Epic Rider – Exotic Nature Tripping at Jariel’s Peak
A hidden nice, steady spot in the East, it’s not easy to find Jariel’s Peak. But for those willing to travel 2 hours uphill, and go through twisties and rough roads…with the intention of enjoying the cool mountain breeze that Infanta will give you, as well as eating exotic food after a long drive, then this one’s for you. I have been here several times and I will not hesitate to go back here again so I could enjoy once more the fresh air, exotic food and the beautiful sights and sounds I will experience along the way.
The Place called Jariel’s Peak can be accessed through the newly-developed Marifanta Highway bordering the provinces of Rizal and Quezon. It is said that it is almost always at least 15 degrees colder here than in the lowlands. For those having a bit of trouble finding this place, it is approximately 37.6 kilometers if you are coming from Sierra Madre Hotel. From Sierra Madre Resort and Pranjetto, just follow the route going to Marifanta. Roughly 37 kilometers from there is this famous resto bar. Just a caveat though, be prepared for some rough roads, or rather, a lot of rough roads and a lot of zigzags. The trip will be worth it.
Looking for a great weekend getaway doesn’t entail much effort for riders like me but finding a place that will give you peace and solitude is not that easy. Sometimes it’s not just about the food or the scenery but there is this certain kind of serenity and calmness that a certain place could give to a weary soul.
Cebu is like a second home to me, both literally and figuratively. I lived in Cebu for a few months a couple of years ago, and I still go there regularly both for leisure and for business. With that, I consider myself a regular of both Cebu City and Mandaue City so I would love to share to you guys my favorite spots in Cebu. Bear in mind that these places are my own personal picks and the ones I enjoy / enjoyed the most.
Dubbed as the Queen City of the South, it is situated by the center of the island province called Cebu. 1000 kilometers and 2 RoRo trips away from Manila via Bicol, the tedious task of going through #X provinces is well worth the sacrifice.
Over the years, Marilaque has been a favorite weekend destination for some riders. Some even call it their playground. For some, it is a place to unwind, enjoy the scenery that the Sierra Madre has to offer, or simply just ride in a well-paved road with lots of zigzags for everyone’s riding pleasure.
For me riding is an outlet to feel re-energized, revitalized, and to clear my mind. So during this trip I was looking for a spiritual type of feel while I was in Cebu, with my weary soul seemingly tired from all the traveling and the hustles and bustles of Metro Cebu.
Having lived in Cebu for a brief moment in time, I had the opportunity to visit some of the finest tourist spots in Eastern Visayas. Although not my favorite destination in Cebu like the Simala Shrine in Sibonga or the Yap – San Diego Ancestral House in Parian, the Philippine Taoist Temple should be in my top 10 list, and will be a worthwhile trip for some. Besides, who can refuse a good view of the city while having that calming effect on your body, mind, and spirit?
It was a cold uneventful day and I wanted to eat something fresh seafood for a change. I’ve been to Real previously where I immensely enjoyed their fresh catch but I didn’t want to go to the beach again so I researched and ended up choosing this popular yet quiet restaurant in Tayabas – Lucban road in Quezon.
Pagkatapos ng 1286 kilometrong puno ng antok, pagod, malakas na ulan, nakakatakot na kurbada sa madulas na daan sa Nueva Vizcaya, rough roads in Cagayan, road repairs sa La Union, 30 kms of zero visibility fog in Naguilian, gutom, time pressure, 8 hours left at nasa Laoag pa lang, pagdadalawang isip kung tatapusin pa pero napagisipan kong mas magsisisi ako habambuhay kung di ko itutuloy. Preparation can only lead you so far, in the end it’s about pushing yourself.
Finally, 2016 BOSS Ironman sakin ka na! 1/1, 100%.
Some of you might be thinking why bring a very small scooter on a long ride but don’t let the small gas tank fool you though. In spite of the small 4.4 liter capacity, the Zoomer X will bring you a long way, as what I experienced during my most recent gastronomic trip to Angeles, Pampanga. Manila to Angeles via Mc Arthur Highway is about 110 kilometers one way, and believe it or not, I only had to gas up once in this long ride. It seemed like the scooter isn’t consuming any gas at all as the fuel gauge appeared to be stuck at times, only it wasn’t.
The handling of the scooter proved to be the best part of my riding experience as in spite of the different road conditions I experienced, the bike never wavered a bit.
I will be taking you guys to the coastal town of Brgy. Tignaoan, Real, Quezon. Instead of just riding around on a weekend, I decided to go on a food trip ride. I was already getting tired of eating the usual fastfood meals that I have everyday and I wanted to give my body a break as well so I decided to try something else on a weekend. Previously, If I wanted to just go out on a relaxing ride to a not so far away place from the Metro, my 2-wheeled companion would either take me to Tagaytay or to Marilaque in Rizal. That’s alright with me as I definitely enjoy riding whether it’s near or far however, I would almost always end up eating bulalo at Mang Vic’s in Antipolo or in Mahogany Market in Tagaytay. Although not fastfood, it is still not at all healthy for me, as bulalo would be your best source of cholesterol and fat, with all the sebo you want included hehe.
Solo Ride to Negros Occidental – The Bacolod and DSB Experience
The second part of my Negros island journey brings me to Negros Occidental.
By this time, I am already tired, not just due to the number of kilometers I have traveled but also because of the unforgiving weather. I could feel the sun and rain alternating, with the sky supposedly having an identity crisis of sorts, seemingly now knowing what kind of weather to give for this trip of mine. Not only will it affect the way I ride, and the length of time needed to cover my route, but it also is taking a toll on my body already. If you have been following my regular column here in Inside Racing Magazine, you would know that I came from Manila, then toured Cebu then took the coastal highway to reach the southernmost tip of Cebu, which is the small town of Santander. From there, I had to board a Roro via Maayo Shipping in order to reach Sibulan, Negros Oriental. Last issue featured my Epic Ride to Dumaguete wherein I toured the place dubbed as “Motorcycle Capital of the Philippines.” Dumaguete is located at the southern part of Negros Island, and as part of my Negros tour, I will now have to travel at least another 200 kilometers or so in order to reach the other province in Negros, this time Negros Occidental.
One of the items in my checklist is to ride and experience the twisties of Don Salvador Benedicto – Western Visayas’ own version of Marilaque. Since it was basically the same distance going to Bacolod, I still chose to stay in Bacolod, for obvious reasons – it’s at the center of all the other popular spots, and it will be easier for me to take care of my accommodation. Also, I wanted to try authentic Chicken Bacolod so for me it was an easy choice anyway.
As some of you might know, I consider Cebu as my second home so I wanted to do a long ride that is outside of Cebu. The first thing that came into my mind was the island next door – Negros. Personally, I felt I still had some unfinished business with Negros because the only time I was there before, I stayed for a total of four hours only. Yes that is correct, four hours only. It really sounds ridiculous for me not to explore the 2 provinces there as I used that time to cross to Cebu 2 years ago. From the Dumangas Port in Iloilo, I arrived in BREDCO port in Bacolod City. During that time, I would have missed the 3:30 PM cut-off at San Carlos City Port so I proceeded all the way to Escalante City in Negros Occidental so I could take the ferry and arrive in Tabuelan, Cebu. That is the unfinished business I was talking about. I made sure to spend more time on this trip, as Negros deserves more time so I could explore its beauty and share it to everyone so here it goes.