Sorsogon is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. It is the southernmost province in Luzon and is subdivided into fourteen municipalities (towns) and one city. Its capital is Sorsogon City (formerly the towns of Sorsogon and Bacon) and borders the province of Albay to the north. Sorsogon is at the tip of the Bicol Peninsula and faces the island of Samar to the southeast across the San Bernardino Strait and Ticao Island to the southwest. Sorsogueños is how the people of Sorsogon call themselves.
Map of the Philippines with Sorsogon highlighted
In 1570 two Augustinian friars, Alonzon Jiménez and Juan Orta, accompanied by a certain captain, Enrique de Guzmán, reached Hibalong, a small fishing village near the mouth of Ginangra River, and planted the cross and erected the first chapel in Luzon. It was from this village thatIbalong, referring to the whole region, came to be. Moving inland with a northwesterly direction they passed by the territory now known as Pilar, before they reached Camalig, Albay. The establishment of the Abucay-Catamlangan Mission later was ample proof of this The early towns established here were: Gibalon in 1570 (now sitio of Magallanes); Casiguran-1600; Bulusan – 1631; Pilar – 1635; Donsol – 1668; Bacon – 1764; Jubanand Matnog - 1800; Bulan - 1801; Castilla – 1827; Magallanes – 1860;Sorsogon – 1866 and Irosin – 1880. The province was eventually separated from Albay on October 17, 1894 and adopted the name Sorsogon. The town of Sorsogon was also selected as its capital.
On 1935 Philippine Constitutional convention, Sorsogon had its own delegates. They were Adolfo Grafilo, Francisco Arellano, José S. Reyes, and Mario Guarino.
Sorsogon, at the southeastern part of the Bicol Peninsula, is bounded on the north by the province of Albay, on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by the San Bernardino Strait, and on the west and northwest by theTicao and Burias Passes. It has a total land area of 2,119 km2.
It is characterized by an irregular topography, and, except for landlockedIrosin, all the 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.
Except for its overland link with the province of Albay to the north, it is completely surrounded by water. Sorsogon is the gateway of Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao through its Roll-on/Roll-offferry terminal facilities located in the municipalities of Matnog, Pilar and Bulan.
The province's economic activity is highly concentrated in its capital city, Sorsogon City, and the towns of Bulan, Irosin, Gubat, and Matnog as well. Sorsogon Province is classified as 2nd class with an average annual income of ₱339.4M (C.Ys. 2000-2003). This is about ₱11M short for the province to attain 1st class reclassification which requires at least ₱350M average annual income.
The Province of Sorsogon indeed had a great contribution on the 97-percent growth in investments for the first quarter of 2008 and increasing tourism arrivals that buoyed the Bicol Region economy, despite the damage brought about by incessant rains and a rice shortage. This is according to the Quarterly Regional Economic Situationer (QRES) released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office in Bicol (NRO 5).
Among the provinces, Sorsogon posted the highest growth (293% respectively) in investments from the previous year. Next to Sorsogon is Catanduanes that posted a growth of 280%. Albay contributed 39 percent to the region's investments and posted a growth of 221% from the preceding quarter.
“For the third time, Bicol Region hosted the kick-off of Asia's premier extreme sailing event, the Philippine Hobie Challenge last February 16 at Gubat, Sorsogon. This 260-mile journey from Gubat-Sambuyan-Bacsal-Marambut-Suluan to Siargao enticed both local and foreign water sports enthusiasts. It opened the opportunity for the municipality of Gubat to showcase the town's best,” the QRES stated.