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DIY Travel Guide to Irosin Eco Zoo Park in Irosin, Sorsogon

Irosin, Sorsogon, Philippines
 Irosin Eco Zoo Park in Irosin Sorsogon

Looking for a free thing to do in Sorsogon particularly in Irosin? Check out this outdoor park in Barangay Patag that is a mini zoo and eco - friendly recreation area in our town. It's also the drop off place of the historic Cawayan Tramline system, more of this will be shared below. It's not your ordinary park because it is also the official dumpsite of Irosin. Our DIY tour  consists of visiting Irosin Lake, Naglahaw Falls and Irosin Eco Zoo Park. We wanted to squeeze in Malungoy - lungoy Falls before going to this park but it is very impossible since it is already 3pm when we reached Naglahaw Falls. We were told that it will take 2 hours to get there and another 2 hours to go back.The Php 300 tour guiding fee is also outrageously expensive so we had to let go of our dream to see this falls.  We even wanted to end our waterfalls - hunting to the famed Bulusan Lake! I know, we were dreaming an impossible dream! We intentionally chose the Eco Zoo Park in Irosin as the last one in our list because it is the nearest to the road leading us back to the poblacion area of our town. 

History of Irosin Eco Zoo Park
Actually, this is not the first time I will go to Irosin Eco Zoo Park that's why I'm not really that excited though but more curious of what it has become over the years. My earliest memory here is a concert of Noel Cabangon if I'm not mistaken during my college years or my early years as a BPO employee. That's like 6 or 8 years ago. Back then it was purely an eco garden filled with bright and beautiful flowers. I'm yet to receive an answer from my email to LGU Irosin asking them of a contact person or someone else to interview about its chronological timeline of what features have been added so this is more of sharing my personal experience about my recent visit here.

I asked some locals in Patag about the beginnings of Irosin Eco Zoo Park. I learned that this started as a plain dumpsite during the term of former Mayor Nathaniel Balmes. It was Mayor Lilia Gonzales who developed it more by converting other parts of the site as an outdoor park. I was told that the succeeding mayor, Eduardo Ong focused on other projects so this park did not florished during his term. The current mayor, Alfredo Cielo is pushing the tourism of Irosin much more than the previous leaders of this town. Irosin Eco Zoo Park is one of the official places that is promoted by the LGU. 

eco zoo park in irosin sorsogon

Though I spent my childhood years until high school in the poblacion of Irosin which is in the barangay of San Julian, the barangay Patag is my second home. My mom was born her.  My grandma (her mom) and her siblings (my auncles and aunties) also live here. Same thing with Irosin Lake whom I have an auntie who lives very near the sight (Tita Emma), in Irosin Eco Zoo Park it's my mom's other sister who lives there with her own family too. Many years ago during my pre-blogging life, every visit to Irosin Eco Zoo Park means also dropping by to her home for a quick chitchat and sharing some good food. This time, unfortunately I had to skip this "tradition" and intentionally taking the other path to get to the park so she could not see us. It will surely make her sad knowing that her dear nieces were around but never had the chance to see her!  

What to see and things to do in Irosin Eco Zoo Park
Irosin Eco Zoo Park has transformed quite impressively for the past years. Like I said, I was only expecting flower gardens and vegetable plantations but I was surprised that it offers a few more things to check out. The whole place is obviously well-taken care of which is outstanding the fact that this tourist destination in Irosin is free entry. You know, all things that are free usually comes cheap right? This one though I have to say is one notch higher!

  • The Historic Cawayan Tramline I have long been hearing about this tramline that will connect people from the distant barangay of Cawayan which is located in the mountain range of Mount Maraot Banwa.  I know that it takes 3-4 hours of walking for the people of Cawayan to get to Patag which is one of their gateways to the poblacion area of Irosin. With the help of this Cawayan tramline, getting to Cawayan and Patag then back will only take 25 minutes to 30 minutes. This is a big help for the locals! I have sent messages to LGU Irosin's email and Facebook account to gather relevant information and updates but sadly, I have not received any positive reply or inclination to help me.    It was told that it was already launched last Sept. 19th but it is still not open to the public to use due to lack of official operator or manpower that can handle the demands of this mode of transportation. 

cawayan tramline patag irosin sorsogon

  • Bring your kids to the playground that features swing, see saw and a lot more This is the best time for your kids who want a place to let loose! Just make sure you guide them every step of the way. I couldn't think of any other parks in Irosin that you can have these for free except inside premises.

  • Admire the beautiful flowers in the gardens I know this is given in any outdoor parks but I find it is still worth it to acknowledge how these flowers of different sizes and colors  give this park radiance and positivity to all those who visit the place. 

park in irosin sorsogon

I find the overall design quite boring like putting statues of Snow White, dwarfs and other cartoon characters - these are  so yesterday. I have the highest respect of Blessed Virgin Mary because I am also a Catholic but I think it doesn't blend well with the Disney theme of this park. The nipa hut is also a contrast because it is a local touch.  I was totally lost of what branding this eco zoo park wants to be known. This is after all an eco-friendly destination. Why not showcase a design of what it is which is an eco park itself? 

Right now, what appeals more to the public are those so called Instagrammable places - colorful, bright and unique.  Irosin Eco Zoo Park I think needs a make over.

  • Get to know some animals in the mini zoo area   Irosin doesn't have a full-fledged zoo yet so here in Eco Park, you can get a glimpse it. We saw snakes, monkeys, different birds, wild pig and more. Each of these are kept in a huge cage. I can see it is well - maintained too.
zoo in irosin sorsogon

  • Check out the closed up-and-down style nipa hut We were about to settle ourselves inside these open cottages when we saw this nipa hut. It is a perfect representation of a Filipiniana house. We really want to get inside and see what's there at the second floor  but was closed. I think this nipa hut is perfect for those who want to spend overnight.   

irosin dumpsite irosin sorsogon

You can hang out and eat your food inside the open cottages for free use as well. Walking can get you exhausted and tired. There are a few open cottages you can seek shelter. We do not recommend leaving your things there - carry everything you have just to make sure. There are no established restaurants but  there is a sari sari store that sells basic commodities so better bring food and eat it here.

Irosin Eco Zoo Park is also dubbed as Irosin Final Disposal Facility and Ecological Park. Hours of operation is from 6 am to 6 pm every day. It is open every day to guests. Office hours is from 8 am to 12 noon then 1 pm to 5pm. 

Tips and Reminders
  •   Register your name and address upon entering the park.
  •  Please park your vehicle at the designated place properly.
  •  Drinking of liquors is strictly prohibited within the premises.
  • Please use properly the facilities for public use.
  •  Some animals are harmful. Don't extend any part of your body inside the cage.
  •  Picking of flowers and plants are strictly prohibited.
  • Do not push, ride or move the statues of animals.
  • Do not leave your things unattended.
  •  If you're visiting as a big group, please contact the office of the Municipal Mayor specifically the Municipal Administrator or the eco park in charged for guidance and proper scheduling.

Directions and How To Get There
From Manila, you can take a flight (45 minutes) to Legazpi City or take a bus from Cubao or Pasay (12 hours). From Legazpi , you can take a bus (3-4 hours) or van (2-3 hours) to reach the poblacion (center) of Irosin. Find the tricycle terminal to Patag (15 minutes) near Irosin Public Market for Php 10 pesos only or you can hire it to bring you to the tricycle's drop off point for Php 60. You will need to walk which can take up to 30 minutes to reach Irosin Lake. You can opt to hire a motorcycle too.

The only downside of this eco zoo park is that it is literally a dump site. The part where the thrash is kept is situated in the other side. I think it would be better to put a wall or anything that would hide it from the other side. Some guests are too sensitive - seeing a hill of thrash is definitely an eyesore. Of course, for hygienic purposes too, it is best to really put it quite away or farther from where guests hang out.

NOTE: This is my personal trip. Messages have been sent to the Facebook account and email of LGU Irosin  for proper research and recent developments about this place but currently no positive response from them. Brian Barcelo who introduced himself as the Tourism Officer Designate on his first message via Facebook said "to hope for better conversations" and when I replied asking if they are open to guide me about contacts and other resources to come up with a reliable travel guide of Irosin, he referred me to the official website of this town which only contains so little information about the local tourism.  The LGU Irosin email has not replied yet to me. If you know how to contact the right persons who can help me write helpful contents about Irosin for our students, tourists and and how to get in touch with the LGU Irosin, do let me know. 

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