Monday, February 17, 2014

Manila to Quezon on a motorbike with the Iron lady

I and my travel bud Liezl have long time ago spoken about driving the whole country on a motorbike. 

This night, I was going to ask Liezl to join me for a hike in the North, but then, I ended up joining her on this trip. When asked for her plans for the weekend, she told me she bought her bike  already and will be taking the trip on the Saturday morning. 

I got so thrilled, and asked her that we’d do her trip instead, and right at that friday night; Obviously, i got too excited.

We left at around 9pm of Friday, after our self proclaimed send off dinner in Home Depot in Ortigas. I kind of worried a bit when I saw the motorcycle. Liezel bought this second hand motorbike for only P13,000, enough to question how far it can take us. I could just imagine the durability in there although she said she had done some repairs already.

It will also be our first time to take the National highway going south, so had to rely on 3G and google maps for direction.
3 days long weekend or that, and traffic was still congested even late. Trucks, buses, and raging jeepneys on both our left and right; 

An uneasy and frightful ride to get out of metro manila. I wasn’t able to relax until we got to San Pedro.

By late past midnight, we were in Calamba; We decided to stop by to rest our ass and legs at a mini stop for coffee. Being seated, I saw something gine wrong with the exhaust valve. 

There were a few time when we rebounded on some humps in Paranaque, and I think it cause some parts to break. Then again, I told her it’s OK so long as it is not in the engine.
The road wasn’t so greatly paved, and street lighting wasn’t helping. We decided to dock and look for somewhere to call the night. 

The next day, we visited the lake. We were wanting to get to talim island, but we’ve gone past, and far away from the passenger jump off point; going back was a waste of fuel and time, so we decided to drive further.

Our first intended stop was Laiya beach in San Juan. We also checked out some beaches before reaching Laiya, but wasn't so impressed. It was past noon already when we arrived as we had to stop every so often. For meals, rest, and street food here and there.

We’re staying in Laiya for the night, and glad we found some hut with beddings for P300 overnight.

After Laiya, the plan was to have lunch at Silangang Nayon, and then visit Kwebang Lampas, Borawan, and Dampalitan if possible. 

News is reporting some Low Pressure area in the visayas region, and some friends are posting cancellations of their flights. 

Along the Maharlika/National Road, the wind was blowing so strong, that at some point, we’re loosing our balance. We drove quite carefully and slowly and maintained only 30kms/hour speed. Buses and Trucks rage to overtake us, and we feel like we’re going to be flown away. Upon reaching Sariaya, we thought about stopping for a while. Besides, our ass are sore again (as they do every hour of driving).

I am in fancy with the native Sariaya bread, and I told Liezl about it. She stopped the bike in a bakery, but, it seems they don’t have the same exact bread I get from the bus vendors everytime we pass by Sariaya.
On the other hand, they have TORTORYAL, which is not bad at all; I ordered a second.

Just when we decided to leave, we noticed that the tire is flat. Fortunately, there was a vulcanizing shop just 20m ahead.  Then again, it seems it’s a lot more complicated than just patching some hole.

When Mr Tire Technician attempted to screw back some of the joints, the wredge won’t firm up. It’s gone loose due to time and usage. We had to look for a spare part from some other vulcanizing shop which Mr Technician has referred us to.

After an hour, it seems everything’s fixed up. It was already 30mins past lunch at that time, and Mr Technician was rushing to get home for lunch. He didn’t even wait for us to go, assuming everything good to go.

When we left, we noticed the wheel is misaligned. The hood seems straight and yet the tire faces 30 degrees to the right. Some of the by standers came close to look, and it seems some thing has been accidentally rotated. We had to wait until the tech comes back.

At around 1:30 we hit the road again. Asking from the people there, there is some 25 kilometers more to get to Silangang Nayon. Then, Somewhere along the Diversion road, it rained and when had to stop by a convenience store for 30 minutes.

We could not waste any more time, so even if there were still some mists, we thought we have got to leave.
Before 3pm , we were already in Silangang Nayon. I was rushing to see that aircraft that delivers food from the dining areas in the stilts. I felt so fulfilled at getting into some destination I had looked forward to for 3 years now.
The food was served and single serving was good for even 4, I’d say. We ended up taking home half of the food, and available for dinner. 

It was too late to find a boat to the islands. Then again, the long sand bar was looking so enticing, we did not want to leave the town without seeing it. We decided to look for some accommodation close by, so we can be back quick the next day. We lodged in Greenview Inn right in the corner of the National Highway.

We went back the following morning. We drove all the way to the Brgy Bantigue proper where a lot of fishing boats are docked. From that standpoint, I could see another sandbar on my right. We scouted for a boat that will get us to both (final pricing agreed was P500 for both islands).

After a visit to these islands, we decided to drive further. Along the way back to te national highway, we've encountered these makeshift rail transport sytem i've seen in the tv. We thought about oarking and trying the ride.

Looking at the map, it seems the Maharlika hiway would be a long drive compared to the old zigzag road. None of us have ever tried the zigzag road so we didn’t know it would be so hard to maneuver through the incline. I had to get off and manually carry both our bags up just so the motorbike would push.

We got all the way to Atimonan town proper. From here, it was time for me to go back to Manila for my flight to Davao the next day. Liezl also stayed here for the night.  

Amongst the many travelers I’ve known and heard, with her courage, when it comes to adventure, Liezel is that you’d want to join; No hesitations whatsoever. At the time of writing, Liezel is already in the island of Samar. She’ll be driving the motorbike all the way to Dipolog City, her hometown. Just FYI, Liezel has done Europe (1 month) and SEA backpacking (6 months) already. Some of our upcoming plans are hopping on a rented fishing boat for perhaps a month or so, and sail around the Philippines. Hopefully very soon.


  1. This is awesome! Thanks Ian for sharing this. I am so proud of what my sister is doing and I'm glad that you were able to join her. Why didn't you go with her all the way to Dipolog? :-)
    Keep on exploring and writing about them.

    1. too bad i am still employed til now. we talked about it actually, but, darn.. she's just so cool getting lost herself alone so i could only drool at every post she has..

      by far the travel bud you'd never dare cause she'd just always say.. let's go.


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