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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Inside Racing Magazine Vol 11 No. 10 featuring The Pinoy Rider’s Epic Ride to Cebu via Bicol-Samar-Leyte

Hi Guys, please grab the latest copy of InsideRACING Magazine (Volume 11 Number 10) and read about my journey from Metro Manila to Cebu via Bicol – Samar – Leyte, right before Typhoon Yolanda hit Visayas. Hopefully this Epic Ride will serve as a guide for future travelers who would like to travel the same route as it contains all the necessary information to help you on your trip: from the route you will take up to the RoRo details you will need. Though it is difficult, it is possible – all 3 islands and 1100 kilometers of it. Live free…

Inside Racing Magazine featuring The Pinoy Rider

DOT recognizes Avenue Plaza Hotel in Naga City as one of the Tourism Champions in the 1st Gayon Bicol Awards 2013

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DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM RECOGNIZES AVENUE PLAZA HOTEL
AS ONE OF THE TOURISM CHAMPIONS IN THE
1st GAYON BICOL AWARDS 2013
FOR ENTERPRISE SERVICE EXCELLENCE
and celebrates the award with a HOMETOWN SPECIAL – giving Bicolanos 25% discount on published room rates

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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