Dumaguete – The City of Gentle People

Epic Ride: Dumaguete
By The Pinoy Rider

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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.

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Paoay Church – A marvel in itself

The Paoay Church is beautiful, certainly one of the finest Ilocos has to offer

I am very much amazed by the sheer number of old-churches the Philippines has. I have been to many, and as a matter of fact, I make sure that whenever I go to any road trip that I get to visit at least one of them at my destination. Of the hundreds of old-style churches that we have here, only four of them are recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization: an agency of the United Nations that promotes education and communication and the arts) as World Heritage Sites.

Located in the sleepy town of Paoay in Ilocos Norte, the San Agustin church boasts of high and thick walls serving as its fortress. With a beautiful structure to die for, visiting this one is a must. Your trip to Ilocos wouldn’t be complete without visiting the marvelous Paoay Church.

I’ve been to the Northern part of Luzon a couple of times in the past – one during my 2009 Northern Luzon Loop, and another one on a booked van tour 8 years ago. I did enjoy both trips although I felt there was something missing and they were somewhat rushed. Maybe the missing thing is visiting one of the most beautiful churches we have here in the Philippines. And that is the Paoay Church – officially named The Church of Saint Augustine. I have always been fascinated by old churches but visiting a church that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site makes it even more special, as we only have four in the Philippines.

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No destination, just a direction. A solo ride from Manila to Cebu City via Bicol – Samar – Leyte

The Pinoy Rider: No destination, just a direction.

This article will be extra special to me. Going towards the end of this year, I was looking for something new to experience. I’ve basically been to all the provinces in Luzon Island, and I was looking for something new to discover. As the title states – no destination, just a direction. As some of you may know, I live in Manila and have been riding all over the country for some time now. I wanted to try out something different, instead of going to a certain destination and then go back home after a few days… I decided it might be high time to immerse myself in their culture. And by immersion I mean not staying there for just a week or two.

I’ve set my sights on Central Visayas.

Why Cebu?

Cebu is very similar to Manila in terms of urban living, but on the other hand, it still has that old school vibe that is deeply rooted into the Cebuano people. Also, since it is located in Central Visayas, I could easily go to the nearby provinces, or even to Mindanao (from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro) to explore further the rich beauty our country possesses.

Goodbye Manila.

I loaded up on my bike with 95 octane fuel as my final full tank of gas before leaving Manila. So I guess this is a goodbye for me.
I left home at 4 am with a heavy heart. Belle bid me goodbye, and although I had a lot of apprehensions (I will be gone a long time) I knew it was time to go. I prepared so hard for this trip, so I guess there would be no stopping me anymore. I could see the stars shining as I left my Paranaque home but I don’t know if it’s a sign of something – the rain poured hard just a few minutes after I left home. I quickly parked my bike under a gas station right before the boundary of Muntinlupa and San Pedro, Laguna. I wanted to just go back home and maybe leave another day, or cancel this trip altogether. I figured that since I have made all the necessary preparations, I might as well go for it. I said to myself, “This has the potential to be a ride of a lifetime!”

Even though it was raining hard at some points, the non-existent traffic helped me push my fast pace. I breezed through the whole of Laguna and Batangas until Tiaong, Quezon where I took the bypass road going to the National Highway towards Bicol. I was in Lucena, Quezon for my first stopover. Time to stretch after 120 kilometers straight. Target for the day is to end up either in Legazpi City, Albay or Sorsogon City by 5 pm.

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Epic Ride: Tarlac Back in Time

“Tarlac: Back in time”

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The Filipino Flag Standing High and Proud in Tarlac

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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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