Laiya in San Juan, Batangas is probably one of the most popular weekend beach destinations near the metro. I’ve been here several times before usually for day trips with friends and family. It may not have the best beach and coastline, but it’s a pretty memorable place for me since this is where Art and I got married. We actually had a Survivor / Amazing Race-themed beach wedding in Palm Beach Resorts.
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.
I’ve gone to Naga City from Manila and back countless times. I lived there growing up and still go back home several times a year. Most times I just hop on an overnight bus without a second thought. I rode the PNR Bicol Express train when it was still running. I’ve gone there by plane. My family and I used to take long car trips there and back several times for holidays.
But last Christmas was different. It was my first time to drive a motorcycle all the way there.
There’s always this strange mix of uncertainty and purpose whenever I ride. I may be at the mercy of the elements and of the terrain, but I am still in control of my fate. I come to a fork in the road and it’s always my decision where to go. If a path scares me, I can either turn back or go forward. There are no boundaries except my own limitations. Continue reading
The weather in Metro Manila and all through Manila East Road was bright and sunny, but just as we got to the foot of the wind turbines in Pililla, Rizal, the rain started to pour. Howling wind sent small stones and gravel from the rocky terrain flying in the air, showing us just why this elevated spot was chosen to be the site of a wind farm project. But despite the threatening grey skies and rain, the windmills were impressive, towering over the rugged landscape. There were only three turbines standing during our exploratory bike ride last Valentine’s Day 2015.
Last year on June 12, 2013, motorcycle riders in Manila held a Freedom Ride to mark the 115th Philippine Independence Day. The event, organized by the Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO), started at the People Power Monument, EDSA to University of The Philippines Diliman via C5 Avenue.
I often like to think of myself as a character in a video game when I travel. In fact, this blog was inspired by the whole video game concept of “Leveling Up” and I consider every trip as a way to earn EXP points. Last year, I was fortunate to get upgrades for some of the motorcycling gear I’ve been using for road trips. So in the tradition of upgrading equipment in video games, here’s a look at the main features of the motorcycle safety gear by Spyder and what makes them so cool:
Thank God I didn’t insist on driving my own motorbike. That was all I could think of on what seemed like never-ending stretches of dirt roads from Coron to Calauit. Our destination was Calauit Safari Park, a game preserve where animals roam freely, located on a small island at the tip of Busuanga, Palawan. A map showed that it was roughly 70 km away from the Coron Town proper and locals said it could be reached in about 2-3 hrs time by motorbike. But like a real life version of Excitebike, the terrain seemed to challenge us with increasing levels of difficulty the longer we drove. There are dirt roads, then there are demented dirt roads. This was the latter dialed up a notch.
The weather these days has been really unpredictable. It can be all great and sunny in the morning, prompting you to gear up and ride out of town to get a quick fix. But later, the sky darkens and unleashes a crazy downpour complete with thunder and lightning that will leave you soaked and cursing your decision to get out of bed. Rainy months like August and September are not really ideal for leisure riding, especially for those who like to travel around with an SLR camera or smartphone in tow wherever they go.
If you’re looking for a decent place to have a bite to eat and relax in the Laguna area, one option is Sierra Hills Exotik Restaurant. Like Balaw-Balaw in Angono, and Everybody’s Cafe in Pampanga, the restaurant has gained fame primarily for serving “exotic” fare, attracting curious foodies and tourists interested in trying out something unusual for novelty’s sake.
Fair warning for those who want to check out the place for themselves – the place is a bit of a tourist trap. Its location along the National Highway in Longos, Kalayaan makes it a perfect catch basin for road trippers, especially those doing a Visita Iglesia tour to churches in Rizal area during Holy Week. Continue reading