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Sorsogon City

Sorsogon City is a 1st class city in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines. It is the capital city of Sorsogon. It was formed by merging the former towns of Bacon and Sorsogon in 2000. It sited as the "Gateway City of Luzon" from Mindanao and Visayan Provinces considering the fact that it is located at the southernmost tip island of Luzon. Due to Sorsogon City's position as a transshipment point from the Visayas and Mindanao, the city attracted a significant number of transient shoppers and tourist.

Sorsogon City has a population of 151,454 inhabitants (as of Aug 1, 2007 census of population). It is considered as the largest city in Bicol Region in terms of land area and one of the region's leading cities in urbanization and one most populous cities of the region as well.

History

In 1942, the Japanese troops occupied in Sorsogon,Sorsogon.

In 1945, beginning from the liberated in Sorsogon, Sorsogon from the defenders of the Filipino Commonwealth soldiers and Bicolano guerrillas attacked by the Japanese troops during World War II.

Sorsogon City was created by virtue of Republic Act 8806 which was enacted on August 16, 2000 and ratified in December 2000.

former Sorsogon 1st District Representative and now Senator Francis Escudero and former Bacon Municipal Mayor Leovic R. Dioneda. Former Bacon Vice-Mayor Aurelio Destacamento, joined by former Sorsogon councilors Antonio C. Detera, Azel Diesta and Telo Mella fought before the two local legislative chambers, for the approval of appropriation ordinances providing budget for the holding of its plebiscite.

Prior to its ratification, a petition to declare RA 8806 null and void was filed by lawyer Atty. Gil Gojol. Because Bacon municipality was enjoined as one of the respondents in said petition, a young practising lawyer from Buenavista, Bacon District, in the name of Atty. Glenn Olbes, defended its constitutionality. The legal battle for its constitutionality was upheld later on by a majority decision of the Sorsoguenos who desire for the development of the newly created local government unit.

Location and Area

Sorsogon City lies from 123° 53’ to 124° 09’ east longitude and from 12° 55’ to 13° 08’ north latitude. It is 600 kilometers southeast of Manila and is located at the southernmost tip of Luzon. As part of the geographical chain linking Luzon to the rest of the Philippines, it is a transshipment corridor and serves as the gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao Islands. Its geographical location is such that it opens into both the Pacific Ocean and the China Sea.

The city is bounded on the east by the municipalities of Prieto Diaz and Gubat, on the south by the municipality of Casiguran and Sorsogon Bay, on the west by the municipality of Castilla, on the northeast by the municipality of Manito in Albay, and on the north by Albay Gulf.

It covers 31,292 hectares and composed of 64 barangays.

Economic Activity

Business and Commerce

Sorsogon City is declared as one of the Special Economic Zones in the country.

The City is now considered the richest city compared to the other-newly created cities in the Bicol Region as confirmed by Florencio C. Diño II, Provincial Assessor, in his weekly report forwarded to the office of the Governor. According to Diño, the component city of Sorsogon ranks the richest. Next to Sorsogon City is Masbate City followed by Ligao City and Tabaco City respectively making Sorsogon City one of the prime cities of Bicol Region.

There are rumors saying that SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (owner of SM Supermalls) and Landco Pacific Corporation had both expressed their interest in putting up a big shopping complex within the city. But this statement is baseless and still in state of negotiation and inconsistency.

Being the capital of the province, it host most of the banks around it like Land Bank of the Philippines, Metrobank, Postal Bank, Allied Bank, Chinabank,United Coconut Planters Bank, Producers Bank, Far East Bank and Trust Company, Legazpi Savings Bank, Equitable PCI Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, Camalig Bank, and BDO UniBank. It also has a number of lending firms and pawnshops in its downtown area.

A number of restaurants, bars and well-known food chains are located at the busy streets of Rizal and Magsaysay Avenues inside the city's central business district such as Jollibee, Chowking, and Greenwich are just few of those. The Bacon-Sorsogon road will serve as the city's business district expansion linking to Bacon district's downtown area.

The province of Sorsogon including the Sorsogon City has been declared the commodity champion for Pili nut because it is the biggest Pili production source in the whole Bicol Region, accounting for approximately 70% of the total Pili supply in the country. It has a total of 1,568.54 hectares planted to Pili trees, or an estimated total of 56,861 trees capable of producing 1,893 metric tons of Pili nuts per harvest season. This positions Sorsogon favorably as the main supplier of Pili nuts in the world market. Also, since this is a new export product, the prospect is bright for producers and processors of Pili nuts.

The proposed hydroelectric plants located in the barangays of Osiao, Tiris and Maricrum all in the Bacon District of Sorsogon City, have an estimated combined generating capacity of 3.45 megawatts, enough to stabilize and further improve the reliability of the existing power supply system under the coverage area of the Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SORECO II). The Provincial Government proposes to develop these under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme. The proposed upgrading of the existing Cawayan Hydroelectric Plant, under the same BOT scheme, intends to maximize its potential for a total power output of 2,500 kilowatts.

Seaweed culture, particularly Eucheuma seaweeds, offers the brightest prospects among all marine resource development projects in the province of Sorsogon. In fact, cooperative-ran Eucheuma farms are now in place, and have proven to be economically-successful, in the municipalities of Matnog, Castilla, Gubat, Barcelona, Magallanes and Bacon District in Sorsogon City. There are also Gracilaria seaweed farms. One of the possible strategies for the promotion of local commercial production of seaweeds is to link up seaweed producers with foreign buyers and processors through contract farming and marketing schemes.

Prawn production is one of the identified priority industries in the city government of Sorsogon because of its demand both in the domestic and international market. At present, there are a total of 1,900.52 hectares of fishponds devoted to prawn culture in the province. Investors interested in inland aquaculture, or specifically prawn production, can establish support facilities, such as prawn hatcheries and laboratories to ensure the industry�s sustainability.

The province's and city's marble reserves are located principally in Barangay Bato, Bacon District (30-min drive from city proper), but these are also found in the adjacent barangays of Gatbo and Sugod, also in Bacon District of Sorsogon City, with an estimated total geological reserve of 25 million cubic meters. Small scale marble quarrying and processing are now being undertaken by individual lot owners in Barangay Bato.

A total of 98,155.07 hectares of agricultural land is devoted to coconut production in Sorsogon in cooperation with the city Government of Sorsogon. The province produces an estimated 65,000 metric tons of copra per annum. The proposed Integrated Coconut Processing Plant will buy whole nuts from local coconut farmers, which will go into four major plant operations/processing. These include the Copra Drying Division to produce coconut oil; the Coconut Water Division to produce coconut vinegar and Nata de Coco; the Coconut Shell Carbonization Division to produce activated carbon; and the De-Husking Division to produce coco coir for fiber mats and coco peat for soil conditioner.

Agriculture

Milled rice is consumed locally. Traders in neighboring Albay and Camarines Sur provinces reach Sorsogon City to buy palay to avail of rice bran for their feedmills. Rice, however, usually is traded back to the city.

Copra is bought by dealers who serve purchase orders they contract with Legazpi Oil in Albay province.

Dealers buy the abaca fiber from the farmers, rebale it, and ship it to Tabaco City, where bigger traders dealing internationally are stationed.

Other crops include banana, jackfruit, papaya, coffee, avocado, guava, santol, bamboo, cassava, gabi, camote, pineapple, and vegetables. Production of food crops, except for coffee and pili nut, is marketed as fresh. Market is mostly local.

Pili products has been identified with Bicol, particularly Sorsogon province which account for 70% of production. At this time it is a must-buy pasalubong and has yet to attain commercial commodity status. To anchor the efforts in pili production the provincial government created the Sorsogon Provincial Pili Industry Development Council addressing the need for commercial farm nurseries, plantations, processing plants, and marketing networks. Sorsogon City has adopted pili as a theme in its annual fiesta by holding the Pili Festival. At the farmer-level, pili will be promoted as a high-value commercial crop alongside pineapple, coffee, and cacao

Industry

Marine-based exporter and the handicraft subcontractors, what can be considered as Sorsogon’s industrial activities are an assortment of cottage-level food processors and metal fabricators serving the local market. The once thriving wood industry, which 20 years ago was even an exporter, died as soon as the local supply of wood had been depleted.

  • Handicraft. There are major handicraft operators producing mainly Christmas decors and novelty items. Raw materials used are abaca and roots of the moras grass. The operators are subcontractors who fill-up orders of exporters who are based outside the city. Subcontracted orders go as big as a containerful.
  • Metalcraft. Metal shops support partly both construction and transportation. The shops produce trusses, windows and grills, gates, and accordion door. They also fabricate tricycle and bodies of utility vehicles.
  • Food processing. Other than home-based meat processors and candy makers, food processors with distinct work places, delivery vehicles and branded products are also in operation. They produce noodles, ice drop, ice cream stick, vinegar and soy sauce.
  • Construction. Starts in housing and commercial spaces, subdivision development, and public sector projects, comprise the construction industry. Construction employs trades people such as carpenters, painters, masons and tinsmiths. It is also a major employer of unskilled labor, usually new entrants to the labor force.
  • Crafts and trades. Craftsmen and trades people staff a number of shops. Bakers, tailors and dressmakers, machinists, printers, and finishing carpenters are among them. The shops are generally small employing from 5 to 10 people. There are twenty such shops. The rest of the members of the skilled labor who are not employed by construction and the specialized shop operate as freelancers doing repairs or subcontracting

Marine and Fishery

The city is also a fish-landing center, and its inland waters yield various marine resources. Fishponds and fish pens add to the City’s marine output, which includes shrimps, prawn, milkfish and crabs. Small-scale processing plants produce semi-processed seafood for export.

To date, freshwater backyard fishpond surveyed is 295 hectares with 69 cooperators engaged in the culture of tilapia nilotica specie and to a lesser extent the common carp. Monitored total production is registered at 1.11 metric tons.

Brackish water fishpond operation on a commercial scale is a very lucrative industry because it requires huge capital investment. Fishpond production contributes a remarkable share of fish production in the city. From the 118.58 hectares covered, gathered data on production is at 12.069 metric tons of economically important species like prawns, shrimps, milkfish and mud crabs.

Green mussel culture (tahong) is a very promising income generating project of fisherfolks. Culture predominantly on bamboo stake in Sorsogon Bay waters, monitored production for the 1.5095 hectares planted by 30 fisherfolks is registered at 127.315 metric tons at PhP10/kilogram the total amount generated is PhP1.27 million.

Problems encountered by tahong raisers were the seasonal occurrence of destructive typhoons and red tide outbreak, which bring heavy losses to tahong raisers.

Post harvest technology comes in a variety of activities include preservation of fishery and aquatic products in different methods like icing, drying, freezing, smoking and to some extent processing them into value-added products like fish balls, fish crackers, and the like. Of the above- mentioned post harvest techniques, icing, freezing, and glazing are the common methods adapted by one export processing plant existing in the city.

Geology and Topography

The northern part of Sorsogon is made up of andesitic lava flows and other volcanic rocks. Rocks in the northeast are coralline limestone which are now being quarried for marble produced by different episodes of volcanic intrusions. Mt. Rangas and Mt. Poctol maybe dormant or extinct volcanoes with the present lakes as their mouths.

The rest of the flatlands are recent alluvial deposits composed of clays, silt, sand, gravel and corral.

Geothermal energy has been successfully exploited in the northern part of the city, including areas Manito. From wells drilled and developed by the Philippine National Oil Corporation, the National Power Corporation is operating three plants with a capacity of 130 MW connected to the Luzon grid. As to non-metallic minerals, the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences has determined a sulfur deposit of 755 metric tons in Barangay Rizal. Its grade ranges from 10% to 40%. Gravel and sand can be quarried at the Cawayan River.

The northeastern range is part of the Bacon-Castilla range, bordering Sorsogon's north and serves as its watershed covered mainly by secondary forest growth and thicket. It starts from 200 m above sea level to Mt. Rangas, the highest point at 1,000 meters. The sloping uplands are the shoulders of the range and the series of hills in the southeast. Coconut, abaca, and fruit trees cover this area. The plain is generally low and level. Settlements and other built-up areas and ricefields occupy the plain area. Marshlands are the mouth of rivers vegetated mainly by nipa and are developed into fishponds.

Transportation

Sorsogon City can be reached mostly through land transport from Manila by bus for about 10-11 hours. There are about 10 bus companies operate daily from Manila to Sorsogon and vice versa. Some of those bus companies has connecting trips to one of the Philippine's busiest seaport, the Matnog Seaport linking to Visayan provinces. The city is easily accessed from other points in Luzon through the Maharlika Highway System, and buses plying the Manila-Tacloban or Manila-Davao route carry commuters all the way up to Matnog and are ferried across to Allen in Northern Samar. A network of secondary roads links the other municipalities together.

Sorsogon City Domestic Aiport, {Paliparang Pantahanan ng Lungsod ng Sorsogon}, 5 kilometers away from the city's downtown area is now the newest gateway to the city which will open in the last quarter of 2008. The airport will be capable of handling international aircraft allowing local residents to use direct flights and provide a big boost to the local tourism industry. This was one of PGMA's major airport projects during her State of the Nation Address in 2007.

The Sorsogon city government envisions the setting up and construction of an Integrated Land Transportation Terminal that will house all passenger buses and jeepneys coming in and out of Sorsogon City proper. The identified site is Barangay Cabid-an along the diversion road. A terminal building will be constructed for ticket offices, passenger lounges, commercial stalls, restaurants or eateries, and quarters for drivers and other transport staff. This will cover an initial one hectare area including adequate space for the parking of buses and jeepneys.

Communications

The City has modern and efficient communication facilities, including international direct dialing, telex, facsimile, and worldwide express delivery service.

Festivals

"Sararo, Sarabay sa Progreso"... this is the battle cry of the City and the theme for the newly created festival dubbed as “SOSOGON FESTIVAL”. The festival was actually the celebration of the City foundation of Sorsogon. As its maiden celebration and launching, the City Government lead by Hon. Leovic R. Dioneda (City Mayor), spearheaded the affair. On a press conference held last December 1, 2007, which were attended by the local media people of Sorsogon, Mayor Leovic Dioneda opens it with explaining why the Sosogon Festival was created. Accordingly, on December 16, 2000, Sorsogon City was born via Republic Act 8806 authored by Congressman Francis Escudero, merging the two municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon. SOSOGON FESTIVAL was actually the celebration of the SORSOGON CITY FOUNDATION.

'Pili Festival is Sorsogon City's premier annual festival which also coincides with the City's traditional patronal fiesta, June 28-29, in honor of its patron saints, St. Peter and St. Paul.

The Festival showcases the Pili Tree, which is indigenous to Sorsogon, and known hereabouts as The Majestic Tree because of its many industrial, commercial, and nutritional uses from its roots, trunk, branches, leaves, sap and fruit. Appropriately costumed young people dance down the streets of the City during the Festival, demonstrating in dance, the many uses of this remarkable tree. During the Pili street dance, which highlights the weeklong Festival, the costumed dancers move to the rhythmic, hypnotic beat of native percussion instruments. Every October of each year, the Kasanggayahan Festival is celebrated in Sorsogon in commemoration of its foundation as a Province. It is a province-wide festival, with the center of activities in Sorsogon City.

It is a province-wide festival, with the center of activities in Sorsogon City.

The Kasanggayahan Festival, which is listed by the Department of Tourism as one of the annual Philippine Festivals, is celebrated with a series of cultural, historical, religious, agro-industrial and economic activities, showcasing Sorsogon's abundant agricultural products, particularly food and decorative items from the versatile Pili tree, which is indigenous to the province. It is a province-wide festival, with the center of activities in Sorsogon City.

The Festival is highlighted by the inimitable Pantomina sa Tinampo. Pantomina, a traditional Bikol dance, is known as a dance of love and courtship. Actually the dance of the doves or sinalampati (salampati is Bikol for dove), as it was then known before the coming of the Spanish colonizers.The Pantomina, or pantomime, imitates, in dance, the courtship and lovemaking of the doves. But it is only in Sorsogon where this is danced in the streets, or tinampo, by droves of eager dancers wearing colorful native attire, as they cajole and coax tourists and onlookers to join in the fun and merrymaking, partake of tuba, the native coconut wine, and lechon, or roast pig, carried by dancers as they swing and sway and do their love dance down the streets of Sorsogon.

Television Network and Radio Stations

  • Aemillianum Broadcasting Center (ABC Channel 5) which airs local TV shows daily like INI AN BARETA (Ito ang Balita).
  • 91.9 Radyo Natin FM
  • 101.5 DWLH Fm, 103.9 DWO
  • 94.3 DWAM-FM
  • Credible Media Network's 102.3 Spirit Fm.

It also has several AM radio stations.

Tourism

Sorsogon City is famous for its exquisite beaches that is mostly located at Bacon District. One of those is the Paguriran Island that has a powder-like white sand and crystal clear sea water. The city is also known for its famous caves and falls that is really worth visiting.

The city is also the capital and seat of government as jump-off point, all the eco-tour destinations within the province are easily accessible, including the singularly exciting, high adventure Whale Shark or Butanding Interaction activity off the waters of Donsol, Pilar, Castilla, Magallanes, and Bacon District of Sorsogon City; a rare nature-commune at the Mt. Bulusan Natural Park and its mystical Bulusan Mountain Lake Resort, with its exotic flora and fauna; the province's magnificently colorful dive sites and marine sanctuaries; mysterious caves with interesting folk legends to explore; hot springs and healing mineral water spas to soak in, relax and unwind; the picturesque little islands within Sorsogon Bay and off Matnog, offering fine white, black or pink sand beaches; the historical landmarks, including old churches, ancient houses and monuments, historic ruins of baluartes, murallas, and astilleros or ancient shipyards; and local arts and crafts.

Located offshore in Sorsogon Bay just parallel to the Sorsogon Pier that juts into the Bay, the 3-hectare island is suitable as a picnic resort, complete with swimming pools, bird and butterfly sanctuaries, a mini-zoo, a botanical garden, bicycle lanes, picnic huts and cottages, or a small hotel, a seafood restaurant, a small marina for boating in Sorsogon Bay, and other leisure facilities.

It is for its many natural attractions, though, that Sorsogon City is known. Bacon District, a mere 20-minute drive from the City's central business district, holds promise as an eco-tourism destination. Central to its vast tourism potential is Bacon Beach, with its long stretch of black sand and clear blue waters. The District likewise boasts limestone caves, lakes and a marine sanctuary. Most notable of these are Tolonggapo in Caricaran and the Bato Limestone Caves in which were found prehistoric artifacts. Farther offshore, dive sites teeming with coral reefs and tropical fishes make for a colorful underwater experience. Short boat rides away are enchanting, often unexplored islands, each with their own surprises. On Paguriran Island, which is surrounded by dark granite, a huge outcrop offers a view of the swirling currents below and the stolid mountains beyond. Rain-fed pools, springs, waterfalls and secret coves all contribute to Sorsogon City’s natural attractions. Bucalbucalan and Palhi Springs in the City’s West District boast springs ideal for cooling down, especially in the hot summer months. Busay Twin Falls in the PNOC Reservation high up in the mountains also holds promise as an ecotourism haunt.

Neither does the tourist need to go far to appreciate Sorsogon’s natural attractions. Rompeolas, with its walkway that serves as promenade, offers spectacular views of the Bulusan Volcano, as does Paroja Hill and Grotto, which overlooks Sorsogon Bay. A promenade for Sorsoganons, Rompeolas and the adjacent Pinaculan Island are being primed for tourism development, with sunset cruises and ecotourism as their primary selling points.

Sister Cities of Sorsogon

SORSOGON CITY (25 September) -- A resolution transmittal from the City Council of Zamboanga signed by Zamboanga City Mayor Celso L. Lobregat was received by the Office of the City Mayor of Sorsogon, September 21, acknowledging a sisterhood relationship with the city.

The Resolution numbered 697 dated August 24, 2006 of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Zamboanga declares its intention to forge a sisterhood affiliation with this city to enhance their existing mutual relationship being a prototype local government unit classified as a "highly urbanized city" that serves as a model for their city to emulate in terms of local governance and urban development.

According to Hon. Sally A. Lee, former City Mayor of Sorsogon and the current Provincial Governor, the said sisterhood program will also be an enormous help in developing this city as a 'fast growing city' in the Bicol region in accordance to her governing term's agenda, the making of the city of Sorsogon a Dream City and a progressive gateway to the South by 2015.

Former Mayor Lee also expressed her appreciation to Zamboanga City Council and said that she is grateful knowing that the efforts made by Sorsogon City are now being recognized not only here but even in other places outside the region.

Education

Sorsogon City is truly the academic center of the province. It has

and other educational institutions that provides not only its residents but also its nearby towns a good quality of education.

Infrastructure

The proposed Sorsogon Business and Leisure Park is a 20 hectare reclamation area linking the 3-hectare Pinaculan Island to the Sorsogon Pier in Sorsogon Bay, forming part of the expansion area of the Sorsogon City's central business district. The area shall have a rock causeway and seawall, complete with wide and well-paved roads, underground electrical and telephone systems and water supply. Low, medium and high density zones shall be identified for business establishments, plants and factories, including a central park.

This is located in Barangay Bucal-Bucalan along the national highway, about 15-20 minutes away by car from Sorsogon City's Central Business District. Already in place is a small rest area for travelers, complete with a mini-park and a small canteen with a view deck. The proposed development of the area involves the construction of a seafood trading and rest facility, complete with seafood stalls, bayside restaurants and cafes, and adequate parking space. The food stalls and restaurants will specialize in fresh blue crabs which Sorsogon is known for. Customers can have their pick of crabs and other seafood from the stalls and have them cooked at the adjacent restaurants or open air grill shops.

Barangays

Sorsogon City is politically subdivided into 64 barangays.

  • Abuyog
  • Almendras-Cogon (Pob.)
  • Balete
  • Balogo
  • Barayong
  • Bato
  • Basud
  • Bibincahan
  • Bitan-o/Dalipay (Pob.)
  • Bogña
  • Bon-Ot
  • Bucalbucalan
  • Buenavista
  • Buenavista Bacon District
  • Buhatan
  • Bulabog
  • Burabod (Pob.)

  • Cabarbuhan
  • Cabid-An
  • Cambulaga
  • Capuy
  • Caricaran
  • Del Rosario
  • Gatbo
  • Gimaloto
  • Guinlajon
  • Jamislagan
  • Macabog
  • Maricrum
  • Marinas
  • Osiao
  • Pamurayan
  • Pangpang
  • Panlayaan
  • Peñafrancia
  • Piot (Pob.)
  • Poblacion

  • Polvorista (Pob.)
  • Rawis
  • Rizal
  • Salog (Pob.)
  • Salvacion
  • Salvacion Bacon District
  • Sampaloc (Pob.)
  • San Isidro
  • San Isidro Bacon District
  • San Juan (Roro)
  • San Juan Bacon District
  • San Pascual
  • San Ramon
  • San Roque
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Lucia
  • Santo Domingo
  • Santo Niño
  • Sawanga
  • Sugod
  • Sirangan (Pob.)
  • Sulucan (Pob.)
  • Talisay (Pob.)
  • Ticol
  • Tugos

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