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:
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.
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.
Royal Enfield kicked off the launch of its first exclusive store in Manila with a night of bikes, blues and beer.
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
The town of Tanay in Rizal province is one of my favorite destinations near the metro for motorcycling road trips. Its proximity to Manila, refreshing mountain scenery, cooler climate and generally uncrowded destinations makes it a good alternative to Tagaytay on any given weekend. Parts of Tanay pass through portions of the Sierra Madre mountain range, making it a great motorcycling and biking destination.
For weekend warriors and families, Tanay has lots to offer in terms of natural attractions. The resorts and leisure camps in the area also make it a popular destination for team-building activities as well.
On a motorcycle, the scorching heat can only be countered by movement. You feel the worst of it when you’re stuck in traffic. Even if you’re wearing a jacket or jeans, you can feel the sun just burn through layers of clothes. You wait for the light to flash from red to green flanked by rows of hulking trucks. Once it’s green, you navigate to avoid jeeps that stop without any warning or taxis that recklessly swerve and cut you off. But in the mountains, there are no traffic lights. The road is a blur and all you feel is the breeze rushing by even at the height of noon.
I’ve been wanting to upgrade my scooter for a while now. It hasn’t been running as smoothly as it used to no matter how many times we’ve taken it to the mechanic. Visiting Moto Builds Pilipinas was like entering a candy store when you’re sugar deprived. There were just so many awesome custom-built bikes under one roof.
It seems like Cafe Racer and Tracker style bikes are making a comeback in the Philippines and seeing the vintage and classic machines firsthand just reinforced my desire to switch to one. I especially liked this Yamaha Surf Bike by Kratos Customs Cycles.
Are you a Filipino gamer who wants a taste of life in the fast lane for real? You’ll want to join this!
Nissan Philippines Inc. finally launches its international virtual-to-reality competition known as the GT Academy here in the Philippines! Gran Turismo (or GT) is a series of popular and critically-acclaimed racing video games developed by Polyphony Digital exclusively for PlayStation systems. The GT Academy takes the country’s best Gran Turismo players and turns them into professional race car drivers.
Racing against the clock in the traffic-congested streets of Manila in the rain (during rush hour!) sounds like one of my worst nightmares. Especially in a scenario where I don’t own the vehicle and have just signed a waiver stating I will be liable for damages. The cryptic invitation for the Ford EcoSport Mystery Case had media racing around the city following clues ala Amazing Race. Though I drive a motorcycle and a (very old manual) car, I’m not exactly the racing type when it comes to SUVs.
The areas of Laguna, Quezon and Batangas are ideal for quick day or weekend trips from Manila. I usually like taking solo motorcycle rides to the Sierra Madre area (passing through the Marikina-Rizal highway) for some fresh air during the weekend. But for those who drive cars, most of the destinations are quicker via SLEX. In fact, the famed Viaje del Sol route lists many charming and unique places that celebrate Filipino culture, that you can visit on your road trip.