Traveling to the beach has been rare these days. The pandemic made it more complicated and costly especially if you live in the city. Not to mention the threat of contracting the COVID19 virus in transit. That’s why when I got invited to by group from our yoga community to join for a day trip to Stilts Calatagan, Batangas I decided to join. It would be my second beach trip this year after Coron and couldn’t spend it much better than with people passionate about yoga.
For a coffee-lover like me, riding to the coffee capital of the Philippines, Amadeo, Cavite was more than just a trivial endeavor. Just being at one of the country’s largest coffee producer and tasting it’s famous “pahimis” blend was enough to pedal my way to Amadeo. Besides, it’s just short of 30km from Biñan where I’m staying. For this ride, I took the Davilan road to Silang, Cavite to Amadeo then a sidetrip to Tagaytay on my way back.
I catch my breath as it escapes me. It’s getting shallow. I knew I’m almost at the edge of my capacity to pedal. So I stop. They call this stretch “2 kilometers of Pain”, now I know why. First time I passed through REVPAL was coming from Tagaytay side. I was screaming with exhilaration as I descend these slopes from Mt Sungai. Going the “reverse” way and negotiating up to 15% gradient (9 degrees) incline was a different experience altogether. But hey, we’re here for the thrill right? Like any other cyclist, we’re always trying to test our mettle. Am I? I’m really here for the sightseeing.
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them”Ernest Hemingway
98 Rides. 2,055 km distance. Ride climb as high as 566 masl. That’s how a year of cycling through the pandemic looks like from my Strava. At least the ones I were able to log. It’s been a year since I had En, what I call my Dahon Route folding bike. What the stats doesn’t show are the loads of cargo my bike handled running grocery errands, the sense of freedom riding a bike brought in the constrained world of community quarantine and pesos I saved and possible COVID19 transmissions I avoided by using my bike as an active transport.
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.
Beyond the sleek urban high-rises, ultra-modern shopping malls, and the cosmopolitan attractions of its capital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia can be an intrepid explorer’s destination if one is willing put in the effort and look beyond the sand and dunes stereotype. The opportunity to discover storied places, some dating back to ancient times, certainly make visiting Saudi Arabia as a traveler out for a real, honest-to-goodness adventure, a worthwhile thing to pursue. That there are inexpensive Riyadh to Manila flights ticket available sweetens the pursuit all the more.
Which photographic waterfalls of the Philippines’ 7,640 islands should you add to your bucket list? The options include Aliwagwag Falls in Davao Oriental, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines with over 130 cascading falls. In 2019 such tourist destinations like Iligan City, known as the city of waterfalls, attracted over 8 million tourists nationwide. Whether you’re traveling to Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao, you’ll have a wide range of options from mini to majestic waterfalls. Here are some of the best places to visit if you’re planning to see waterfalls in the Philippines.