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Last November, my sister surprised me and my mom with plane tickets to Sorsogon. She was lucky enough to be able to purchase promo fares from Cebu Pacific. I was fresh out of high school when I last visited Sorsogon which was around five years ago. I missed the place so much and I was very excited when I found out that we’re going there.

Our flight was on the 12th of January, 6AM. Being the paranoid person that I am, I convinced my mom that we should go to the airport early since I don’t want to be left by the plane. We left home at 3AM and arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 at around 4AM. We had two hours to burn so it was a good thing that I had my work laptop and broadband with me. We had coffee at Mister Donut then we went around a bit until we ended up in 7-11.

Mom is playing CityVille even in the airport

When it was 5:30 AM, mom and I headed to gate 116. When we got there, it has just been announced that our flight was delayed due to the bad weather in Legazpi City. We were told that the next weather update would be given to them at 6 AM and it’s only by then when they can decide to push through with the flight or postpone it for 30 minutes more. Thank God that by 6 AM they were given the go signal! We left at 6:30 AM.

We arrived in Legazpi City at around 7:30 AM. We will later find out that we were extremely lucky because the flight of the same time the day before and the day after got canceled.

The Legazpi Airport is pretty small

I just noticed that there were a bunch of foreigners in our flight. When we landed, there were groups of Chinese and Germans. It’s pretty nice to know that Bicol is becoming more popular as a tourist destination. I think it’s because of Donsol and CWC.

We first headed to the SSS office in Daraga to meet up with Tita Bing. After a little chit-chat, we went to Bigg’s Diner, a popular fastfood chain in Bicol.

You should never, EVER, miss this when in Bicol

Eating in Bigg's is a MUST

I really like the ambiance of the place, reminds me of the diners I see in American movies. Actually, the place is adorned with things related to popular American culture such as movie posters and a jukebox.

Being the chicken-lover that I am, I ordered their two-piece chicken meal and a tall glass of iced tea. On the other hand, mom and Tita Bing ordered Carbonara. We had a little more chit-chat while waiting for our food. When the waiter served the food, I was pretty much shocked — their chicken’s huge!

Their chicken makes KFC's plain

The taste? Amazing! I swear, their chicken tastes much better than KFC’s. But that’s just my opinion. It was really juicy and the taste was just right. As for the iced tea, it’s the usual fastfood variety.

After eating, mom and I headed to Sorsogon City. We rode a shuttle van to Sorsogon City and the travel time was about an hour.

Our first day in Sorsogon was for family related stuff, mostly meeting up with aunts and uncles. We headed to the cemetery first to visit the grave of my Lolo and Lola (grandfather and grandmother). There’s something about apartment type cemeteries and graves above the ground that gives me the creeps. Thank God my grandparents’ grave wasn’t like that.

Lolo and Lola's Grave

If you’re wondering why there are four names etched on one tombstone, it’s because there are only bones in that grave. They placed the bones of my lolo and lola as well as my lolo’s parents there.

The following day, I woke up to the sound of rain falling on the rooftop. As soon as the rain stopped, mom and I went to the wet market early to buy Lanson. Lanson is a rice cake similar to puto. My lolo used to buy this every morning. It tastes very nice and goes well with butter.

Lanson from Sorsogon

We bought this from Eppie J Jazmin Carinderia. According to my mom (and uncles and aunts), Eppie makes the best Lanson in Sorsogon. We got a quarter of a whole Lanson. We went to another eatery to eat halo-halo.

We headed to Rompeolas for no reason at all. Rompeolas is the pier of Sorsogon City. It has tables and chairs so it’s a good place to hang out in on sunny days. Sadly, our second day in Sorsogon was far from sunny but it was okay. We just strolled around the area and watched a ship unload cargo. I noticed that there were no more food stands at the pier, it would’ve been nice if we had something to eat while we were there.

Huts at Rompeolas

PILI

We were feeling a bit hungry so mom and I decided to have our lunch. Tito Monet suggested that we try a newly opened restaurant in front of Fernando’s Hotel called Una Pizzeria. You can probably guess the specialty of the restaurant from the name alone.

I was pleasantly surprised by how cozy the restaurant was. Una Pizzeria is actually a house converted into a restaurant. It’s one of the few fine dining restaurants in Sorsogon City.

Una Pizzeria feels upscale

They serve a wide array of Italian food — pizzas, pasta, et al. I was a little disappointed at first because they don’t have Pesto but I guess I needed to venture away from my comfort pasta. I ordered Penne Pasta with pepperoni tomato-cream sauce and Pizza Patate. Pizza Patate is a thin crust pizza with cherry tomatoes, pesto, and potatoes.

Soft rolls with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip

Penne Pasta, very delicious!

I give them plus points for the nice presentation of parmesan cheese

The Patate Pizza surprises with a nice mixture of good flavor and varying texture

I loved our lunch at Una Pizzeria. Everything I ate was delicious! Even their home made iced tea was nice. If you’re in Sorsogon, you must try eating there.

For a fine dining restaurant, the food in Una Pizzeria are quite affordable. Both the Penne Pasta and Pizza Patate cost PhP 237.50. My mom’s seafood pasta was only 167.50. Not bad, eh? Plus their service is really good. When we went down the tricycle, one of their waiters welcomed us with an umbrella at hand since it was raining. Now that’s what I call service!

We were feeling a bit full so mom and I walked around the Sorsogon Provincial Capitol.

Sorsogon Provincial Capitol

After walking around the area, we went to the Sorsogon Provincial Museum. I convinced my mom to go there because I wanted to learn a little about the history of her hometown.

Sorsogon's Provincial Museum used to be the general hospital

I was very happy with the state of the museum. It was well-kept and there were a lot of interesting things there. The room that took most of my time was the collection of old Inquirer issues. I read old news (this sounds wrong, haha!), mostly articles during the peak of the EDSA Revolution.

Headlines of Inquirer on the day I was born

There was an exhibit about butandings or whale sharks as well. It showcased a huge whale shark jaw as well as the vertebrae of a whale shark.

After going around the museum, we went to Fernando’s Hotel to meet up with Tita Angie (she owns the hotel). She was mom’s kabarkada (uh, clique?) during high school.

Fernando's Hotel

The interior of Fernando's Hotel is nice

We had dinner in the hotel and boy was it good! I wasn’t able to take photos of the food though. They served us ribs cooked in a Chinese way. How did I know it was Chinese? I just know. Haha!

We went back to Tita Bing’s home after dinner. I tinkered with Tita Bing’s computer first because she said it wasn’t working. The computer technician told her that a lot of components were broken and she needed to upgrade the computer. After my ‘diagnosis’, I was able to power up the computer. The only problem with their computer is that the fan isn’t working, causing the processor to overheat. It does need a little more oomph in the memory department though. (I can set up a roving technical support business, haha!)

Our third day was the most exciting. First of all, it was Tita Bing’s birthday. Apparently, SSS employees have a birthday leave so they can spend their day with their loved ones. Number one to-do on my list that day was to buy pasalubong (treats) for my friends and officemates. We headed to the city proper and went to Tia Berning’s. Tia Berning’s is the most popular shop for pili goodies.

Pili Galore! Their Marzipan de Pili is to die for!

We then bought a cake for Tita Bing at Graceland, a fastfood store in Sorsogon City that houses a bakeshop. Again, if you happen to be in Sorsogon, you should try the brownies from Graceland. I find them yummier than the ones from Goldilocks. Also, try their French fries, they’re really nice and crispy.

The most exciting part of the day was our trip to Paguriran Beach in the Bacon district of Sorsogon City. I went there with mom, Tita Bing, Tita Gina, and with my cousins Louie and Jegg. Tita Gina drove us to the place. Paguriran is around 40 minutes away from the city proper. Basically, Paguriran is a not-so-known beach in Sorsogon that has: (1) fine, white sand, (2) an islet with a lagoon, and (3) a beautiful view of Mayon Volcano.

Islet with a lagoon at Paguriran Beach. You can walk from the beach to here even when it's high tide.

The sand in Paguriran Beach is nice -- fine and white

Look closer and you'd see Mayon

The beach was a little littered with sea stuff because of the heavy rains days before. We didn’t mind though, Paguriran was so beautiful that we forgot about the litter. I absolutely loved the islet, the lagoon’s water was really clean and there were fishes there. You can even climb to the other side (ocean facing) and dive but I was too scared to try. We trekked the islet and reached the top where we had a 360 degree view of the place. It was simply breathtaking — a vast sea on one side and lush green land on the other.

We headed home at around 5:30 PM. While chatting on our way home, Tita Gina brought up Conserva, a Sorsogon delicacy made of pili which is usually wrapped in a big, dry leaf. She asked me if I was able to buy them at Tia Berning’s. I told her that I was able to buy some but they were packed in plastic bags, not leaves. Good thing she brought it up since we were near Nimfa’s Pili Candies, a store popular for their Conserva.

Saying that Nimfa's Conserva is fantastic is an understatement

Nimfa's Conserva is the bomb!

When we arrived in Tita Bing’s home, I was pooped from our adventure in Paguriran. I prepared some of my things for our flight back home the next day.

We left Sorsogon City at around 7:30 AM the following day. We went to the shuttle terminal and rode a van to Legazpi City. We arrived in Legazpi at around 8:30 and we headed straight to the airport to check in our luggage. Since our flight was still around three hours away, mom and I went to Bigg’s to have breakfast.

Bigg's Pork Cordon Bleu is very very delicious. I'm craving for one right now!

I wish Bigg’s Diner would open up some branches here in Manila. Their food is really delicious! I found it a little weird at first that their Cordon Bleu was made out of pork but I got over it once I sank my teeth into the juicy-slash-cheesy chunk of meat.

We went back to Legazpi Airport after breakfast and waited for our plane to arrive. While waiting, I was observing the people inside the lounge. There were a lot of foreigners! I saw a big group of Koreans, Chinese, Germans, and Americans. I also spent a lot of time adoring the beauty of Mayon. Our plane arrived on time and when we were already boarding, I couldn’t help but take a photo of the plane with Mayon at the background.

Our plane with Mayon Volcano at the back. Mayon was a little shy that day.

Too bad Mayon was partially covered with clouds. Beautiful, isn’t it?

Anyway, that concludes my our journey to Sorsogon City. I do hope I can come back again soon… Probably this summer!

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Una Pizzeria accepts catering services. Contact John Estipona @ (056) 211 3945

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