012013 - The Urban Tracker (In Sorsogon) : A Sunday Lowdown In Sirangan

The back view of St. Paul & Mary Cathedral is actually the main entrance.
he most visible structure nearing the city proper is the sight of either commercial structures or municipal halls. In case of downtown Sorsogon - it's The St Paul & Mary’s cathedral dome.

It's the most prominent landmark that it's hard not to get a fix of its grandeur. Taking the side entrance instead of the mini-market side at Magsaysay St. was where the beauty of its heritage unveiled.

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An abandoned relic decked by a climbing runner plant
An ongoing mass summoned the crowd as our group took our spot on one corner of the church adoring general feature. Outside, an old relic of its office stood by, abandoned yet preserved and cloaked with wall plants. Just a few hours from my arrival in Sorsogon, shaking off sleep was bearable marveling Sorsogon’s postcard countryside farms.

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The dome towers above among structures in downtown Sorsogon.
The bus I rode took me down on the highway before I took my tricycle ride to Jollibee where I first caught sight of the dome from a distance. A friend picked me up and led me to our home base in Sampaloc and within a matter of an hour,  I was already hitting the streets athirst of Bicol's spicy deli and my first shot of that dome heritage in Sirangan. 

With my cravings taking the better of me, a nearby eatery serving this authentic tasting laing and pancit bato was a timely meal. That pancit bato surprised me with its variation. They said this staple fits for those who are loveless or lovelorn with pusong bato.

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The glutinous version of laing I found in one eatery is fairly authentic.
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Ham bits enhance the pancit bato the Sorsogon twist
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Well-painted Sorsogon's seat of power, The old municipal hall
With that energy, I began my city walk tour starting with the provincial capitol park of Sorsogon. I observed the stage, fa├žade of the provincial capitol building, and some structures within a sprawling park. That breezy afternoon made it all too easy encircling the pathways and vital routes of the city that I realized you didn't need a map to navigate the main city district. The neighborhood was rather rustic as I made my way to the part of Burabod. There were a church and school for  reference that led me to the main thoroughfare.  

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Downtown Sorsogon prominent commercial structure house this popular accessory store.
The cleanliness of the city is apparent but what’s more impressive is the orderliness and discipline of people and motorists. The jeepneys going inside the city don’t have stay long enough in streets and they have dedicated terminals. The people follow the proper walkways with traffic officers facilitating the crossing pedestrians. And it’s more fun to see that other than Jollibee and Chowking here, there’s only Savemore as their main mall. In short, Sorsogon is not so close to being penetrated by big players that small and longtime establishments still enjoy patronage here.

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Spirit of unity evident in these youth as they clear the walls for lichens.
I took a route to Bgy. Sampaloc hoping for a shortcut but instead, it took me to a cemetery. In passing, these kids were busy doing civil service removing the lichens on city walls. Sorsogon Market was just a range nearby so I took a pry for what’s unique and new. The market led me to an artery pointing to a section that's the shortest route to my home base.

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While on the bridge, I took the shoot of locals who are propping up the nets for their fishpond hunt.
After accosting my group to a Sunday mass in the parish, I told them about a certain hangout as tipped to me by a local located on the far back of the church. We headed that way altogether the part of Sirangan and the first we thought that it’s just a fishing community. The banks of the dock have the boats parked with some leftover shells of native.

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Boats on standby for seafood hunt anytime.
Going further we found paradise - a haven for long-time city promenaders – a baywalk built with huts, seats for picnic purpose exposing a comfortable view of the active Mount Bulusan and the sunset, oozing with a romantic catch. With some street food to share, we retreated the day with sunset reflecting all over the waters for a stirring background. The breeze caressing our face that smells that of mountains carrying and lullabying us as we called it an awesome day.

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The skies look painted by twilight in Sirangan baywalk.
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