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.
As I’ve always been saying, safety is my top priority when riding. No matter how experienced of a rider you are, when an accident comes, you better be prepared. Thanks to Motoworld Philippines, I used one of their high end helmets for this trip – the LS2 FF393 convert. I’ve always had this thing for modular helmets since they are very convenient for the long distance traveler like me – I can easily lift up the visor if needed, or do with a full face helmet while moving. The thing I liked the most about FF393 is that it won’t be an added distraction to me in case I want to lift the visor up as it goes all the way to the back of the helmet, as compared to the others wherein it will only go up as far as the top most part of the helmet. Because of that, there is no risk of the lifted visor going down all of a sudden during the ride. I also wore a leather jacket to make sure I am covered completely. We all know the usual stuff we have to bring on a long ride – extra money, spark plug, tools, cellphone with load, etc. so I made sure not to skip those.
I took off a little after 8 am since the destination isn’t exactly near. The bike that I used would be one of Kymco Philippines’s latest offerings – the Kymco KTR 125. It is an underbone so this got me excited as I haven’t ridden a small bike in years! The last underbone I had was a Honda Wave 100 and I had that bike more than 6 years ago already.
It is also interesting to note that this would be my first time to ride an underbone that is seemingly built for both on and off road – a dual sport motorcycle. It will take some adjusting to use the knobby tires but knowing Kymco’s track record in providing quality motorcycles over the years (and my previous scooter was a Kymco Super 8), it was time to put some miles into this brand new motorcycle. I would also be reviewing the Kymco KTR 125 for Inside Racing and it will come out in one of the future issues very soon. Anyway, I’m sure it would be a fun experience being on a long ride on a small bike because for me it was never the type of being. I’m always for the experience of riding.
Being a person that value Philippine History a lot, I recognize the importance of important historic events and places that we have. One of those that symbolize it and is a bitter mark in Philippine history is none other than The Shrine of Valor, or Dambana ng Kagitingan. Located in Pilar, Bataan, Mt. Samat hosts this popular historic site. Situated on top of the mountain, the huge cross that can be seen from miles away represents the valor shown by our World War II heroes, as they defended our country from foreign oppressors. I have been there several times so let me share with you how beautiful and historical that place is. It is highly recommended for everyone, including children, for them to know the sacrifices of our forefathers for them to enjoy the freedom that they have today.
The Shrine of Valor in Mt. Samat, Bataan is considered to be one of the most significant spots in the northern part of the country. Locals and tourists visit here to learn about the fallen Filipino and American heroes who fought for freedom during the Second World War.
This shrine was made to honor and give tribute to the heroic struggles and sacrifices of World War II heroes who fought and died in that historic stronghold of freedom. The soldiers died fighting and protecting the country against the Japanese invasion. They gave up their lives in war so that the next generations (that’s us) would have a country to call their own.