March 21, 2016
It’s the Holy Week once again. Raffy Concepcion organized a road trip going north.
This time, traversing the western part of Luzon which is Zambales. Luckily, Eddie, a rider in a 150cc Super 8 scooter has a relative in Santa Cruz, Zambales 290 kms. away from Marikina city.
This is Raffy’s first time riding in Zambales.
Like every time, we don’t really know who is joining the ride. Like last year, it was just Raffy and I who took the trip to Baler, Aurora.
The meeting place was in a Ministop near our place. Ronald was there first at 12am. I arrived 2nd. Then Guilly and son, the mechanic arrived too. Followed by Nino, brother Ernie and Raffy. Zajid, Sonny and Eddie arrived also. And then finally, Rocky arrived on his 2000 model SYM Shark bike.
10 bikes and 11 people are taking this 700 km. road trip. Tools, medical kit, vulcanizing patch, 6 liters of water, towing cables and 3 mechanics are on board. What could possibly go wrong.
I took the lead as I have the GPS and hi power led lights. We will be taking the Norzagaray route to Baliuag Bulacan. We will be crossing the Candaba swamp to Mexico, Pampangga. On towards Olongapo City, Subic and San Marcelino,Zambales.
It’s 2 in the morning. We are the only creatures on the road. Yes, it’s a very long and winding road. We like it like this sometimes. It clears the mind. After this week, Manila will go back to traffic hell.
We got our music on. At Olongapo, Rocky’s Sharky bike encountered some timing problems. The idling is raging. Guilly the mechanic, adjusted it. We had breakfast at a 7-11 then rode on.
Not long, Zajid’s 2- stroke bike Yamaha Force One lost its chain. Rafty recovered it and Guilly fixed it. We rode on.
Not long after, Sharky ran out of gas. We have to improvise to bring him some gas.
It was a looong way to Santa Cruz. The roads are clear and fine. The views are stunning.
We passed by the towns of San Antonio, San Felipe, Botolan, Iba, Palauig, Masinloc, and finally, Santa Cruz. The weather forecast is 39 degrees hot. Luckily, we reached our destination before we became bone-dry. We reached Santa Cruz at 11 am after 9 hours and 290 kms of hard riding.
Rider and bike in semi- celebration. The first leg on this journey, a feat in itself. We will be staying in a farm under a mango tree. After excusing the goats, we pitch our tents. 8 tents – it’s a tent city.
Rocky’s tent was so big, we called it a mall.
Mine has the fan connected to the bike’s battery. It works!
One km. away is the Santa Cruz beach. We went there after lunch. Zambales beach sand is one of the best. It’s fine and color beige. You can walk 100 meters from shore and still be at 4 feet deep. After swimming till night fall, we went back to the camp site.
Dinner plus a little wine and chit chat, we retreated to our tents.
The next morning, 2nd day, Rocky and Guilly took Sharky’s carburetor apart and cleaned it.
Our next destination will be 138 km. Manaoag, Pangasinan – a pilgrimage place where the lady of Manaoag blesses the travelers – like us.
We waved goodbye to our host and rode on. 138 kms., not as much as yesterday, but still the weather is hot. This may still be a challenge.
We passed by towns like Dasol, Burgos, Alaminos, Lingayen, Binmaley, Mangaldan and finally, Manaoag.
We arrived at 11 am. After saying a little prayer for our friendship, protection and more adventures, we rode on to Mangaldan around 6 kms. away to Zajid’s place.
We were greeted by Zajid’s wife and mom. They were very hospitable, surrendering their home to us. This makes me proud to be a Filipino.
They prepared the best Diningding, sauteed veggies of all sorts. The sweetest Bangus(Milk Fish) and Tilapia fish, giant shrimps and oysters too.
We rested afterwards. A never ending chit chat followed with some wine. Talks about life, bikes and travel. It’s windy and there were a lot of migratory birds flying overhead.
We rested well that night. The next morning, a hearty breakfast was prepared. This is our 3rd day.
We waived goodbye at our host. We rode on to Munoz, Nueva Ecija 94 kms. away. We have to get to Urdaneta, Pangasinan and then hit the national highway. After that, we took the Rosales-San Jose City highway which will take us at the heart of Munoz.
The road is very fine. Nice day for riding. Just barely 20 kms. away from our destination, Sharky encountered some type of overheating and the engine stopped. After re starting, a small fire started.
Ernie, Raffy and Rocky were the last 3 bikes in this 9 – bike convoy. Only the 3 of them tackled the fire. It was small at first but gasoline was feeding it. Finally, water was no match. The fire breach through the plastic gas tank. The fire raged on getting to 20 feet high. Sand finally contained the fire but it was too late.
The fire did the total damage. Even the inside of the bike was fried.
We hired a public transport to take Sharky to Munoz, my in-laws place 20 kms. away.
It was a total damage for Sharky. The boys tried to clean the bike and make it look better but, it’s evident that you will spend a lot and it’s better buying another new or 2nd hand one.
At Munoz, we had a nipa hut and an irrigation pool. We dipped into the cold water to cool down and clear our heads. Rocky was still in sentimental mode.
We went to the market to get some lunch and dinner.
We got some cat fish, my favorite and some supplies for the night. We had some fried cat fish and grilled pork chops for dinner. It was a crazy day so at around 10 pm, we rested.
At our 4th day, we headed home. Munoz to Marikina is about 175 kms. away. It’s a Maundy Thursday. Hundreds of riders ply the roads. They are just starting out on their journey while ours is on its way home just like what we wanted.
We arrived home in Marikina at around 11 am safely.
That was some epic ride of 700 kms. in 4 days.
This is Pinoy Adventure Rider. Thanks for reading.
This is the link to the full movie on Youtube [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvIYNkdDan4]