Cebu is one of the most developed provinces of the Philippines and one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Over the years I’ve traveled back and forth here for various work trips, media tours and solo backpacking trips. While I was familiar with the main tourist spots within Cebu City, it wasn’t until I had to complete tasks while exploring the island on my own on a motorbike as a finalist for Wrangler’s #TrueWanderer campaign in 2016 that I really fell in love with the place.
Learning how to scuba dive is just one of those things that’s always been on my bucket list. I enjoy snorkeling, but have never tried diving before. I have no second thoughts jumping from crazy heights for extreme activities like skydiving and bungy jumping, but for some reason the thought of drowning and suffocating underwater scares the heck out of me. But I always like to try out new things when I travel. This year, I promised myself that I would choose trips based on what I really want to do and start seriously ticking all activities and destinations from my bucketlist while I still have the time, energy and opportunities to do so. Life is short, so you might as well do what makes you happy and enjoy, right?
Inflatable Island is the biggest floating playground in Asia. Located in Olongapo City, Zambales, this seaside water park near Subic is a playground for adrenaline junkies. You can fly through the air before landing in the water in their Human Launcher, climb up a giant floating rock wall, swing from their Giant Tarzan Swing and Slide, jump on their gigantic Unicorn trampoline or just try not to fall into the water as you navigate through the crazy Wipeout-style obstacle course.
UPDATE January 2018: The Querocep Bridge along the Marifanta Highway was damaged by a landslide in December 2015 and is still being reconstructed. As of January 2018, what used to be a makeshift wooden bridge is now a steel bridge and is passable to all types of vehicles. The alternate route to get to Infanta is to pass through Real and Famy.
Photo courtesy of Carlo Clemente of Glorious Ride Bike Shop Continue reading
The motorcycle market in the Philippines is really growing with more people using bikes for leisure and commuting. To serve the growing demand, Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI) officially introduced their newest lineup of Honda Big Bikes at Shangri-La at The Fort, Manila last December 2017.
These Big Bikes are meant to entice thrill-seekers to go on adventures that would require tougher bikes with higher engine capacities. The Big Bikes have been designed to deliver the appropriate speed and performance meant for highways and rough terrain. Continue reading
Corregidor, an island at the entrance of Manila Bay, mostly attracts history buffs. Known as “The Rock” because of its rocky landscape and the heavy fortifications, this historic island is a great destination for bikers as well. Traversing the island’s well-paved roads and jungle trails on board a bicycle and getting to visit the different ruins and landmarks offers a totally different experience from the usual day trip tour on board a tranvia.
Kaybiang Tunnel is the Philippines’ longest subterranean road tunnel. This tunnel links the towns of Ternate, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas through a hole under Mount Palay-Palay (aka Mt. Pico de Loro). It’s a very popular landmark for cyclists and riders based in Manila for weekend rides. This 300-meter tunnel is part of the 6-kilometer Tourism Road in Cavite that cuts travel time from Manila to Nasugbu and Calatagan, Batangas from the usual 4 hours via Tagaytay to just a little over one hour.
Macau is best known for its glitzy casinos. But this special administrative region of China, just an hour away from Hong Kong is one of the main bucket-list destinations of adrenaline junkies. If you’re into extreme activities, you’ve probably heard of the Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, simply known as the Macau Tower, home to the world’s highest commercial Bungy Jump.
The beauty of the Philippines really shines in other provinces and islands. Destinations like Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay are top draws for foreign tourists. However, many international travelers have to travel through Metro Manila, the capital and main gateway to many of the other destinations before they can get there.
My solo ride around Samar Island has been one of the most memorable rides I’ve done this year. I got to traverse through three provinces of (Western) Samar, Northern Samar and Eastern Samar. Since it’s the third largest island in the Philippines, it’s is a bit challenging getting around by public transportation. The main cities are geographically located far from each other and vans and jeeps don’t leave regularly. Usually, you have to wait for public transport vehicles to get filled up with passengers, so getting from one place to another usually requires a lot of waiting time. Since my main purpose was sightseeing and ease of access getting around, I thought I could cover more ground on a motorbike.
For riders just after a pure straight ride minus all the activities and sightseeing, they could probably loop the whole area I covered in a day. I allotted four days for this because I prefer driving only 4-5 hrs a day in the morning, so I have more time to enjoy the place and chill out in the afternoon.