Achievements Unlocked in 2016

Hello, 2017! It’s been another year of travel and since I haven’t had time to write all of my backposts, a summary year-ender post should do the trick. I had a lot of trips to both new and familiar destinations, participated as a finalist in Wrangler’s True Wanderer competition, and finally got a motorcycle upgrade! Here are some achievements unlocked and noteworthy adventures in 2016:

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Fenrir: A Final Fantasy Custom Bike

I bought my scooter five and half years ago, about the same time I started this blog. The red and white Yamaha Mio Fino you see on the blog header is Chocobo, named after the gigantic bird-like creatures in the Final Fantasy video game universe which protagonists use to explore the world. Chocobos provide a faster way of getting from Point A to Point B than going on foot. They give you access to hard to reach areas, and open up new areas to explore.

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Solo Ride in Biliran

Biliran is an island province in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. Formerly a sub-province of Leyte, it’s one of the country’s newest provinces, having only become independent in 1992. After our action-packed canyoneering at Sampao River ending at Ulan-Ulan Falls and island-hopping to Sambawan Island the previous days with tour operator Trexplore and some friends from Cebu, I was on my own. So, I decided to rent a motorcycle to check out what the rest of the island had to offer.

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Baguio by Big Bike: Ride Along Motorcycle Tours

For riders, travel is usually more about the journey than the destination. Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you go. Just hitting the open road, soaking in the beautiful scenery as you drive off into the sunset is an epic adventure in itself.

Whenever I travel to a different province, I try to rent a motorcycle. Usually, it’s just whatever run-down model I can get my hands on. I’ve ridden solo in many beautiful island destinations like Batanes, Bohol, Siargao, Siquijor and Cebu. On my own faithful Yamaha Mio Fino, the farthest I’ve driven is from Manila to Bicol.

But it’s not everyday that you get to ride on the expressway up to Baguio on a Harley Davidson. Oh yeah, baby! Achievement unlocked! Seriously, just sitting on this bike gives you instant 1000+ Astig Points.

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Ride and Trek to Lake Holon

As soon as we reached the dirt road, I knew I was in trouble. I was on my way to Lake Holon in South Cotabato driving a rented motorcycle along with fellow travel blogger Louie of A Nomad’s Perspectives. While the view was nothing short of spectacular, the terrain seemed to be a few levels above my motorcycling skills. Apparently, my concept of rough roads in Manila is very different from rough roads in Mindanao.

lake holon south cotabato motorcycle travelup signage

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Royal Enfield Rides Into Manila

Royal Enfield kicked off the launch of its first exclusive store in Manila with a night of bikes, blues and beer.

royal enfield manila store launch band

Biker clubs and bike builders came in full support last June 25 as the world’s oldest motorcycle brand opened its first concept store and showroom in the Philippines. The Royal Enfield brand has been under the distribution for a few years now under Hardcore Brothers Custom Motorcycles, Inc. Continue reading

Motorcycling around Batanes: North Batan

The first time I traveled solo to Batanes, I rented a motorcycle to visit all the attractions in a day. That motorcycle ride around South Batan remains one of the most memorable rides I have ever done in the country. The distance may not have been that long, but in terms of coastal roads and just pure awesomeness of the landscape, Batanes is pretty hard to beat.

motorcycle batanes lighthouse travelup

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Ride to Angat Rainforest and Eco Park, Bulacan

Bulacan is a province in the Philippines known mostly for its old churches, heritage sites and heroes. Though it’s home to some historic caves, it isn’t really considered a top destination for adventure-seekers. So last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself driving through forested mountain roads and twisties with scenic views of lakes and rivers.

angat rainforest and ecopark bulacan travelup motorcycle

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Bohol by Motorcycle (Part 2)

Anda is a small peninsula located in the Eastern tip of the island province of Bohol in the Philippines. Located roughly 100 kilometers, or three hours by public transportation from capital Tagbilaran City, Anda remains off the main tourist circuit. I heard from other travel bloggers that the place has a great beach and is not as crowded as Panglao Island.

bohol by motorcycle anda white beach travelup scooter
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Bohol by Motorcycle (Part 1)

Bohol is an island province in the Central Visayas region in the Philippines. Home to unique natural attractions and wildlife, beautiful diving locations, beaches and resorts, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Though direct flights are available from Manila, it’s very easy to get to Bohol by fastcraft from Cebu, which it is separated from by a narrow strait.

bohol by motorcycle scooter loboc river travelup

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