I won’t bore you with an elaborate intro. If you want to know about Marinduque, google it or read here. But if you want to know how to survive the “Marinduque Loop” on a bike, read on (refer to the map above).
- Mission: To finish the Marinduque Loop in 3 days.
- Route: (Counter Clockwise) Mogpog – Boac – Gasan – Buenavista – Torrijos – Santa Cruz – Mogpog
- Itinerary: Day 1 Mogpog to Torrijos (83 kms), Day 2 Torrijos to Maniwaya Island in Santa Cruz (33 kms), Day 3 Santa Cruz back to Mogpog (34kms).
- Cash in hand: P3,000
- Gears: Surly Troll, Larga handle bar bag, Vedas rear rack bag by Yadu, 2 water bottles.
I. April 08, Day 0: Point A to Point B (Manila to Lucena Dalahican Port)
- 08:30PM – Assembly at JAC Liner, Cubao Station
- 09:30PM – Departure Manila
- 01:30AM – Arrival Dalahican Port, Lucena
- P227.50 – Bus Fare
- P100.00 – Bike Fee
- The bus leaves hourly with alternating destination, Lucena Grand Central Station and Lucena Dalahican Port.
- JAC Liner does not allow seat reservations
- Detach all your packs and gears from your bike, park it near the loading area of the bus, then fall in line. You will be asked to pay for your ticket on board.
- If you’re bringing a folding bike, just fold and load.
- If you’re bringing a full size bike, remove front wheel and load.
- Be sure to bring a bungee cord to secure your bike to the bus compartment.
- Before loading your bike, rush up to the bus and save yourself a spot by placing all your bags on one of the seats.
II. Point B to Point C (Lucena Dalahican Port to Balanacan Port, Marinduque)
- 02:30AM – Departure Starhorse Shipping Line RORO (Regular schedule: 2:30AM, 10:30AM, 3:30PM, 11:30PM)
- 06:30AM – Arrival at Balanacan Port, Marinduque
- P260.00 – Starhorse Shipping Line (RORO)
- P30 – Dalahican Port terminal fee
- RORO travel time is 3-4 hours. What takes a long time is the loading and unloading of vehicles.
- Bring a jacket and an inflatable pillow on board. It gets really cold and the pillow will allow you to get a more relaxed sleeping position.
- Force yourself to sleep during the bus and RORO ride, you’re going to need it.
III. April 09, Day 1: Point C to D (Balanacan Port to Torrijos)
- 07:30AM – Ride Out to Mogpog (9.5 kms); Photo op at the “Santa Cruz x Boac” street sign
- 08:30AM – Arrival at Boac Town Proper (6 kms), photo op at Boac Municipal Hall, breakfast at Kusina Sa Plaza (special thanks to Rommel), change outfit, visit Boac Cathedral.
- 12:00PM – Lunch at Curba Grill in Buenavista, siesta time, bonding time.
- 03:00PM – Ride Out to Torrijos
- 05:30PM – Arrival at Torrijos town proper where we got our food and water supply
- 06:00PM – Arrival Villa Briones (0999-765-7054 Eleanor Briones), White Beach, Torrijos (68 kms)
- 10:00PM – End of day 1
- Balanacan port to Mogpog – 40% flat, 60% ascending and descending
- Mogpog to Boac – 90% flat, 10% ascending and descending
- Boac to Gasan – 100% flat
- Gasan to Buenavista – 60% flat, 40% ascending and descending
- Buenavista to Torrijos – 60% flat, 40% ascending and descending
IV. April 10, Day 2: Point D to E (Torrijos to Santa Cruz to Maniwaya Island)
- 05:30AM – Wake up
- 06:30AM – Breakfast, coffee time, bonding time
- 08:30AM – Ride back to Torrijos town proper (2.5 kms)
- 08:45AM – 2nd Breakfast, Carinderia, Torrijos town proper
- 09:30AM – Ride out to Santa Cruz port (38 kms)
- 12:30PM – Arrival at Santa Cruz port, leave bikes inside a port storage
- 02:30PM – Departure of passenger boat to Maniwaya
(Regular schedule is 11:30am, our ride was a special trip because there were a lot of passengers. Exclusive boat rental roundtrip is 2,500)
- 03:00PM – Arrival Maniwaya Island
- 05:30PM – Sunset swimming
- 07:00PM – Downtime, dinner, bonding time, free time.
- 08:30PM – Check in at Residencia De Palo Maria Beach Resort and Hotel (0921-2118211/ 0998-5394726)
- 09:00PM – Night pool swimming
- 10:00PM – End of day 2
- P70.00 – Passenger boat fare (one way)
- P300.00 – Overnight bike port storage (can fit up to 12 full size bikes)
- P1,500.00 – Bahay kubo (fan only)
- P1,800.00 – Paluto lunch and dinner (good for 8 pax)
- We were lucky to catch a boat in the afternoon. If you really want to get to Maniwaya Island, be sure to be at the port before 11:30am
- We saw an open port storage and asked the guard if we could leave our bikes there. He charged us P300 for overnight and then locked and secured the storage.
- Residencia De Palo Maria Beach Resort and Hotel accommodations:
- P1,500 kubo (fan only) – good for 2 max of 4; P100/head for extra pax
- P3,000 private (aircon) – good for 4 max of 8; P100/head for extra pax
- P100 – Entrance fee to use pool, bathroom, and other amenities
- Torrijos to Santa Cruz – 40% flat, 60% ascending and descending
- Be sure to stay hydrated
- Use petroleum jelly between thighs to avoid burns
V. Point E – F (Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz to Balanacan Port)
- 06:00AM – Wake up
- 07:00AM – Depart Maniwaya Island
- 07:30AM – Arrive Santa Cruz Port
- 08:00AM – Breakfast at Santa Cruz Port Carinderia, get and set bikes
- 09:00AM – Ride out to Mogpog
- 12:00PM – Arrive at Mogpog, lunch, siesta
- 01:30PM – Ride out to Balanacan Port
- 03:00PM – Arrive at Bulanacan Port (39 kms), refresh, repack gears and bikes
- 04:00PM – Depart Bulanacan Port
End of day 3 and Marinduque Loop
- P100.00 – Special boat ride back to Santa Cruz Port
- P50.00 – Breakfast Carinderia (Fresh cucumber with “Camp Vibes” spice and fried rice)
- P50.00 – Lunch Carinderia (Fried tofu, rice, and bottled soda)
- P260.00 – Montenegro Shipping Line
(Montenegro regular schedule: 2:30PM and 4:00PM)
(Starhorse regular schedule: 6:30AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM, 07:30PM)
- P22.00 – Balanacan Port terminal fee
- When you arrive at Bulanacan Port on day 1, be sure to check the schedule for your trip back home.
- Surprisingly, local carinderias also serve vegetarian food like fried tofu and lumpiang gulay.
- Santa Cruz to Mogpog – 50% flat, 50% ascending and descending
- Mogpog to Balanacan Port – 40% flat, 60% ascending and descending
- By this time, your body is already exhausted. Just take it easy and keep yourself hydrated. Don’t forget to stop for breakfast, lunch, and merienda to boost your energy.
VI. Marinduque to Manila
- 07:30PM – Arrive Lucena Dalahican Port
- 08:00PM – Depart Lucena Dalahican Port, JAC Liner Bus Cubao bound (hourly schedule)
- 12:00AM – Arrive Cubao JAC Liner, bike to house
- 12:30AM – Home safe and sound.
End of Marinduque adventure
- P227.50 – Bus Fare
- P100.00 – Bike Fee
- Do I need to bring a tent?
A: No need. There are hotels / pension homes in all major towns around Marinduque. Price range 1,500 – 2,500 (good for 4 pax usually)
- Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?
A: No need. But I would recommend you to bring a malong/sarong to protect you from the cold during the bus and boat ride, and this can also serve as an extra blanket when you get cold in the night.
- How much cash should I bring?
A: Be sure to bring cash to the Island. Bring loose change too. I recommend you bring 3,500 – 5,000 pesos good for 3 to 4 days.
- Do I need to bring a raincoat?
A: Yes! Always bring a raincoat when bike touring in Marinduque. Weather can be unpredictable. At one point, we experienced light rain shower.
- Will there be sari-sari stores along the way?
A: Yes! There are plenty of sari-sari stores along the main road, at least 5-7 kms apart where you can get drinking water, soft drinks, and other power drinks.
- Are the roads hilly?
A: About 50% of the roads are ascending and descending. But don’t worry, there are recovery points where you can rest. It’s doable.
- I’m a newbie rider, can I finish the loop?
A: Yes! Just be prepared mentally. Where the mind goes, the body will follow. Take your time. Even stop and take pictures.
- Is the road paved or rough?
A: Yes! The entire loop is paved. Some parts are rough damaged by heavy trucks but manageable.
- Do I need to bring my DSLR camera?
A: If you can take photos using just your camera phone, that would be ideal. But if you can’t live without your DSLR, then bring it. The goal when bike packing is to pack light. The space that your DSLR will occupy can already be space for your food supply for 3 days.
- Do I need to bring night lights, blinkers, and head lights?
A: Yes! Be sure to bring lights. On our first day, we ended at 5:30PM, unlike in the city, highways in the province are not lit. So you have to depend on your bike lights.
Mission accomplished! Thank you to the gentle and generous people of Marinduque, and special thanks to my bike buddies Miko Aguilar, Tina DC, Mich Rama, Jeremy, Aubs Rodriguez, new found friend, Dennis Salvador, and bike guru and striker Lucio Binalla for the great company! I wouldn’t have done this without you guys! Until our next tour. Safe winds!
View more PHOTOS here.
Sibol is your one-stop-shop for your coffee needs: Local coffee, muscovado sugar, and coco sugar. They also offer other local and organic products such as fresh vegetables, brown and red rice, etc.
FACT: The average meal travels 1200 km from the farm to plate. Food that is grown closer to home will therefore have fewer transportation emissions associated with it, and also be fresher and support local farmers. And as the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage. Read more… For more information on Sibol: http://sibolpeoplesstore.yolasite.com
Dedicating this post to all women who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Happy Women’s Month, ladies!
1. Wash Dishes In One Bulk
That’s right. Save soap and water by washing all your dishes in one go. At the end of each meal or after cooking.
2. Spray Soap Dish
Get a spray bottle and fill it up with diluted dish washing soap. After collecting all the dishes, place them inside the sink and spray with soap keeping all the dishes wet and ready for some squeaky cleaning. After cleaning with a sponge, rinse water and dry dishes.
3. Use Washable Cloth To Wipe Plates
Stop using kitchen tissue for drying hands or dishes. The only time I actually use kitchen tissue is when I need to drain oil from fried food.
4. Minimize Pots When Cooking
If you can cook an entire meal just by using one pot, then good for you. Here’s a pasta dish cooked in one pot. (See images)
-a. Stir fry mushroom, garlic and onions, add spices, sugar, and salt to taste, then water. Let water boil and add pasta
-b. Let pasta cook stirring occasionally
-c. Once pasta is cooked, add desired sauce (I used canned mushroom soup but you can use tomato sauce too)
-d. Mix and cook until desired thickness of sauce is achieved. Let it cool and serve!
5. Cook Lunch and Dinner In One Go
If you can cook lunch and dinner in one go, do it. This saves you time, energy, water, and dishes. At night, just reheat when you want to eat.
6. Segregate Trash
Recycle bottles, segregate biodegradable from non-biodegradable. We should all know this by now.
7. Slice Your Own Cheese
Stop buying pre-sliced cheese that come with plastic films. Get yourself your own cheese slicer and slice them to your desired thickness.
8. Make Your Own Organic Insect Killer
Ants and roaches away with this home made insect killer. Ants hate cucumber and roaches hate pepper. Make your own non-toxic insect killer using ingredients from your own kitchen. (See image caption for recipe)
I’d love to hear from you, please comment below. Share your kitchen tips and tricks, too!
PROJECT BAKAWAN: A collaborative art event that seeks to increase awareness of current environmental issues and strives to foster a sustainable future.
PROJECT BAKAWAN ART FESTIVAL 2015: Project Bakawan will engage artists in collaboration with the academic community to formulate an acute analysis of our environmental situation and come up with creative responses that will engage the UP Diliman community.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure to attend Firefly Brigade’s Art Ride lead by Katti Sta Ana. We assembled at 4pm in UP Diliman then went on an art tour around the campus to view and experience this year’s Project Bakawan. See more photos here.
Batad is not just a destination but an experience. Where is Batad?
- P450 – Single Ohayami bus fare from Manila to Banaue
- P20 – Single Environmental fee (upon arrival in Banaue)
- P250 – Single fare van from Banaue town proper to Batad (Saddle point)
- P10 – Walking stick rental fee (Sari-sari store at Saddle point)
- P220 – Single hostel rate in Batad (Peak-season goes up to P400)
- P100 – Paluto food (home cooked) in Batad
- P150 – Single fare jeep ride (top load or regular seat) back to Banaue town proper
- P450 – Single Ohayami bus fare from Banaue back to Manila
- P1,500 – TOTAL
- P650 – P750 – Group tour guide from Batad hostels to Tappia Falls
- P100 – p150 – Souvenir magnets / postcards
- P50 – P100 – Drinking water and other refreshments from Batad
What to pack:
- Dry-fit clothes – Light and easy to dry clothes.
- Jacket – A thick jacket that can also serve as a raincoat. The TNF Jacket was warm enough for me.
- Warm sleeping clothes – Thermal long sleeves / base layer
- Cargo / hiking pants – One will hike down to Tappia falls, so expect muddy shoes and dirty pants after.
- Swimwear – No bikinis unless you want to freeze your butt off. Any clothing can be a swimwear, just be sure to bring a malong, which you will use to change into your dry clothes after swimming.
- Aqua shoes / sandals – For best swimming experience, wear aqua shoes / sandals. You don’t want to get your hiking shoes wet for the entire trip.
- Socks – Bring hiking socks and thermal/thick socks for sleeping
- Tropical sleeping bag – To use as a blanket in the bus and in your hostel should you need to be warmer.
- Gloves – Biking gloves or any outdoor gloves if you don’t like getting your hands dirty during the hike
- Headlight – Which you will need if you want to walk around at night
- Snacks – Mixed nuts, energy bars, etc.
- Bottled drinking water – Bring at least 1.5 litters. There is a free source of spring water 10 mins. hike away from the top of Batad. Should you need to refill, you can hike down or if you have the budget, you can buy from the local shops, P50-p70 for one small bottle (12oz).
- Coffee kit – See Outdoor Brew
- Rita’s Mount Inn – Rate ranges from P220 – P400, depending on the season.
- Clean shower and bath
- Hot shower available
- Great view of the rice terraces
The Batad Experience:
- Enjoy the view of The Grand Banaue Rice Terraces
- Walk on the rice terraces
- Talk and eat with the locals
- Hike Tappia Waterfalls (1 and half)
- The sunrise
Thank you Batad. We survived!
If you were in Baler, it would be a sin not to visit Dicasalarin, a beach cove 15-16km away from Sabang. On day 2 of our trip to Baler, our mission was to bike to the cove in the morning, be back by lunch, and leave for Manila by 3pm… non of that happened. #Lol!
That morning I woke up early to see the famous sunrise of Baler, did some rounds on my japa beads, then had some coffee… it seemed like a perfect and steady morning when suddenly, Louie, our friend/local host, arrived on his motorbike and interrupted our serenity. “Let’s go!” he said.
Without talking about the plan, we quickly packed our gears, hopped on our bikes and followed him to town. Within 5 minutes, we reached the HQ of Aurora Biker’s Club, where 20+ mountain bikers (as in bikers on mountain bikes) waited for us ready to roll. Our destination, Dicasalarin Cove.
The day before riding to the cove, Louie told us that the cove was only 16kms away from Sabang, and that if we rode out at 7am, we would be back by 10:30am, just in time for us to cook, eat lunch, and get ready to leave for Manila by 3pm. What he didn’t tell us was that we would climb up a mountain first before we got to the cove. It was the kind of climb that made me swear every minute and made me question my very existence every second. No kidding, I would never climb that peak again unless I rode a habal-habal or any form of motorized vehicle.
One thing I learned from this ride – Aurora Bikers are the true hardcore riders!
After an excruciating 1 hour hike, we reached the peak of Dica, where we found PAGASA / “Hope”.
20 minutes later, we arrived at the foot of the cove, finally! What to see in Dicasalarin:
- The Artist Village
- The bath house
- The cave
- The lighthouse (172 steps to get there)
- The creamy white sand beach
- A bathing spot where the river meets the ocean
By the time we had to leave Dica, it was already 1pm. The heat was unbearable and we still had to hike back to the peak again (not fun anymore).
So how did we get home? We rented a van from Baler to Cabanatuan (P2,700), then took a bus to manila from there. We left Baler at 9pm. We reached home at 4am, Monday.
What an epic weekend!
You know that girl next door you always wanted to ask out? That’s not Baler. Baler is the best friend of that girl, the one you forgot to notice.
Only 6-7 hours away from Manila, Baler is the new Baguio – lush, clean, and gentle. Last weekend, my traveling buddies and I headed to the beautiful capital of Aurora, Baler, armed with our bikes and camping gears, “S24O” style.
How to get there?
- Take a Joy Bus from Cubao, Metro Manila
- A comfy deluxe ride for only P700 per person (one way)
- It will take you straight to Baler Terminal
- We left at 1:30am and arrived in Baler at 7am.
DAY 1 ITINERARY:
- Bike and hike to Ditumabo “Mother” falls (15kms from Sabang)
- Lunch cook-out (in Ditumabo) – Kubo rental P200
- Bike to Balete “Millennium” Tree Park, Maria Aurora (22km from Ditumabo) – P10 fee/head
- Bike to Museo de Baler (15km from Maria Aurora) – Donation only
- Check-in at Sabang Beach – P700/kubo with fan (very secure)
Afterwards, we walked back to our kubo and cooked some lunch. Along the way there are sari-sari/mini stores where you can buy banana-q, camote-q, buko juice, and other refreshments.
After lunch, we pedaled our way to Maria Aurora to check out the Balete “Millennium” Tree Park.
We then headed to Museo de Baler. It felt like we were doing our very own ArtBike in Aurora simultaneously with Rock Drilon’s Artbike in Taguig, Manila.
To be continued…
(c) Nityalila Saulo
Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer in Leyte with Team Bayani On Wheels, a group of cyclists raising funds for bikes to donate to Yolanda survivors. We rode 130+ kms from Tacloban-Carigara-Ormoc for two days, built houses in Ormoc through Gawad Kalinga’s Bayani Challenge for another 2 days, and then spent a night in Tacloban before flying back to Manila.
If you’re a volunteer on a budget and looking for a place to stay in Tacloban, Abad’s Homestay is an ideal place for you.
- Location: #118 Jade Street, Fatima Village, Tacloban City (Walking distance from Robinson’s Mall; Easily ride a jeep going uptown or downtown)
- Room Sharing: Non-AC room (fan only); 4 double deck beds (good for 8 pax)
- Toilet & Bath: Small but clean; Tiled flooring, good supply of running water, with shower (no hot shower).
- Rate: P300/head
- Contact: Mrs. Edith Abad 0916.202.3907
Ms. Edith was highly affected by Yolanda, all her appliances were destroyed, and she is slowly rebuilding her transient business again. The challenge is that she is competing with all the new hotels around her area and it hasn’t been easy getting customers. I am glad that I cancelled my reservation with the other hotel and opted to stay at this humble homestay. Because of our support, Mrs. Abad was able to acquire a new electric fan for her guests.
My special thanks to Bullet Dumas, Nikko Dumas, Lauren Sevilla Faustino, and Shoden San for recommending this place. Thank you very much. Padayon!
See more photos of our trip from Lilafair Facebook gallery.
Another epic weekend with biker buddies in Burot, Calatagan.
Take a bus from Coastal Mall Provincial Bus Terminal to Calatagan:
- Celyrosa Express leaves every hour.
- Non-aircon bus until 9am, after 9am, AC bus is available.
- Non-stop 3-4 hr trip
Our first stop was the nearby market where we bought:
- Drinking water
- Food & Snacks
Make sure to buy everything you need because everything else in Burot is more expensive.
We grabbed a quick bite at the market, then pedaled our way to the beach (estimate 5KM). If you’re planning to bike to Burot, ensure that you have good wheels. The road is rough and full of sharp rocks. At one point, I had to walk because it was too bumpy for my small wheels.
Tent is the only option for accommodations in Burot. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one for P300 – P500 depending on the capacity. Best to bring your own because the island can run out of tents during peak season.
For only P100/head one can go sandbar hopping. We went to 3 sandbars. If you really want to swim, take this offer.
After 2 hours, we returned to our camp. When leaving your campsite, make sure to lock your tent and take your valuables with you. Rumor has it that visitors have lost stuff. In our case, we left Jen Mai behind. Well, she volunteered. Thanks dear!
Part of camping is preparing and cooking your own food. Master chef Melissa got it covered.
The next day, we biked to the lighthouse in Cape Santiago, about 10KM away from Burot.
Side trip: The Stilts. Normally, you have to pay a minimum amount of P350/head to enter The Stilts, lucky for us, we didn’t have to. I’m not really sure why… I think the guard had a crush on Jen Mai (Hahaha).
More photos here!