Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Sogod-it starts here

Jericho Dotillos - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  One of several understated towns of Cebu province is Sogod, on the northeastern side. At some 60 kilometers from the city, it comes after Catmon and before Borbon. It is about an hour-and-a-half’s bus ride from the city’s North Bus Terminal.

The town has 18 barangays, which mostly has their own attractions to offer visitors.  The town’s total land area is over 12 thousand hectares. The terrain is basically rolling and moving up to the mountain side. Some areas are a bit challenging – rugged, rocky, eroded and not quite fit for cultivating crops – but there are also arable spaces that abundantly produce crops that find their way to the town’s marketplaces and even to the city. These farm produce include corn, coconut, tobacco, bamboo, bananas, vegetables, and root crops, among others.

There’s an interesting story about the name of the town. Sogod is Visayan term for “start,” and locals claim that their town is so named because it is a place of beginnings. The most plausible explanation for the name, though, is that in Sogod is where the stretch of fine white sand starts and goes further north; the beaches of the towns before Sogod (from Cebu City) mostly have dark-colored sands.

The very spot where white and dark sands 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 World War II.

Some people say that the name Sogod is probably due to the town being the starting point of the shift to Catholicism in northern Cebu during the Spanish regime. The town’s patron saint is St. James the Apostle. The church building, built in 1842, is almost 200 years old.

Certain written accounts say that Sogod started as a civil government in 1764 under the authority of the Spanish provincial government known as “Tribunal de Mestizos,” headed by a teniente named Juan Daligdig. Records have it that in 1903 Sogod was merged with the neighboring town of Catmon, but an act of the defunct Philippine Assembly separated the two towns again on January 1, 1921.

Sogod also has various interesting sites, resorts, parks, and natural attractions that visitors can explore, either for adventure or relaxation. Aside from white sand beaches, Sogod has also a number of caves, springs, falls, and rivers. There are places that are good for a quick weekend getaway or even a full-blown holiday break.

The main places to check in the town are the Bagatayam Falls, the Grotto of the Virgin Mary along the Bagatayam River, St. James the Apostle Parish Church, and Sogod Central Elementary School in Bagatayam (the International Astronomical Observatory Post of the 1929 total solar eclipse). Sogod also has a number of old buildings, houses, and other structures. 

Other attractions include the Nahus-an Hills, where 70 percent of farmers produce “kabog” or millet, a kind of grain under the corn variety that is made into the famous Sogod delicacy “budbud kabog.” There’s also the town’s Panagsogod Festival that showcases Sogod’s cultural heritage and natural wonders, held in time for the annual fiesta of St. James the Apostle, on July 25.

Accommodation is not a problem at all in Sogod. There’s a good number of resorts that offer good facilities and service. The town’s tourism office, at the municipal building, would be able to recommend several options to visitors.



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