Sogod is Visayan term for “start”, and locals said the town is so named because it is a place of beginnings.It is in Sogod that fine white sand stretching farther north begins, ending the string of dark sand beaches in preceding municipalities.
This meeting in contrast of white and dark can be seen only during low tide, at a spot where a sign marks a cave that once served as hiding place of Japanese soldiers during the war.
In this same area are markings resembling hoofs that religious Sogoranons believe were made by the horse of St. James The Apostle, the town’s patron saint, as he makes his way on horseback to the Sogod church through the cave.
Another possible reason for the name “Sogod”, residents say, is because the shift to Catholicism in the north during the Spanish period started in the town.
Sogod, approximately 60 kilometers from central Cebu City, shares boundaries with Borbon on the north, Catmon on the south, Tuburan and Tabuelan on the west, and Camotes Sea on the east.
It has 18 barangays with a total land area of 12,413.35 hectares, a large part of which is made up mostly of broad alluvial plain (75.85%) while the remaining portions are mountains (25.15%).
The town recorded an annual income of P34 million in 2007, and it had a population of 30,308 or 5,000 households as of the 2005 census.
Unpublished written accounts say Sogod existed as a civil government in 1764 under the authority of the Spanish provincial government known as “Tribunal de Mestizos.”
It was headed by a teniente in the person of Juan Daligdig.
In 1903, Sogod was merged with the town of Catmon but an act of the defunct Philippine Assembly separated them again on January 1, 1921.
*Attractions in Sogod*
A landmark destination in the town is the popular Alegre Beach Resort, with its premium on privacy, breathtaking view of the sea, fine sand, cool waters, cabanas taking inspiration from Spanish and Filipino architecture, and lush greens.
Other beach resorts are Calumboyan Public Beach, Tabunok Garden View Resort, and Northsky Beach Resort in Barangay Bawo.
Aside from white sand beaches, Sogod also a number of caves, springs, falls, and rivers.
A spring in the village of Bagatayam supplies water to the town through the Sogod Waterworks System. The spring has attracted tourists because its water has been reputed to have healing powers. A grotto of the Virgin Mary has been constructed in the place.
The St. James the Apostle Parish Church, built in 1842, is 170 years old and is a town cultural destination. Sogod also has a host of old school buildings, houses, and other structures.
At Sogod Central School in Bagatayam are astronomical platforms that served as the International Astronomical Observatory Post of the 1929 total solar eclipse. The town was then the center of the eclipse.
In Nahus-an Hills, 70 percent of farmers produce “kabog” or millet, a kind of cereal under the corn variety. The product is made in the famous Sogod delicacy “budbud kabog.”
*Alegre, a jewel in Sogod’s midst*
Lush greens, fine sand, clear blue waters, comfortable cabanas, and an amiable staff make Alegre Beach Resort in the Cebu town of Sogod the ultimate private getaway.
Imagine your own private spa where and when you like it, in the comfort of a cabana or at the beach where the sound of the surf and the chirping of the birds among the trees take you to another plane of relaxation.
Swimming in the resort’s shallows, where different varieties of fish congregate, is another adventure in itself.
If you get tired of all that sand and sea, there is always the alternative refreshing dip in any of the resort’s pools–one for adults and two for kids.
For your dining pleasure, the resort offers meals at the Pavilion Restaurant and Bar, which is built on a perch that overlooks the sea.
The Pavilion is capable of accommodating more than a hundred persons and serves a wide selection of contemporary Filipino and international cuisine.
Want to eat al-fresco? Alegre offers barbecues and other specials plus live music at The Cliff Seafood BBQ and Bar located right on the beachfront.
Alegre offers not just sun and spa but a host of other activities for visitors as well: its unique landscape of cliffs and beach is ideal for biking and trekking; its game room is perfect for table tennis, darts, billiards, and mahjong; it has karaoke; and hosts a mini-library for bookworms.
Aquasports activities like snorkeling, kayaking, banana boat ride, jet-skiing, boating, fishing, cruising, and bird-watching are also available upon request.
At night, rest in any of the resort’s 19 luxurious cabanas built along the resort’s cliffy landscape. Each cabana has two spacious rooms that come with warm wood furniture and large bathrooms.
Many of the cabanas overlook the sea, allowing guests private enjoyment of the sea breeze.
How to get there
Alegre is approximately an hour and a half drive from Cebu City. It is located in the seaside village of Calumboyan. The resort says in its website that “transfers can be arranged and are free of charge.”
The town of Sogod, where Alegre is located, can also be reached by bus that ply the northern route at the North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City. The trip would take more than two hours, what with stops on the way.
*Festival Unites Sogoranons *
It was aimed at showcasing Sogod’s rich cultural heritage and natural wonders but the town’s first Panagsogod Festival did more than that.
The festival, Sogod Vice Mayor Lissa Marie Durano said, united Sogoranons and bound them closer together.
Activities and preparations for the month-long celebration, which culminated on July 25 in time for the feast of town patron St. James the Apostle, made Sogoranons work hard together to see the realization of their dream.
The vice mayor said she was especially happy with other town officials and employees who cooperated with her to make the celebration successful.
The festival, aptly carrying the slogan “Ang Sinugdanan” (The Beginning), started with street dancing and a parade.
After, the street dancers had a showdown at the town’s reclamation area.
Tribu Magbubukid, represented by dancers from the Carmen National High School and sponsored by the Association of Barangay Councils, was declared grand champion in the competition.
Kulturang Sogoranon won first place and the Best in Musicality award; Pundok Bulawanong Sogoranon placed second and bagged the Best in Costume and Best in Street Dancing awards, while Pundok Calumboyan was picked for third place.
Named Festival Queen was Miss April Rica Lumbab, 20 years old, of Northeastern Cebu Colleges.
Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI (5th district, Cebu) and Governor Gwendolyn Garcia wee present in the celebration. Provincial Board members Agnes Magpale and Rosemarie Durano were also there.
Vice Mayor Durano said the festival is among a series of activities aimed at promoting Sogod as a tourist destination. (MVG)
Sogod’s first Panagsogod Festival, aptly carrying the slogan “Ang Sinugdanan (The beginning),” will culminate tomorrow with street dancing and a fiesta banquet at the Municipal Hall.
Vice Mayor Lissa Marie Durano said the festival is among a series of activities aimed at showcasing the town’s rich cultural heritage and potential as a tourist destination.
The Panagsogod Festival’s culminating activities are timed with the feast of town patron St. James the Apostle.
A shower of events, held since July 1 and which included a mass church wedding, talent showdown, agro-fair, special dinner affair at popular beach resort Alegre, had preceded tomorrow’s celebration highlights.
Durano said several contingents will be joining the street dancing activity that will be held tomorrow during the town fiesta.
The town of Sogod considers the Panagsod Festival as an opportune time for a renewal of unity, cooperation, and prosperity.
* Good Food,personalized service at Borussia*
Patrons drive 60 kilometers from Cebu City to eat at couple Jürgen and Chuchi Männchen’s Borussia Restaurant in the northern town of Sogod and that speaks a lot about the quality of food served there.
Asked about some of their diners, Chuchi mentions Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, his brother Representative Red Durano, and their father Danao Mayor Ramonito Durano III as among those who have eaten at Borussia.
He is so kind, Chuchi says of Ace, and adds it was a surprise to her that his and Red’s wives were twins.
Former governor Lito Osmeña had dropped in at the Männchen’s restaurant in Sogod as well, and countless others who have by word of mouth heard about German Jürgen’s culinary expertise.
Borussia’s visitors have one thing in common: they all want to sample restaurant bestsellers—like the beef roll served with red cabbage and mashed potato, goulash, and fricadelli (meat balls).
The restaurant is also becoming known for its breads and cakes, courtesy of master baker Jürgen, who started his baking career in Germany in 1961, when he was only 14 years old.
Jürgen bakes a wide selection, including pan de sal, French bread, rustica or dark whole bread, and spelt for the health conscious.
Although their breads are baked in Sogod, Chuchi says they deliver to some restaurants and private homes in Cebu City or arrange drop-off points for other customers.
The Männchens started their restaurant business while they were still in Germany and they have been at it for 30 years.
With their children grown up and the cold taking a toll on their health, the Männchens decided to live in Cebu, Chuchi’s home.
Their Borussia Restaurant first opened in Cebu City in 1998, until it moved to Sogod.
At Borussia Restaurant, diners, among them foreigners and others coming from as far as Ormoc City, can expect personalized service from Chuchi and Jürgen. They feel at home in Borussia because the restaurant is located right inside the couple’s home.
The restaurant is named Borussia, Chuchi says, after the couple’s favorite football team in Germany — the Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The Männchens had lived in Mönchengladbach for over 20 years. Chuchi explains that Borussia is a goddess of fortune and it is annexed to many names of sports teams to bring luck, and adds that the name symbolizes influence and power in German history.
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