Friday, January 9, 2015

My Top 10 Habal-Habal (single motorcycle) Adventures in the Philippines

It is inevitable in exploring Philippines 
that one must ride either the habal-habal, skylab or pabahay!

All these means of transportation involve riding a single motorcycle (usually a Honda TMX motorcycle for its strength, endurance, and power to carry numerous passengers).  In Mindanao, the habal- habal and skylab are common sight and mode of transportation. It is a-must to experience the ride as an adventurer/explorer!

In my nearly ten years of travel around the Philippines, here are my ten most unforgettable and best rides using the habal-habal!    

1. Monkayo, Compostela Valley

The skylab ride towards the Awao Falls is the best ride ever in my entire life! Imagine, 11 passengers on board the skylab and cruising around 50-60 kilometers in a rugged, muddy, uphill, downhill, and zigzaging road! We even had to cross a river which was then three feet high!

In case you are not convince, what about using the single motorcycle to carry logs!

2. Baganga, Davao Oriental

Number two is my ride to Campawasan Curtain Falls and Cateel, Davao Oriental. Imagine, going to Campawasan Curtain Falls from the town of Baganga (30 plus kilometers back and forth) under the siege of Typhoon Seniang and crossing the river four times.

But that is not the end of the story, after going to the falls, I hired him again as my ride to Cateel Davao Oriental (45 kilometers from Baganga) and then reaching Cateel, going to Aliwagwag Falls (24 kilometers) and then going back to the town of Cateel (24 kilometers again) for my overnight accommodation. I was wet, tired, and cold after the adventure!!!  

3. Maragusan, Compostela Valley

Third in the list is the 5-hour adventure in the banana plantation of Maragusan, Compostela Valley. Nothing beats the  the terrain, slippery and rocky roads and the sight of the plantation. Getting lost in the plantation was part of the adventure! According to my driver Rahim, he was awarded as one of the best drivers in town. I learned it the hard way! =)

4. Calbiga, Samar

There were three of us on board the habal-habal and we were descending from the mountain at the speed of 40-50 kilometers. The road was muddy and rugged. And topping the scene was the Signal No. 2 in Samar! 

5. Sabtang, Batanes

The Sabtang ride is memorable in the sense that we had to board the motorcycle to the boat going to Sabtang Island and then journeying the entire island (all the barangays!) using the motorcycle and it took us nearly 5 hours to do the feat.

6. Camiguin

It took me two days of habal-habal ride before I was able to finish going to all the major tourist spots in Camiguin. 

7. Bislig, Surigao Del Sur

How about getting lost? The driver did not know the way towards Tinuy-an Falls! Normal travel time is only 20 minutes but it took us 1 hour and 45 minutes before reaching the falls.

8. Kanlaon, Negros Oriental

Searching and seeing three falls, getting bewildered by the biggest tree, and climbing the mountain using the habal-habal was really an adventure!

9. Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Using the extended habal-habal, we went to the 7 falls, 3 lakes and mingled with the tribe!

10. Samal Island, Davao 

This one is the most expensive. Imagine, P300/hour! And we had to go to the major tourism spots in Samal Island. We finished the tour in four hours of fast-paced tour!

Worthy of mention is my long ride in Biri Island, Northern Samar!

Riding Motorcycles
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