UPDATE 2017:The Querocep Bridge along the Marifanta Highway was damaged by a landslide in December 2015 and is currently being reconstructed. As of November 2017, there’s a makeshift wooden bridge that is only passable to bicycles and motorcycles for P25/motorcycle.
Take note that the area going up after the bridge is very steep and is all loose soil which can be dangerous for riders especially if it rains. The area is still not passable for cars and other heavier vehicles. The alternate route to get to Infanta is to pass through Real and Famy. Continue reading →
For riders, cyclists and road trippers clocking in the miles, meals on the road often just consist of quick stops at fast food joints or meet-ups at gas station convenience stores before heading out. Most riders would be satisfied with cup noodles or hot coffee to warm up along the way. A few years ago, this was pretty much all there was along the Marilaque route (also known as Marikina-Infanta or Marcos Highway), the scenic twisting road traversing Marikina, Rizal, Laguna all the way to Infanta, Quezon.
During weekend rides, I’ve noticed a lot of new places to eat and a lot of other establishments being built along the route. Below is a growing list of old favorites and new places where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view along Marilaque. Manila East Road (specially in towns overlooking Laguna de Bay) also has a lot of interesting dining places that makes it great for road trips.
Ten Cents to Heaven Resort is the kind of place you’d go to just to meditate amidst nature. With its cool climate, manicured gardens in front of a sea of hills, stairways lined with pine like trees and wooden cabanas shrouded in vines, this resort and leisure camp in Tanay, Rizal offers a serene respite from city life. Best of all, it’s not that far from the metro.
Park, Rest & Dine is an eclectic and quirky restaurant located along Marcos Highway (Marikina-Infanta Highway) that serves pretty good meals. During road trips, I always prefer eating in places with character and these are few and far between along this highway. There are lots of small carinderias and a couple of resorts that have their own in-house restaurants along the highway if you’re not too picky about meals, but Park, Rest & Dine offers a pretty good selection of affordable meals in a pleasant setting.
On the first day of 2014, I took a solo motorcycle ride as a “good luck ride” for the year ahead. I ended up finding a very nice waterfall not that far from the city. This relatively unknown waterfall that’s just an hour away from the Quezon City area is a promising weekend destination for motorcyclists and mountain bikers.
With its refreshing view of the mountains and cool breeze, the Sierra Madre Hotel & Resort in Tanay, Rizal is a favorite stopover for motorcycling and mountain biking enthusiasts.
This homey resort is very easy to get to from Quezon City. Just take the Katipunan road heading towards Marcos Highway, straight on past Cogeo market, through the twisty mountain roads, and you’ll eventually find yourself at the hotel located along the highway. The road is very well maintained and not a lot of cars pass here, which makes the drive a very pleasant one. Continue reading →
From the wide windows of the main restaurant, the grove of pine trees and the rolling hills in the distance looked almost Baguio-like. In one corner of the rustic building made of wood and bricks, was a rocking chair in front of a fireplace. The sound of crickets chirping mingled with the tinkling of wooden chimes swaying with the mountain breeze.
It’s hard to believe that Paseo Rizal Mayagay in Tanay, Rizal is just an hour and half’s drive from Manila. Before we left, I was sweltering in the heat of Quezon City. That same afternoon and evening, I regretted not bringing a jacket. Continue reading →
One of my favorite dining destinations along the Manila East Road is Kawayan Farm in Pililla, Rizal. Situated on a hilly landscape overlooking the scenic Laguna Bay, this is a popular spot for cyclists, motorcycle riders and road trippers. It’s an easy enough drive to via Marilaque and you can get here in about two hours from Quezon City, making it an ideal stop for late breakfast or lunch during weekend or day trip rides.
We often like to spend Saturday or Sunday mornings riding through Marilaque – that scenic stretch of road which starts in Marikina, passes through Laguna and ends in Quezon. On my birthday weekend in October, we again found ourselves riding the route to see just how far we could go. It ended up being the longest motorcycle ride I’ve done – 5 hours straight, with a few stops for gas and to stretch our legs. Final destination: San Pablo, Laguna.
My article Weekend Easy Riders on places you can motorcycle to from Manila on a weekend is out in today’s issue of Sunday Inquirer Magazine.
A lot of these are in the Rizal/Laguna area since it’s easy enough to drive to via the Marilaque route. Below are a few more photos of the places featured that didn’t make it to the magazine due to space constraints. Take note that travel times really vary on the routes you take, traffic and your speed. Continue reading →