Luzon – Visayas – Mindanao Loop

Tentative Date: December 21, 2012 – January 2, 2013.

I’ve been to Luzon and Visayas via motorbike. How about Mindanao this time?

The Pinoy Rider

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

Motorsiklo Xklusibo – Atin ito.

Most of the time, whenever we hear stories or news about motorcycles in our local media, it would almost be a certainty that the topic would be negative – criminals in motorcycles (more popularly known, and incorrectly tagged as “riding in tandem”), motorcycle accidents, rider violations, and the like.

Motorsiklo Xklusibo or MX will surely be a breath of fresh air.

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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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Photomap: The Extreme Northern Luzon Loop in a nutshell

This image sums up my entire trip…well, not quite. 😉

Just so you’ll have an idea.

This one took 1900 kms to complete, and I had the time of my life.

The Philippines is truly a beautiful country.

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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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A Message from one of my readers

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Thanks for the motivation sir.

The reason I keep doing what I do is to inspire others and to promote the beauty of our country, hence PinoyRider.

Live Free…

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

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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Welcoming 2012 – Solo ride to the Heart of the Philippines

Welcoming 2012 – Solo ride to the Heart of the Philippines

Wasn’t quite sure which would be a nice place to welcome the new year…I decided to set my sights on going to what they call the province that is in the heart of the Philippines – Marinduque.

Thanks to the inspiring story of crimson722, I knew this would be a nice place to explore for the 1st time, on a scooter.

Not sure how many days I would need to explore the island since I wanted to do a loop so I filed a long leave anyway.

Day 1, left home around 7 am… passed by the Old National Highway from the West Service Road … Muntinlupa – San Pedro – Calamba – Sto. Tomas then arrived at Lucena roughly 3 hours later. Got lost a little bit while in the Lucena town proper, but after doing some rounds, finally found my way to the Dalahican Port. Checked in my bike at the PPA, then the Coast Guard, then bought a ticket from Montenegro to have me and my bike board the barge. Spent 900+ for this one way trip. Pretty expensive if you ask me since I was only expecting it to be around 600+ for the fare.

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