Wednesday, July 8, 2009

my most memorable road trips (second set)

like on my first set of my most memorable road trips, it took me a hard time looking back to those experience of just going out exploring the country's popular and some not-so-known yet worth seeing spots. but with this list, i was able to determine some of the most notable road experience that i took. so here goes the final set of my own experience of what it is to travel along the Philippines road system.[12] Manila to Alaminos and around (5hours). it was during the Lenten season that we decided to drive our way to Alaminos to go to the Hundred islands. we didn't know the shortcut so we took the way via Urdaneta and turned left to Dagupan. we stayed at the nearby Pugaro island. to go to the island, you have to cross a small bridge. it means you'll have to take a longer route but most of the locals there takes a boat trip instead from Dagupan port to this island. the island has a wide shoreline but with grey sand. then the next day we went on a road trip around the nearby towns of Manaoag, San Fabian, Sual, Mabini, Labrador and Lingayen and a visit to the hundred islands. to think it was just our first time there.
what to see:
nice mountain view in the areas of Sual and some scenic shoreline views.
what to expect:
stopover on food restos along the road. look for the Hitoan just within Dagupan. we ended up bringing home 5 of these grilled hito. so it's not just bangus that's really good there. road trip view: 3.5
road trip experience:
eskapo rate:
7.5 [11] Tagaytay to Taal (2hours). after a day at the Tagaytay highlands we found out that we still have enough time for an afternoon road trip so we drove our way down to the town of Taal. one of our companion has relatives there and lucky that it was the town's fiesta. excellent mountain views on this roadtrip. we dropped by the old but beautiful Taal church. late afternoon, the skies turned really dark and on our way back going uphill to Tagaytay, it rained so hard. surrounded by fog we cannot see the road ahead. so we were driving slow and the road was only revealed everytime there was lightning. this is one of my most dangerous road trip.
what to see:
excellent green lush mountain view, Taal crater lake, Taal church and a number of ancestral houses.
what to expect:
zigzag road, if you'll take a jeepney ride, make sure that you take the front seat or else you'll miss the great view. so it's still best if you bring a car and drive your way down.
road trip view: 4.0
road trip experience:
eskapo rate:
7.5[10] Manila Daet to Legazpi (13hours). many have taken this route but usually by bus. on our first trip to Bicol, we decided to drive our way there for us to be able to make stopovers. among the best spots of the road trip is the Gumaca coastal road just few kilometers away from Lucena. from there, you have two options, whether to take the road passing the town of Daet or the town of Tangkawayan. we took the former which passes the famous Bitukang Manok road, that goes zigzag downhill. when we reached the Bicol region, it was all mountains this time and the best part was the thrill of seeing the majestic Mt. Mayon.
what to see: typical provincial towns, Gumaca's coastal road, Mt. Isarog, Mt. Iriga and Mt. Mayon.
what to expect:
a tiring experience for the one who's driving but a few stops will help. don't worry because those stops gave us some great sights of Bicol's beautiful mountains.
road trip view: 3.5
road trip experience: 4.5
eskapo rate: 8.0
[9] Cabanatuan to Bayombong (4hours). a sleepless trip to Cabanatuan where we met with travel buddy lawstude. we just had quick breakfast around 4:30am and immediately left for an even longer trip up North. when we started the way up the Sierra Madre mountain range, it was all fog. we made our way up the Dalton Pass while it was drizzling but it didn't stop us from taking photos and climbing the hilly monument. good that we had our vehicle filled with food, thanks to ever-ready lawstude. the rain came and ruined our plans of visiting waterfalls but the stunning Sierra Madre's scenic mountain range complemented it.
what to see: Dalton Pass memorial, Region 2 welcome arc, great mountain view.
what to expect:
an uphill drive. i recommend that you take an experienced driver with you because there are areas which has zigzag road and are at times foggy.
road trip view:
road trip experience:4.0
eskapo rate:
8.0[8] Sta Fe to Bantayan (1hour). this must be one of the shortest road trip i had. but it was when i had the chance to rent a motorbike and drive around that made this a great road trip experience. since i really wanted to visit the Bantayan town church, which was about 30minutes away from our resort in Sta Fe, i drove my way to the town center. town is still rustic and so quiet even at mid day. since there was not much to see along the highway, i took some short stops on some of the inner roadways and found great views of the beach.
what to see:
the old church of Bantayan island, unbusy town and great beach views when you take some inner roadways.
what to expect: you'll pass by some big chicken poultries and expect the smell of chicken dungs. it is because Bantayan island is the largest producer of eggs in the Visayas. but the road is in good condition.
road trip view:
road trip experience: 4.5
eskapo rate:
8.0[7] Dau to Pinatubo drop off (2hours). i've been to Pinatubo twice taking two different paths. one was the old regular route way back 2006 and just this year the skyway route. the first time i had this trip, i was awed by the myriad of what used to be lahar's canal which is now a deserted space. our 4x4s were racing, wherein the one who lags gets all the dust from the leading 4x4. of course our 4x4 won! we stayed overnight at the crater and the next day we did race again this time to the nearby lake on the Northern side of Capas. it was an excellent adventure!
what to see: great mountainscape, expanse desert, remains of the Mt. Pinatubo's rage.
what to expect:
for trekkers, the old route will be great but for those who just wanted to see the crater, the skyway will be a good choice. during sunny days, expect a dusty road trip. we don't recommend you to visit it during rainy season.
road trip view:
road trip experience:
eskapo rate:
8.0[6] Marinduque and around (3hours). i was expecting my first top load jeepney ride to be in the Cordilleras but not when we had our chance in Marinduque. we arrived in the island around 2:30am with an overloaded RORO trip, due to the Moriones Festival and the holidays, passengers immediately rushed to the first jeepney. in minutes it was full that led us to the option of taking the next jeepney instead. but we noticed that the jeepney has a top load area, and so we asked if riding on top of the jeepney was allowed. the driver agreed, so travel buddy Nadz and i climbed up. it was only the two of us there enjoying the fresh breeze. but what we did not expected was the great coastal view of the island. we really recommend that you take the Dalahican to Balanacan boat trip when you go to the town of Boac in Marinduque. that's for you, not to miss this excellent scenic view.
what to see:
great coastal view from the mountain's highway, small Moriones monument and old ancestral houses of Boac.
what to expect: zigzag road that goes uphill and downhill when it reaches the town of Boac.
road trip view:

road trip experience:

eskapo rate:
[5] Malamawi island and around (1hour). this might be one of the most dangerous road trip but still it was worth the trip. this island in Basilan has one of the nicest beach in the country. riding on top of a truck running fast over unpaved road was fun. during the whole trip i was standing looking at the hilly view of the island. one must jus avoid trees as it can hit you. the closer you are to the beach, the more sand you can see along the road. what's great is the path approaching the beach has a great way of slowly revealing what is to be a very beautiful beach. one can choose to take a banca from Basilan island to this beach but the road trip experience is a great experience.
what to see:
view of the island's hills, expanding mangroves and a lot of stilt houses.
what to expect:
rough road and it can be very dusty during summer. you need to coordinate with the local tourism office to assure your security while you're in the island.
road trip view:
road trip experience:
eskapo rate: 8.0[4] Cabanatuan to Dingalan (2hours). a gloomy day didn't stop our pursuit to explore the off-the-beaten-path town of Dingalan. this was the second part of my trip with lawstude after the Bayombong road trip. we were welcomed by Sierra Madre's mountains in Laur covered with fog and really big hills on both side of the road. hills as beautiful as the Chocolate hills in Bohol but maybe five times its size. this was the trip that we've made so many stopover including a stop at raging river. but most excellent mountain view was when we reached Dingalan. the two groups of hills seems like guarding this small coastal town.
what to see:
excellent mountain range, the hills and the coast meets revealing a stunning road trip view.
what to expect:
the place is unpopular yet the road is really in good condition. so if you plan to drive your way there, it won't be a problem. i don't recommend you to commute because you'll miss a lot of the great scenic sights.
road trip view:
road trip experience:
eskapo rate:
8.5[3] Bacolod to Don Salvador (3hours). it was my father who recommended me this route but on the day that i was set to visit the town of Don Salvador Benedicto, it rained hard. so i cancelled the trip. the next day, sun came out and immediately rushed to the bus terminal and took a bus that goes to San Carlos. it almost has the same route that goes to Mambucal except that it turns left on one part revealing the giant Mt. Kanlaon. midway, the mountain view became even more rewarding and as we entered the town of Don Salvador, a kilometer-long highway of pine trees lined up along the road came into view. upon reaching the town, i rented a motorbike and paid somebody to drive since i'm not familiar to the different viewing sites of the waterfalls, rice terraces and great mountainscape.
what to see:
waterfalls, rice terraces and great mountainscape.
what to expect:
zigzag road that goes up and down on many parts giving an excellent mountain view. watch out for the really weird roof of the tricycles in the town of Murcia. road is at good condition.
road trip view:
road trip experience: 4.0
eskapo rate:
8.5 [2] Sibuyan island around (1hour). not so known to many but not to mountaineers as this island is the home to one of the country's most challenging mountain trail, Mt. Guiting-Guiting. it has some of the beautiful untouched beaches. but i was not there to climb but it was because one my uncle lives there. so we stayed there for two weeks doing a lot of roadtrips. the roads were still unpaved, no electricity that made the people dependent on generators. most of the time we took our bikes to get to nearby areas and occasionally roamed around the island driving motorcycles. this island has a lot of the untouched waterfalls, densed forests and even nice beaches. that was way back the late 90s.
what to see: the Mt. Guiting Guiting National Park that covers a large area of less explored forests and waterfalls.
what to expect: some areas are still undeveloped but jeepneys are now available for trips around the island.
road trip view:
road trip experience: 4.0
eskapo rate:
8.5 [1] Baguio to Sagada (6hours). what used to be known as the torturous Halsema Highway is the country's most beautiful mountain highway. awesome mountain views vary during the six-hour trip from Baguio to Sagada. the many rice terraces along the way combines the great wonders of nature and human ingenuity. a climate suited for this road trip that always set a travelers road trip experience in awe. if you sleep along the way, you'll miss a lot. it was a time when i realized that an airconditioned bus is unnecessary for this trip.
what to see:
the great Cordillera mountain range, Chico river, rice terraces in all forms and
what to expect:
on most occasions a foggy roadway, traveling beside steep and deep ravines. some parts road is still under repair but so minimal.
road trip view:
road trip experience:
eskapo rate:
9.5 making this list reminded me that we have a country to live and to love. if you thought that i've already explored the whole country, i say not yet. there's just too many to explore in this archipelago for a lifetime. so where's your next road trip?


coolwaterworks said...

Hmmm... Base...

I'm glad Don Salvador Benedicto/San Carlos road made it to the top 10... Hehehe... I was able to hike the mountain road from KM71 to the waterfalls... :D Burned a lot of adipose tissues there and skin... hehe...

You are such a prolific peripatetic Dong... Hopefully someday our paths would cross for a shoot and an escapade.

luna miranda said...

what an experience! i wish i have all the time to explore the Philippines like you do. indeed, this country is gifted with beautiful places and the kindest people. we are blessed!

bluedreamer27 said...

i never been in a parola or lighthouse and ang cute naman ng tricycle hehe

bluedreamer27 said...

by the way blog idol round 4 just got started
you may want to cast your vote in my blog and choose for the best Love song of the week
have a great day and happy blogging

Retro Manila said...

This is an amazing trip.

Lovin the photos.

Palito said...

Wow! ang dami mo ng napuntahan sa Pinas. Napatitig ako sa unang photo mo, yung tricycle, akala ko sa Dipolog yon. Nakaangat kasi ang harap ng mga tricycle sa Dipolog.

Ang galing nga mga photos mo. Daan ulit ako sa site mo.

Pang wow philippines ang mga trips mo.

Chyng said...

^ superb ang travel blog nya no?

amazing! andame mo ng memories. ilan nalang ba di mo napuntahan, for sure madame ka pa i-expose na unseen places dito sa pinas.

very informative! :D

Carver said...

I enjoy your photography and narrative from you road trips so much. Makes me wish I could explore your part of the world sometime.

Photo Cache said...

just goes to show how truly fascinating our country is and that we don't take advantage of what it offers.

great recap. where to next?

gillboard said...

Sabi nga ng kaklase ko maganda daw sa Dingalan...

parang mindanao na lang di mo pa masyado nalilibot no?

darkhorse said...

sarap naman Dong! kak-inspired mga napupuntahan mo prang ksama nrin kami...thanks for sharing it with us - God bless n tc!

Panaderos said...

I like your stories. Man, you must have made enough trips to last me a lifetime! Thanks for sharing! Ingat. :)

Reena said...

unfair!!!! hahaha. 3 out of 12 napntahan ko dyan. yung numbers 12, 11 and 10. mukhang maganda yung sa bacolod ah.

basilan sounds good too. hahaha...

Ferdz said...

Kakaiba talaga ang road trip to Sagada ano? I also enjoyed the view through the Dalton Pass.

You should really visit Batanes one of these days. Hanep ang Road trip dun in terms of views :D


Baguio to Sagada, the BEST!

REDLAN said...

Number pala sa listahan ang baguio to sagada. ilista ko yan.

Meikah said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Fantastic! Awesome photos! I can only dream of it to happen to me, too. Make the most out of it and thanks for sharing this to us.
I love the photo of that one road going to Tagaytay, where there was a tower to climb to look on what is ahead.
Go! Go! Go!

Pietro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pietro said...

I've enjoyed this beautiful post: very interesting pictures and texts!

Luke Wiley said...

I love the vehicles you have to take around this place!

eunice said...

wow stunning! the pic u took from the train with passing cloud (?) reminds me of my train ride in the Swiss alps..

nuts said...

Wow, this is more than the usual talaga! pang-postcard ang shots! kainggit naman and you actually have seen most of the islands in the Philippines. abangan ko na lang dito ang next road trip mo. wow Philippines talaga!

Anonymous said...

have you been to bataan dong?

Pacey said...

Wow, you've been to a lot of places already. I've been to a lot of places too but back on the years when digicams weren't one of the latest technology, but I do have my shots --can't be without. The Bantayan, Bicol road trip are great, right?

witsandnuts said...

I experienced the trip via Victory Liner from Pasay to Naga City. Grabe, ang tagal. Wala kaseng available flight that day tapos kelangan ko ng makarating soonest. But it was good, except for the pain in the a**. I've got to see the peaceful areas along the way.

Ax said...

kung ganyan kasaya ang mga roadtrips ko, nakow, lahat nga yan ay memorable.

naku, ang dami dami mo ng napuntahan, ako imagination lang. hehe.

Jerick (the former Curbside Puppet) said...

nice. parang wala pa sa listahan mo ang davao-bukidnon or trans-cebu highway?

hintayin ko na lang if its included on your list.

Friendzworld said... this is an amazing trip!! wow it is stunning! so many places and so many picture!! certainly rocking!! most of all Thanks for sharing!!

princess_dyanie said...

redlan -- apir! sama mo ko sa sagada ha! nang makapag "don't give up" na mga eksena dun hahaha! :)

ay naka relate ako sa manila to taal pero yun lang haha. ang dami mo na napuntahan! :P

Blue Rose said...

grabe! with this post parang gusto ko na rin magtravel around the philippines. *sigh* kelan kaya mangyayari yon.

@redlan & dyanie, sama ako ng sagada! (*-*)

chubskulit said...

oh wow grabe ang trippings mo dong, wish i could do that everyday hehehe

sheng said...

Pilipino ba ako? i haven't been to some of these place mentioned here and i really wanted to travel, too bad, i am always on the busy side of life, or did you ask God for more time?

lakbaynilakay said...

nice work again Dong!

i'll be checking your sagada trips for reference. it's a toss up between batanes and sagada so i'm researching for itineraries for both and the cost computations.
just wanna ask which route to sagada is better, baguio or nueva vizcaya?

good luck and more travels!


U're a well travelled lad! Who needs GPS when you're around?

2nd to the last foto is just so cool! Parang latin america lang ah!

Nanaybelen said...

parang sa daan ka na lang nakatira Dong.
hehhe.. thanks for sharing.

Inkversified said...

trips other city dweller (like me) just wish to have...

Lawstude said...

great road trips dom. glad i shared some of your memorable road trips. i guess ang susunod boat trips naman, tyak na isa yung boat trip natin papuntang capones sa mga memorable boat trips lol.

Technology and Informations said...

a country that can make my heart feel good, maybe I'll try to like what you've done.

healthy live said...

a very beautiful place and very very Juka loss does not come to a place this good.

Finance Business Corner said...

the beauty of our country should immediately visit, maybe a month we're there, we are able to enjoy what's in the Philippines.

Finance Business Corner said...

I really enjoy what you've been told, maybe I will try also to do what you have done.

Insurance Quotes said...

a story that makes me feel like doing pa you do, thanks for the story from your

Travel vacation said...

a very pleasant trip at all. thanks for your info.

Travel vacation said...

I really like the info you provide, a new breakthrough for my holidays with my family later.

Technology said...

thanks for your info, a very interesting info from you to me.

bobby said...

an interesting journey for anything I can do, thank you for your info.

financing said...

thanks..nice info..

7a'faR said...

how many hours do you spend for all vacation above??


bobby said...

Really beautiful place, and I want to go there soon


Sonyboy Fugaban said...

This blog post made me salivate to do a road trip trip too...soon. Your write-up and pictures about/for this road trip couldn't make the endeavor more epic.

Kudos and thanks for the inspiration!

a ji o ji suno ji said...

Lovely post! The headboard is such a fresh take on an old idea ;)
English Bulldog Puppies


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