Barcelona Sorsogon | One-Stop, Quick-Hop Wonder
There are 31 places in the world that share the name Barcelona, a city in Spain popular for its medieval treasures. And in the Philippines, there are 7 of it, tailing Colombia in the top count with 8 towns. But I am only taking you to the most popular Barcelona in the Pacific—-that of Barcelona Sorsogon.
There are quite a few stories how it got the name of the great Spanish city. Some say Spanish conquistadores called it Barcelona out of homesickness. Others write, that because it resembled the Catalonian city.
Whatever there were to its name, one thing is certain—Spanish colonizers arrived in Sorsogon as early as 16th century. And just like in many parts of the country where they made settlements, Hispanized names are not a surprise.
Quick Stop: Barcelona Sorsogon
While it’s pretty in itself, basking on emerald fields & sun-kissed beachlines, it only captures passing-by tourists coming from both ends. And visitors only stay for an hour at most only to see the church of St. Joseph, the Presidencia ruins & quick photo-ops at the marquee.
It’s really far from imagined. Here, there are no Sagrada Familia, Park Güell or Casa Batlló. If there are any traces of Spain in Barcelona Sorsogon, that would be the old-world charm of St. Joseph Church.
Governadorcillo Juan Evasco built this church in 1874. Much like the churches in coastal areas around the Philippines, this too was made out of corals & egg whites as mortar ingredients. The façade, walls & floors are still in tact from its construction several centuries ago.
Across the church is Barcelona Ruins Park where the remnants of the old Presidencia Building still stand. This spot used to be the Municipal Office & fortress but was toppled by wars & typhoons.
Story has it that there’s a tunnel that runs through the Presidencia Ruins & the church but is now unsafe for viewing.
There’s really nothing else to see in Barcelona Sorsogon. Nonetheless, it’s still a beautiful place for a breezy stopover. You can run to the beach for a quick dip or enjoy local snacks lined up at the roadside.
And oh, if you’re wondering where the rest of the Barcelonas are in the Philippines, they can be found in Surigao del Sur, Dapitan, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Guimaras & Camarines Sur. All these places were strongholds of the Spanish empire back in time. Around the world, these are in Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, America, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil & Aruba.
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Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors. I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more