By James Barcelona
Sorsogon is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. It is the southernmost province in Luzon and is at the tip of Bicol Peninsula. The province is subdivided into 14 municipalities and 1 city with Sorsogon City as the provincial capital. Sorsogon is bounded in the north by the province of Albay, in the south by the San Bernardino Strait, and in the west and northwest by the Ticao and Burias Passes.
Sorsogon is characterized by an irregular topography and, except for the landlocked municipality of Irosin, all towns lie along the coast. They are all connected by concrete and asphalt roads. Mountains sprawl over the northeast, southeast and west portions. Mt. Bulusan, the tallest peak, rises 1,560 meters above sea level. The province is the gateway of Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao through its Roll-on/Roll-off ferry terminal facilities located in the municipalities of Matnog, Pilar and Bulan.
Most of the inhabitants of the province belong to the ethnolinguistic Bicolano and Bisakol groups. The people of Sorsogon call themselves as Sorsogueños and are very religious and fun-loving people. The local languages spoken by Sorsogueños vary in some districts and municipalities. Among these languages include Bisakol, also called as Waray Sorsogon; Bikol and a form of Bikol called Minaraya. English is also understood by most educated people and is used in all government documents, schools and business.
Being mostly Roman Catholics, Sorsogueños are active in every festivity celebrated throughout the year. Like any other Filipino ethnolinguistic groups, each town honors their Patron Saint with celebration on its Feast Day. The Kasanggayahan Festival is celebrated in the whole province in the last week of October. It commemorates the founding of Sorsogon as a province. Pili Festival in Sorsogon City honors the Pili nut and tree which is indigenous to the province.
The entire province is one big ecotourism tour package. Ecotourism destinations within the province include the exciting and high adventure Whale Shark or Butanding Interaction activity off the waters of Donsol; the exotic flora and fauna at Mt. Bulusan Natural Park with its mystical Bulusan Mountain Lake Resort; mysterious caves with interesting folk legends to explore; colorful dive sites and marine sanctuaries; hot springs and healing mineral water spas to soak in, relax and unwind; and picturesque little islands offering fine white sand beaches.