Motorcycle Rental Philippines

Renting a motorcycle in the Philippines is something which is becoming easier by the day.  If you are traveling around the Philippines, chances are that, even if you don’t see a motorcycle rental establishment, if you ask around, you will find someone willing to rent out his/her motorcycle for a fee.

Most motorcycles in the Philippines are small displacement (125 – 250cc), but bigger displacement motorcycles are slowly finding their way into the market and you will need one with an engine of 400cc or above to be able to ride through the expressways legally.  These expressways are not common and at the time of writing are limited to the ones taking you from Metro Manila north and southbound.

The Philippines has, however, a pretty good road system connecting the different provinces and islands.  Roro (Roll on roll off) ferries offer connections between the main and neighboring islands, making roadtrips a great alternative to traveling by bus, crammed vans or flights.  Not to mention that traveling by road with the ability to stop as one wishes, will allow you to visit some very remote areas and see some of the less travelled places in the country.

It is important to know that a lot of these roads are under construction and it is not strange to suddenly come across sections which disappear or have 2 lanes (one in each direction) merge into one, having vehicles take turns to go through.  Towns and villages are also usually built on the sides of the road, so watch out for kids running (and playing basketball in the middle of the road) and all sorts of animals on the road.

Renting a scooter or small displacement motorcycle will probably set you back php150-700/day.  Remember to ask for a helmet and know that you will most likely not be covered by any insurance in case of accident, in which case you will have to pay for any hospitalization and repairs to the motorcycle.  Also remember to ask for the OR/CR (Original Receipt/Certificate of Registration) as you will need to present them in case you get pulled over by the police or if you plan to get your motorcycle on a roro to get to another island.

At Sakay & Co, we offer, not only the rental service of custom motorcycles in different styles (cafe racer, tracker, scrambler, bobber…) but the added service of a support vehicle.  If you plan to ride around the Philippines, you may want to combine that with scuba diving, surfing, or just relaxing by the beach.

Your travel plans may also be for a duration of more than 10 days and your luggage may be bulkier than the ideal for a motorcycle trip.  So no need to worry, we take c are of your luggage, you pick up the bike, enjoy the ride and we deliver your luggage safely at the next destination.  We have ridden all the itineraries we offer and we provide valuable information about the routes.  We are not the biggest fans of organised tours, so you never have to feel you are part of one.  You only see us when we pick up/deliver your luggage, unless you want to see more of us for any guided experience or other forms of assistance.

 

Mayoyao Rice Terraces

The Mayoyao rice terraces are situated a (roughly) 2 hour ride to the east of Banaue.  They are probably the least visited of the 5 rice terraces in the Unesco World Heritage list, and when one visits the town, the reasons for this, become more than apparent.

The rice terraces in Mayoyao are perhaps some of the most spectacular, however, the lack of food and lodging options in the town, and the fact that they are a little out of the way for most visitors, make them an “off the beaten path” attraction that should definitely not be.

The rice terraces are, like in Batad, carved into the sides of the mountains surrounding the village (of a much more uniform construction than Batad), occupying a vast area.  There is a view point from which one can look in every direction to appreciate the view the view of the terraces, away from everything and everyone and surrounded by different shades of green and earthy brown (depending on the time of the year).  The view is naturally framed by the massive mountains of the Cordillera that add to the spectacle.

If you are in Banaue, this should definitely be on your list and can be done in a day trip.  On the way, you will be able to see the Bangaan rice terraces, the snake river and the also beautiful rice terraces in Ducligan.  If time is not an issue, there is a hiking trail which will take a couple of days and can start in Banaue and end in Mayoyao (or viceversa) passing by Pula and Mt. Amuyao or Cambulo, a great way to see other rice terraces, hidden in the Ifugao mountains.

Banaue

Banaue has become a popular destination from which tourists chose to visit the famous rice terraces.  5 of these rice terraces in the Ifugao province made it to the UNESCO World Heritage list, and 2 of them are within the boundaries of the municipality of Banaue (Batad and Bangaan).

There are a few ways of experiencing Banaue, as there are a number of ways one can visit these and more rice terraces.  Not having your own form of transportation can become tedious, or rather, having it can make things a lot easier for the traveller.  Batad, and Bangaan are a mere 30 to 40 minutes ride from the Banaue town proper (about 10 minutes from each other, if you don’t count the hike from the car park to Batad), and if planned carefully, one can surely fit a visit to both in one day and make it back before sundown.

One way to visit the Batad rice terraces is  by hiking to Tappiyah falls, through the rice terraces and getting to see what the locals call the 8th wonder of the world, from a few different angles.  The hike takes, roughly, an average of 5 hours.  It is energy draining, but you can have a bite and rest well once you reach the lower part of the village.  The falls are quite impressive and they are a great place to take a dip and freshen up before heading back up the 800 steps that take you back to the terraces.  Having finished the hike, you can take a last look at the breathtaking view from one of the inns overlooking the valley and head over to Bangaan.  These rice terraces are visible from the road, and do not require hiking to appreciate the beautiful view (although there are hikes that take you down to the actual village).

If you want to visit Sagada or Mayoyao by road, they are both roughly a 2 hour ride away, in opposite directions.

If you are in the mood for a longer hike, there are also a few options through which you can visit the towns of Pula, Cambulo, Mt. Amuyao and even Mayoyao, but these usually require one to spend the night in a homestay in the mountains, so if you are on a tight schedule, it may not be an option.  If time is not an issue, it’s probably the best way to experience the area.

Where to eat when in Banaue?  We tried as many places as we could, and started with those ranking high in Trip Advisor and Google, but we had the best overall experience at The restaurant/bakery by the Banaue View Inn.  Food was tasty and well prepared, especially comparing to most of the other places we tried.  The only “but” would be that being a bakery, it was a little disappointing that the bread served with the pasta, was cheap industrial toast bread, and that the only dessert option available at the time was a rather small and sad looking brownie.

Another option we enjoyed considerably more than the rest was 7th Heaven Cafe.  Literally a stones throw away from the previous one, with simple but tasty food, friendly staff and a killer view (something common to most restaurants in Banaue)

We tried eating at Las Vegas Cafe a few times, but every time we went there (for an early dinner) it was closed (even if we had seen it was open earlier in the day).

If you are on a budget, Banaue Evergreen Hostel is without a doubt the place we would recommend.  The staff is not only friendly, but they go out of their way to help and make your stay more memorable, not to mention how good they are at helping plan your visit and recommending places to visit.

Marilaque

We rode Marilaque. Finally. This road has been in our list for quite some time now. Its name comes from Marikina – Rizal – Laguna – Quezon, and it is a popular road, among riders in the Metro Manila area and surroundings, for its twisties and its proximity to the Pinoy capital, which makes it ideal for a day trip or a weekend getaway to the beaches in Quezon province.

We were told to avoid it during the weekends to enjoy a less overcrowded ride, so we set off on a Thursday. Traffic was heavy, as usual, at first, but once we rode past Antipolo (It took us around 2 hours), we understood what all the hype was all about.

The next 80kms or so was a beautiful stretch of road full of turns twisting through the mountains with very dramatic views and a beautiful light cast by the foggy weather that accompanied us for most of the ride.

We were alone most of the time (except for the stretch between Metro Manila and Antipolo) and the roads were generally in fairly good condition.

We were told that the ride to Infanta shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 hours each way, but as usual, we came across a number of unfortunate events that slowed us down, making our trip a 9 hour long ride.

1. We were riding in the company of our chase car mainly to carry photo/video gear. This made our going through the city traffic a lot longer than it would have had we not waited.

2. Shortly after the Sta Maria Laguna Arc, we encountered what was left of a bridge which was washed away by heavy rains. There was a way for the bikes to go over the river, but it was not suitable for cars or heavier vehicles. So we saw this as an excuse to ride through a different route, down to Santa Maria, Nunguma, Famy and back up to Real before arriving in Infanta. Do note when traveling around the Philippines by road, that these small roads that appear in white colour in google maps, are not usually paved for the most part.

The ride made for an interesting adventure, we got rained on on our way to Santa Maria buy not too much. The detour did take us much longer than we expected, but we did learn that the alternate route between Famy and Infanta is also something worth considering.

What about Infanta, Real and the beaches along this stretch of coast in the Quezon Province?

Keep an eye on this space and find out what is it we did with our time there!

Riding through the island of Mindoro

The island of Mindoro lies just two and a half hours away from Batangas Port by Ferry.  It is mostly known for Puerto Galera, situated in the northeastern coast and popular as a destination to party and also for it’s diving spots.  Puerto galera is accessible by ferry from Batangas, although if you are riding, these ferries won’t take vehicles and you will have to take the roro to Calapan instead.  Mindoro features a main road that covers almost all its coastal perimeter, although at the time of writing, the northern cities of Puerto Galera and Abra de Ilog are not connected.  There are roros that go to Abra de Ilog from Batangas, which are a great starting point for anyone planning a roadtrip through the region of Mimaropa as you will find a considerable amount of less traffic than if you were to drive through Calapan.

We find Mindoro to be one of those hidden gems in the Philippines, where one can venture into a real off-the-beaten-path experience without getting to far from its capital, Manila.

The road from Abra de Ilog will take you to the western coast to Occidental Mindoro’s provincial capital, Mamburao.  If you take the morning roro (highly recommended) you could be here by lunch and on your way to some beautiful destination before dusk.

From Mamburao one can head northwest towards Paluan and Mt. Calavite Wildlife Sanctuary, which is high up on our to do list.  Alternatively, head south.  The road heading south from Mamburao to Sablayan is the perfect introduction to someone riding in the Philippines for the first time, slowly and gradually unveiling more and more beautiful views, rice padies, the sea and some gracious twisties before arriving in Sablayan.

We try to stay a minimum of two nights in Sablayan, which allows us to at least either dive or snorkel in Apo Reef.  This amazing dive site (or group of dive sites, rather) is located almost half way in between Mindoro and Palawan and if you enjoy the sea and the creatures that swim in it, this is definitely the place for you.

Alternatively, from Sablayan one can visit Pandan Island, go trecking in the nearby mountains or explore Cabacungan Falls.  All in all, Sablayan is the perfect base from which one can explore Occidental Mindoro, but do note that a lot of your lodging options will be closed during rainy season.

Next up after Sablayan is another road worth mentioning for any rider.  The South of Mindoro offers some great views, virtually no traffic and between San Jose (Where you can find a roro service connecting Mindoro and Palawan) and Roxas (with Roro seervice to Caticlan), some of the most enjoyable twisties we have ridden in the Philippines.  For the most part, the road is in great condition, although it disappears and turns into a dirt track here and there. Bulalacao is usually our port of choice to jump off to Caticlan and explore Panay Island, and also has some great options to go island hopping.

So far, after Roxas, the closer you get to Calapan, it is likely one will be complaining about traffic getting heavier and heavier, but nonetheless, Mindoro is still one island we love to visit and explore, especially when we are trying to avoid the most popular tourist spots.

Travel with us to Mindoro in our Island Ride, Visayas Loop or our Ride n’ Dive ::: Apo Reef

Roro (Ferry) Information

You can get to Caticlan from Batangas (Luzon), Roxas (Mindoro) and Bulalacao (Mindoro).  (Please leave a comment if you have accurate information on these services).

Fastcat has 2 daily 3 hour long trips that leave Caticlan at 03:00 and 15:00 during rainy season and 2 more at 10:00 and 22:00 during dry season.

You can get to Iloilo from Manila (Luzon), Bacolod (Negros), Cebu, Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Guimaras and Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao).  (Please leave a comment if you have accurate information on these services).  Dumangas Port is only 30km north of Iloilo and can be a good alternative to get to and from Iloilo.

Fastcat has 4 daily 1 hour 40 minute long trips that leave Iloilo City at 02:00, 08:00, 14:00 and 20:00.

More info on Iloilo – Bacolod ferry and roro services here.

You can get to Iloilo from Manila (Luzon), Bacolod (Negros), Cebu, Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Guimaras and Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao).  (Please leave a comment if you have accurate information on these services).  Dumangas Port is only 30km north of Iloilo and can be a good alternative to get to and from Iloilo.

Montenegro Shipping Lines offer 6 daily trips that leave Dumangas Port at 00:00, 04:00, 08:00, 12:00, 16:00 and 20:00

More info on Iloilo – Bacolod ferry and roro services here.

Montenegro Shipping Lines

Abra de Ilog – Batangas

08:00, 16:00 and 23:00.

Batangas – Abra de Ilog

02:00, 06:00, 10:00, 14:00, 18:00 and 22:00

Fastcat

Bulalacao – Caticlan

03:00, 10:00, 15:00 and 22:00.

Caticlan – Bulalacao

03:00, 10:00, 15:00 and 22:00.

Please check schedules when travelling during rainy season

Fastcat

Calapan – Batangas

02:30, 06:30, 08:30, 12:00, 14:00, 17:00, 21:00 and 23:00.

Batangas – Calapan

00:00, 01:30, 06:00, 09:00, 11:00, 14:30, 18:00, 20:00

Montenegro Shipping Lines

Calapan – Batangas

hourly trips from 02:00 till 00:00.

Batangas – Calapan

every 2 hours from 02:00 till 00:00

Starlite Ferries

Calapan – Batangas

every 2 hours from 01:00 till 23:00

Batangas – Calapan

every 2 hours from 01:00 till 23:00

Starlite Ferries

Roxas (Mindoro) – Caticlan (Panay island)

02:00, 11:00 and 21:00

Caticlan (Panay island) – Roxas (Mindoro)

05:00, 12:00 and 16:00

Roxas – Odiongan (Romblon)

17:00

Odiongan (Romblon) – Roxas

20:00

Montenegro Shipping lines

San Jose (Mindoro) – Coron (Palawan)

06:00 and 07:00

Coron (Palawan) – San Jose (Mindoro)

12:00 and 13:00

Please check these schedules with the shipping lines as information on this line is still unclear.
(Please leave a comment or get in touch with us if you have accurate updated information on these services)

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