5 scenic motorbike rides in the South

5 scenic motorbike rides in the South

Riding a motorbike is one of life’s greatest joys (or, at least, it should be), and here’s where you should do it.

Since it’s not as wet in the South as it is here in the North, and since motorbiking is life, giving you an adulterated freedom to see and experience sights at your own pace, cheating city and inner town traffic, here are five destinations you can fly to and enjoy the sights of, after renting a motorbike. Bloggers Kara Santos and Louie Pacardo curate.

Siquijor

Islands like Siquijor are often best explored on two wheels. Photo by Kara Santos

The island province of Siquijor is a scenic island worth exploring on a day motorbike tour. Often associated with stories of witchcraft and mysticism, Siquijor offers enchanting beaches, beautiful waterfalls, and other architectural gems. The most interesting spots are scattered around the island—a bit difficult to access by public transportation but best if via a motorbike.

Glan, Sarangani Province

Sarangani is about as far south as some people would like. These open roads give you a view of Sarangani Bay, as shown here by Louie Pacardo. Photo by Louie Pacardo

The road going to the beach town of Glan is already a destination.  The coastal road along the edges of Sarangani Bay offers scenic views of the mangrove-rich and white sand beach strips. Glan is best known for its white sand beaches and heritage sites. Biker-friendly resorts include Kamari Resort and Hotel which offers a spacious and guarded parking area.

Glan is about one hour’s ride away from General Santos City in Mindanao

Alamada, North Cotabato

Head for Alamada in North Cotabato if you’re looking for something that’s definitively off the beaten path. Photo by Louie Pacardo

Alamada is among the lesser known riding destinations in Mindanao with unique landscapes and roadside views.  The 120-meter wide Asik-asik Falls is the top destination going to this silent town in North Cotabato. Another emerging must-stopover is Daday Falls, a tall drop settled in a Jurassic period-like landscape sandwiched by steep gorges in Barangay Dado.

Alamada is about three and a half hours’ ride away from Davao City

Lebak, Sultan Kudarat

This is the view that awaits any avid rider after taking on the hundred motorcycle bankings. Photo by Louie Pacardo

This coastal town facing the Celebes Sea in southwest Mindanao is best known among riders because of its twisting roads. You’ll do about a hundred motorcycle bankings going in and out of this sleepy town in Maguindanao Province. Lebak is best known for its tasty crabs and seafoods and its many waterfalls like Tres Andanas Falls.

Precaution: Mindanao is generally peaceful. However, just like when traveling in any part of the country or even the world, it is still best to check the present security situation in particular areas with previous peace and order issues.

Siargao

What better way to explore the country’s top surfing destination than on two wheels? Photo by Daniel Soriano

For beach-lovers and surfers, the island of Siargao is one of the best places where to ride. Aside from the main surfing area of Gen. Luna, the island conceals beautiful uncrowded spots like Malinao, Magpupungko Tidal Pools, and Pacifico, that you can easily ride to. There’s a variety of motorbikes for rent, including ones outfitted with surf racks—well, for packing your surfboard—and gorgeous bespoke bikes handcrafted by 3B Customs, a bike builder from Surigao City.

Words: Ferdz Decena

Hail to the best pizza place in Siargao

It will be a shame to visit Siargao and skip Kermit, the island stop for wonderful cocktail concoctions, the best pizza in town and perfect tropical resto-bar setting.

Kermit’s hands on owner Gianni Grifoni with his little one at Kermit

Kermit in General Luna, Siargao, is a lively resto-bar where it seems everyone around knows everybody. But it’s not for this reason alone that you should go. The open deck you walk onto barefoot fitted with loungy seats and sunken chairs is prolly the most relaxed spot I’ve been to recently. While the area is exclusive to guests staying at Kermit and the affable owner Gianni Grifoni’s personal guests, there is a rustic tropical space next to it where you can grab a seat to eat or drink or both.

Local curates Siargao

When islander Elaine Abonal is on a break from teaching surfing in Siargao, you’ll catch her on road trips, swimming in wild islands and eating at her favorite dining places

Elaine enjoying a day out in Dako Island

I was born and raised
 in Manila but I’ve been frequenting Siargao
 for the past 13 years.
At first I would stay for one month, then one month became two, and later on it stretched longer. In 2016, we started renting a house and got ourselves a dog.

My goal is to provide the best way to teach surfing in Siargao.
At Surfista Travels, we cover all bases when we teach, from theory to safety to etiquette. We do photo analysis. Surfista’s emphasis is for one to become a learned surfer.

Harana restaurant: Lazy times and delightful eats

Harana restaurant: Lazy times and delightful eats

Surfer Luke Landrigan loves Harana’s food and vibe. He says he likes ordering their poke bowl

It feels like time has stopped. At least this is how I felt when I visited resort-restaurant Harana on my visit to Siargao. Guests are sprawled on beanbags or cocooned in a hammock, whiling away on their smartphone as they wait for the waves to come up to do the more exciting kind of “surfing.” One guest rubs a resident dog’s tummy, saying hello.

Chill R&B music plays in the background—tame enough to not disturb napping guests—as I sip my cup of joe. Harana restaurant is a large open air native-themed space, hugging the wonderful sea breeze. There are wooden chairs and tables, colorful beanbags and low tables, distinctive hung woven lamps, and a vibrant bar manned by friendly staf.

Food

Breakfasts here area delight. We had very good tocino, homemade honey and salt-cured pork and chicken meat served with egg and garlic rice, and arroz caldo, fascinating for its annatto oil drizzling and unusual toppings of dried fish, string beans and water spinach. There were grilled eggplant, international breakfast served with two eggs, bread, fruits and bacon salted just right. The Harana Fried Rice was remarkable.

Breakfasts are as beautiful as these: fresh fruits and vegetables, tortang along (grilled then pan-fried eggplant), dried fish, rice and egg

Drinks

Ginger tea, fruit shakes, calamansi juice, softdrinks, beer, and an extensive liquor collection.

The basics
About Php300 (USD6) per person. Haranasurf.com, tel + 63998 849 5461

Story by Monica De Leon; photos by Daniel Soriano

 

 

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