Time to reflect in Lucban, Quezon – Kamay ni Hesus Shrine

Time to reflect. Time to give thanks and make a little sacrifice by climbing the difficult to reach Kamay ni Hesus Shrine.

– Took the trip inspite of of Bagyong Gorio (hey where’s the adventure if it’s too easy?)

– Reaching the top of the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine entails walking uphill and taking at least 300 steps (a big sacrifice!)

– Had dinner at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Tayabas.

– More or less 250 kms back and forth via the National Highway

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Gone for the weekend: RIZAL PROVINCE

Gone for the weekend: RIZAL PROVINCE
by The Pinoy Rider

Right at the doorsteps of Metro Manila and nestled at the southern end of the Sierra Madre, Rizal holds many secret natural and cultural treasures – from its seemingly endless zigzag roads, to alluring waterfalls and stunning rock formations, Spanish-era churches to 5 thousand year-old artworks (No kidding! Read on to find out what it is) and a passionate dedication to arts- the Province of Rizal truly has a whole lot more to offer to riders and travelers alike.

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Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal

For the past few years, I’ve wanted to go to Daranak Falls. Whenever I pass by Rizal en route to doing a Laguna loop, I always happen to pass by the narrow road leading there from the highway and I promised myself to go back the next time I was in the area. That plan never materialized, not until today.

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Panagbenga 2013 – “Session Road in Bloom”

Experience Session Road at its busiest time of the year.

Showcasing different regional products on display, as well as thousands and thousands of people converging at Baguio City’s famous Session Road. This is “Session Road in Bloom.”

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Where to eat in Laoag: Johnny Moon Cafe

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I recently did my Extreme Northern Luzon Loop and as always, part of my trip would be a gastronomic tour. I stayed in Laoag City (and toured the nearby towns) for 3 days and experienced a lot of food. While doing my day tour photowalk, I came upon this nice, steady spot located right smack at the middle of the city. It was actually one of the recommendations when I was looking for one as I checked out FourSquare. And so, one of the places that gave me an unforgettable experience would be Johnny Moon Cafe.

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The Extreme Northern Loop (Part 4 of 4)

About to enter Aritao, one of my dream roads. Stories from my rider friends have only made me more eager to go up. Seemingly endless twisties, coupled with the fact that you’re going up to 5000 ft., really made me all the more excited.

One last stopover in Petron Aritao. Was supposed to be here a few months ago, but unfortunately my scooter broke down so I ended up with a DNF.

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Sharing some pictures from my Aritao-Baguio road experience

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The Extreme Northern Loop (Part 3 of 4)

On my previous Northern Loop, my only goal was to complete it, which I did in four days. Right now, I’m already on my 4th day and yet I’m not even half-way through. I’ve learned that to really enjoy this, one has to spend time, real time. My previous goal was just to complete the North Loop, now it is to explore and journey.

I’ve always wanted to visit Apayao ever since I started riding. The proximity proved to be a challenge. It’s on top of the Luzon Map and yet It’s not within the main roads (McArthur/Manila North), and one has to take a long turn in Cagayan incase you wanna visit it. Typically, if one is doing the Northern Loop, Apayao isn’t part of the itinerary, basically because it’s out of the way.

Not for me this time.

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The Province of Apayao

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The Extreme Northern Loop (Part 1 of 4)

1900+ kms, 14 provinces, while traveling alone for 9 days.

It would have been very easy to do this by backpacking, but I figured, why not take it a notch higher?

Easily one of my favorite trips so far in my riding career.

Truly one of the more breathtaking trips you could ever take would be the Northern Luzon Loop. From fields to mountains, to beaches, to breathtaking sceneries from 7000 ft., the experience it will give you would definitely be one you’ll never forget. I had the time of my life in this trip. 9 days away from everything, and everyone. Just me and my bike.

I actually went here with no real purpose in mind as I consider myself simply as a person with an ardor for riding.

Join me in discovering the beautiful spots our very own Northern Luzon has to offer through this blog.

Day 1

Our of pure excitement, I was not able to sleep (I woke up 8 am the previous day), but I took it upon myself to go on with the trip, no matter what since it was delayed a couple of times already.

Since I had my full-tank of gas last night (13++ liters) and with all my bags packed and ready as far as 2 weeks ago (there was a recent typhoon), and with everyone else still sleeping, I left the house at 4 am, August 20th, 2012.

I took the South Super Hi-Way – Nagtahan – C3 – Monumento route to get out of Manila in a hurry since I wanted to end up in Laoag City before the day ends.

Breezed through the province of Bulacan and after some 80+ kms, I had my first stop somewhere between San Fernando and Angeles in Pampanga.

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It wasn’t smooth sailing though as due to the heavy rains the past few days, some roads were flooded.

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The Extreme Northern Loop – August 11, 2012

I’ve been missing out on all the riding action lately. Busy with a lot of stuff…and busy planning my next ride.

So here it is The Extended Northern Luzon Loop: Manila – Bulacan – Pampanga – Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union – Ilocos Sur – Abra – Ilocos Norte – Apayao – Cagayan – Isabela – Quirino – Nueva Vizcaya – Benguet (via Aritao) – Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija – Bulacan – Manila.

My very own 15 province tour. I plan on visiting mostly museums in this trip, and capture pictures of memorabilia hundreds of years old.

Hoping for good weather this time. Continue reading

Jariel’s Peak – Infanta, Quezon

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.

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The end of Luzon – conquered solo.


Recently, I finally reached the last town in Luzon Island – Matnog, Sorsogon.

A solo journey of some 1200 kms, I needed to go through a total of 7 provinces in order to accomplish that – Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and finally Sorsogon.

After countless days and kilometers of travel in my riding career, this will be my first foray into the Bicol Region. From the beautiful beaches of Quezon up to the majestic mountains and volcanoes in Bicol: This long travel made me see how beautiful the southern part of Luzon is.

While this isn’t actually the first time someone on a motorbike came here, as I have known riders who went on group rides to go here for a leisurely trip, or to complete a riding event, I actually went here with no real purpose in mind, as I consider myself simply as a person with an ardor for riding.

“Never say never. Because limits like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan

Live Free…

– Erik Gatmaitan is the author of http://www.pinoyrider.com – Journeying the Philippines SOLO on a motorbike.

Follow his adventures on his website or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PinoyRider

Where to eat in Cavite: Kainan sa Balsa

During one of my most recent roadtrips, I encountered a roadside restaurant in Bacoor, Cavite…it looked interesting enough to merit a second look. There was a huge poster at the entrance describing what the dining experience inside is. The concept was strikingly familiar to the original Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Tayabas, Quezon.

I figured that since it got a 2nd look from me, it probably deserved a visit sometime very soon.

With my Kymco Super 8 in tow, Belle and I went to Kainan sa Balsa.

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This is what will greet you upon entering. Good food…

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