In the southeastern part of Sorsogon in Bicol region lies a sleepy town filled with exciting activities that promote tourism and environmental awareness.
Gubatnons take their environment seriously, especially the treasures the ocean brings, as the second class municipality is located along the coast of the Pacific Ocean on the Bicol Peninsula.
Gubat’s location has gifted the town with several gifts from nature, some can even rival those in Sorsogon’s sister provinces, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.
Bicol is big on surfing, and Gubat is slowly cementing itself as another player in this industry what with the development of several surfing camps in the town.
Its famous Rizal Beach offers waves comparable with those in Siargao and La Union, minus the thick crowd. Both beginners and seasoned surfers are welcomed to Buenavista Surf Camp, Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp, and Bugkus Surf Camp.
With a growing surfing industry, the celebrations of Kasanggayahan Festival—a festival that commemorates the founding anniversary of Sorsogon as a province—include a national surfing competition. Lunad sa Balod is held annually at Buenavista Surf Camp.
Rizal Beach’s long stretch of white sand and clear water is not exclusive to thrill-seekers who ride the waves, it’s also perfect for those looking to spend hours of lounging and frolicking.
Bugkus Surf Camp, which recently opened to the public in September, offers budget-friendly accommodations with a view of Rizal Beach.
Close to nature at Lola Sayong
Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp is among the popular surf camps in Gubat. But more than a popular destination that offers friendly rates on surfing lessons and accommodations that let guests “live the basic life close to nature,” it helps support the education of young locals who help manage the surf camp.
In addition to providing financial assistance, the surf camp’s income also helps maintain the camp, and fund health and environment educational projects for the area.
After guests “fall asleep to the sound of the waves and wake up with the sunrise,” they can then grab a bite at Granny’s Grub, chill out at Kape Hon café, and play Pinoy games at HinDigital Playground.
Learn about mangroves
Be with nature, literally, while strolling through the plantation at Panganiban Mangrove Eco-Tourism Site.
The mangrove plantation was turned into an eco-tourism site that features different kinds of mangroves. As tourists walk through the boardwalk, they can learn about mangroves—the different types and how they grow.
Panganiban Mangrove Boardwalk also has two view decks where visitors can lay their eyes on the 13.6-hectares of mangroves. The beauty of Mt. Bulusan and its lake can also be seen from the said view decks.
Don’t panic, it’s healthy and organic
Gubat Young Farmers Association, which started as a student organization in Bicol University, promotes organic farming through its production of organic fertilizers and poultry.
With the help of Gubatnons and farmers, they were able to start their dream of having an organic vegetable and fruit garden in Barangay Ariman.
It may be just a small land but GYFA was able to plant eggplant, chili, coconut, passion fruit, peanut, pili, kamoteng kahoy, banana, and sweet potato. After months of nourishing, the organization’s efforts paid off after they produced organic vegetables and fruits which they also let the locals try.
Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp also partners with and helps GYFA by purchasing their crops and using them in dishes served at Granny’s Grub.
Photos by Angelica Villanueva
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