC spokesperson Joseph John Perez that the officer of National Committee on National Research is currently discussing the concerns on the Bahay ng Angkang De Vera to the head of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites.

Both the De Vera family and the Sorsogon artists are taking another shot to relive the glorious past of the Bahay ng Angkang De Vera.  (MAL/JJP-PIA5)

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Sorsogon organizes provincial sports council

Gov. Raul Lee (L) and Provincial Administrator Robert Lee (R). Image via

LEGAZPI CITY, July 4 (PIA) – Recognizing the field of sports as major concern for human development, sports organizations and professionals in the province of Sorsogon organized recently the Sorsogon Council for Athletic Development (SCAD).

Sorsogon provincial administrator Robert Lee-Rodrigueza was named as SCAD chair and Michael Sulit as vice chair, while the organizer of the Edgar Balasta, chief organizer of the First Sorsogon Provincial Sports Summit, was chosen as the council’s executive director, and Bon Mercado as board secretary.

Elected to the SCAD board were Sorsogon State College president Dr. Modesto Detera as director for Human Resources and Organization Strategy; Rico Estur, director for Programs, Standard and Sports Medicine; Ruel Frago and Romy Llona, directors for Tournaments and Games; Engr. Paul Fernandez, director for Strategic Marketing; Gerry Gojar, director for Training and Development; Michael Guysayko, director for Infrastructure and Facility Development; Vladimir Vega and Tito Fortes, directors for Research, Development and Linkages; Dr. Soledad Quiñones director for Finance and lawyer Adrian Alegre as director for Grievance.

The SCAD was an offshoot of the recently concluded First Sorsogon Provincial Sports Summit that gathered more than 100 participants coming from various sports organizations, association clubs, teachers, sports managers, coaches, trainers, sports coordinators and athletes.

Cong. Evelina Escudero. Image via

Meanwhile, Rep. Evelina Escudero of Sorsogon first congressional district expressed optimism on the creation of the SCAD that will produce national athletes that the province will be proud of.

“It is heartening to note also that aside from the government sector, almost all public and private athletic associations will be joining hands and complement each other to raise the standard of sports in the province,” Escudero said.

Escudero observed the absence of sustainability or continuity in the sports development program in the province and noticed that different athletic and sports competitions are being conducted almost year-round by public and private groups were just for mere purpose of holding the games or events either mandatory on their part or to gain personal mileage.

“I fervently hope that the summit was the right step in formulating a sports program that will truly respond to what we are aiming for,” Escudero said.

Earlier, Escudero instructed her staff to conduct coordination with summit’s sponsoring groups as manifestation of her full support for the plan to formulate and create a unified sports development plan for the province.

These organizations are the Nanay Evie Escudero Developmental Sports (NEEDS), Provincial Government of Sorsogon, Department of Education (DepEd), Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA), State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA), Basketball Inter-Collegiate Championship of Sorsogon (BICCS), Sorsogon Private Secondary Schools Association (SORPRISSA),Bicol Association of Catholics Schools (BACS),  Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Basketball Academy of Sorsogon (BAS).

In an exclusive interview conducted earlier by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol with Balasta, he explained that the summit aimed to assist the local government units, public and private sports organizations to streamline sports direction of the province of Sorsogon by forming the SCAD that will help create programs and strategies for the development of the athletic and sports programs in Sorsogon. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5)

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Rare Eagles released in Sorsogon


Philippine Hawk Eagle.Nakakita na ako sadi sa chancery san cathedral. Image is via

SORSOGON, Sorsogon—The Energy Development Corp. Bacon-Manito Geothermal Project or BacMan released two Philippine Serpent Eagles and a Philippine Hawk Eagle into the wild in celebration of World Environment Day on Wednesday.

The eagles, an endangered species, were released in EDC’s geothermal reservation in Sorsogon, a wildlife protected area under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The Serpent Eagles were rescued by EDC from traps set up by hunters and were nurtured back to health by EDC BacMan’s environmental team.

The Hawk Eagle was turned over to the EDC by the Sorsogon Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office.


Philippine Serpent Eagle. Image via

EDC’s BacMan plant continues to uphold its green model status by spearheading environmentally-themed interactive activities in Albay and Sorsogon.

EDC BacMan employees planted 50 seedlings of premium and endangered native tree species. These seedlings will be included in EDC’s BINHI Reforestation Program which aims to restore 10,000 hectares in 10 years.

The seedlings will be counted in the National Greening Program of the DENR. EDC BacMan employees also took part in “E2E” or Energy-to-Environment Challenge, an obstacle course with ecologically-themed mental and physical tasks.

“We will continue to initiate and support projects that will promote environmental sustainability and awareness,” Jay Soriano, head of EDC Bacman, said.

The EDC BacMan Geothermal Reservation covers 25,000 hectares of protected forest area and is a recognized model of sustainable development for successfully harmonizing its 130-MW geothermal power operations with environmental protection.


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Orosipon: Talaga, Magkakaigwa na sin Tren sa Sorsogon??

This is an interesting article from Manny Villar – Integrated Luzon Railway Project. According to the government site, it’s just a feasibility study (meaning, it may or may not be built at all). One can remember the MRT lines 2 and 3 were actually planned during the time of Marcos, and were only implemented after several administrations.

Awat ko na ini nababati na may plano na magkaigwa sin ferrocarril sa Sorsogon. San batit pa ako, igwa dida sa barangay road (Brgy. Bibincahan) sin naka-elevate na duta, siguro mga 1.5 metro hali sa baba. An sabi san mga gurang, para kuno idto dapat sa riles san tren pa-Matnog.

PNR train crossing the Bicutan section.

PNR train crossing the Bicutan section.

An mga kagurangan, nag iisturya sadto sa akun kun nano kagayun magbiyahe sa Bicol Express (sa mga dili tabi inabut an tunay na Bicol Express dili tabi ini an JB Line). May mga private rooms, may kaunan, nan makusog kuno an aircon. An biyahe kuno sadto hanggang Camalig, Albay.

An isturya pa san centenarian ko na lola, didi kuno namun nasusug an mga igmanghud namun sa Masbate.

Among the countries in Asia that were colonized by the west, only the Philippines who never tried to develop its railway system (back in the American occupation, even Panay Island has a railway system). After the war, PNR slowly deteriorated; it’s main asset is not its locomotives anymore, rather its vast land spread out in Luzon.

Sana man tabi madagus na ini, daku dako na tabang ini sa mga Bicolano, lain lang sa mga taga Sorsogon.

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‘Sorsogon power co-ops should prevent privatization attempts’

Image via

SORSOGON CITY, Sorsogon—Stakeholders of the two power-utility cooperatives operating in the province should strengthen their organizations’ management and finances to foil the conspiracy by local politicians of brokering electricity distribution service for private power firms, a priest said.

Member-consumers of Sorsogon Electric Cooperative I (Soreco I) and Sorsogon Electric Cooperative II (Soreco II) should make the election of the cooperatives’ board of directors as an opportunity to reinforce the cooperatives with competent and honest officials, particularly now when politicians peddle electric cooperatives to power corporations, advocacy priest Rev. Fr. Bong Imperial said.

Soreco II, which currently suffers serious financial troubles and confronted with controversy over the conduct of electing its board of directors, may take the course taken by the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco), he said. The government’s public-private partnership (PPP) policy in the power industry approves private firms’ takeover of beset or “sabotaged” electric utility cooperatives.

Aleco’s power distribution in Albay, one of the largest provinces in the region, ended up in its private ownership by San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC) last year due to the cooperatives’ irreversible financial liabilities despite two energy sources in the province—Tiwi and BacMan geothermal plants.

Soreco II had scheduled the election of its board, but twice postponed it due to the contention among officials on the issue of rules that should govern the exercise, Imperial said. Some insist for the new National Electrification Administration (NEA) rules, others for the older cooperative rules. Soreco II member-consumers should push the incoming directors to get the financial status of the cooperative reviewed by an outside auditing outfit, and file charges on liable people, the priest said.

The new board should strengthen Soreco II to prevent the cooperative from a tailspin to insolvency, and eventual takeover by a power firm, Father Imperial said. Soreco I, currently challenged by no financial trouble to justify privatization, is penetrated by local politicians who sow seeds of division in the board, part of the campaign to create conditions that would prompt a call for privatization, Imperial said.

These politicians are bribing board of directors to turn back from the interest of member-consumers and engender situations that would rationalize their agenda of brokering the sabotaged cooperative to power firms, he said. The NEA initially takes over electric cooperatives on the grounds of mismanagement, financial crisis and bankruptcy, Imperial said. The agency later facilitates the bidding of troubled electric cooperatives for private power firms.

Soreco I can be seized by NEA from member-consumers if the conspiracy row, which falls on mismanagement, in the board continues, he said. Privatization of both power-utility cooperatives will make the poor member-consumers poorer, the wealthy richer, Imperial said. What the cooperatives require are competent and honest leaders, who are capable of better power services, good management, and financial stability, not privatization, he said.

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City Life vs Provincial Living

Coconut farmers bringing their produce from the hills of Sorsogon City. They do this daily, rain or shine.

Coconut farmers bringing their produce from the hills of Sorsogon City. They do this daily, rain or shine.

This is a heart-breaking story, but does drive a point that it can better to live in the province than to go for the big dream in the city.

San nag-sideline ako sa mga saro na eskwelahan sa Sorsogon, ginhaput ko an mga estudyante kung pira sa inda an batit san parauma. Almost a third of the class raised their hands. Ginahput ko sinda nano kay Information Technology  an gusto ninda matapos na kurso – kay damu kuno an gin kikita. 

I told them that how lucky they are to be family of farmers – not all are successful in the IT field. Heck, it’s like the elusive American dream that everyone tries to go for. San ginsabi ko idto, an mga bayhun san mga estudyante bagan dili makapaniwala. Siguro, gin isip ninda na buang buang lang ako.

Rappler’s story is not new.  In my opinion, we need agriculture more than ever considering the fact that the area of agricultural land is decreasing due to increasing population. Furthermore, farmer tend to flock to the city for a better life – pati an mga parauma, nauubos man.

I fully understand that it’s not as simple as that, nonetheless, I still hope that our farmers realize that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

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