Boracay, with its stunning white beaches, had always been a familiar destination for me. However, on my recent trip to this tropical paradise with my fellow yoga teachers, I was eager to see how the island had transformed after its rehabilitation. This adventure also presented a unique opportunity for me to embark on a Boracay bike loop, something I had longed to experience.
Our journey through Marinduque had been a thrilling cycling adventure, and the last leg was both the shortest and the most demanding. Our destination: the Luzon Datum of 1911, the geodetic center of the Philippines, perched atop Mt. Mataas in Mogpog, rising approximately 200 meters above sea level. It was the perfect way to conclude our cycling odyssey on this captivating island.
As I wake up at the Balar Hotel and Spa in Boac, I feel excited about the second day of our Marinduque Cycling Challenge. The hotel’s comfy bed and linens have always left me fully rested, making it a perfect home base for our Marinduque adventure.
My anticipation is momentarily dampened when I discover my bike’s rear tire is flat. Thankfully, the Darling’s electronic air pump comes to the rescue, but I know I’ll have to replace the interiors soon. Undeterred, we set off early, heading south to Gasan and Buenavista.
The first part of our Marinduque cycling video series. This part features our arrival in Boac, welcomed with a Putong ceremony and a heritage ride in town with the local biking community.
Marinduque, with its heart-shaped allure, has always held a special place in my early travel adventures. I’ve been lucky to visit this enchanting island three times before, savoring its scenic coastal roads, captivating falls, lush hills, and vibrant cultural tapestry. But on this recent trip, thanks to the wonderful support of DOT MIMAROPA, I had the opportunity to experience Marinduque in an entirely new way – exploring its wonders on two wheels. Biking through this picturesque paradise allowed me to connect more intimately with its beauty, embracing the slower pace that enriched my appreciation of the island’s charm.
As I embarked on my kayak, the tranquil ambiance of the San Vicente – Talisay river system in Talisay, Camarines Norte enveloped me. The chorus of cicadas and the melodious songs of countless birds created a symphony of nature. My aim was to catch up with my friends who had already embarked on a floating cabana towards the Centennial Wharf. However, my paddling skills fell short, and I found myself embracing the serenity of the San Nicolas Mangrove Forest instead.
With a distance of 130km (80 miles) or roughly a three to 4 hours drive from Manila, San Juan, Batangas is one of the popular destinations for an out-of-town escape. For the beach, there’s the white sand stretch of Laiya. Climbers and nature lovers also hike up the peak of Mt Daguldol. But there’s also a different type of crowd that flocks the areas of Balagbag and Pinagbayan villages of the municipality — the migratory birds. Making birding in San Juan Batangas one of the main draws for birders even beyond the migration season.