Cebu City Tour

Epic Ride: Queen City of the South


Cebu is like a second home to me, both literally and figuratively. I lived in Cebu for a few months a couple of years ago, and I still go there regularly both for leisure and for business. With that, I consider myself a regular of both Cebu City and Mandaue City so I would love to share to you guys my favorite spots in Cebu. Bear in mind that these places are my own personal picks and the ones I enjoy / enjoyed the most.
Dubbed as the Queen City of the South, it is situated by the center of the island province called Cebu. 1000 kilometers and 2 RoRo trips away from Manila via Bicol, the tedious task of going through #X provinces is well worth the sacrifice.

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Cebu Taoist Temple – Temple by the Hill


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?

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Solo Ride to Negros Oriental

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.

Still a long way to go

Somewhere far away

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Dumaguete – The City of Gentle People

Epic Ride: Dumaguete
By The Pinoy Rider


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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Beautiful Southern Cebu

Southern Cebu is simply beautiful.

I passed by this side of the island on my way to doing my Negros tour wherein I toured both Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.

Although Cebu City is still the most popular destination for Cebu tourists, one should not miss out the beautiful southern section of Cebu Province. Indeed, this is a testament to the sheer beauty of our country – even those places that do not receive as much fanfare as the more popular ones have a great potential of becoming an attraction, in case they aren’t yet. From Sibonga all the way to Santander, let me share with you some of the beautiful and interesting sights I saw.

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Epic Ride: The Miraculous Shrine of Simala in Sibonga, Cebu

Epic Ride: The MiraculousShrine of Simala in Sibonga, Cebu
By The Pinoy Rider

While being based in Cebu, I experienced two of the most devastating natural calamities in recent memory to happen in The Philippines – Typhoon Yolanda and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Central Visayas. Although our countrymen from Eastern and Central Visayas were affected badly, I am alive and survived both of them in one piece. I and my family are fine, and that is definitely something to be thankful for.
I have not lived in Cebu long enough to be able to experience and see the beautiful hidden treasures outside the city so I was very eager to explore once I had the opportunity. Although I have not been there long, I wanted to give thanks. I have been hearing about this enigmatic monastery that looks like a Medieval Castle somewhere in the southern part of the province.


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Visayas and Typhoon Yolanda

Visayas and Typhoon Yolanda
By The Pinoy Rider

You might be wondering why I am still in Cebu after 2 months. Well, as I’ve mentioned a couple of issues back, I wanted this Epic Ride to be different. I wanted it to be something that I would look back in the future and describe it as a once in a lifetime experience. I didn’t want to just make it a usual roadtrip, and conquer the place – but one of my goals was to actually immerse myself in the culture – not just by visiting famous tourist sites, eating their food – but by actually living in Visayas, full time. As they say, be careful what you wish for – because it is exactly what I got, and not in an easy kind of way. Read on to know why.
Two major calamities in 2 months. Wow, what more can I ask for? I said I was looking for a new experience so yes there it is, I got what I wanted. Although it is not the most positive of experiences, I am pretty sure that Central Visayas has given me more than what I’ve bargained for in terms of adventure. As most of you have read in last month’s issue of Epic Ride, on my first couple of weeks here in Mandaue City in Cebu, the motorcycle Gods already made sure that this adventure would be one of my most memorable ones – a 7.2 magnitude earthquake at 8 am in the morning!


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Manila to Cebu Adventure Ride (plus experiencing the 7.2 earthquake)

Manila to Cebu Adventure Ride
by The Pinoy Rider

Arriving in Cebu after my long roadtrip which had me spend 4 days in 3 different islands just to get to Central Visayas, finally I am in Cebu – the one and only “Queen City of the South.”


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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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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

Relief Operations to Typhoon Yolanda Stricken Northern Cebu

Napakaliit na bagay, ngunit napakalaki na sa kanila. The 250 km trip was definitely worth it for me. Sa mga kababayan ko sa Bogo at San Remigio sana nakatulong kahit papaano ang dala namin. Babangon tayong mga Pilipino

#BangonPilipinas #ReliefPH


Cebu Road Trip Series: Beverly Hills

Cebu’s affluent gated communities located north of the Cebu City, which was developed by the same corporation that had developed Manila’s prestigious gated communities of Forbes Park, Dasmariñas Village, and Ayala Alabang. This prime subdivision is located on a hill or an elevated area, providing a breezy living environment and stunning views of the city.


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All Motorcycle Brands Club (AMBC) – Cebu welcomes The Pinoy Rider

Thanks for the warm welcome AMBC-Cebu! Can’t wait to conquer the TCH with you guys!

AMBC – All Motorcycle Brands Club – “A unison of friends that have the same passion for motorcycles”
*You are not measured here by what You have or what your status is. You are measured by the content of your character.
At AMBC you will never have to ride alone”


Solo Ride from Manila to Cebu via Bicol – Samar – Leyte? Let’s Ride!

To get away from the stresses of the Metro, I will be embarking on a journey to Cebu via motorbike. I went here before taking on the route from Ormoc, now I think it’s time to take either the Isabel or Palompon pump boats to bring me to the Queen City of the South.

I am currently conditioning my bike, and preparing the stuff I would be using. Preparation is key in this arduos task as this will require me to travel at least a thousand kilometers, and boarding 2 ferry boats to reach Visayas.

I plan on staying in Cebu for at least a couple of months, not only to tour, but also to de-stress and be refreshed. Not bad for a plan, eh?



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The 1247 km SOLO Epic Ride to Panay Island on a 100cc featured on Inside Racing Magazine

The Pinoy Rider

Hey guys this double cover issue of Inside Racing Magazine is still available. Please grab a copy to read about my 1247 km SOLO Visayas Epic Ride adventure on a 100cc underbone!

I am so happy that finally the ride that started it all is now documented in Inside Racing.

Reminds me of so many things, of all the rides I’ve been through, the first time is still the sweetest.

And I miss that bike too.

Live Free…

– Erik Gatmaitan is the author of – Journeying the Philippines SOLO on a motorbike.

Follow his adventures on his website or through his Facebook page at

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