I remember during my primary and secondary education years in school, whenever somebody would be asking me what would be the best beach resort for me, I always replied, ‘Rizal Beach!’ Then, everybody around me would gave me their straight faces with the usual question, ‘Rizal Beach?’ Almost everybody in the classroom did not have any idea what or where Rizal Beach was located; except of course to some of my fellow ‘kababayan’ (native of the same province or region) who knew of the place. Honestly, I felt a bit of disappointment and regret to know that only a few had an idea where or what is Rizal Beach. Nonetheless, I was never embarrassed every time it happened because Rizal Beach was certainly one of the best getaways especially during summer days.
Gubat, Sorsogon: Our Place of Origin
My father was born and lived his first years of his childhood in Gubat, Sorsogon. Some of his siblings as well were born and raised in the same town until our grandparents took risk to have a better life in the concrete jungle of Metro Manila. Since my papa is a Bicolano, as always, whenever we planned to stay in Bicol for quite sometime, we would be staying at Legazpi City (on one of my father’s ancestral homes) for a day or two to prepare ourselves as we go to Gubat, Sorsogon. I really love the place because, as we always claim, we have a good ‘swimming spot’ at the back of our home! There is seashore waiting for us to swim and enjoy. Not to mention the best delicacies our relatives would be giving us.
The Rizal Beach
Whenever my father would be telling us to prepare ourselves to go to Rizal Beach, It would always be a mixed feeling of excitement and lonely anticipation. The ‘Rizal Beach Trip’ was the signal that our Bicol escapades would soon be over. It was always like that. Nevertheless, the thought of being in this cool place always made me awake the whole night because of exhilaration. After taking out hearty breakfast, we would now be headed to Rizal Beach for the next almost half-a-day of fun. Even the scorching heat of the sun could not tone down our enthusiasm a bit. Since it was our clan’s place, we would just stay on one of the best and biggest cottage or cottages available by the shore to secure our things. Cottages during that time were for rent and it was always a ‘first come-first serve’ policy. We were definitely exempted of this rule since it is ‘our place’. Just a short phone call and our relatives would be preparing the place for us. After a long and fun-filled day, we knew that within a day or two we would be going back to Manila.
Rizal Beach: My Latest Visit
After finishing college and receiving my diploma, I decided to have a trip to Gubat, Sorsogon after almost ten (10) long years. The accommodation was still the same and certainly it was very special. For years that I had not been here, the local government boosted their efforts in fostering the Eco-Tourism. What I liked best was the ‘Butanding’ or Whale Shark interaction. I was lucky that I was there at one of their peak months (February until May) that I was able to swim with these gentle giants. I never failed to visit my favorite place which was the Rizal Beach and it had surpassed my expectations. Ten (10) years ago, the place was not that developed until my last visit that there were now accommodations along the shore! I was surprised to see some of the famous movie stars relaxing with me as well enjoying my ‘favorite’ beach.
Sorsogon nowadays is one of the best places to be here in the Philippines. The accommodating and hospitable natives of this wonderful place this feat possible. I am definitely one of the proud Bicolanos to have had witnessed the place’s development throughout the years. As our relatives would greet us, ‘Dagos Tabi!’ which means ‘hop in or come in, you are very welcome!’