My Bulusan

Bulusan is not my hometown but my parent’s. I was born in Quezon City and save for the 3 years I lived in Makati, I’ve lived here all my life.

Dulipay River 01
Dulipay river

My first trips were to Bulusan. When I was young, the family will make the epic 14-hour journey to this small town in Sorsogon. It would usually be during the Holy Week — we leave Wednesday evening, rolling into Bulusan morning of Maudy Thursday, eager to swim and explore, but getting told off that we can’t because it’s Lent. The first two days of the trip involved hearing mass at the Parish of St. James the Greater and getting our freedom to head to the beach and swim in the river on Saturday. On Easter Sunday, we pack up our things and head back to Manila in the afternoon.

Trips to Bulusan became less and less as I grow up. Prior to last April, my last trip to the province was in 2002 after graduating from college. Though it wasn’t Holy Week yet, it was almost as if it was — we hardly had time to really enjoy the place.

Bulusan Volcano 05
Kayaks waiting to be boarded at the Bulusan Lake

I can’t remember a trip to Bulusan without rain. While people are complaining of a very hot Lenten season, my memories of Bulusan during lent always involved rain. True to tradition, it was pouring when we rolled into town. I was eagerly looking out the window of the jeepney we were riding, taking in everything that came into view and mentally comparing if it was the same as my last visit.

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A lot of things have changed. Roads have been paved, towering concrete houses where old nipa houses stood. My phone was able to get signal from Globe and there’s even a couple of Internet shops. Yet a lot of things remained the same. There was that one house and the store that still looked the same as it did when I first laid eyes on it in the early 80’s, and of course the familiar faces of friends and family. I find myself thinking how my parents feel every time they come home to Bulusan. If the changes I’ve noticed for the past 20-something years have been huge, how much has the town changed from the Bulusan they’ve known since the late 1930’s?

Dancalan Beach 03
Dancalan beach on a rainy day

The longest I’ve stayed in Bulusan was 10 days. That was when I was in high school and on summer break. I wonder how different the experience would be if I go back and stay longer. Maybe this is the time to find out?

Blog CarnivalWritten for the 7th Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival on the theme “hometown.” This round is hosted by Mhe-anne Ojeda of My Comings and Goings.

View the archive over at Estan Cabigas’

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 15 Comments
  1. I ended up not going to Bulusan after meeting you at Mateo. Too bad I ran out of time, it was the main reason of my stopover at Irosin. (Nagkayak kayak kayo dito?)

  2. chyng says:

    why do you think it always rain on Holy Week? sabi nila sign yan na wag daw maglakwatsa! hehe
    you have no idea how envious i get sa mga taong may mga probinsya na inuuwian twing holy week =(

  3. Tripper10 says:


    where can i go besides of Bulusan lake and Dancalan Beach if i will visit Bulusan?

    Thanks.. :)

  4. Sara says:

    Great post! It’s always such an interesting experience to return to somewhere you’ve been away from for a long time, isn’t it?

  5. Mark says:

    I loved it when i visited Sorsogon , took a jeepney to Irosin then a trike further up the mountain to visit friends. They own a bakery so you can imagine how good that was , lol. Swimming in the beautiful pool there . And walking around part of the lake. It didn’t rain though it was very cloudy lol.All part of a great trip to Bicol.

  6. Parang gusto ko mag Dancalan beach.=) thanks for sharing . May araw ka ding Dancalan beach!!!

  7. Aleah says:

    Never been to Sorsogon :( When I go to see the butanding, I hope I can go to Bulusan as well.

  8. Prime says:

    Nina, must try ang kayaking sa Bulusan lake! I’m not into water sports but it’s fun. I did it. nawala yung pagod ko dahil super enjoy.

  9. hndi pa din po ako nakarating ng bulusan.. the farthest i’ve been in bicol was in Albay.. gusto ko din magkayak sa lake :)

  10. Kat says:

    It’s wonderful to have a province to go to when Holy Week rolls in. Dancalan Beach looks beautiful! It’s so different from the shores of Bacacay, Albay. :)

  11. Joneil says:

    I sure love Bulusan — my hometown. I miss being there. I miss having a peaceful, simple life. I miss all those moments at the beach. I miss hiking to the waterfalls. I miss the hot springs. I miss… EVERYTHING!!! Though, so much has changed in a couple of years (Now, the government is planning to build a geothermal plant there. I totally disagree with this idea.). I’m sure you’ll love it there. napaka-haba lang talaga ng byahe galing manila tapos simple lang yung lugar… simple pero worth it… :)

  12. Joel France says:

    I missed Bulusan so much!

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