Skip to main content

The Cycling Adventures of Diosdado in the Philippines and Beyond

Riding a bike, a light and fast one, is every cyclist’s dream. What is not to upgrade a bike with cool tires, hi-end break discs, and comfy seat? When you get to the destination of your choice, the price will not matter at all. Your investment would be replaced by freedom, happiness, relaxation, fulfillment and best of all, that priceless benefit of being with nature.



Diosdado is not an exception to the growing enthusiasm of pedalers for lightweight and sturdy bicycles here in the Philippines. He’s into it, not just as an average cyclist you can see speeding up and down the streets, but a man with a great vision – make proud of his own country, introduce other country’s beauty and bring more life and meaning to cycling as a recreational sports activity.

This is the story that will define cycling from a different perspective. These are the places that Diosdado and his cool bicycle have been into. Enjoy the ride!


Mount Parawagan
Diosdado is with the Bignay Cycling Team in this mountain biking adventure. The way in getting here is not only adventurous, but also surrounded with a little danger while traversing roads near the cliffs and rocky hills. But when they get there, the freshness of the air and calmness of nature quickly restores their strength.





Mt. Parawagan is a popular hiking destination for mountaineers and adventure seekers alike. It is located in Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal. The trails to the summit are characterized by grassy lands, green forests, steep uphill, and unpaved roads going up and down.

Guess what’s the highlight of this cycling escapade to Mt. Parawagan. We’ll these photos would tell.




Baler, Aurora
This time around, the excitement brings us to Baler, Aurora – known as the “Surfing Capital of the North”. We may not be seeing waves and surfers in these adventurous photos of Diosdado and friends but obviously, the Bignay Mountain Bikers made it there after hours of pedaling.




Among of the most popular tourist spots in Baler are the Sabang Beach, Museo de Baler, Dicasalarin Cove, Ditumabo Mother Falls, and the 600-year old Balete Tree. The picturesque signage of “Baler” is located at Brgy. Pobalacion in Baler town proper.

Look how happy and energetic these folks are!




Petroglyphs Site, Angono-Binangonan, Rizal
In this popular old site of petroglyphs or rock arts in the province of Rizal is where Diosdado and the Bignay Mountain Bikers bring their bikes next. Here, the team meets other bikers and the camaraderie among these folks bring them together in this wonderful shot of smiles.



According to Wikipedia, “there are 127 human and animal figures engraved on the rockwall probably carved during the late Neolithic, or before 2000 BC.”. That was too old to remember. The National Museum of the Philippines is the body caring and protecting the thousands of years old treasure of the Philippines.

Here is Diosdado and his teammates at the Petroglyphs site’s landmarks.




Hinulugan Taktak, Antipolo City
With his friends from the Valenzuela Siklista team, Diosdado has conquered the amazing beauty of this waterfall park. Obviously, Diosdado and his friends make it sure they will bring back home with them a memorable photo with Hinulugan Taktak as background.



Declared as a National Park In 1990, the site has been attracting thousands of visitors each year. Who would not pedal uphill just to witness the inviting beauty of this waterfall. And you may want to know the meaning of the name. Well, “taktak” means “bell” while “hinulugan” means “fell”. As the old story tells, it was in this waterfall where the bell fell. The deeper side of the story is for you to discover more.

Hinulugan Taktak experienced abuse brought about by pollution in the past years. Thanks to the cooperation of various organizations, it is now home to fish, birds and other animals. Surprisingly, Diosdado found his favorite animal in this place – the cat!



Wawa Dam, Rodriguez Rizal
Speaking of waterfall, adding to the list of Diosdado’s toured places is the Wawa Dam. Just located in the other town of Rizal, Montalban in particular, Wawa Dam is where the jumbo tyres of Diosdado’s bike roll over. It was the anniversary of the bikers’ association BMTB, where Diosdado is a member of, and the picnic adventure at Wawa Dam is the perfect way to celebrate it.



It was during the early 1900’s when Wawa Dam is constructed, the main purpose of which is to supply water to Manila residents during that time. The water comes from the Sierra Madre mountains to this dam and then flowing down to the Marikina River.

Look at the enthusiasm of the BMTB bikers in this once in a life time get together. From traversing the roller coaster path, to parking their bikes in the rocks, to preparing the sumptuous meals, to enjoying the Filipino’s “Boddle Fight”, and then soaking themselves in the fresh and clean water of Wawa Dam, the celebration is truly one-of-a-kind! As they say: “Only in the Philippines”.






Mabitac, Laguna
The pedaling continues for Diosdado and his co-bikers, this time in Mabitac, Laguna, Philippines. While the signages would speak something great in this photo, to be physically there and to see for your self the majestic beauty Mabitac has to offer is the team’s ultimate objective.


This magnificent view of Laguna de Bay is the highlight of this cycling adventure. From sunrise to sunset, the team combats exhaustion just to be near the largest lake in the country. They then find themselves resting under the tree at the bank of the bay that hot summer day.





On their way home, the best place to be is this karinderya along the road. What a trip to remember! 



Mt. Samat, Bataan
Diosdado is an Overseas Filipino Worker or OFW and has been working in South Korea for several years. But whenever he flies back to his home country, the native land is always closer to the heart. In 2017, this ride to Mt. Samat in the Province of Bataan proves that Philippines is something to love about. This time, the backgrounds are the Philippine flag and the “Dambana ng Kagitingan” (Shrine of Heroism).





Here are some quick facts for you. The Mount Samat National Shrine was erected as a memorial to the heroic struggle and sacrifices of those Filipino and American soldiers who fought and died in that search for freedom against the Japanese invaders during World War II. That cross on top of the mountain is something that would uplift our national pride and identity – that we Filipinos will die to find freedom.



Here are the photos that shows pride and patriotism of Diosdado, an OFW and pure blood Filipino. 




South Korea
Diosdado’s biking adventures goes as far as South Korea, the country where he works. Since this is about biking, sharing a few of Diosdado’s adventurous tour of South Korea would be great. Have a look on these wonderful photos of the country and try to figure out why biking is life for Diosdado.

South Korea – East Coast

 



South Korea – Oncheon





SoutH Korea – Jeolla Namdo





Biking is Life!
In this generation of selfie, groupie, jump shots and 360 view, biking or cycling is just getting into the next level. Being a biker, you will have to take your smartphone or GoPro camera with you so you can capture the best in what you will see on and off the road. But above all, what you can get from this sport activity is that fulfillment of your goal to be in that place – that place where you can see both beauty and peace of mind.

Biking is not an easy leisure. It is more than exercise. While on the road, you are rolling together with vehicles bigger and faster than you. You may have noticed that Diosdado is a member of a cycling group. This group has a road protocol to follow. Safety, security and well-being of its members is always on top of the leaders’ consideration. In the Philippines, biking is being embraced by many. Some even take it to the next level, by joining races, as a team sport. Some take it to the extreme level, by speeding up their wheels along steep rocky hills and within unchartered terrains. In doing all these things comes an investment in the type of bike you will have to drive.

Like Diosdado. I’m also a biker. I use my inexpensive mountain bike in going to and from the public market almost everyday. When time allows, I drive around the nearby towns of Cavite. And I always put my helmet on. I regularly check the tires, breaks and mechanical components of my bike. I wear protective gears.


About this Blog
Thanks Diosdado for allowing me to write the story of your biking adventures. And to all the bikers and cyclists out there, hobbyists or extremists, this blog is also for you. I know how difficult it is to pedal hours-long, hundreds of kilometers forward and back home. I know that you lived by the principle that "rain or shine, biking must go on". May you always stay safe in your biking adventures.


About the Author
Noriel Panganiban is a cousin of Diosdado. Noriel loves writing stories and adventures of the Filipinos living here and abroad. As a writer, Noriel believes that a blog like this can help inspire people, especially the Filipinos, in improving their lives here in the Philippines. Noriel is also an advocate of free to affordable education, thru his website www.knowriel.com.

Comments

Most-Read Posts of the Month

“I Love Baguio City” - My Travel Story in the Summer Capital of the Philippines

The Strawberry Farm, Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Mansion, Wright Park, Lourdes Grotto, and Session Road; these are among of the popular landmarks in the more commonly known “Summer Capital of the Philippines” – Baguio City. Why so? Well, the temperature here seldom exceeds 26 degree centigrade. During the cold season of December to February, the temperature falls down to even below 10 degree centigrade. The record low temperature was 6.3 degree and that was on January 18, 1961.

How to Travel to Baguio City?
Going to this cold city in the mountainous province of Benguet, Philippines is a six to seven hours travel by passenger utility bus from Manila. Starting from EDSA, traversing the NLEX, entering SCTEX, exiting the province of Tarlac and going through the neighbouring provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, and then exploring the zigzag road of either the Marcos Highway, the Kennon Road or the Naguilian Road, the coldest place in the Philippines will be reached. Baguio is about 2…

"Business as Usual" as the Filipinos Define It (Vulcanizing Shop, Sari-Sari Store, Bakery) – Part 1

I asked the shop owner about these old unused tires on what are they doing with it. The Vulcanizing shop owners says, “Oh, someone will pick up those tires and pay us 5 or 10 pesos each. Sometimes they just take it for free”.


Vulcanizing Shop - A Classic Example of Filipino Business
You’ve most probably seen and been into a local, typical vulcanizing shop like this one in the photo. The business concept is very simple. Here’s a customer with his flat or deflated tire and the vulcanizing boy will repair it using a rubber compound patch, a heating tool, and an air pump. If it’s a regular car or van tire, repairing one may only take 10 minutes the cost of which is around 30 to 60 pesos. If it’s a tire from a truck or bus, it could be around 30 minutes and the repair would cost the vehicle owner around 100 to 150 pesos.

Here’s the thing. A shop like this one could potentially earn a revenue of 1000 up to 2000 per day just by repairing a flat tire. Why? Well, with thousands of vehicles like j…

The Divisoria Malls - Defining Shopping in the Philippines

They call it the 168 Mall. It is one of the busiest places in the Philippines during shopping days like Christmas season when longing for enjoyment and relaxation is on the air once again. From Cavite, my home place, going to Divisoria, it will take you about an hour travel under normal traffic flow.

What is in this place? Well, Divisoria is the Bargain Shopping Capital of the Philippines. This is where wholesale and retail prices make shoppers say “WOW!” on delight. Visiting this place will definitely give you a realization about shopping on a different dimension. Find out why on the next paragraphs.

On the Photo: The Popular 168 Mall in Divisoria, Manila, Philippines


Divisoria is located in Binondo, Manila. It is accessible via Quiapo(where the famous Black Nazarene of Quiapo Church is) thru Recto Avenue and via Lawton near Manila City Hall. Divisoria has been there since the early 90’s. As it is near the North Harbour, Manila’s main seaport, the freshest and cheapest products usuall…

“Fixer” in Philippine Government Agencies Like the Social Security System (SSS) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) – What We Filipinos Can Do About it?

Maybe in this post, I can clearly explain how “fixing” works in many government offices in the country. The idea is first, to warn you that such illegal fixing happens, and second, to give you tips on how you should avoid them. Plain and simple, we will not in anyway damage or speak against anyone or any particular office of the government in this post. It just happened that this is about my experience with LTO and SSS Tagaytay. I want to emphasize that still many government employees in the Philippines are doing their jobs right - including those who are working in the said branches.
If you have experienced transacting with any government offices here in the Philippines, whether you're a Filipino or not, you should already be familiar with these signages.



Here’s a bit of knowledge for you to digest first.
What is “fixing” or who is a “fixer” by the way?
In the Philippines, these good words happened to have a negative connotation over the past decades. Good words? Yes, indeed. When …

MONTEMARIA

Catholicism from another perspective – this is how I understand the pilgrimage site of MonteMaria in Batangas City, Philippines. It was a huge site development project with the 96-meter tall Mary, Mother of All Asia statue as the centerpiece. You have to see it for yourself to believe!

What (not Who) is MONTEMARIA? Just for clarity, MONTEMARIA is the name of the 130-hectare township or development site project. Also, Montemaria is a place in Batangas City to which the site more likely is named after. The statue or monument or tower is called "Mother of All Asia - Tower of Peace". You may simply call it Tower of Mary or Statue of Mary. The surrounding place meanwhile is known as the Mother of All Asia Shrine.

Holy Week in the Philippines
We visited this place during the Holy Week of 2018. During this week, many Filipino Catholics are visiting religious places which is part of what they call "Visita Iglesia". It is not uncommon for a pilgrimage site like the MonteMaria…

My Red Owner-Type Jeep Driving Adventures in Cavite, Philippines

About a year ago, I was really fortunate for having this second-hand owner-type jeep. Since then, I was given the chance to drive on nearby places here in Cavite I always wish I had been into before. I am also happy to say that my low-cost camera now has a good companion in blogging, a low-cost red jeep. I could say that telling good stories is now a bit better for I can capture the right views at the right angle, at the right point (not when I used to commute and take photos from the passenger’s window, just like when I travel to Baguio City years back). Now, I can pull over and take the best shots I can, though not at all times.


My Red Owner-Type Jeep 
And so I have this great experiences in exploring the inner side (places not often talked about) of the province of Cavite where I had been living for almost a decade. Places like Pala-Pala, Trece Martires, Aguinaldo Shrine, Indang and Tagaytay are now within reach, of course with some money for the gasoline and eating. The previous blo…

Lobo, Batangas – a Place of Wonder and Simplicity

Simple life? In the beach or mountain side? Lobo is the place to be.

This Holy Week 2018, me, my wife, two of our friends, and their parents, visited Lobo in the province of Batangas.

There are three passages going here. One is thru the main town of Taysan, Batangas via barangay Dagatan. The other one is via Gov. Antonio Carpio Road, stretching from Batangas City to barangay Mapulo also in the town of Taysan. Both passages will merge into barangay Bacao in Taysan. The road from here are zigzag that the local people have called it “bitukang manok” (chicken intestine – like). Green mountains and narrow roads will make your travel more exciting in going here.


The third one is thru Batangas City entering barangay Libjo. This path is quite longer than the first two. Also a bit zigzag but as you are traversing roads mostly on the beachside, the driving experience would be full of wonders. Aside from the ocean view, there are landmarks here that will make you say to the driver to stop for …

Sidewalk Vendors

You’ll often see them. You’ll buy from them. But when they become part of the news, you’ll get to hate them – some of you. They are people like us who simply wants to earn a living. They have a family to feed. This is the business they call “marangal” (dignified). And we call them…
Sidewalk Vendors

Let me define what (or should I say “who”) a sidewalk vendor is.

Here in the Philippines, there is a notion that if you’re a sidewalk vendor, you mostly likely belong to the lower class of the society. For one reason, why sell on the sidewalks or streets of Metro Manila and other cities if you can sell on approved places particularly the market. For another, selling in the street on a daily basis is a risky activity – you’re prone to illnesses, effects of air pollution, dangers from vehicles passing by, and unsafe condition of your store or shop.

In a third-world country where job opportunities are scarce for people with lower educational attainment, there is no reason to doubt that poor people…

Jesus Christ’s Hands (Kamay ni Hesus) – an Image of Ultimate Devotion

We visited Kamay ni Hesus in 2011. That big statue of Jesus Christ, similar to that one seen in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, is a magnificent wonder. Probably, this hidden place in the province of Quezon is not yet known to the world. Then this post is a good starting point to share it.

More than 85% of the Filipinos are Catholics. Many are truly devoted. Some are not. This holy place is a place of worship for many Catholics. At about 50 feet tall, this statue of Jesus Christ is a magnificent structure made even more noticeable when placed on the mountain top. About two thousand to three thousand visitors come into this place everyday to pray, to stroll and to witness the beauty and holiness of this man-made mountain park.


On the Photo: A view from the Foot of the Mountain at Lucban, Quezon, Philippines



Kamay ni Hesus
“Kamay ni Hesus” in Lucban, Quezon is proving it all. A structure, a park, a holy place – many believes that it will last for a lifetime.

On a larger scale, Christianity is all …