Bacon, Sorsogon: The Charm of Paguriran Island & Lagoon
The greatest gastronomic invention mankind ever built has delighted millions of taste buds since 1500 BC but I’m sorry to disappoint all bacon-lovers out there, Bacon, Sorsogon, is not a bacon-producing town nor the birthplace of the world’s favorite breakfast treat. Instead, the quaint town of Bacon comes with a different kind of flavor that would tickle cravings of saltwater-lovers who seek an escape from the rigors of daily grind. Bacon was our first stop in 3-day road trip to the southernmost end of Luzon island.
History of ‘Bacon’ in the Philippines
A Spanish friar on a religious mission along Bicol peninsula‘s eastern coast found a native plant called “bacong” abundantly growing on its shores. For some time, the town was called ‘Bacong’ until the ‘g’ was omitted for a “easier” pronunciation, and from then on, Bacon, without a ‘g’, has been used. Or would you still prefer a story where Bacon is the first town to conceive the perfect formula for thin and crispy slice of pork filled with mouthwatering goodness? That I leave to you.
Where Is Paguriran Island?
Tucked deep within Bacon’s municipality lies a beach scoured in pinkish white sand sprawling with bite-sized corals, shells in various shapes, and lush mangrove forests. This quiet shore of Baranggay Sawangga also takes pride of a unique islet, forged by earthly elements and touched by Mother Nature’s artistry. This natural wonder is an off-shore islet known to Sorsogueños as Paguriran.
Jagged rocks and massive coral formations primarily made up Paguriran‘s triangular-shaped island (if seen from above), but the charm it possesses came from the lagoon. A serene sanctuary confined by natural barriers which seemingly cuts us loose from the tangles of our lives, an enclave where we could derail ourselves from the train of daily grind, and most of all, an escape from the rest of society, specifically, the unpleasant discord of videoke singers singing different melodies all at the same time.
You might find this post misleading the moment you set foot on Baranggay Sawanga’s beach. You’d probably be annoyed by videoke machines shamelessly playing uninviting clamors, but don’t leave just yet. I think everybody else have had the same unexpected encounter. Paguriran’s charm didn’t came out right away. In my case, I found what I was looking for in solitude – when I spent the last few minutes of dusk on the island, and as I strolled along the beach in the stillness of dawn. But then again, that’s just me.
Now, here are some fast facts that may help you on the road trip:
1. Not a single strip of bacon emerged on this road trip.
2. Isarog Lines, RSL, and Penafrancia Tours have daily trips from Manila to Sorsogon City. From Sorsogon City, there’s a terminal near Petron with jeepneys going to Baranggay Sawanga via Bacon town proper. Not sure about the jeepney’s schedule though.
3. A closed cottage with an open area for dining cost us P500.00, however, the 8 of us definitely didn’t fit inside the cottage. Others slept inside the cottage, others inside the van, while I slept on a hammock. Spending the night here is a cheap option if you’re in a tight budget.
4. If you’re looking for a really nice place to stay – try New Sea Breeze Resort. It’s conveniently located in Bacon’s town proper and is only a tricycle away to Paguriran. For reservations call them at 0916-291-6536 / 0917-526-7069 / 0919-999-7495
5. Paguriran Island is a little over a hundred meters away from the beach. Crossing was barely a walk in the park as the water level is ankle deep. However, when I went to the island to take the some photos, water level was neck deep. I held the camera and tripod above my head to make sure it doesn’t get wet, but still – not advisable. If you’re crossing on high tide, pack your camera very well, and cross with someone, specifically, who knows how to swim (in case you don’t).
6. Expect sharp corals in a rocky islet like this, it’s advisable to bring aqua shoes, though a pair of good slippers would do.
7. We went snorkeling on the southern part of the island and saw small schools of fishes, there’s probably more.
8. There are small sari-sari stores on the beach.
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