That Time I Jumped Off a Cliff at Paguriran Island, Sorsogon

Sunday, June 08, 2014

May 22, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to say that I've been to Paguriran Island exactly four times (including this one.) My mom's hometown is in Bacon, Sorsogon and we regularly go there for summer vacation so this is really no surprise.

Regardless, I was an entirely different person during my previous visits to this place and, thus, had used to look at things very differently. Now that I am an overhauled person, with a more-open mind and the eyes of an adventurer, I see Paguriran much better. Clearer.

Dubbed the "hidden gem" of Sorsogon, Paguriran Island is slowly becoming a popular attraction. Found in Baranggay Sawangga in Bacon, Sorsogon, Paguriran features powder-white sands that could rival those of Boracay, a lagoon with super clear waters, a sandbar a la Manlawi, snorkeling and diving spots, and a number of cliffs for cannon balls.

I went back to this place the day after the town fiesta in Bacon, with Dennis, Papa, my two nephews RJ and JC, Tita Amy, Tita Chato, Tita Leonie, Tita Luz and my cousin Dadoy.

It was the second time Dennis had been to Paguriran and he was as excited as he was during his first visit. We explored the place, from the sand bar to the lagoon and up the surrounding rock formations.

And how could I forget the form of the Mayon in the distant background? Post-card worthy.

And of course, I jumped off a cliff. It was also my fourth time and I scold myself for taking too long to jump. I still felt a little scared. But the bottom-line is I was able to cliff-dive. Awesome!

Later on, when I was practicing my Freestyle in Paguriran's crystalline waters, I saw something unusual. As I did my strokes, my eyes caught the glimpse of the sky above. The sun was surrounded by a round mass of dark clouds. It looked like a compact disc, the kind that was used to store music or movies. I made this aberration known to my companions and they were as fascinated as I was. It was 9:30AM when I noticed this.

We decided to let it be and got back to having water fun. A couple of hours passed and we headed back to shore to have lunch. The strange sun/cloud formation was still in effect. I decided to take photos.

I did some research (i.e. Googling) and found out that the phenomenon is known as a solar halo or a 22-degree halo. It was caused by the refraction of sunlight into millions of ice crystals up in the atmosphere. Some of the locals believe that it foretells of an imminent calamity. Well, I hope it isn't.

At any rate, this added a kind of meteorological twist to my Paguriran story and I am very grateful.

Cheers to the next adventure!

How to get there
In Cubao Bus Terminal, there are buses bound for Sorsogon. Some only stop at the Diversion Road or at the Sorsogon Town Proper, while some go as far as Bacon. Once you're in either one of this places, you could wait for jeepneys going to Sawangga. However, I've been told jeepney trips are irregular so it's advisable to rent a ride to Paguriran.

Bus fare to Sorsogon - Php600.00 (but this could be cheaper during low season)

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