Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cordillera again, beat the summer heat of 2015 (day 3, 4 and 5): Motorcycle Riding

Day 3: Abatan, Benguet to Banaue, Ifugao
Date: March 30, 2015
Route Taken: bike repair at Abatan – Abatan, Benguet – Bontoc – Banaue

     Good morning Abatan…..

    As per planned, after breakfast, we looked first for a trusted mechanic who can help us troubleshooting and fixing the problem on Dad’s bike. As recommended by the locals, and as also confirmed by a co-rider and MCP forumer Ithcyfortravel, we found a Honda Authorized Shop just in the center of the busy Poblacion of Abatan.

     Since we dedicate the half of this day for motorbike maintenance, I also took the chance to have my bike checked because I am having minor problem with my bike’s breaklight. It’s around lunch time when bike repairs got completed. Took our lunch and prepared ourselves then started rolling again aiming to at least reach the town of Bontoc for the other half of the day. Very few stops and one of them is in Benguet - Mountain Province boundary.

     More pictures along Halsema Highway heading Bontoc:

     This is the famous mini-tunnel in Halsema Highway before reaching the town of Bontoc. Years ago, sometime in 2006 when I first passby on this area of Halsema, the road is not cemented yet and the concrete road on the right side of the tunnel is not yet constructed. All vehicles are passing inside the tunnel one-way at a time as 2-way traffic is not possible.

     The original plan is to go to Bangued, Abra from Bontoc via Tinglayan, but due to time constraint, we decided not to push through and instead, diverted the plan going to Kabayan, Benguet via Banaue-Kiangan-Tinoc. Around 3:30PM when we arrived in Bontoc. The sun is still high and Banaue is approximately 60kms only from Bontoc, so we continued riding because we’ve estimated that we can arrive in Banaue before dark which could be around 6PM.

     This road intersection is the road going to Barlig and Natonin. Last year when I pass through this road, it is still rough road. Construction is really fast that it looks like fully completed to date. Few more years and it can be another biker’s haven enjoying the twisties of Cordillera going to Paracelis.

     Bay-Yo Rice Terraces:

     More views along Bontoc – Banaue Road…..

     Banaue Rice Terraces:

     We arrived in Banaue before the sun sets. Exact time as our estimated time of arrival which is at 6PM. Looked for place to stay, had our dinner, taste the locally brewed wine (rice wine) and we ended the day.

== END OF DAY 3 ==

Day 4: Banaue, Ifugao to Kabayan, Benguet
Date: March 31, 2015
Route Taken: Banaue – Kiangan – Tinoc – Bugias – Kabayan

     Good morning Banaue!!!...
     Prepared ourselves and our bikes, took our breakfast and we left the hotel at around 9AM.

     Continue travelling towards Lagawe and to Kiangan as our first stop for the day.

     We’ve visited the most famous tourist destination here in Kiangan, Ifugao which is the Kiangan Shrine. This is like a smaller version of the Shrine of Valor in Bataan where it shows the braveness of the Filipino soldiers during World War II. This became a famous landmark because it was said to be the place where the Japanese highest Commander, General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrendered to the Filipino and American forces.

     One of the good spot here for picture taking is on the top of the Memorial Tower where you can see the panoramic view of Lagawe Valley.

     Also located inside the compound is the Ifugao Museum which clearly describes the culture of the Cordillera people and how they live independently without the need of help of the more advance technology from advance countries or nearby cities. Inside the museum, they showcase their old tools for daily household chores, farming, hunting, carpentry and many others. Camera is not allowed inside so we just did our souvenir photographs in front of the museum.

     Few more shots and we bade goodbye to the caretaker and security. Had some hydration at the nearby store and we started traversing the bumpy road heading Tinoc, Ifugao. From Kiangan, road concreting is on-going with only approximately 2 kilometers completed. Then after that, all rough road terrain all the way to Tinoc.

     Upon reaching Tinoc, more beautiful vegetable plantations and terraces can be seen left and right. I was amazed how these Cordillera natives able to curve these very steep cliff and mountains to cultivate these kinds of land to be their source of foods.

     Past 3PM when we arrive at the town proper of Tinoc where we took our late lunch.

     Initial plan is to spend our night in this town but since it is only 3PM, we decided to keep moving heading Kabayan, Benguet. So after taking our lunch and few minutes of rest, we again geared up and started rolling across the mountainous terrain and more steeper, bumpy and rocky road heading Buguias to Kabayan, Benguet.

     Only few pictures on this segment of the ride because we are on a hurry to reach the town of Kabayan before dark, because it will be difficult to manage some part of the terrain which is almost technical when we get caught by darkness in the middle of the mountain. We moved fast as much as we can and we arrived in Kabayan town proper at past 7PM.

     The lodge owner was kind enough to cook for our dinner. Had our dinner, few bottles of beer and we ended this long and tiring day.

== END OF DAY 4 ==

Day 5: Kabayan, Benguet to Taguig
Date: April 01, 2015
Route Taken: Kabayan, Benguet – Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija – Bulacan – Quezon City – Taguig

     Today, since I need to go back to work the next morning, I will go back to Manila ahead of my Dad as he still want to stay longer in Kabayan to explore the town and some tourist spots. So around 7:30AM, I left Kabayan on a solo ride going back to Manila via Aritao and Nueva Ecija.

     Very few shots on my way back to Manila because I’m on hurry to be home early avoiding riding at night because my headlamp got faulty again. So here are some shots, mostly on the boundaries of each province.

     Kabayan – Bokod Boundary:

     Benguet – Nueva Vizcaya Boundary:

     Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija Boundary: 

     Lunch and gas stop at San Jose, Nueva Ecija:

     Some “pasalubong” shopping in San Miguel, Bulacan:

     Then continued riding and arrived home safe before it gets dark. No long stories and sharing of road experiences and very few pictures on this last day as it’s purely motorcycle riding going back home.

     So thank you for visiting my page again, until here and until next time…..


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  1. thanks for sharing about ur motorcycle riding sir...siguro up to dis time nkapave na mga rough road na dinaanan nio ng iyong dad(nice bonding) coz we have plan 2 rides dat place 2, I'am from tarlac..many thanks and more rides sir...

  2. many thanks for sharing ur motorcycle experience on dat kind of adventure with ur dad (nine bonding) siguro nman at dis time naka pave mga rough road na nadaan nio..again thanks and more come

    1. Hi Noel,
      Thank you visiting and reading my story. I guess malaking porsyento na ang cemented sa area na yan kasi the ride was last 2015 and construction is on-going way back then. But I've heard na may ilang portion pa in between Tinoc and Buguias na hindi pa sementado pero doable naman. Actually the motorcycles that are being used by the locals in that area is yung pang tricycle kaya I believe doable talaga sya sa other type of motorcycle.


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