The Spanish colonization has influenced the people of the Philippines in many aspects. The influential era still reflects in the living and non-living cultures and traditions of many Filipinos up to date. As a result, thousands of places in the country named under the Spanish and Hispanic era still possess their appellation.
One of these is the town of Barcelona, not Spain, but in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines.
There’s a town in the country named after the renowned city of Spain. The town was originally called “Danlog”, not until the Spanish colonizers named it “Barcelona” in the year 1886 as it resembles the topography of the Spanish City. Barcelona is famous for its historical and heritage structures that portray the rich past of the town.
St. Joseph Parish Church
Also known as Barcelona Church, nestled at the center of the town. This well preserved century-old Church is one of the oldest churches in Bicol. It was constructed under the term of Governadorcillo Juan Evasco in the year 1874. I remember my high school teacher told us an interesting fact about this church. He said that this majestic structure was built using only a lime and egg yolks to plaster the coral stones that were used for the building’s facade and walls. The church has undergone several restorations. However, the locals still managed to preserve the original walls, belfry, and facade of the building which reflect it’s history.
Barcelona Ruins Park
Just across the St. Joseph Parish is the town’s park housing the surviving edifices of the Presidencia Building and Old School building. This park offers a nostalgic scenery and free wifi.
A 146-year-old well-preserved ruin situated on the shoreline of the town facing the Pacific Ocean. The Presidencia used to house the Governadorcillo and its government during the Spanish occupation. Because of the strategic location of the structure, it was also believed to serve as a fortress to protect the town against the attack of Moro pirates. In addition, locals say there is an underground tunnel that leads you to the St. Joseph Parish Church across the street.
Old School Stone Building
This building erected just within the vicinity of the park served as the school for the children of “Ilustrados” or wealthy families back in the days.
Barcelona Town Hall
“In 2014, then-Mayor Atty. Manuel “Wowo” Fortes, now the Vice Governor of the Province of Sorsogon conceptualized the building of a respectable official home. With the help of his wife, Mayor Atty. Cynthia Falcotelo-Fortes, the design of his Town Hall left the drawing board in 2017. Sourcing out funds for the project proved difficult until then-Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero, now the Governor, funded the same in 2018.”
“The Sangguniang Bayan and the local government unit’s strategists inputted in the completion of the project.”
“This Town Hall provides a good lens into the Hispanic roots of Barcelona. And, into what the future holds for it through the current leadership order that brings governance a holistic pursuit for both leaders and the people of Barcelona.”
How to get there:
The travel time is usually 45 minutes from Manila to Legazpi via plane. From there you can take a bus or a van going to Sorsogon where you can ride a Jeepney bound to Gubat. From Gubat, ride a jeepney going to Bulusan and ask the driver to drop you off at the Barcelona Church. You may opt to take a bus bound directly to Barcelona or Bulusan, which will take a 12 hour travel time.
Barcelona is known for its historical tourist spots. The Local Government and the Provincial Government of Sorsogon are taking steps in developing other potential eco-tourism attractions within the town. For now, it is just a quick stop hop for travelers wandering in between the municipalities of Sorsogon.