Marinduque Loop

Marinduque Loop (Counter Clockwise)

Marinduque Loop (Counter Clockwise)

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.
STRAVA: Marinduque Loop

STRAVA: Marinduque Loop

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

Expenses:

  • P227.50 – Bus Fare
  • P100.00 – Bike Fee

Notes:

  • 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.
Boarding the RORO

Boarding the RORO

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

Expenses:

  • P260.00 – Starhorse Shipping Line (RORO)
  • P30        – Dalahican Port terminal fee

Notes:

  • 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.
Inside the RORO

Inside the RORO

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

Ride Notes:

  • 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
IMG_7165

Kusina sa Plaza

IMG_7175

Boac Cathedral

IMG_7131

Boac Municipal Hall

IMG_7267

Locally grown pakwan. P100 each.

IMG_7259

60% coastal view

IMG_7294

Curba Grill at Buenavista

IMG_7339

A bahay kubo with the grand view of Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa.

IMG_7102 IMG_7151 IMG_7221 IMG_7231 IMG_7227 IMG_7362

IMG_7381

Villa Briones, White Beach, Torrijos

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

Expenses: 

  • 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)

Notes:

  • 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

Ride Notes:

  • Torrijos to Santa Cruz – 40% flat, 60% ascending and descending
  • Be sure to stay hydrated
  • Use petroleum jelly between thighs to avoid burns
IMG_7395

#CoffeeOutside

IMG_7409

Finally a group shot. 4 ladies, 4 gentlemen.

IMG_7423

2nd Breakfast at a local carinderia.

IMG_7497

Team Brompton.

IMG_7528

Maniwaya Island boat ride.

IMG_7553

Paluto with the locals.

IMG_7574 IMG_7584

IMG_7621

Residencia De Palo Maria Beach Resort and Hotel

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

Expenses:

  • 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

Notes:

  • 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.

Ride Notes:

  • 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.
IMG_7655

7:00am boat ride back to Santa Cruz Port.

IMG_7704

Temporary bike storage

IMG_7705 IMG_7732 IMG_7756

We did it!

We did it!

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

Expenses: 

  • P227.50 – Bus Fare
  • P100.00 – Bike Fee

FAQ:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Is the road paved or rough?
    A: Yes! The entire loop is paved. Some parts are rough damaged by heavy trucks but manageable.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

We did it!

We did it! L-R: Dennis, Mich, Aubs, Jeremy, Tina, Lucio, Miko, and Me!

View more PHOTOS here.

Dicasalarin Cove, Baler (Day 2)

Dicasalarin Cove

Dicasalarin Cove

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”.

PAGASA rooftop.

PAGASA rooftop overlooking Dicasalarin Cove.

From the peak, we descended to the cove. Naturally, what you descend, you must ascend.

From the peak, we descended to the cove. Naturally, what you descend, you must ascend. Non-stop of walking with our bikes.

20 minutes later, we arrived at the foot of the cove, finally! What to see in Dicasalarin:

  1. The Artist Village
  2. The bath house
  3. The cave
  4. The lighthouse (172 steps to get there)
  5. The creamy white sand beach
  6. 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).

Dicasalarin Cove

Goodbye Dicasalarin Cove

We arrived at our kubo at 4pm. The bus tickets were sold out. We decided to rent a van to bring us to Cabanatuan and took a bus to Manila from there.

We arrived at our kubo at 4pm.

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!

Calatagan Weekend

Another epic weekend with biker buddies in Burot, Calatagan.

With my gal, Melissa Sambajon, travel extraordinaire.

With my gal, Melissa Sambajon, travel extraordinaire.

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.
  • P140/head
  • Non-stop 3-4 hr trip
For P150-P200, a trike can take you to Burot beach. We rented one to carry our bags.

For P150-P200, a trike can take you to Burot beach. We rented one for our bags.

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.

The famous Burot sunset.

The famous Burot sunset.

Camp site

Camp site

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.

There's always time for a selfie!

There’s always time for a selfie!

Loving the beach life!

Loving the beach life!

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!

Chef Melissa in her element.

Chef Melissa in her element.

Melissa makes the best vegetarian pasta with her ever reliable camping cook set.

Melissa makes the best vegetarian pasta with her ever reliable camping cook set.

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.

We made it!

We made it!

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).

Thank you Calatagan!

Thank you, The Stilts!

We had to get extra seats for our bikes. The AC bus has a smaller compartment than the Non-AC bus.

Thank you Calatagan!

Thank you Calatagan!

More photos here!

 

The Great Zambales Experience

The day I found out about a Zambales ride being cooked up, I got excited immediately. I can’t remember ever going to Zambales as a child and from what I heard, it’s a nature trip. True to what they said, Zamba is the ideal destination for nature and beach lovers.

Zambales is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region. Its capital is Iba. Zambales borders Pangasinan to the north, Tarlac and Pampanga to the east, Bataan to the south and the South China Sea to the west. With a land area of 3,714.40 km2, Zambales is the second largest among the seven provinces of Central Luzon. The province is noted for its mangoes, which are abundant from January to April.

Zambales is served by the Subic Bay International Airport, which is located in Cubi Point in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The Freeport Zone is host to many tourist attractions which include casinos, beach resorts, parks, beachside huts and cottages and historical sites.  -Wikipedia

Photo by Jeans Cequina

Photo by Jeans Cequina

It’s one of those moments that I am glad I invested on a Flamingo London folding bike (folds like a Brompton bike). It’s very compact and it can perfectly fit in the leg space of a taxi.

Squeezing in 3 ladies and 3 folding bikes in 1 taxi. Quite complicated but it was fun.

Squeezing in 3 ladies and 3 folding bikes in 1 taxi. Quite complicated but it was fun.

My girlfriends, Tina and Jeans met up in Quezon City and the 3 of us took a cab to get to the Caloocan branch of Victory Liner where we met up with the rest of the folding bikers.

Caloocan bus terminal.

Caloocan bus terminal.

Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

Bus fares. Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

Getting to Zambales from Manila doesn’t really cost a lot. The best bus and terminal to take is Victory Liner Caloocan. This branch offers more option in terms of timing. The last trip leaves at 12 midnight.

Caloocan bus terminal.

Caloocan bus terminal.

All our bikes are packed are we're ready to go.Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

All our bikes are packed are we’re ready to go.
Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

The compartment of the bus was not enough for all the bikes, good thing they allowed us to bring it inside the passenger's area. Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

The compartment of the bus was not enough for all the bikes, good thing they allowed us to bring it inside the passenger’s area.
Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

Waiting at the terminal was more exciting for the other passengers. Seeing a group of bikers with their folding bikes just wasn’t the usual thing they’d see at the terminal. Some even approached us and asked if we were serious about our trip.

Caloocan bus terminal.

Caloocan bus terminal.

With my girlfriends, the “Mamech”, Melissa, Jeans, Tina, and Carol. Bike rides are always more fun with the mamech!

Victory Liner, Iba, Zambales Terminal.Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

Victory Liner, Iba, Zambales Terminal.
Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

The bus ride only took 4 hours from Caloocan, Manila to Iba, Zambales. Personally I think we left Manila too early but because we didn’t have a choice, we had to leave at 12mn. The last trip of Victory Liner to Iba was only 12mn. Upon arrival, we unloaded all our things and folding bikes and there we met up with the rest of the group and our hosts, Ms. Aleth and  Sir Mario.

Jollibee BreakfastPhoto by Tonnette Jacinto

Jollibee Breakfast
Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

From the terminal, we biked our way to Jollibee (about 3km away), the only breakfast place open at 6am in Iba. It was also there that we met up with more folding bikers, Stephen and Thanny.

Free shirts!Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

Free shirts!
Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

The ride started immediately after breakfast. Every pedal was breathtaking. A lot of trees, well paved flat roads, nice weather, and most of all great company.

The beautiful landscape of Zambales.

The beautiful landscape of Zambales.

The beautiful landscape of Zambales.

The beautiful landscape of Zambales.

Riding with my folding bike buddies. Special thanks to Folding Bike Pilipinas and Polkit for organizing this amazing adventure!

Rolling in Zambales

A run down house along the road.

A run down house along the road.

Riding inside the town.

Inside streets

Just about 15kms away from the city, we reached an Aeta Village where we stopped to meet and greet the kids and the rest of the community. We were also fortunate to be able to give a little of happiness to them. A local vendor of buko ice cream came and we all pitched in to give away to all the kids in the community.

Sir Mario requesting the kids to fall in line.

Sir Mario requesting the kids to fall in line. Photo by Tonnette Jacinto

Falling in line for buko ice cream.

Falling in line for buko ice cream. Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Buko ice cream for the kids.

Buko ice cream for the kids. Photo by Melissa Sambajon

There were two lines, one for the boys and one for the girls. Tina and I took turns giving buko ice cream to the girls. What a great feeling to be able to give them simple joys.

Locals

Locals

With the Aeta kids.

With the Aeta kids.

With the Aeta kids.

With the Aeta kids.

The turquoise blue church inside the Aeta community.

The turquoise blue church inside the Aeta community.

Aeta Community

Aeta Community

Shortly after visiting the Aeta Community, we continued with the ride. Just about 10kms from the community, we “pedaled” our way to a church on top of a hill. There were 3 inclines, 2 of them minor but the last climb was the killer, where most of the riders dismounted.

Short break after the two minor inclines.

Short break after the two minor inclines. Photo from Melissa Sambajon

The last hill.

The last climb.

Church on top of the hill.

Church on top of the hill.

Top of the hill.

Top of the hill.

After pedaling our way up to the hill, we went back down to visit another church for prayers and bike blessing. The 2nd church was a newer church than the one on top of the hill.

The church at the bottom of the hill.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

The church at the bottom of the hill.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Resting while waiting for Father.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Resting while waiting for Father. With Tina, Jeans, and Carol (The Mamech).
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Bike blessing and prayer for the safety of the riders. Thank you Father.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Bike blessing and prayer for the safety of the riders. Thank you Father.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

After the ride, we went straight to a local restaurant to have lunch. It was quite a long ride back especially because it was getting hotter and most of us were already tired. I think we pedaled about 40kms in total. Exhausting but it was all worth it.

The last stop of the ride. Finally we get to rest and eat lunch.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

The last stop of the ride. Finally we get to rest and eat lunch.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

After lunch and a nice cup of local brewed coffee, we again pedaled our way to a resort nearby where we parked our folding bikes. It was also during this time that we said our goodbyes to most of the bikers who were leaving for Manila that same day. Those who stayed behind awaited a greater adventure in Potipot Island.

Before heading to the island, we stopped by a nearby supermarket to buy food, drinks, and other supplies. We were told that the island didn’t have electricity and sari-sari stores.

A quick stop at the supermarket for supplies.

A quick stop at the supermarket for supplies. Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Gentle breeze and warm placid waters of the South China Sea welcome travelers to this charming and peaceful little tropical island off coast of the town of Candelaria in the northern part of Zambales. Literally meaning “small white island”, Potipot Island boasts of lush array of coconut, mango, kamachile and talisay trees, coral shells, hermits’ crabs, starfishes, and the most spectacular sunsets ever witnessed in this side of town. And if the weather is just right, dolphins will honor you with their presence. This untamed and untouched island makes an ideal camping and picnic spot.

One such place is suited with Candelaria and is called Potipot Island. It’s the nearest island from mainland Zambales where tourists or travelers can simply rent a boat from any of the resorts.

After a 15 minute boat ride from the shore, I found myself on a small and uninhabited Potipot Island, an unspoiled haven that is completely surrounded with cream sand beaches and filled with trees. Many have enjoyed spending a day here, basking around the sun, enjoying its waters and solitude it brings.

Touring the entire island only took me 30 minutes where every inch of the shore is covered by the same cream-sand beach. Taking a closer look, I marveled at the distinct, pink-tainted shoreline that I haven’t seen anywhere else before. Potipot Island owes this to the rose-tinted corals shed and washed along its shores, adding charm that makes Potipot Island unique from other islands.

As there are only trees and sand in Potipot Island, tourists who want to experience its grandeur can stay at resorts in mainland Zambales and rent a boat to take them to the island. Tourists can claim the island for a day and reflect on Potipot island’s waters. Commune with nature and take in all the beauty of what an unspoiled island brings, for it offers a rare experience one would not normally find or afford.

(Source: http://tourism.zambalesnow.com/)

That's Potipot Island. Just 5 minutes away from the mainland.

That’s Potipot Island. Just 5 minutes away from the mainland.

On our way to Paradise.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

On our way to Paradise.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Speed boat happiness.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Speed boat to happiness.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Group picture upon arrival at Potipot. Unfortunately most of the troop left. Only 8 of us stayed overnight.Photo from Melissa Sambajon

Group picture upon arrival at Potipot. Unfortunately most of the bikers left. Only 8 of us stayed overnight.
Photo from Melissa Sambajon

The Campsite at Potipot Island.

The Campsite at Potipot Island.

We arrived at Potipot around 4pm. The sun was fast setting. So after a quick dip, we went straight to another corner of the island where we experienced an unforgettable sunset moment. I was joined by Tina, Melissa, Jeans, and Mark.

Beach time.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Beach time.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

"Pag mulat ng mata, langit nakatawa sa Potipot." -mamech. (Sing it!)Photo from Melissa Sambajon

“Pag mulat ng mata, langit nakatawa sa Potipot.” -mamech. (Sing it!)
Photo from Melissa Sambajon

In the evening, things got even better. The island was lit by the full moonlight. The setting was perfect for poi dancing. Jeans was prepared. She actually brought her fire poi kit and she performed for us, the cast-aways. It was another unforgettable moment for everyone who stayed behind especially for our friend, Stephen, who was seeing a fire dance performance for the first time. Thank you Jeans for mesmerizing us. (The hunt for kerosene was so worth it.)

Jeans, the poi dancer.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Jeans, the poi dancer.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Sleeping under the moonlight.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Sleeping under the moonlight.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

We slept on the beach under the moonlight. The weather was not too cold. A malong or sarong was enough to keep us warm.Photo by Melissa Sambajon

We slept on the beach under the moonlight. The weather was not too cold. A malong or sarong was enough to keep us warm.
Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Time stops when you're in Potipot.

Time stops when you’re in Potipot. We woke up to this sight.

Breakfast will never be the same again.

Breakfast will never be the same again. The early risers, Melissa and Tina prepared breakfast for everyone. Thank you mamech!

Breakfast by the beach.

Breakfast by the beach.

The morning after. More  beach time.

The morning after. More beach time.

Our lovely host, Aleth Velasquez arrived at 9am to pick us up with the speed boat to bring us back to the mainland. Then we rode the rear of the pick up truck to the resort where we left our folding bikes. Shortly after arriving at our destination, we packed our bags and bikes into Sir Thanny’s car. Before heading to Manila, we stopped by a local restaurant to eat lunch, then another stop in Subic for coffee, and then our final stop was at Mr. Kebab’s Place for dinner.

Off we go home.

Off we go home.

When in Zambales, go to Rizal St.

When in Zambales, go to Rizal St.

When in Zambales, go to Rizal St. where you can buy pastillas for pasalubong.

When in Zambales, go to Rizal St. where you can buy pastillas for pasalubong.

The Zambales experience was amazing. I would like to thank Ms. Aleth Velasquez and Sir Mario Velasquez for being such great hosts in Zambales, to the Folding Bike Pilipinas and Polkit group for organizing the ride, to Sir Thanny for allowing us, the Mamech, to hitch a ride back to Manila, to the Gov of Zambales, for sponsoring our Potipot experience, to all those who participated and supported ride, and most especially to the Mamech for making it more unforgettable. Until the next ride again. Happy New Year!

last stop before heading home

Mr. Kebab, where we ate dinner and our last stop before going separate ways. Photo by Melissa Sambajon

Projected Expenses:

P684 – Round trip bus fare with Victory Liner (Caloocan)
P100 – Potipot Island entrance fee
P500 – Round trip boat ride good for 8pax (Day trip)
P500 – Local meals and drinks (Lunch & Dinner)
P1,784 – TOTAL

Credits:
Photos by Nityalila Saulo, Melissa Sambajon, and Tonnette Jacinto

La Lost in Laiya

Umbrella trees.

Umbrella trees.

An amazing weekend with the #Mamech! Bus, bike, and beach. From Manila we took a bus to Lipa, then biked our way to Laiya, a total 0f 59.3KM. Stayed the night then went bimodal back to Manila.

Notes:

  • Bus ride from Manila (Buendia Station) to Lipa is P124.00
  • Jam Liner offers free wifi.
  • Folding bikes can easily fit under the bus’ compartment, however if you wish to bring a regular sized bike, you can also do so just detach both wheels from the frame.
  • Distance from Lipa Jam Liner station to La Luz Laiya is exactly 59.3KM.
  • Batangas in general is not a vegetarian friendly city, however you can request some carinderia to cook a simple vegetable meal for you, just ask what vegetables they have in their pantry.
  • Transient style accommodations in Laiya is offered by many locals, you just need to ask around. Camping on the beach is not encouraged.