Saturday, May 16, 2015

TRAVEL | A quick look around Sorsogon City

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The beauty of the sunset afterglow.

We took to Sorsogon City over the recent Labor Day long weekend not for anything really but to stay at the lovely Siama Hotel. Well, we did book a little island-hopping trip in Matnog, which was several kilometers away but still part of Sorsogon province. Before that, though, we decided to have dinner at some place in the city and hired a tricycle to also take us around town.

While we would have wanted to check out Bacon (no, not the breakfast food but a place in Sorsogon), it took us a while before we moved our lazy butts and it was almost already dark when we left Siama.

We went straight to the city's seaside boardwalk, hoping to catch some light before darkness completely enveloped the place. I don't know what they officially call it but it's like a park of sorts where there are food stalls, gazebos, and benches. People come here to either eat, bike, have a stroll, or to simply hang out.

At the end of the rectangular boardwalk is a small port for outrigger pump boats going to and from nearby towns. Even in near darkness I could see the glorious Mt Bulusan in the distance. Too bad I could only imagine what it looked like during daytime.

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It may not be your typical park with lots of trees but at least people here have such a place to go to that's not a mall.

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Mt Bulusan in the background. Must be quite a sight in broad daylight.

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Glad to see local folks patronizing the food stalls here.

They've also built a seawall here, creating a lake-like body of water where people can go kayaking in fairly safe conditions, away from the sea's direct waves. Our driver told us that had we come earlier we could have rented a kayak for only Php10.

But of course we missed that chance and instead simply contented ourselves with the beautiful afterglow in the horizon.

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A cottage on stilts and kayaks for rent for only Php10 -- simple pleasures.

On our way to dinner I got curious with what was obviously a church's dome because it was so prominent in the city's skyline, so our driver offered to drop us by.

We went inside the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral and I found it beautiful. It may not be a colonial era heritage stunner but it's beautiful nonetheless. I particularly like the concave ceiling adorned with gold-painted accents, the stylish chancel, and the draped dome above the transepts. I used to have very little appreciation of churches but I started looking at them differently in recent years, especially heritage structures like the wooden-floored San Isidro Labrador Church in Lazi, Siquijor.

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A section of the cathedral's exterior. It was that dome that got me intrigued.

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What a magnificent ceiling! Would you agree?

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The view from the other end.

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Interesting spiral staircase.

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Curious design for the chancel. Equally curious is the draped dome above.

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At first I thought the chancel's ceiling was designed after a clam or something. Looking at it again, I really don't know what to make of it. All I know is that I like it.

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The Blessed Sacrament, flanked by images of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Anthony of Padua.

Soon after we left for dinner. We were supposed to dine at a roadside spot called Balai Sugba, a sister restaurant of the more popular Mango Grill. Unfortunately almost everything we tried to order was not available, so we left and ended up at Casa Dominga.

Casa Dominga is also one of Sorsogon City's more popular restaurants. Architecturally it follows a a fairly common traditional Filipino design. It's no upscale restaurant and the service was slow. Very slow. The place also quickly turned into a glorified videoke nightspot, where anyone was free to request for the microphone if he wanted to sing. Customers, however, don't have a hand at choosing their songs, as it was just a VCD playing.

Thankfully the food was fairly good, though nothing to rave about really. But at least it's cheap. We only paid a little over Php 700 for a couple of dishes.

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If only I could turn back time, we would have covered more ground.

And that was it. I'm sure there are a few other things we could have checked out but hey, no pressure.

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