Can’t sleep comfortably that night, its because I have a ride sked with the Viajista’s in the morning at 5am going to Bolinao, Pangasinan. Unfortunately, na timing na naman kami sa bagyo, dati yung tatay, si typhoon “Amang” nung nag Bicol kami, and now its her daughter’s turn naman, si Ineng haha!
So around 4am gising na ako after around 2 hours of sleep na maayos. Checked weather conditions online, ayun hindi hagip ang Pangasinan sa tatamaan ng Bagyo pero yung dadaanan naman ang sapul like Bulacan and Pampanga. I’ve also checked my phone for txt messages and chat forum kung gising na mga co-riders ko. The initial plan was to take off at around 5am. But since there’s still drizzle outside, we waited until 6am kung gaganda kahit onti yung weather condition. So its still a “hit the road” or “hit the bed” condition pa rin, until 7am when we decided na i-push yung ride and yours truly suggested na if ever the weather comes to worse eh balik na lang kase mahirap kalabanin si Ineng. We all meet up (8 riders and 4 pillions – All Yamaha bikes, 2 MXi, 2 Amore, 1 SR16, 1 FZ, 1 Soul-I, and 1 Sniper) past 8am na din along McArthur Highway.
Bandang Marilao eh umulan na, tolerable naman but we have to wear our raincoats na din para sureball. The rain continuosly poured heavily until we reached Angeles City,Pampanga. Sobrang lakas na dito as in wala na ako halos makita sa harapan ko grabe! I decided to stop the convoy at tumabi muna kami para i-assessed yung situation. I told the group that it looks we’re hopeless na bubuti pa lagay ng panahon, and that we can find a place here to stay, eat, drink and relax then just go home pag okay na yung weather. I was expecting more than half of the group would agree with me, ang kaso baligtad sa expectation ko haha! Yung iba silent pero majority eh gustong ituloy the ride to Bolinao!
Well, gusto ko rin naman, kase nga antagal na namin walang ride, tapos first time ko rin maitatakbo ng malayo si Enzy ko (my Yamaha SZ16) and super excited din ako makasama for the first time two of my riding son (Dek and Kevin) and their respective partners in life na nahilig na din sa biyahe!
We have reached Bolinao Municipal Hall at 11pm na after more than 14 hours of grueling,tiring and super duper wet ride. Imagine we have indulged awesome road conditions from rough road na pedeng mag mud wrestling to flooded streets to long and sleepy highways to slippery zigzags and the scariest, the dark, narrow and slimy road (complete with a large number of frogs) nung naghahanap na kami ng matutuluyan sa Bolinao. Good thing we found a group of local riders na hinatid kami sa isang murang transient house near Patar. Sa wakas nakapag-palit din ng tuyong damit, lalong-lalo na ng WET BRIEF ko haha!
Regarding the performance of Enzy (my Yamaha SZ16). No problem whatsoever naman. Sa Pros, smooth ang riding ko regardless on all the road conditions na na-encounter namin. I really like its front/rear suspension at large seat naging comfortable ako buong ride. Walang tagtag effect. Matulin sya, napapaabot ko ng 100kph pero most of the time nasa 60-80kph lang ang takbuhan naming. Tapos yung sinasabi ng iba na madulas yung stock tires na TVS, well my front was still stock, pero totally not a single sign of slippage hindi ko naramdaman, knowing na 90% wet roads pa dinaanan namin. Pinaka cons at pinaka-hate ko naman is yung palikpik o fins na nakakabit on both side of its tank. Nasa may Pangasinan kami ng lumakas ang hangin, dahil dito natatangay ako sa gilid ng kalsada, hindi sa pagyayabang pero kung bagito lang yung rider malamang sumemplang na! Na-experience kong tumakbo ng nasa 30-40kph lang habang ang isang hita ko yung nasa upuan tapos yung left foot ko naman sadya ko sinasayad sa kalsada just to counter the weight of my bike and to make it go straight because of the heavy winds banging into it. Naisip ko mag-experiment na i-remove yung fins nung nag-stopover kami, knowing it was designed to catch air to cool the engine, malamang eto rin ang reason kung bakit nawawala sa direction ang takbo ng motor ko kapag me malakas na hangin. And voila! I’m so damn right about it! After removing the fins, I can ride it again straight, without being bothered at all by the strong wind! Yun lang pala solusyon haha! So the whole ride hindi ko na sya kinabit muli hehe.
There are a number of significant tourist spots in Bolinao, and we’re grateful na naka-apat naman kami during our short stay there. We have visited the famous and historical Bolinao Lighthouse, the view there was outstanding! (dun lang sa balcony, bawal akyatin yung mismong lighthouse), pagkatapos naligo kami at nag-lunch sa White Beach. Ang ganda ng sand nya, hindi masakit sa paa, tapos ansarap magtampisaw sa malalakas na alon (gawa siguro ng masamang weather hehe). Madami rin mga tao kahit masama ang panahon! Afterwards, since tabi-tabi naman halos yung mga spot, dumiretso naman kami sa Enchanted Cave (3 yung caves actually, and Enchanted daw ang famous sa tatlo), ganda ng place, ginawa nilang mini-park at siempre yung main attraction yung cave itself. Good thing hindi peak season kase kundi I can imagine na sobrang puno ng tao yung cave, malamang kulangin na ng oxygen duon. Ok naman yung tubig, sakto lang yung lamig at malinaw. Then during dinner time, we have checkout the famous floating restaurant of Bolinao, the Sungayan Grill, just about 500 meters from our place. Haging na nga kami hindi papasukin at papasara na pala sila that night kase yata arkilado sila kinabukasan. Anyway, we feasted on their sizzling sisig and crispy bangus that night, masarap yung food, nothing extraordinary except yung ambiance na native inspired at siempre floating nga yung place. Back to homebase afterwards for the night drink routine para masarap pagtulog at maaga pa kami gigising for our ride back to Manila.
I will shortened na lang yung story pauwi since wala naman unusual incident, aside from super tagal kami nakakita ng mapapag-almusalan sa kahabaan ng Zambales, hub bearing replacement at Subic, and a flat tire in Lubao.
Nag-try din nga pala kami mag-experiment by testing the accuracy of our odometer. We started by taking photo of our odometer in Bolinao and checked it afterwards after riding for more than 2 hours, here’s the result
Yamaha SZ – 122 kms
Yamaha Amore – 133 kms
Yamaha Sniper – 117 kms
Yamaha MXi – 125 kms
Magkakaiba resulta hehe!
Its around 6am na ng umalis kami, late sa planned na 5am hehe. The ride plan was a LOOP, so maiiba kami ng ruta, via Zambales kami this time. So from Bolinao to Bani to Agno to Burgos, Pangasinan dire-diretso na yun pa Zambales – Olangapo – Dinalupihan – Lubao – San Fernando – Apalit – Malolos – McArthur Highway then Manila.
8:30 PM touchdown na kami sa Fairview, so around 14 hours din kami tumakbo. Mas ok ngayon kse isang beses na lang umulan, dun lang sa me Subic. Natagalan lang nga kase nasiraan ng bearing, tapos dami stopovers, dami pahinga, dami kain hehe.
Overall, the whole ride adventure was great, Thank God everyone got home safe and sound. 😀
My Yamaha SZ mileage on this ride
Quezon City – Bolinao – 308 kilometers
Pasyal around Bolinao – 33 kilometers
Bolinao – Manila – 395 kilometers
Total – 736 kilometers
Total Gas 16 liters averaging 46 kilometers per liter
Viajista – Ang Biyaherong Turista rode again last May 17 and 18 to the scenic and historic Baler, Aurora which most of known before as Baler,Quezon kase nga daw part ito dati ng Quezon Province and also because its the birthplace of Pres. Manuel L. Quezon until na declare na yung capital ng Baler which is Aurora na maging independent province, thus making it Baler, Aurora. Gets nyo ba? Basta yun na yun hehe!
Original plan was to take off at around 3am at SM Fairview. Pero siempre pinoy time pa din nasunod at kami ay nakaalis na at around 4:30 am. Nasunod naman yung mapping namin but since we’re all first timer to Baler, naligaw kami onti sa me pagkanan namin ng Cabanatuan at napadpad sa isang dead end haha.
Actually there are two road options go to Baler from Cabanatuan. First is the Pantabangan-Casili Route which is the longer route but offer much better travel though there’s still some unpaved section along the way. The other is the Baler-Bongabon Route, much shorter distance to Baler and offer the road user to an adventurous, winding and rough road trip. We love to try this route, but thinking our bikes are not design for it, we choose the first route. Mahirap na baka me masiraan pa.
We’re not disappointed naman sa napili naming ruta. We’re all amazed sa ganda ng daan, patag pagkakasemento, yun nga lang me mga part pa rin na lubak-lubak. Ang masaklap lang madalas after ng downhill naka-pwesto yung mga lubak kaya mejo nakakagulat lalo na siguro dun sa mga gabi bibiyahe.
At sa totoo lang, napaka technical yung dadaanan mo dito. Not recommended for newbies sa zigzag kase magsasawa ka sa twisties (downhill and uphill), hindi matapos-tapos, parang roller-coaster, almost 80 kilomoters ba naman grabe! Liko dito liko jan, siguro matagal na 200 meters na straight yung dadaanan mo hehe. I can still recall seeing a twisted or pilipit na daan yung parang sa mga Indy 500 na aakyat yung sasakyan mo habang paliko ka hehe. Astig! Sarap dalhin dito mga Pinoy Drift Trikes posse ko at I’m sure magsasawa sila sa dami ng downhill spot!
Sa dami nga ng pahinga, ligaw, lunch, groupie shots, flat tire, at Cobra break. We finally reach Baler at around 1:30pm. Yeap we travelled a gruelling yet satisfied 9 hours. One factor why I say gruelling was the heat from the sun. Dati basta huminto ka dun ka lang maiinitan kase pag running ka na me wind ng sasalubong sayo, now it’s different, andun pa din yung impact ng hangin sa face mo, only its humid kaya mainit pa din at ito ang nakakapanlata. Ultimong baon kong mineral water na nasa harapan ko hindi ko na din mainom kase maligamgam na sya.
After we set foot on our rented house, we just rest our asses for more than an hour tapos ayun. Biyahe na naman, this time on a van going to Mother Falls, one of the tourist spot in Baler, only to be surprised later on that we’ll have to hike almost two kilometers uphill just to reach it. Wappakkkk, ano ito triathlon? wahhhhhh.
The rest of the evening was history, a few shots of Empelayts and down I go to sleep to recharge myself for next day beach and surf activity and of course for our travel home.
Lagro QC – 34092
Baler – 34348 – 256kms
Anonas QC 34597 – 249kms
Unleaded Gas Intake
Lagro QC / 2.90 liters
Nueva Ecija / 2.24 liters
Baler / 2.78 liters
Cabanatuan / 2.12 liters
Total Gas – 10.04
Total Distance Travelled – 505 kilometers
Average Fuel Consumption – 50.29km/liter
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