Feature: The 1247 km Manila to Panay roadtrip on a 100 cc


After only 1500 kms worth of experience riding a motorbike, I have decided to go to my favorite getaway place, Panay Island…ALONE, on my 100cc Honda Wave.

I’ve been there a lot of times in the past, but always going there by plane.

Now that I finally got my 2 week leave approved, and have gathered enough info and courage, I wanted to try this.

A lot of firsts for me. First time travelling more than 200 kms, first time on a barge, ever.

I knew this wasn’t an ordinary weekend “ride” just going to Laguna or Tagaytay.

Knowing this trip would cost more than going there by plane, this was purely for the experience and achievement of making it back and forth.

Details:
Left Paranaque on a Sunday at 7 am.

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Full tank at Shell Sucat West Service Road. Odo at 1745.

Planned route was Tagaytay – Lemery – Batangas Port.

Stopover at Tagaytay after about 45 minutes.

Rested for about 10 minutes and off I went. The directions I got here from MCP was just to go straight towards the Batangas border and make a left sa gas station going to Lemery…but I missed it! probably were enjoying the view and all that. The missed turn cost me about an hour and I ended up at Palico crossing going to either Nasugbu or Calatagan. What an ass!

Had to ask directions from the friendly local folks who helped me naman.

The longer route now led me to crossing the towns of Tuy, Balayan, Calaca then Lemery.

After about 130 kms of driving… I really had to rest, was exhausted already… knowing that this was only about 20% of my total motorbike trip (one-way).

Rested at the Petron gas station in the Lemery boundary, and topped up my gas tank as well. Odo at 1870.

Ate hotdogs and had gatorade. After 20 mins, I left the gas station then had to go through Sta. Teresita, Bauan (short stop over. Odo at 1892) , San Pascual, then finally the Batangas Port. I was so happy to finally arrive there.

Upon arriving, I either had to make a left turn or a right. I went left, then got surprised there were no barges… yun pala I needed to make a left turn.

Had my motorbike checked by the guards/policeman for the OR/CR. After the inspection, took the Montenegro Lines barge since they’ll be the first one to leave. I was so exhausted by this time.

Paid the arraste fee and the barge ticket. Paid no more than 730 pesos for that. (Odo 1905)

Finally my first Ro-Ro ride.

My stuff and my gears…so glad to finally take them off!

a shot of what’s inside the Roro barge. Lifevests and the Snack counter.

Checked the ground floor (?) and I can’t find my bike… yun pala they moved it para daw matalian para hindi sya matumba kasi nagcenter stand lang ako.

Arrived in Calapan after 2 hours. Had to gas up coz I knew it was gonna be 130 kms more of road road road and road.

This is the first Petron in the looooonnng Nautical Highway in Mindoro. It was almost 3 pm. I was hoping to make it to Roxas Port with the sun still up, due to all the NPA stories I’ve been reading in the online forums.

Had to inflate the tires.

It was one hell of a loooong Highway. Fortunately, road signs were abundant and you will never get lost.

There were a lot of military checkpoints due to the NPA presence in the area.

Here’s a shot.

There was a 1 km stretch in the mountains wherein there was a road repair. Waiting for our turn to move.

After 95 kms, I needed to stop over and rest. This was the Bansud, Mindoro town Plaza I guess, where in there were a lot of people and kids playing. Odo at exactly 2000 kms.

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Kinda lost my way coz about 10 kms from the port there was a Y intersection, and I turned right… and that led me to a road full of rocks and rocks. Kala ko mapapano na ako kasi ang dilim dilim na. Buti nalang may nakita akong mga tao sa bahay bahay at nakapagtanong ako, yun pala I should have turned left (it wasn’t really going straight). Had to ask for directions from several people but finally I was able to reach the Roxas port at around 7 pm! Haaay kapoy!

Too bad the last barge left at 6:30 so I had to wait several hours for the next one that was bound to leave at 1030. This would be starlight.

Hayyy salamat. (Odo at 2053)

I’ve been travelling for 12 hours straight now, and more than 300 kms already. Will finally be able to get a couple of hours of sleep.

I reached Caticlan at about 4 am, sobrang dilim pa, but I had no choice but to leave right away as I wanted to reach Iloilo City by lunch time.

Was still sleepy. Nakakatakot ulit yung byahe coz sobrang dilim and ako lang yung sasakyan sa kalsada, except for a couple of buses that passed me. If you’ve been to Boracay via Kalibo, this is the road that you take with the breathtaking view of the sea… yun nga lang the road I was taking was pitch black by this time, and pataas pa ng bundok and madaming twisties.

After around 25 kilometers, had to have breakfast. Walang bukas na kahit ano, buti nalang there were a couple of stores open sa crossing (very near the border of Aklan and Antique). Had coffee and Instant Mami.

Medyo umaaraw na.

Passed by the towns of Pandan and Sebaste, Antique.

Had a stop over at Flying V in Culasi Antique. Odo at 2116.

Rested for 30 minutes… very tired but very pleased that I’m in Panay and all I had to do was travel around 300 kms more! hehe.

See the old bus that still ply the National Highway.

Magsasakas using the National Highway!!!

Background was another mountain I have just conquered by motorbike.

Beautiful Antique indeed!

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Went through the towns of Tibiao, Barbaza, Laua-an, Bugasong. Had a quick stopover in Bugasong (Odo at 2172)

Then Patnongon…

Here’s another stop over.

Then Belison and finally San Jose.

Had a stop over for gas, and brunch… had 2 meals at Ted’s La Paz Batchoy.

There was also a Jollibee here. The first Jollibee I’ve seen in almost 500 kms. Now that’s a WOW! Odo at 2214

Off I go to cross the mountain that divides Antique from Iloilo. There were a whole lot of stretches of unpaved roads in the mountain, which would really test your tires.

Reached Miag-ao (Odo 2262) at around 9 am.

Miagao stopover!

Finally Reached the city at around 1 pm! so Tired.

Had to rest a little bit at Fine Rock Hotel.

My first stop… Lunch at Jo’s Chicken Inato…

and dessert at JD’s Bakeshop (Roadhouse).

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I reached Iloilo City after 570 kilometers, and 30 hours. (Odo 2315)

Pagod… but I’m sure I’ll enjoy this vacation… (is it?)…

Here are some Random pics.

Iloilo City Atrium

Food at my favorite Emilion.

The Ateneo

Plaza Libertad

Molo Church

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MO2 in Smallville

JJV Coffee Shop in Delgado

The massive UNESCO World Heritage Site – Miagao church

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Rascos Woodland in Guimbal Iloilo

JD’s Again

Uncle Tom’s Diversion Road

My baby needed a break… kelangan na talaga ipalinis.

Btw, on my 3rd day in Iloilo I had an Oil Change in a Honda Service Center… and free labor daw since Honda yung motorcycle! wow!

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I really enjoyed crusing Iloilo with a motorbike instead of getting a taxi or riding a jeep.

Now the long road home begins.

Anyway, Left Iloilo City at 3:30 PM, Odo at 2494. hoping to cross the mountain with the sun still up.

The problem is, Signal No. 1 was declared sa Western Visayas, although sa bandang Antique. Shempre umuulan na rin sa Iloilo. I don’t know what caught up with me but I decided to brave the storm! Strange! What was I thinking.

Had a stop over at Chowking San Jose, Antique starting at 7 pm (Sobrang lakas na ng ulan)… stayed there for about an hour until I found out they were closing…yes that early!

I had no choice but to just go ahead and go to Caticlan since it was only 3 hours away.

E ang kaso umuulan and ang dulas dulas ng kalye.

I was the only one on the road… as in nakakabaliw talaga… Imagine in an old National Highway without any lampposts, with ricefields on your right, and the sea on your left, coupled with the strong winds and heavy downpour caused by the storm… you tend to see things in that situation.

Had low visibility, with all the water sliding down my visor.

Last vehicle I saw was about an hour ago when I reached Patnongon. I was running barely 30 kph. Stopped over at the town in Patnongon, at around 10 or 1030 pm maybe, and not one single establishment was open!

Was trying to call my friend (yung kasama ko sa Iloilo, went back to Manila by plane already) if I could stay at their house in Patnongon, Antique to spend the night… but my network had no signal. Lesson learned, never bring Sun Cellular to the province.

Just went on with my trip, and finally I saw some light and may nagiisang bukas na tindahan at nakisilong ako. Sadyang mababait yung mga tao sa Antique and they helped me and even offered some food for me. Nakitext pa ako sa Touch Mobile phone nila.

To cut the long story short, I was able to get a few hours of sleep at their house, spent the night there and resumed at 5:00 AM *whew*

Here’s a pic of the road going back to the National Highway from Tigmanali, Patnongon, Antique (they live near the mountain) after the heavy storm.

Start of the long journey again, thank God for the good weather this time. Odo at 2627.

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From then on, everything was smooth sailing.

Yes the picture on top is part of the National Highway.

River flowing from the mountains.

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See how close the National Highway is to the sea shore.

Some twisties in Antique.

Goodbye Panay.

Reached Caticlan in time for the 10:00 trip which left at almost 11:00 (Odo at 2897)

Roxas after 4 hours. Had a late lunch in one Carinderia 8 kms from the port.

Calapan after 6 more. (Odo at 2897)

Did not at all look for food, proceeded all the way to Sto. Tomas Batangas (fastest route I think) and ate at Chowking. Rested for about 45 minutes, running out of cash, had about 300 pesos left by this time.

After 1 hour more (took the Calamba route) … finally reached Paranaque at about 1 am. (Odo at 2298)

Tired as hell but contented with my roadtrip, even though my mother scolded me for obvious reasons, I know this is an achievement and I am so happy I made it back home in one piece!

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Stats:

2008 All stock Honda Wave 100 cc
Paranaque to Iloilo to Paranaque
Odo Start: 1745 km
Odo End: 2998 km
Total kilometers: 1247
Total gas consumed: 27.71 liters
Efficiency: 45 km/l
Cruising Speed – 70 – 80 kph – I kinda felt like hirap yung makina sa 80 baka mas matipid sa gas pag 110 or 125 cc yung motor.

Cost of the trip

Roro:

Batangas to Calapan – 670 + 60 pesos (est) arraste – 730
Roxas to Caticlan – 1200 + 60 pesos arraste – 1260
x2
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3980

Gas

+ 27.71 l x 43 pesos = 1191 pesos.

Total of – 5171 pesos (exclusive of accomodation sa hotel, food, pasalubong, etc)

Traveling by Plane is definitely a whole lot cheaper, but I had more fun doing this one and this is a life achievement.

Live free…

Live Free…

– Erik Gatmaitan is the author of https://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