Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Wild Ride from More than Half a Year Past...

Soooo... It's taken longer than I expected. I've had my hands full for the past half year that since January, this is the first time that I had time to post. Heck, I've my hands TOO full that even if I was a Hindu deity (the ones with 6 or more arms), I'd still have my hands full. LOL.

Kidding aside, this is my uber late ride report from December 2014.

It was the 2nd year anniversary of my motoring club Xplorer Riders Club of the Philippines (XRCP), and the national officers have set a general assembly for most of our Luzon-based members in Antipolo on December 6, 2014.

With 3 of my co-elites (elite members are ones who have complied the requirements to be an actual, bonafide member of the club, complete with an elite number and a vest. New members who have yet to complete the requirements are called "aspirants") Kriz and his backride Jeremy, Royce and Raymond, we set out for Famy, Laguna on December 4, 2015 at 4:00 PM . This is where we are to meet up our NCR chapter members, headed by the VP Jon Sparco.

The trip took longer than usual, as we had several long stopovers due to bad weather in Tagkawayan and Atimonan, Quezon, (typhoon "Ruby" was headed inside the PAR at this time.)

at 4:00 AM, we were met up with the OIC of the Lucena chapter, Brent, at the Lucena Grand Terminal. We asked for a place to stay for a short while, and he pointed us to an inn in Lucan, Quezon. We had about 4 hours of (restless) sleep, and at around 11:30 AM, we pushed for Famy.

We arrived at Famy around 2:30 PM. After the meetup and a short rest, we were able to attend the "tambay" (meeting) of the main chapters in the evening of December 5, 2015 in McDo Macapagal, the agenda of which is the next day's activity. 

After the meeting, we finally got some real shut eye in Tondo, Manila, where the Club GRO... erm... PRO, Lex de los Reyes, gladly accommodated our group to his crib. Our last real sleep was before our take-off from Legazpi.

Morning of December 6th, we had the chance to do some shopping at the motorcycle parts and accessories mecca of Manila, 10th Avenue in Caloocan. This is where provincial distributors, resellers and even small time vendors get their moto parts supply.

Our pic with Dan, another elite from NCR, and Jon, the Club VP.

Finally, the night of the 2nd Year Anniversary celebration. It was held at the Makatubong Kubo Restaurant, atop one of the hills in Antipolo. We had fun mingling with other members in other chapters, and they were astonished by our presence, as among the participants that evening, we are the furthest chapter in attendance. And to our even greater astonishment, other elite members of the Bicol  North sector, Mike, Bon, Bernard and Wyn, arrived at the party. Humabol sila sa event. (XRCP Bicol is currently divided into 2 sectors, South for the members from Albay and Sorsogon, and North for the members in Camarines Sur up).

After the mighty meal, there was a short program, and to add to the celebration, some items were given away via raffle, like t-shirts, eagle/angel eyes, raincoats, stickers, keychains, and a half-face Spyder helmet as grand prize. Some of my mates won for themselves the t-shirt and eagle/angel eye.

From top left: Wyn, Jeremy, yours truly, Royce, Bernard, Mike, Bon, Raymond, and Kriz

As another highlight of the night, a "slow race" competition was held, and my buddy Kriz won top spot, facing off with Jon Jaldo in the final round, where the audience was taunting that Jon would come with us to Bicol if he loses. Well, he did lose, but his Bicol trip would come later (wait for it.)

After the party, our initial plan was to go back to Bicol the next day (sunday, December 7, 2015.) However, typhoon Ruby was on its way to Bicol, and we were advised not to go back yet. Lex invited us to go north to Baguio, and we, by some sort of magic or sorcery, happily agreed. However, the Bicol North sector decided to push back to Bicol amid the approaching typhoon. All of them arrived safely, albeit being soaking wet.)

We geared up at around 4:30 AM the next day, to head to Baguio.

The roads toward Baguio, especially in the Pangasinan area, were awesome. Long straights, well-paved, wide-spaced four-lane roads. We increased our pace during this part of the trip. Here are some of our stopovers:

We took the scenic twisties of Kennon Road going up to Baguio, and I suddenly felt cold, even being in full riding gear. It was indeed the summer capital of the country, and we were there during the middle of the colder months.

And then finally!

 Ehem! Our GRO... erm... PRO in his natural element.

We enjoyed the cold morning breeze, and a fresh sip of strawberry taho. We also tried some of the delicacies like the popular Soup No. 5 (bird's nest soup). We were accomodated by Baguio Chapter elite Jude Lawin, whose family owns an inn in the city. We rented a room at a heavily discounted price. 

Being here at this time of the year is tough for me, as I hate cold weather. Taking a bath is even more challenging. But I took the "ice water challenge," while some of them dared not touch the faucet. LOL.

Baguio is great and all, however, this is not our real goal here. We were aiming for a landmark a bit further north of Baguio. One of the landmarks that every rider should be proud to have reached. After all, the road leading up here was dubbed one of the world's most dangerous highways. To add to the danger, we reached the said landmark at night (around 8:00 PM). The biker's landmark more popularly known as the "Highest Point" in Atok, Benguet.

 It's Lex's sixth time here, and my first, of course.

 Raymond dares you to strip as he did here. Can you?

Jon "Sparco" Jaldo

After reveling in our short victory, we went back down to Baguio and had our fill at 50's Diner.

Again, we went back to Jude Lawin's inn to rest for the night. During the early morning, we will head back to Manila, and after a short rest, we shall start the trip back to Bicol. In the morning of December 11, 2014, the elites from Baguio, Jude and Mark gave us a send-off. But of course, we would not miss the chance of taking pictures from one of the city's best view decks:

From left: Lex de los Reyes, Mark Salviejo, Jon Jaldo and Jude Lawin

On our way back to Manila, we were met by the Pampanga Chapter.

From Lex's crib in Tondo, we pushed for Bicol at around 6:30 PM on December 11, 2014, and arrived in Legazpi City around 6:30 AM the next morning. Typhoon Ruby was already on its way out of the Philippine area of responsibility when went home, so it was good weather all the way.

That ends my uber late ride report. Thanks for the read.'Til the next update!

PS: From now I'll also be making videos of my rides. These serve as "time capsules" to look back to one day. Here's the link to my video, I hope you'll like it:

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