Friday, June 5, 2009

Manila to Manaoag

Oblation aka Gene was the "promotor" of this ride. The original plan was to bike from QC to Manaoag. PMTB was planning a bike ride from Manila to Baguio, just like last year. Since Manaoag (Pangasinan), is just 67 kms. away from Baguio (approximately), I thought 'why not continue the ride to Baguio the next day. I also won't be able to join the Manila to Baguio bike ride scheduled on June 12-13, so I pushed thru with the ride to continue to Baguio. I also haven't biked around the trails in Baguio, the last time I biked in Burnham was when I was in 2nd grade. So there: visit relatives in Manaoag, meet biker friends in Pangasinan (who I've only met online) and bike with them going to Baguio, meet Baguio bikers and bike with them in and around Baguio.

I had the ride planned out and it was rescheduled twice. A few days before the scheduled ride, Gene bonked out and Mon was still tentative. I wasn't mad nor dissappointed, I was more of frustrated. So I posted the ride in pmtb and philmofo inviting anyone who could join me. Luckily, Jon and Wreachelle joined me. Bakulaw of philmofo ( invited us to Baguio and proposed that he be trailmaster if we ever decide to bike in Baguio, fortunately he also reserved our lodging in Baguio prior to our arrival. Happily we accepted the offer. Mangdugas/C5 aka Chito along with Pangasinan bikers also offered assistance in biking with us from Rosario, La Union to Baguio via Kennon Road.

So the plan was set, with 1 week notice only. I met Wifi (Wraych) near our house and Jon met us up in McDo MCU. We started pedalling around 5:30am, May 30, 2009. Again, I had no sleep the night before the ride (What's new? haha). We got lost around Guiguinto Bulacan and about 30 mins. was lost just so we could get back in McCarthur Malolos.

Calumpit Bulacan and Apalit Pampanga boundary

Chowking San Fernando, Pampanga

Still at San, Fernando

Capas Tarlac

It was cloudy most of the day, even before we met up with Jon it was already raining hard in Santolan corner Edsa. Then it rained hard again when we got to Capas and Concepcion Tarlac. We had lunch in Concepcion at Chowking Luisita Mall, had a break at Paniqui, Tarlac. The towns in Tarlac were quite looooooong! We biked via McArthur Hi-way and when you reach one town in Tarlac, let's say Moncada, after almost an hour of biking you can read the signs and you won't believe that you're still in Moncada. The roads also were getting narrow as we got near Pangasinan. The buses and other motorists have a hobby of overtaking in those areas and one beep means 'move aside'. We were obliged to bike on the side/shoulder.

Concepcion, Tarlac. Luisita Mall:


Pangasinan at last!

When we reached Urdaneta, it was raining hard again, we got lost and ended up in Mapandan. My uncle in Pangasinan said that we should have made a right fronting Urdaneta mall, but we instead went ahead and took Mapandan to Manaoag. We should have stopped and asked but we got too excited (or too hungry maybe), the rain got stronger when we were in Mapandan. Like my Polillo bike trip, we ended up biking at night again under the strong rain and dark roads of Pangasinan with scattered frogs (which Jon was trying to avoid haha). Wifi's bike was already having problems this time which also slowed us down.

We reached the Manaoag church around passed 7pm already and had no timed to take shots. We bought food and went straight to our house in Manaoag. My relatives in Pangasinan were surprised to see me visit them on bike and even got more surprised when I told them we came from Manila. The last time I had vacation in Manaoag was 2 years ago, I was very happy to see my lola, aunts, uncles and cousins.

To our friends who asked on the status of our ride thank you guys! Tomorrow we will be going to Baguio. 

Enjoying the Barbecue, Lechon Manok which we bought at Manaoag church

Relatives who thought I was doing Tour of Luzon haha.


juan said...

Inspiring story! Makes me wann push thru my plans. I'm a newbie in MT Biking, thanks for inspiring me.
I like the reaction of your relatives, it's so funny.

Cosmic Bubblegum said...

Thanks sir, keep on biking. Just when I thought I wasn't a newbie anymore, trips like this are very humbling and the mountains of the north will tell you: "you still have a lot to learn kid." So I'm back to square one ;)

My relatives were shocked to learn I biked all the way from Manila to Manaoag, at first they really thought I was in that race, but they were more surprised that we were just doing it for fun or for the love of biking.

Keep on riding!

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Cosmic Bubblegum said...

Drey, thanks. Halimaw (monster) in posting pictures and blogs, that's what I'm really good at haha. Keep on riding bro ;)