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Old 12-17-07, 07:41 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Thinking about touring the Philippines!

Suggestions would be welcome. I'm thinking about starting out of Manila, up to Bataan, back down and Island hopping toward Cebu via road and Ferry.

Are there any places I should be cautious about riding through...I already know Manila is going to be a major hassle!
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Old 12-17-07, 10:17 PM   #2
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Suggestions would be welcome. I'm thinking about starting out of Manila, up to Bataan, back down and Island hopping toward Cebu via road and Ferry.

Are there any places I should be cautious about riding through...I already know Manila is going to be a major hassle!
hi tom. first, when are you going? sometimes it can get really hot here especially from march to may. there's a book that you can get at good bike shops here about bike routes in the visayas. the one for luzon is being worked on still.

going up north from manila, i have been told, is pretty scary unless you're a group. i have talked to people that ride from manila to down south and they say its pretty ok.

the best way to proceed is to try to get a riding buddy.

you can visit pinoyroadies.org also. there are lots of people who can recommend routes for you there.
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Old 12-18-07, 12:03 AM   #3
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Eventually, My Brothers house in Cebu City, then home to the States. I'm planning a slow easy trip of a couple of months, just knocking around, yondering. This is about 2 yrs out, by the way. I'm just in the early planning stages.
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Old 12-18-07, 05:16 AM   #4
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well, good time to go would be around late october to december. those are the cooler months and riding is really nice. manila to bataan i'm not really sure. i'll monitor some of the guys at pinoyroadies who are planning to go up north to baguio from manila. they were the ones who recommended going with a group -- you get more respect on the road.

the same would apply going south. you can probably go down up to leyte then take a ferry to cebu. some of us are planning on going to bohol and go around the island on a bike. that is for 2009.

if you have a medical condition then a sag wagon/vehicle would be highly recommended.

if you stay until january then you'd catch the big fiesta in cebu.
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Old 01-08-08, 12:12 PM   #5
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From my experience in the Philippines bicycles rate down at the bottom with pedestrians.

Pecking order:
Trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedicabs, pedestrians.

The only thing that HAS to work on a truck, bus, or car is the horn. One honk means I see you, move over. Two honks, I am about to hit you get out of the way. Three honks or more means sorry I ran you off the road. Hope everyone is OK, Diba?

Where in Cebu does you bro live? We have family there.
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Old 01-08-08, 01:37 PM   #6
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Cebu City is where he lives. I've never been there, it looks a bit like a slightly seedy but still reasonably nice LA neighborhood.
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Old 01-08-08, 05:43 PM   #7
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that may be downtown cebu. these days, its generally clean and peaceful but there are a lot of people. i heard that the outskirts has plenty of riding especially down south of cebu where you get to see really old/antique houses.

bring your street biking skills.
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Old 01-08-08, 11:27 PM   #8
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Willdo I do pretty well in traffic, so I'm not real worried I keep the eyes and ears open and plan on never becoming street pizza.
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Old 01-09-08, 12:10 AM   #9
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that is good to know. now the next step is getting a riding buddy.
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Old 01-15-08, 12:26 PM   #10
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Here are 3 vids of traffic from Liloan to Cebu City. This is on the only N/S road on the Island and is SOP for the Philippines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTXlw...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75fhX...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukEU1FDy_CQ
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Old 01-16-08, 02:38 AM   #11
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cycling in metro manila is something like that but things get tighter here especially during weekdays. on the weekends there's usually more space unless there's a fiesta in which case it is sometimes better to walk and join the fiesta.
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Old 01-16-08, 05:11 AM   #12
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Manila

hahahaha, We were visiting Manila about four years ago. It was Easter weekend. On Saturday we drove up to Tagaytay and the roads were deserted.

After returning to Manila we went to Makati to eat and it was the same there. Almost like a ghost town. It was a real pleasure to travel around like that. Unlike the usual day to day gridlock.
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Old 01-16-08, 07:04 AM   #13
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Thanks, that actually doesn't look that bad at all.....
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Old 01-18-08, 05:41 AM   #14
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Well I wish you well. One thing would recommend, FORGET ABOUT VC. Pedestrians and bicycles have no rights in the Philippines. You are a target there so your best approach is to STAY OUT OF THE WAY.
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Old 01-20-08, 06:19 PM   #15
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hahahaha, We were visiting Manila about four years ago. It was Easter weekend. On Saturday we drove up to Tagaytay and the roads were deserted.

After returning to Manila we went to Makati to eat and it was the same there. Almost like a ghost town. It was a real pleasure to travel around like that. Unlike the usual day to day gridlock.
yeah. it's great to bike around the city during the holy week. most of the people are in the provinces. its almost the same during nov 1 and 2 and those days between christmas and new year.

there's generally less people and a little less traffic when school is out which is usually between the end of march and may.

i'm glad you could visit. i just hope your visit was a good one.
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Old 01-20-08, 06:32 PM   #16
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Don't worry, I'm not one of the VC Purists I adapt my technique to conditions I would rather hit the ditch than the front bumper of a vehicle coming up behind me Hurts less
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Well I wish you well. One thing would recommend, FORGET ABOUT VC. Pedestrians and bicycles have no rights in the Philippines. You are a target there so your best approach is to STAY OUT OF THE WAY.
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Old 01-21-08, 08:24 AM   #17
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yeah. it's great to bike around the city during the holy week. most of the people are in the provinces. its almost the same during nov 1 and 2 and those days between christmas and new year.

there's generally less people and a little less traffic when school is out which is usually between the end of march and may.

i'm glad you could visit. i just hope your visit was a good one.
We come to visit relatives so it's always nice. If I can only get used to the heat.
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Old 01-21-08, 07:53 PM   #18
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We come to visit relatives so it's always nice. If I can only get used to the heat.
ah. yes. these days its even hotter but the nights are colder too. normally, the months of november up to january/february are the cool months but its been unusually hot for the past year so i'm not sure if it would be the same this year or the next. what i am sure of is it gets really hot from march to may... ugh.

if you get to visit again check us out at pinoyroadies.org. i also hang there with the same handle.
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Old 02-28-08, 08:50 PM   #19
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In Cebu now

We are in Cebu now. I have noticed many more bike riders on the streets than 4 years ago. Most are utility bikers or maybe better described as "Guerrilla bikers". No lights, dirty, patched up bikes, flip flops are the footware of choice, and a t-shirt is wrapped around the head to also serve as a face mask instead of a helmet. The dust, dirt and diesel fumes are pretty bad.

I haven't seen any nice "touring" or racing bikes yet. Though I am sure some of the people have them. Mostly they look like mountain bikes, with the BIGGEST tires, 2" or more.

The roads are terrible, with huge potholes, loose gravel, head sized rocks, fighting cocks, dogs, goats, cattle, tricycle cabs, kids and grownups darting out into traffic at any time. It looks like survival of the fittest out there.

I would leave my tight biking gear at home and go with mountain shorts and maybe a bright jersey. Also be prepared to be a sensation to all you meet.
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Old 08-14-08, 09:41 PM   #20
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This might be a bit too late but just in case you're in the islands again, i would suggest you post a notice on our biking community forum at http://www.pinoymtbiker.org/forum/. This is a very active forum and membership is spread out throughout the whole Philippines. Roadies are welcome too . You can get good information on bike shops, organized and fun rides, trails and just good contacts to hook up with anywhere in the country. And by the way, we all speak English .
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Old 08-26-08, 07:16 AM   #21
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I totally agree with the above mentioned holiday road bliss. I'm actually planning my very first solo bike tour from Manila to Kalinga-Tabuk City (500km, 80% mountainous, three 12hr-day) with my road bike on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday. Cycling on regular days is like swimming dangerous waters full of sharks, crocks and homosapiens.
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Old 08-28-08, 10:50 PM   #22
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the price of petrol have made the roads of manila more suitable for cyclist. The number of riders have increased, so is the price of bike parts. The road to bataan from manila would be mc arthur highway, exit to san fernando pampanga, and turn left to sn fernando-olongapo highway (national highway) passing thru BACOLOR, GUAGUA, LUBAO, PAMPANGA. i don't know where in BATAAN you would like to go, but that's the road leading to Bataan. Bear in mind what HEADLESSSPIDER had written especially abt riding buddy. Better to travel in a group.
GAS SUCKS, RIDE A BIKE!
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Old 08-31-08, 06:05 PM   #23
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Before I left Manila for good in 1995, me and my brother cycled all over the island of Luzon... From Nasugbu, Batangas and also Bugarin in the South (straddling the Rizal - Quezon Province boundary) to the city of Baguio in the North.

One trip to the province of Pampanga had us cycling through the then Gapan-Olongapo Highway which is the road to get to Bataan. From Manila (Monumento) we headed North using the then MacArthur Highway which runs parallel to the North Diversion road.

Looking back, I would hesitate recommending anybody from using MacArthur Highway as the some of the jeepneys and buses plying the route have complete disregard for cyclists. Remember in Manila, these jeepneys (and oftentimes buses) can stop anywhere on the road to pick up and drop off passengers. On our way home to Manila, I had a couple of close calls with such jeepneys especially nearing the busy area of Monumento. I am talking about dozens and dozens of jeepneys racing each other to pick up passengers. I recall almost getting sandwiched between 2 of them.

Not sure today but the heat and pollution when riding in city streets and highways especially in the hot months were oppressive. However, things get much better the farther you are away from any city or major towns.
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Old 12-04-08, 08:55 AM   #24
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Suggestions would be welcome. I'm thinking about starting out of Manila, up to Bataan, back down and Island hopping toward Cebu via road and Ferry.

Are there any places I should be cautious about riding through...I already know Manila is going to be a major hassle!
Sir TOM,

Just in case you haven't been to MLA, dont go Southmost part of the PHILS since you're white. And yes you need some buddies with a min of 2(two). Be carefull using your high end bike, unless you're with some convoy's, sag(s), etc., in MLA. Also riding there is totally different. Bring a buddy that you can trust.

If you're in MLA try visiting QUEZON CITY CIRCLE in Quezon City on weekends(sat/sun) at 7:00am you might see/meet some of the Philippine Team plus a little crit race and you can get inside the Circle to drink and eat, lot of people. You can also join the race or join in the early 700am ride in the Circle that starts as a warm up and it gets faster and faster as the ride gets longer just like a race and its a very nice ride no need for you to register. Or go to Antipolo, Rizal there you can come accross a lot of riders during Sunday Morning at 500am to say 1000am, if you want to go further go straight to Morong, Pala-Pala, Rizal to Real, Quezon from Antipolo. Now thats a very nice place, less or very few vehicle plus NATURE.

The good thing is Filipinos are hospitable and have a high respect to Americans and foreigners.

Last edited by pit_usa; 12-04-08 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 12-04-08, 09:32 AM   #25
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Yep, agreed on the last part, especially. My brother lives in Cebu City and I have inlaws in Butuan. I was planning on riding a 22 year old Schwinn Passage, by the way....not exactly high end. It's an old battle scarred touring bike, not real pretty, but very comfortable.
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Sir TOM,

Just in case you haven't been to MLA, dont go Southmost part of the PHILS since you're white. And yes you need some buddies with a min of 2(two). Be carefull using your high end bike, unless you're with some convoy's, sag(s), etc., in MLA. Also riding there is totally different. Bring a buddy that you can trust.

If you're in MLA try visiting QUEZON CITY CIRCLE in Quezon City on weekends(sat/sun) at 7:00am you might see/meet some of the Philippine Team plus a little crit race and you can get inside the Circle to drink and eat, lot of people. You can also join the race or join in the early 700am ride in the Circle that starts as a warm up and it gets faster and faster as the ride gets longer just like a race and its a very nice ride no need for you to register. Or go to Antipolo, Rizal there you can come accross a lot of riders during Sunday Morning at 500am to say 1000am, if you want to go further go straight to Morong, Pala-Pala, Rizal to Real, Quezon from Antipolo. Now thats a very nice place, less or very few vehicle plus NATURE.

The good thing is Filipinos are hospitable and have a high respect to Americans and foreigners.
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