September 14, 2012. A handful of co-UBPeans led by sir Warren (buzaizai_88) started their Bicol ride, as part of a quest to be called a "South Looper". By the afternoon, they were already in Naga. Gusto ko rin noon makaexperience ng ride na may kasama, kaya I was pretty enthusiastic about going with them on their ride to Matnog.
I met up with them at around 4.30PM in Naga City, where sir Ronald (tataecho) was having problems with his gear shifter. Nagawan naman ng paraan, at sabay sabay na kami tumulak paputang Legazpi City, amid the heavy rainfall.
We were bound to Shell Daraga to meet up with their co-forumer, sir BrunoR150 of MCP. After a quick fix of sir Warren's flat rear tire, dumiretso na kami paputang Legazpi for a meal, and to look for the tired riders' place to stay for the night. At may singit na rin na picture picture.
Pagkatapos ng kainan, hinanapan na namin sila ng matutuluyan for the night. Pagod na pagod na sila from riding for more than half the day. So we rested and prepared for the next day's ride.
Around 6:30 the next day, maaga akong gumising to survey the skies, and I was greeted by golden rays of sunlight. Magiging maganda ang panahon para sa ride namin. So far so good.
At around 7:30, I met up with the two, and after a quick breakfast, gas up and some preparation, we headed for Matnog, the southern tip of the Luzon island.
We wound through the twisties of Daraga, then Pilar, then the town proper of Sorsogon. Konting picture picture din pag dating sa arko.
Some kilometers later at narating na namin ang Irosin. It was already a long ride kaya nagpahinga muna kami ng sandali doon.
We gassed up, full tank na kasi ang next stop namin ay sa Matnog na mismo. Maganda at masarap maglaro sa twisties ng Sorsogon. Maganda ang daan, bihira kang may makasalubong. The problem was, kung may makasalubong or makasabay ka man, eh mga bus na parang sa kanila lang ang daan.
At one point in our ride, I didn't realize that I was leaning so stiffly that my foot peg grazed the road. Buti na lang hindi ako nag spill. Brazen by the incident, nag dahan dahan lang ako. Dun kasi sa malapit na sa Matnog eh sobrang sharp na ng mga curves. If you lose your handle, tiyak may paglalagyan ka. Pero on the brighter side, kung napasayad ko ang footpeg ko, it means nagimprove na ang benking ko. Wahaha!
So finally, after almost 3 hours of riding from Daraga, narating na namin ang Matnog. Touch down time is 11.45AM. Woot! Congratulations sir Warren and Ronald, mga certified south looper na kayo! Para sa akin naman, kelangan kong makapunta ng Manila para maging south looper na rin ako. LOL. SOON!
We took the time to revel in the achievement, at syempre hindi sila magiging "certified" kung walang picture as evidence. So, photoshoot na ito. Haha.
Manong guard was kind enough to let us in the port, for a paltry sum of 28 pesos per head. Para naman makumpleto ang experience, kelangan din namin pumasok sa loob ng port, hindi lang sa arko.
Ang ganda ng panahon, at masarap ang hangin dito. We took this as a little time to rest before we get back to Legazpi. Personally, this place is a good spot to unwind and clear your thoughts. Babalik ako dito one day, when I need a break from the humdrum of daily life.
Around 12:30, it was time to go back. Our stay was a lot shorter than the trip, but it was all worth it. We drove like mad bikers back to Daraga, and we got there in only about 2 hours. It was time for sir Warren and Ronald to meet up with the rest of their group (which stayed at Naga to pay homage to the Patroness of Bicol). The meetup place was the Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay. There I met sirs Ewing, Anoy, Ronil, Ma'am Berdengdugo (UBP) and sir Joel (StarBen of MCP).
"Medyo nahihiya ngayon si Mayon", the term for locals when clouds cover the mountaintop (which often happens).
After our short stroll in Cagsawa, I headed back home for some rest. The others in the group meanwhile went to Ligñon Hill Park for the view. I met up with them later that evening at Ben's Spring Resort, where they stayed for the last night of their trip, and we gathered for a little celebration for the success of their ride.
Early morning of September 16, the group prepared for their return trip to Manila. It was nice meeting everyone, and nice riding with them too. I can't wait for their next trip, kasi gusto nila tumawid and do a Visayas Loop. Of course, sasama ako if time and budget permits. LOL.
That's all for now. 'Til the next ride.