Staying in Biñan, Laguna offered a more pleasant provincial scenery than I was staying in Metro Manila. While not entirely rural, our side of Laguna borders Carmona, Cavite which still have plenty of open spaces and nature spots. It gave me opportunity to explore nearby areas by bike. One biking destination here enjoyed by locals is called Davilan. Still part of Carmona, the place has challenging uphills called Davilan Ahon, the wide open wilderness-like Davilan Park and a rough trail leading to a refreshing pool of water at Pasong Buhangin.
Situated in Sto Tomas, Biñan, Laguna, our place was a lot closer to the border of Carmona and its other establishments. It was easy to enter the municipality as we often pass by their palengke. But I’m more fond of riding along the vast rice fields in the area. Especially Bukid road in barangay Lantic where the road is in the midst of rice fields. Often times, a few vendors are on the side road selling freshly harvested vegetables and root crops. When the sun isn’t high, the open fields turn into a play ground for the community. For me this is also the scenic route leading to Sugar road.
The wide and paved Sugar road often has cyclist traversing to and fro Davilan. With the recently open Davilan bridge, it was a lot easier to visit the area. It is also an access way to Silang, Cavite from Carmona.
Davilan has a lot of things going but the Davilan Ahon became popular for cyclist who wants to train in steep uphills. The uphill ride going to the highest point estimated 140 meters from the bridge is roughly 1.4km. There are actually three ascending parts in this uphill stretch. The first is the uphill curve with a 16.5% gradation, the second is the steepest at 18.9% gradation and the last one is just straightforward with a 11.2% gradation.
It definitely worked me up, especially on the first ascent. No wonder this is a good training ground. Atop the hill there’s an eatery. Also a good overlooking spot is the Carmona Paragliding Site. It’s not operational due to quarantine restrictions (at the time of this writing) but they accept visitors for sightseeing and a few refreshments only.
Just as energizing to climb up the hills of Davilan Ahon, the lusong (descend) was as exciting. There’s always that exhilarating feeling one gets was we speed down and feel the wind against us.
I turned right to the road cutting through the sprawling Davilan Freedom Park. Right now it’s mostly brown and dusty because of summer but I remember last time I went paragliding here, it was lush and verdant. I still like this summer safari look. There were cattle roaming the area. I took the dusty dirt road, in less than a kilometer, I reached the flowing river waters of Pasong Buhangin.
The locals set up this little dam to have a pool area they could swim at. I’m not really sure why it was named as is though. One thing is sure, the water looks clean and it was cool. Really perfect for a mid-ride dip.
Exit to CALAX
While taking a refreshing dip, I decided to cross the river to head to the DLSU area. Based on the map, it looked like a short ride. Less than kilometer on dirt trail. It was an easy cross. I like the dirt trail as it was quiet. I only hear the birds and rustling wind against the trees.
I had to check now and then on my location as there was an ongoing construction and development in the area. I couldn’t cross directly to DLSU rotonda so I opted to take the trail heading to CALAX. It led me to the gates at Palma Real subdivision.
From hereon, I made my way back to Biñan via MAMPLASAN exit rotonda. It was an enjoyable ride I may find myself doing quite often as I’m near the area.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.