7 Cities that you could Bike Ride in Metro Manila within 8 hours

3 01 2016

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Metro Manila, Philippines

If you want to see Metro Manila without the traffic for a fun and easy bike ride, consider taking the 7-city less than 43km 8-hr bike ride.

I just did the following today with Cham and Tiny, the Giant bike of B3.

ROUTE: Makati, Manila, Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Taguig

START/END: 10am to 6pm

DISTANCE/PACE: 42.38km; 29.7km/h (18.45mph)

ROUTES WITH POINTS OF INTERESTS:

1. MAKATI. See the country’s premier financial capital. Start on Pasay Road or Arnaiz Avenue to get a glimpse of Makati. Cross Osmena Highway to Evangelista. Mind the jeepneys for they will race you though you have already shown them your hand signals.

2. MANILA. Head straight to Libertad- Taft Avenue. Stop for a second in Cartimar for a last minute bike-check (e.g. check the wheels, tires, brakes, chain, alignment, or any accessories such as odometer that you may need for the day).

Then off to F. B. Harrison towards Roxas Blvd. on Service Road for a safe ride. Enjoy the view of Star City, Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Fountain, get mesmerized with the vintage fighting ships of the Philippine Navy as you continue biking towards Manila Yacht Club side. Revel the 2km stretch of Baywalk, the seaside promenade overlooking Manila Bay. See the fisherfolks park their humble boats while they catch their food for the day. This Baywalk is a place where you could come back and see the “best sunset”. See the locals spend their day walking. Witness the underground economy selling various foods and even offering massage on the seaside!

As you reach the US Embassy, you will hit the Manila Museum and Rizal Park where the national Hero named “Jose Protacio Mercado Rizal” is standing still. Cross Katigbak Drive and pass by Manila Hotel. Continue on Bonifacio Drive, pass by Club Intramuros Golf Course. Turn right as you see Anda Circle. Then enjoy biking on the dedicated bicycle path of the “walled city” of Intramuros. It is the historic place built by the Spaniards hundreds years ago. Say “hello” to the security guards dressed as “guardia civil” around the area. Pass by Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, San Agustin Museum. As you finish your wandering, grab a bite, go to Barbaras or Casa Marineros but make sure your pocket is padded with lots of money! Else, head straight to General Luna street then turn left as you see Luna Triangle pass by Manila City hall. Head straight to Manila Central Post Office. Take the bridge going to Sta. Cruz church. Pass by Carriedo, Rizal Avenue and turn right to Claro M. Recto Avenue pass by Mendiola, the street close to Malacanang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Mendiola has been the site of numerous and bloody demonstrations. This is also the place that form Manila’s University Belt where colleges and universities are alongside one another. Then pass by Pureza, look down on Hipodromo St while on the bridge towards Altura, V. Mapa, SM City Sta. Mesa

3. QUEZON CITY. As you cross Araneta Avenue, you are now in the 3rd city of the day! Just go straight Aurora Blvd, cross Broadway Avenue, turn right on Gilmore as you see St. Paul University QC

4. SAN JUAN. On Gilmore, stop at Jollibee. They have a space to park your bike while you munch your simple lunch.

As I unlock my Master Lock, I noticed that my front tire was no longer properly inflated! (Sigh!) Thanks to the friendly people around the area who told us that Vulcanizing Shop is on N. Domingo! I paid 40php (<1 USD) . Then the rain started pouring! B3 and I were just waiting for the rain to stop at Los Hermanos Taco Shop near Petron . Afterwards, we continued biking on Ortigas Avenue. Passed by Santolan Avenue, Greenhills Shopping Center then crossed Edsa.

5. PASIG. We turned right to ADB Avenue, crossed Dona Julia Vargas and continued on San Miguel Avenue.

6. MANDALUYONG. Instead of taking the Edsa-Shaw flyover, we took the easy and safe side of Shaw Blvd. Then turned left on Acacia Lane, crossed Boni Avenue, continued on Primo Cruz, and the seaside of Pasig River. After hours of biking, I felt the uphill ride on Mandaluyong-Makati bridge!

From there, we were back in Makati. I was already cruising Makati Avenue, Ayala Avenue. We stopped at Rustan’s on McKinley Road to relax and eat the cupcake that my friend Jen has given me earlier. Yes, it was picnic time!

7. TAGUIG. We continued along the greenery area of 5th Ave and Lawton Avenue for a photo op of both Cham and Tiny.

Then I went back to Makati where I started and B3 to Taguig.

(NOTES: There are 17 cities in Metro Manila and majority has no dedicated bicycle path. The route is controlled by where and when you want to start. Bike ride on a holiday is preferable for a relaxed traffic regulations and no-frill bike ride. The duration vary depending on your speed. Jeepneys are the most popular and most decorative public transportation in the country.) h





Cham reached 110!

6 11 2012
Saturday, 2 November 2012
Angat, Bulacan
Central Luzon, Philippines

I am not talking about Cham’s age. I was referring to the kilometrage distance she has accomplished today. Cham together with GT (Bucopie’s bicycle) and Fort (my former bike but now back to the owner – Brodear) reached Angat Bulacan late afternoon.

Both Cham and Fort were just cruising Makati City. Then off we went to Cartimar Pasay City for check up. Unfortunately Doc Sandy, the bike doctor did not report today. While thinking of the alternative bike clinic, Cham found another helmet so Brodear could use THE BLUE. I then ended up changing jersey to match the new “orange” helmet.

Another doctor in a nearby bike shop found out that Fort had a “rios” or “spoke” injury. Fort needed something more for his odometer. We stopped to buy battery and passed by Roxas Boulevard, Manila then Luneta Park and crossed Binondo bridge.

As we landed Sta. Cruz church area, we found a local Chinese restaurant. We stopped for brunch. At 1330, Brodear and I found a place where we could park both Fort and Cham while we eat. The Chinese owner was very customer friendly. Her warm welcome cost us about 10USD (412PHP). After quenching our thirst and munching the fishfillet, we started pedaling once again.

We reached Bucopie’s house in Valenzuela almost 15:00. GT was not supposed to go with us. But this was the day that Cham became a good alibi for GT. After an hour or so, we stopped for ice cream! My butt was already dying with sore! Arrrrgggh! I was already pedal standing! But I was careful not to hurt my knee that had arthroscopy last Q2 (see blog >> https://adventureh.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/outdoor-101/). There was no time to waste more energy. I needed to sustain aerobically. So I used the saddle once again,,, ouch!

Another excruciating rolling 48km followed but with 1 stop to taste the newly baked “Malunggay” pandesal! Hot and Yummy!! Didn’t know that small flavored bread tasted really good!

We finally reached the goal. Doc DG, our family dentist bought us dinner. The night was really dark but we still needed to do some more 3km trail to find other means in going back Makati City. An angel passed by and gave us a jeepney ride to Valenzuela.

Find out the MILESTONES for your alternative biking route:
Makati to Cartimar Pasay (4km)
Cartimar to Monumento Circle, Caloocan (14km)
Caloocan to Valenzuela (7km)
Valenzuela McArthur Highway to Bocaue Bridge (10km)
Crossed North Luzon Expressway to Sta Maria Bulacan (24 km)
Sta Maria Bulacan to Norzagaray Bulacan (25km)
Norzagaray Bulacan to Angat Bulacan (23km)
Poblacion bus station to Jeepney station (3km)
CALCULATOR check = 110km!

This was my second centennial ride since I started long biking! Nice to do it with Brodear! h





Biking Sleigh in March

3 01 2012
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Laguna, Philippines

I know. An absurd one. Indeed crazy to even coin it as “biking sleigh”. Guess why… I became a Santa not in December but for the month of March!

I took a light bike ride from Makati to Binan SLEX via West Service Road just to give gifts to my godchildren. One in Muntinlupa and another one in San Pedro, Laguna. Three months, never too late for me. But not for them, my godchildren!

Cham, my Chamorro bike became my sleigh and we reached 45k together as a team. I didn’t wear the fancy red and white attire. I just wore my usual biking shorts. And ended up with a half-burned thigh!

Alabang fans

I was already being toasted by the noontime  heat.. But the excessive glaring and scourging rays of the sun didn’t bother me when the street vendors of Alabang shouted and chanted the famous jingle “Pia! Pia! Pia Cayetano!”  Funny indeed. I just waived to them. I needed to pay attention to the busy corner of Alabang towards Laguna.

Muntinlupa

Upon reaching the main town, I stopped for some refreshment. I bought dirty ice cream. As I  moved towards the resting area, I saw two kids looking at me. I felt that they too craved for some ice cream. I went back to the sorbetero* and bought two more cones. Then without saying anything to the two kids, I just gestured to give them the ice cream. Ashamed yet with a smile, they looked up to me and I seconded the gesture. Then, they said “Salamat po!, “Thank you!”.. They motivated me to continue.

San Pedro

Alas! I have handed over my gift. As I have continued my mission for the day, I reached the bridge of San Vicente Road and struggled! There was a jam and as expected all jeepney** passengers were looking at me! Their scrutinizing look did not stop me and I was able to give the second gift.

It was a cruise as soon as I have seen the very environment-friendly signage in town. I took a snap.

Binan side trip

Of course, a side trip completes an adventure. I went to Almond’s house. That was the time I met, Bianchi, the old bike of Almond’s brother. It was a good feeling since Bianchi was able to go out for a ride. She and Cham peddled right through the tunnel of Binan just beside South Luzon Expressway. What a ride!

I felt that Cham became a Santa too as well for Bianchi. Looking forward to my next biking sleigh weekend! h

*ice cream vendor; **public transportation in the country inspired by the US military during World War II





12 Monthly Reasons why we should all enjoy Philippines

24 11 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Guam, USA

1. HIKING to Pulag in JANUARY – via Ambangeg trail, hike up the highest mountain in Luzon at 2,922 asl. Enjoy the breeze and see the most beautiful sunrise

2. Balloon ourselves up for the HOT AIR BALLOON in FEBRUARY – every year, Clark has the most extravagant celebration of hot air balloon and aviation sports event

3. Join or arrange your own OUTREACH programs in MARCH – go any where in the country to help indigent families

4. SWIMMING with the Butandings in APRIL – go south of Luzon to the Bicol region and enjoy swimming with the quite gentle yet humongous whale sharks of about 15 ft

5. SUNDUNE in MAY – make sure it is the early rush for you to go up north the Ilocos region and enjoy a 4×4 short circuit. If you miss the first two weeks of the month, rainy season will already be a hindrance to your fun!

6. SNORKELLING to the Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery in JUNE – challenge yourself while you “fight with the tide” as you reach the marker of Camiguin island. The current is so strong that you will end up riding a boat on your way back to the main island.

7. ZIP LINING in  JULY – go to the longest zip line of Bukidnon and enjoy the view of Mindanao while you are wearing a harness

8. WHITE WATER RAFTING in AUGUST – get the splash of your life in Davao during the Kadayawan festivities. It may be a prelude to your Mt Apo (the highest in the country at 2954 asl) adventure.

9. SEPTEMBER REEF WALKING in Boracay  – go to the Visayas region and look like an astronaut for once, with your diving helmet

10. CATCH the vinta* REGATTA in OCTOBER with your lens – be amazed with the colourful ala Latin festivities of Zamboanga City in the island of Mindanao, southern part of the country

11. PAY TRIBUTE to the Kabayan Mummies of Sagada in NOVEMBER – take the late bus bound to the north of the country and immerse with the culture and prepare yourself as a travelling archaeologist

12. DECEMBER MOUNTAIN BIKING in BATANES   – cool down and enjoy the slow-paced life in the Batanes area, the north most part of the country. And surprise yourself if you are still in Asia or not..h

*vinta-traditional boat





Have you tried Tarlac Bike Trail Lately?

23 10 2011
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Tarlac, Tarlac, Philippines

If you have ONE day to spare, try Tarlac for a new perspective!

Tarlac is 104 km away from Manila. If you want to try biking around Tarlac, then hop on your bike in the trunk of Victory bus liner early morning say 6 0r 7am and expect to be back around 10pm, same day.

That’s what I just did today! Cham, my Chamorro bike, and I reached the bus station at 7am. Few seconds, we saw Bucopie waiting. Then the three of us took the bus heading to the town of Gerona.

Gerona town

After 3 hours and 30 minutes, we all reached Gerona where GT has been residing since February. GT is Bucopie’s silver bike.

Gerona is also the place for the fine food of Tarlac. It was my first different Philippine cuisine taste. And I was very glad we stopped at The Halfway to the North Floating Restaurant for our 12n lunch after we got GT. I ordered  the spicy “tahong” (mussels), a fusion of the spicy food coming from the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pangasinan, and the Ilocos Region. Bucopie tried the local version of Tilapia fish.

Tarlac City

After 13 km of peddling on Mc Arthur Highway, we reached Tarlac city and turned left coming from Gerona. Our next target was La Paz. While we were on Santa Rosa-Tarlac Road, we stopped for a drink and had some photo opt. The landscape of the landlock and plain province started to show. We passed by Matatalaib, Maliwalo, San Jose, San Manuel, Balingcanaway, Amucao, Caramutan, San Isidro, Rizal, Balanoy and finally Dumarais. Cham’s odometer already reached another 19km.

Dumarais Off trail

Dumarais is a barangay with vast agricultural land in the small town of La Paz. Both Bucopie and I started to feel the rush and the power of  both GT and Cham. We were already standing while pedaling. We met some friends of Bucopie in Dumarais and in Sierra, (another town of about 2.5 km from Dumarais). Within this area, I saw the nicest sundown, interesting rice paddy and even had my second carabao (water buffalo) ride!

Since it was already 5pm, we started to head onto the last portion of the off trail. On our way, we saw hundreds of ducks crossing the dirt road and caused a short traffic jam! I didn’t think they could demand an imaginary stop light that fast! Whoa! After hitting the sugarcane field, we saw the SCTEX pavement that traverses Luisita Access road. Then we just headed onto Mc Arthur Highway in oder for us to go back to Tarlac city Victory bus station where we started.

Cham’s overall reading upon reaching Manila was at 56.9 km. So try Tarlac next weekend! Who knows, you may reach 100 km!

NOTE: While you cruise Tarlac city, don’t be surprised seeing men in uniform along some post since it is part of the Operation Enduring Freedom project of the government.

BUDGET: bus fare <500php (10 USD) + food of your choice. h





Start the year right:HBO–Hike-Bike-Outreach

12 02 2011
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Butuan City-Camiguin Island,
Mindanao, Philippines

Crinkles got Trek, his gray mountain bike late last year. Out of excitement, he thought of going biking wherever I choose. I suggested biking on Camiguin island so I could go back and return the good deed I received from the family at the foot of Mt. Tres Marias.

The family way back in 2009 offered a raincoat and clothes to me as soon as they saw me got soaked in the rain. With short conversations while sipping the home made coffee that Manang Carmelita prepared for me, I felt the warmth of their home. We could hardly understand each other since I do not speak Visayan dialect nor they know Tagalog but I could not describe in words their hospitality.

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Preparation for HBO

To make the route more exciting, I got the map and looked for a place I have not been. I found Butuan to be just the right place to land from Manila. Without hesitation, Almond excitingly joined too and I booked the three of us via PAL last November.

Five days before the flight, Brodear got 3 boxes from Doc Sandy of Paulina’s in Cartimar Pasay. The 3 bikes: Trek, GT and Cham now have something to tuck in while on board PAL.

Brodear helped me out packed the 3 bikes and we headed off to the cargo after knowing that we will pay only half the price (if we will have excess baggage fee will be as high as 9K PHP, 180USD since we still have other goods for Outreach).

Hike

Our day hike to Camiguin Island’s Hibok-Hibok (1,332 meters above sea level) via Ardent Hot Spring totalled 5 hours. We started with a chicken breakfast inside the resort. Then we headed off to the foot of the mountain.

After bouldering the wet trail we reached the summit seeing 95% visibility. We still managed the chance for few snaps in bad weather though. On our descend, we had lunch at PNOC and soaked ourselves for 30 minutes in the 39 degrees hot spring before proceeding to our ‘side trip’, the White Sandbar right across the resort where we stayed.

Bike

Biking around Butuan city reached 13km only. This included our road biking to the local government unit, the bus station and our marketing at Gaisano Mall. Meanwhile, biking from Binoni port to Yumbing on Camiguin island was a gradual sloping 27km. Mind you, we had backpacks while on bike. I could still remember how the local halo-halo saved our day!

Outreach

We had two low impact Outreach activities. One in Butuan City and another one on Camiguin island.

In Butuan city, Ms Lilit Mission-Concon of Tourism Office and her friendly team welcomed us. They advised us to go to the City Social Welfare Development (CSWD) Office for our goodies. Ms Asuncion L. Dalugdugan then received the clothes we handed over for the recent flood victims.

Manang Carmelita was teary eyed when Almond, Crinkles and I gave the goodies to them in Itom, Camiguin island. She thought we will just hike up Tres Marias and not to visit them. She offered coffee but we opted to leave so that they could save it for their next meal.

HOW TO GO THERE

Better take PAL from Manila to Butuan city.  No hassle when checking in. Flight attendants are very courteous and will give you computations for price comparison if you want to avail of your baggage allowance or have it cargoed.

Once you landed, look for vans available since the airport is 15 minutes away from the main area of the city. Then take the Bachelor Tours to reach Balingoan port to reach Camiguin island. From there, you may choose the vessels called “roro” available. (There is an available roro every 30 minutes).

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Karaga is the perfect place for bikers while in Butuan city. They have a special parking for your bikes! Thanks to the owners Mr Iwa and Mr Perkin who were very accommodating to the three of us! Mr Iwa even drove us to the bus station to ensure that we will be able to catch the schedule. Check out their website > > http://www.hotelkaraga.com

Meanwhile, you will have a homey stay at Sabacajan Beach and Cottages on Camiguin island. This family owned place is manned by Mommy Terry and her daughters. Give them an email and they will surely reserve a room for you (joebabess@yahoo.com).

Starting the year with HBO – hike, bike and outreach was all fun and adventure! h

ITINERARY (Hike-Bike-Outreach)

Day 1

1050 ETD Manila to Butuan via PAL

1220 ETA Butuan city

Check in Hotel Karaga

Assemble the bike

Bike around and go to the local government unit (LGU) to hand over the goods for the Outreach

Check the bus schedule bound to Balingoan port and the vessel that sails to Camiguin island

Have Dinner

Day 2

0600 ETD Butuan bus bound to Camiguin Benoni port. Make sure you are 15 minutes before the bus schedule since the bus leaves on time. We took the Bachelor Tours

0900 ETA Balingoan

1030 ETD Balingoan

1130 ETA Camiguin port

1200 Bike to Sabacajan

Have lunch along the way

1500 ETA Sabacajan Beach and Cottages, check in

1630 Go to Itom for Outreach

1800 Have Dinner

Day 3

0600 ETD to hike Hibok-Hibok

0630 Breakfast at Ardent Hot Spring

0730 Start of Trek

1230 End of Trek

1300 Hot Spring experience

1500 White Sandbar

1600 ETD Sabacajan Beach and Cottages to pack up things

1800 ETD Camiguin Benoni port

1900 ETD Balingoan port

2200 ETA Butuan city

2230 ETA Karaga Hotel

2300 Have Dinner

Day 4

1250 ETD Butuan city to Manila

1420 ETA Manila

BUDGET: 9K PHP (180 USD per fun biker/hiker for 3 pax with provisions for bike cargo cost airline-bus-vessel)





Cham at 216.40 km

12 09 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Batangas, Philippines

My second Cateye cyclocomputer odometer has shown that Cham, my Chamorro bike reached her 216.40km . I thought it will be an easy 30km ride for the day. But I got awed by peddling and pushing Cham up to Mt. Batulao deck view for a sunset photo op. It was a day when Cham and I both experienced the real off road biking.

Tagaytay – Rotonda

My biking buddy, Bucopie and I went to Tagaytay, down south of Luzon at 10am. After watching Salt on-board the bus, we reached the target place – Tagaytay Rotonda. We brought Cham and GT (Bucopie’s bike) to the circle for a snap.

Then while on our way to the final destination – Evercrest Golf Club Resort, we saw this Praying Hands and we both thought of a snap once again. I leaped on to the nice piece of artwork. I unconsciously started putting my hands together as if i was praying. Bucopie took a photo of me.

Mushroom Burger

We continued peddling Aguinaldo Highway and stopped for sumptuous burger with ice cold “gulaman” drink on the side. Then while I was really too comfortable sitting and enjoying the greenery around me, I hit the GI sheet-type design table. Ouch! Funny to see that the bruise had a squared red mark around it. It was a good excuse for me to stay longer though. After all, it was a hilly ride from Tagaytay-Rotonda! (haha!)

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Alfonso-Laurel Batangas

Afterwards, we headed peddling once again. We started looking for a coffee shop to have a sip of the local coffee. Unfortunately, there was none on sight.

As biking buddies we are always motivated to peddle if we take we took a photo of all the route signages! So we did – at the ark of Alfonso, Laurel and even the Welcome sign of Tagaytay from Nasugbu side.

After twenty minutes we saw this spot where one could see Taal Lake and the picturesque Batangas-Laguna ranges. We stopped and exchanges insights. Indeed it was a good spot for a 20minute-reflection.

Nasugbu Evercrest jump-off site

Before even reaching the jump-off site (Evercrest) to Mt. Batulao, we had Cornetto Ice Cream. I must admit that 5 minutes ago, I was melting. At the time, I was still adjusting to the hilly part. Changed my gears from one minute to another. But then came the scourging sun. I began to drain. I started to feel “low batt” (my natural battery was beginning to drain). Then I started to self-charge again when I saw the “carinderias” * facing Evercrest.

I had my second coffee for the day in one of the carinderias while Bucopie was having lunch. I didn’t notice that it was already 15:00. I ate 1.5 bread (hot newly baked monay and mongo bread).

Chapel on the Hill

To give way to the other mountaineers and bikers like Soc and Chris (my co-Maharlika paddlers) who started coming too to the same place where we were, my biking buddy decided to continue the afternoon adventure.

We reached Chapel on the Hill. Apparently, the guard on duty told us that we could never have Cham and GT inside the premises. So, with just trust in the Lord JC (Jesus Christ), I left Cham. We ascended the cemented stairs on foot and had a tranquil moment together.

Mt. Batulao

Then off we went to the  foot of Mt. Batulao. We enjoyed the adrenalin rush of the rugged terrain. But when I reached the 85 degrees one-foot long trail, I started to feel some muscle strain on my foreleg. It was my second “Ouch!” for the day!  All three – Bucopie, Chris and Soc were at the top looking and motivated me. I decided to carry Cham because both of us were being pushed down by the current.

After a lot more of fun struggle peddling and pushing with Cham, Bucopie and I reached the Mt. Batulao viewpoint. Seeing the sundown wrapped the whole experience with more joy and accomplishment. We both thanked Lord JC for the natural beauty that surrounded us.

I reminded Bucopie that for every assault, there is a descend. So we both agreed to go back to Evercrest at 18:00 since I find it more difficult to bike in the dark. I got all the mud I could get on our way back and I didn’t care. All I wanted was to go back to catch the bus.

Upon reaching the target jump-off site at the same carinderia, we saw Machacao, Makabayan, Jahmes and other mountaineers. Then we concluded the activity by riding back the bus bound to Manila.

Now I am excited for Cham’s next km mountain biking adventure ride… h

*local eatery/restaurant








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