The Philippines is famous for well-designed vehicles that can only be found in the country such as jeepneys and tricycles. Although these are the preferred mode especially for mass transportation, two-wheeled motorcycles are still very popular. In fact, there are a lot of organisations in the country for motorbike enthusiasts.
The country being an archipelago with more than half of its roads unpaved, is a favourite destination especially for the adventurous riders who like rough terrain. Fortunately, there are also relatively easier terrains for the less experienced riders who want to go on a long motorcycle ride across the country. Here are some of them:
Point of Origin: ManilaTravel Time: 4-5 Hours
Baguio is one of the most famous destinations in the northern part of the Philippines especially during the summer season because of its cool breeze and sceneries that will leave you in awe.
Regardless of the route you take (whether Marcos Highway or Kennon Road), the roads going to Baguio are both scenic. You just have to make a choice based on several factors. Kennon Road is shorter so it will take you to Baguio faster. Its zigzag path is added challenge but the risk for landslide is very high because of the mining within the area. Just make sure that the weather is favourable when you choose Kennon. Marcos Highway, on the other hand, is longer but the roads are wider and relatively safer.
The roads leading to Baguio are generally paved and smooth. Just make sure you are prepared for the drop in temperature and higher altitude. As advised by Kara Santos of Travel Up, you may also opt to go straight to La Trinidad, Benguet (around 30 minutes) where you can buy freshly-picked strawberries.
Image credit: Yabang Pinoy
Point of Origin: ManilaTravel Time: 5-6 Hours
Baler overflows with beaches that have ceaseless waves, making it one of the top surfing destinations in the country. It is also home to majestic waterfalls, cliffs to die for, and stunning historical sites.
When travelling using your private vehicle, whether four-wheeled or two, it is generally safer to follow the route being used by the PUVs like the buses. The same applies when you want to travel to Baler in Aurora Province. Your GPS will tell you to take the Bongabon route because it is shorter. However, the Bongabon route has a very challenging trail, rough roads that seem impassable and is landslide-prone.
Bongabon Route | Image credit Ramon FVelasquez
Pantabangan Route | Image credit: Susan Corpuz
If you’re not up for the challenge, better take the Pantabangan route which is safer, mostly paved, and with hints of civilisation. It is always better to ask the locals for direction.
Image credit: Cristian Bortes
Point of Origin: Cebu CityTravel Time: 5-6 hours via Barili-Moalboal route
If your home base is Cebu or you plan to travel to the Queen City of the South, Samboan is a good place for you to have your motorcycle road trip. Samboan was once a sleeping municipality but is recently in the limelight because of the risen popularity of their beautiful waterfalls.
On your way to Samboan, you have the option to take the Argao-Oslob route or the Moalboal-Barili route. The First route is relatively easier when it comes to terrain and shorter compared to the second. However, for the Samboan trip, I will be sharing the Moalboal-Barili route because of the places you’ll be able to go to.
Diving in Moalboal | Image credit: Henry Jager
According to Trip the Islands’ suggested itinerary, you may pass by Balamban, the place where the crash site of President Magsaysay is, which is also home to the famous Balamban Liempo. Next stop is Moalboal which is known for its beaches and the underwater world. Then you may also pass by the famous Kawasan falls in Badian before finally arriving in Samboan.
Image credit: Cristian Bortes
Point of Origin: Cebu CityTravel Time: 4-6 hours via Argao-Oslob route
Santander is another destination in South Cebu. It is a coastal municipality and is the southernmost tip of Cebu. It is home to beautiful beaches and relatively cheap accommodations.
From Cebu City, it is most advisable to take the Argao-Oslob route. The roads are mostly smooth and paved with some challenges along the way. You will also witness spectacular views and the sight of old houses and churches while on the road.
Image credit: Janey
Stopovers may include the Naga City baywalk to enjoy the view of the sea; Carcar City, which is the home of the famous Carcar Chicharon; and swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob.
Image credit: PureTrade
Point of Origin: Davao CityTravel Time: 4-5 hours
Bukidnon, known as the “Baguio of the South”, is where the biggest pineapple plantation in the Philippines is located. It is also home to the famous Dahilayan Adventure Park where they offer activities that will quench your adrenaline thirst.
The most popular and probably the most convenient is the Buda (Bukidnon-Davao) route. This is also the most preferred because of the stops you can do along the way. The Buda area is perfect for unwinding and relaxing because of the cool climate. It will be such a breeze (literally) to traverse this road.
Image credit: Rawen Balmaña
There are hidden gems within the Buda area. For one, you will see a coffee shop where you can order the delicious “sikwate”, a chocolate drink made of cocoa that is famous in Visayas and Mindanao. You can also visit the hidden falls named EPOL (Everlasting Power of Love) which The Geek Travels described as “water straight out from a chiller”.
Image credit: Dan Michael Arias
Point of Origin: Davao CityTravel Time: 5-6 hours
Sarangani is the southernmost province in the island of Mindanao. It is known for its pristine beaches such as the Gumasa Beach, the venue for the annual SarBay Fest, adventures such as paragliding, dive spots, falls, and caves that are also bat sanctuaries.
Before reaching Sarangani, you will pass by the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, General Santos City. The roads leading to GenSan are not as scenic but you will also find spectacular views along the way especially near the Davao Del Sur-Sarangani border where you can see fields and a glimpse of Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines.
Image credit: Peewee Suobiron
In GenSan, you can visit the fish port where you will see the most abundant array of fishes especially tuna. It is best to visit in the morning where you will see the fish trading in action. If you want to witness more action, you can also visit the Pacquiao Wild Card Gym where the boxer-turned-Senator trains for his fights.
These are just some of the places in the Philippines where you can have your next motorcycle ride alone or with your friends. Just always prioritise safety by wearing your safety gear, and make sure that you are prepared physically by eating and having enough rest; emotionally because you will face challenges along the way; and mentally by readying your mindset before embarking on this kind of adventure.