‘Why the Philippines?’

Back in 2001 we spent 10 days in the Philippines attending a wedding on the eve of a year-long trip overseas (Hana’s bro Ben married a Canadian Filipina, Maribel, who he met in Vancouver). After experiencing a true Catholic/Filipino-style wedding we spent a few days exploring Luzon and the central cordillera (Banaue, Bagio, Sagada) by jeepney. At the time we though it would be fun country to explore by bike – quiet narrow roads, plenty of villages, friendly people, NZ$ goes a long way – but always wondered what biking would be like in 30 degree heat and maximum humidity, let alone in the hills …

So we spent a week riding 535km round Fiji (Viti Levu) in the winter of 2007 (See here on Flickr) and discovered that riding in the heat wasn’t too bad – esp when it’s not too hilly (the air movement keeps you cool). Based on that experience, and wanting a fun adventure for the winter of 2008 we decided to buy some tickets to the Philippines – with 3 weeks marked on the calendar to spend travelling and cycle touring there.

The Philippines was a step up from Fiji – it was much hotter, and we were riding longer days (80-90km) between towns (acommodation is scarce – though usually possible – in the smaller villages). Coping in the heat was hard (especially for me) for the first few days, but you eventually acclimatise.

We stuck pretty much to the coast on this trip and rode about 920km on 4 different islands. Roads were a mix of seal and rough gravel (sometimes just a muddy track) – but always fun. We would go back for sure and do another 6 months!

I’ll let the photos and following captions tell the story …


20 Responses to “‘Why the Philippines?’”

  1. 1 gwilymgj August 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Massively awesome – where do you find the time??

  2. 2 Hana August 28, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    It took just as long to make the blog as it did to do the trip!

  3. 3 Hana August 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    you should enter some pics in the National Geographic competition…


  4. 4 Ari September 13, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Hi! Nice of you to go on such a long biking trip around my country. If you hit El Nido, do take a lot of time out to snorkel, kayak and stuff. If you have more time you may want to try biking around my home town – Los Baños. It’s a quaint little town 60 km. south of Manila. A lot of people bike around there – me included!

  5. 5 Jovan May 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I love your blog tremendousely! And i was surprised to see that you guys know Mike and Megan – they’re my friends, too! Next time you guys are planning to do the ride, maybe I can tag along. 🙂


  6. 6 Myles May 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Hello guys! I envy your bike trip around the Philippines! I love long distance rides myself both for the experience and the photo opportunities. Great work, I hope I can do a ride like this someday as well!

  7. 7 Stan May 20, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Thanks for appreciating my country..
    Never been in those regions but ur pictures and descriptions almost made me feel that I’m with you is those spots.

    God Speed!

  8. 8 Aman May 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Amazing! Bike-Shoot-Bike, these two(bike-sports/Shoot-passion) can never be separated. 🙂 BTW, what cam did you used on the whole trip..? 😉

    • 9 highlux May 23, 2009 at 2:44 am

      Thanks… I used a Canon EOS 5D digital. Most of the time I just used one lens – a Canon 24-105mm f4L, but sometimes a Sigma 15mm Fisheye too.

  9. 10 liberty August 19, 2009 at 1:52 am

    great ride!

    mabuhay kayo!

    next time you might want to check out the philippine east coast down to davao, endless pacific coastal roads.


  10. 11 Bike Tours - Beyond Outdoor Adventures July 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Wow! Very nice adventures.

    I always believe that the best way to see a country is through a bike tour.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful outdoor adventure you had. You’ve seen a lot about the Philippines.

  11. 12 Den November 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Wow amazing blog on your bike tour!

  12. 14 Bike Love Manila March 27, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Oh my, this is a beautiful blog.

  13. 16 Hugues April 12, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Hi guys, thank you so much for this great resource! I would like to do a 3 week bike trip to the Philippines in the next few months. Do you have a guide book or other type of resource to recommend?
    I was wondering if you ever had any concerns with locking your bikes and such. I am looking at going by myself…do you think it’s feasible?

  14. 19 Amaia May 28, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Have you got the tracks for the GPS ???

  1. 1 List of Long Distance Tours Done in the Philippines | Trackback on March 10, 2011 at 8:32 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Welcome to VeloTour

This blog's about a three week cycle touring trip in the Philippines in July 2008. Check out the introduction.

I've created the blog to be a day-by-day account, but it's all based around the photos - so don't worry - we won't bore you with loads of text ... just pages of photos instead. Blogs show the most recent post first - so if it's easier, use the menu below to navigate.

All photos © Mark Watson unless credited otherwise.

Highlux on Flickr


%d bloggers like this: