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Landtripping is more Fun in the Philippines

Breaking in My First Car (Toyota Innova J Dsl MT 2013 Model)

rain 26 °C

November 11
Today is my 15th anniversary of being a Certified Public Accountant. Only today that I owned a car of my own. Yes I owned it but I will not be using it. It was basically purchased for my parents. My father, Tantong the senior (let me remind you, I am the junior), has been wishing and pushing me to own one. It was initially a Hyundai Starex, but I opted a Toyota Innova. Now I am proud to hand it to my beloved Papa and Mama.

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We departed from my sister's place in San Jose Del Monte City in Bulacan at little past 4am. The couple Jun and En accompanied us until Lucena City. The ride through Lucena was so smooth, given that there were several diversion roads constructed and usable nowadays; one was in Candelaria, another in Siriaya. More diversion roads can be found in more areas beyond Quezon province. Thus I wrote an article entitled, "Landtripping is more fun in the Philippines!"

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We were told not to overstretch the speed capacity of the car this early, so we travelled at 80kph max speed even in the South Luzon Expressway. We have some wrong turns made but I realized it soon enough that prevented us from getting lost. There have been some road spots where maintenance were happening that day and the delay was due to alternate pass using one lane, facilitated by workers waving red and green flags from either end. Manong Danny and I reached Matnog, Sorsogon where the Maharlika port is located at little past 6pm. We did not realized it that we already travelled Luzon for 12 full hours. This included stops for urinating and eating breakfast and lunch.

Mt Isarog

Mt Isarog

The freebies of landtrip are the zigzag and steep roads in Quezon National Forest Park, otherwise known as Imelda National Park in Atimonan, Quezon. It is known that the park is declared a Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary. The present area is 984 hectares (4 sq. miles) with its highest point at 366-m above sea level. More can be seen along the way, like the views of Isarog Volcano in Camarines Sur and Mayon Volcano in Albay. It was raining though when we arrived in Bicol and clouds hugged the two mounts tightly.

Mt Mayon

Mt Mayon

Manong Danny facilitated the boarding documents for the car and me as passenger; he is the driver and he is free of charge. He approached some of the fixers there and paid P1,500 for the freight. He gave the fixers and all other port personnels 50 pesos each for a charge they called "pangkape lang po". The boat ride which started at past 8pm took one hour and 30 minutes, we reached the port of Dapdap, Allen in Northern Samar at around 10pm.

Ferry Terminal

Ferry Terminal

Since Samar is famous for bad roads, so we decided to better sleep for the night in Allen. We checked at the nearby resort which name I cannot remember.

November 12

My brother-driver woke me up at 4am; the time to get ready for another day's ride south. I was actually on official business today and I have a meeting (courtesy call) at 9am in the DSWD Region 8 Office in Tacloban City.

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The day was dark and wet! It may sound bad but we were surprised to pass through good roads traversing Northern to Western Samar. This roadtrack has been know to be problematic and never been repaired good that causes delay in driving. But the road was great, asphalted in most section, except for some spots were bridges are underconstruction and some road sections need repairs and maintenance. I arrived at the meeting late but at least I showed up for the courtesy call.

San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge

Later then, I excused myself to accompany my brother down south to deliver the car to Mindanao. We commenced our drive at 11:30am and arrived in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte's Ferry Terminal at 2pm. Leyte's road networks are known to be good and thank God the ride was smooth and easy.

McArthur Landing

McArthur Landing

The perks of riding the Eastern Visayas section are the drive through San Juanico Bridge, the bridge connecting the Islands of Samar and Leyte, thus forming the letters S and L at aerial view, the MacArthur Landing Memorial in Palo, Leyte, and the Agas-Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte section. It was creepy when we crossed the Agas-Agas Bridge because the heavy rains casted fogs over it. It was a scene in any horror movie that despite the car headlights, the half section of the bridge seemed unknown. That fear had me forsaken the chance to grab my Nikon 3100 SLR camera and capture the fogged bridge moment. I missed that, bigtime!

Agas-Agas Bridge

Agas-Agas Bridge

After clearance to board the ferry to Lipata port in Surigao City and paying around P2,500, I left my brother in the port and deliver the car to our parents himself. I rode a commuter bus back to Tacloban City where work is waiting for me. I need to work harder this time because I have a monthly amortization to pay for the new car.

Ferry Terminal

Ferry Terminal

Road tripping with my new car is a blessing... Driving with Manong Danny is a blessing... Experiencing the luxury of good road networks, philippine highways, natural landscapes is a blessing... Now the car - a gift for my Papa Tantong and Mama Dulcing - has been delivered and the driver is home.

Posted by crisbernal 14.11.2012 19:57 Archived in Philippines Tagged landscapes mountains bridges driving tacloban philippine_tours budget_travels landtrip

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