Highs and Lows

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After months of waiting, it was finally time to go on another solo road trip. The last solo road trip I had was probably more than a year ago. See, the old bike that I was using was deteriorating fast (it was more than 8 years old) and I didn’t want to have to deal with engine troubles while on the road. That was primarily the main reason why I stopped leaving the city for a while. But now that I have Dodong Gotham, things are going to be a lot better.

For this trip, I decided to go to Badian. I wanted to take photos of the changes in Kawasan (if you can remember, Gov. Gwen Garcia ordered the demolition of concrete structures near the first drop of Kawasan) and see what other spots in Badian I could feature. I was pretty excited to go back.

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I left the city at around 8 am. The weather was fine, traffic was smooth, and I had enough gas money. A perfect day for a road trip, indeed!

My first stop was the Pitalo Church in San Fernando. Believe it not, I’ve never been inside this church. I’m sure a lot of you has seen this church. It’s right next to the highway afterall. I was actually glad that I did stop because I found out that the church looks really good. I only stayed for a couple of minutes, though, because it was church day and the place was packed. But I’ll write more about this beautiful church soon.

My second stop was the town church of San Fernando. This church, only a few kilometers from the Pitalo Church, is much bigger. The grounds are a lot bigger, too. And as usual, it just looks stunning.

I reached the heritage city of Carcar thirty minutes later. I only dropped by the church and the plaza right in front of it to take a couple of photos. My main stop was, of course, Jollibee. Long trips are never complete without Jollibee.

Plus, the view from Jollibee is pretty cool.

Thirty minutes after eating, I was back on the road for the start of the real ride. The mountain roads of Carcar and Barili are pretty tricky. But I like them because they are very interesting and full of life. I was taking my sweet time when I saw the Mainit/Mabugnaw Spring sign at the side of the road. I’ve actually tried locating the place on two previous travels but I wasn’t very lucky. This time, I decided to give it another shot.

And with the help of a few helpful locals, I was able to find it. Yey!

I wanted to take a dip but I was very far from my destination. So, maybe next time, spring! 🙂

Next, I made a quick stop at the Molave Milk Station in Barili. But when I produced a Php500-peso bill, they told me that they didn’t have change for my money. It kinda sucked because I was so looking forward to having a vanilla ice cream break. Well, what can I do? 🙁

Moving on.

Of course, a trip down south is never complete without a short stop to enjoy this wonderful sight. Barili, you are gorgeous!

Afterwards, it was a non-stop ride until I reached the town of Dumanjug.

Near the intersection, I suddenly had the urge to drive straight instead of turning left towards the next town. I really had no idea what to expect but I kept driving anyway. And boy, was I glad that I did. I discovered the town’s beautiful church for the very first time.

And right in front of it, the equally beautiful town plaza.

I’ll definitely make a separate post about it. 🙂

I roamed around for a while and found this sign. Wow. Impressive!

And then I remembered what one of my friends told me years ago. Apparently, halo-halo is such a huge deal in Dumanjug. And that the best ones are found at the town plaza. I guess I found the right spot.

True enough, upon closer inspection, I found out that the stores were all selling halo-halo and other treats. Cool!

Of course, I decided to give it a try. This was my fifty-peso order.

After a truly filling break, it was time to proceed. Along the road, I saw this sign. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A McDonald’s in Moalboal? They don’t even have one in Banilad! Haha.

And not just McDonald’s. Moalboal now also has a Gaisano Grand Moalboal, a 7-11, and an under-construction Gaisano Town Mall. Unbelievable!

Next, I went straight to Moalboal’s ‘seawall.’

The view there was fantastic.

After my Moalboal stop, I was back on the road and I didn’t make any stops until I reached the town church of Badian. Woot! Beautiful place.

Then, it was time to go to my ultimate destination – Barangay Matutinao!

When I got there, however, I realized that I didn’t have enough time. The trek to the falls is long and really tiring.  Plus, it was already around 3 pm when I got there. So, I decided to head to the next best spot, instead.

Yep. I went to the wonderfully breath-taking Lambug Beach. Look at that!

By this time, I was already itching to take a dip. I’d been on the road since the early morning and a cool refreshing dip would definitely be very lovely.

So I took off my clothes, found a nice little area for my things, and I was swimming in no time!

I have to admit, this was one of the best moments in my whole travel blogging career. I was on an emotional high. This is the life.

I stayed for at least an hour to just swim and relax and soak up the afternoon sun.

On my way back to the highway, I saw this magnificent view. I’m not sure if those mountains are still part of Badian, but WOW! They just look fantastic. I didn’t know we had our very own Chocolate Hills!

After leaving Badian, I dropped by Moalboal’s McDonald’s for my final food break before the long trip back to the city. I must say, for a big company like McDonald’s, it’s a pretty brave move to open a full-service store in such a small town. But, hey! Good job!

The drive through the towns of Ronda, Alcantara, Dumanjug, Barili, and Carcar was a breeze. When I reached San Fernando, however, something terrible happened. It was quick and totally unexpected. My bike slipped on some pebbles and the left side of my body slammed on the concrete. It was a good thing that I was only running at 40 and there were no huge vehicles behind and in front of me.

As I managed to stand up from the fall, a few other motorcycle drivers hurriedly helped me move my bike to the side of the road. A few local men quickly gathered around me and asked if I was okay. I found out that my left leg was bruised, that there was a hole in my sweater and phone pouch, and that my bike had a bent footrest and a busted signal light. I felt like I was about to black out, too. Thankfully, the local men never left my side and continued asking if I was all right. I later found out that due to the fall, my iphone was badly scratched. I had to throw away the pouch because it was beyond recognition after the fall. My phone may have, at some point, carried my weight during my fall. If it suddenly wonks out anytime this week, I wouldn’t even be surprised. Sad.

Ouch!

The 45-minute drive home – with all the bruises and busted motorbike parts – was one of the longest rides ever in my life.

Anyways, I’m still glad that it was only a minor mishap. I really feel blessed and thankful that even though my left leg is now as big as a Christmas ham and that putting a pair of pants on can be the most painful thing in the whole wide world, that fateful day was still one of the best days of my life.

Payt Bisdak! 🙂

Discovering Pitalo
Sinulog 2015 Route Maps

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