Manila to Surigao Road Trip
This is no ironman challenge but this will put you, your bike and your budget to the test.
Solo rider, yamaha TFX 150, 1190 km of road, unpredictable weather, 3 days of riding, 2 nights of rest periods and one amazing adventure. So why am I doing this? I want to bring my bike to my new work place so I can visit places whenever I can without having to worry of commuting.
I took off at 6:00 am had a full tank of gas and started my journey.
The first leg of this road trip is the longest and most tiring, from Quezon city to Legaspi City Albay. Leaving at 6:00 am was a wrong move. Getting caught in traffic drains you too early. Good thing though, there were no trouble passing through Laguna all the way to Quezon province. Arrived at Atimonan Quezon and had my quick lunch at Jollibee Atimonan and rested for 30 minutes. The most tiring part was the a 2 hour ride at Andaya Highway in Cam. Norte. Most of the concrete highway was bumpy for a motorcycle and it going to make your butt hurt.
I arrived at legaspi city almost 7:00pm. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the place since its already night time and I was hungry, tired and I was looking for a place to stay for the night. While looking for hotels I passed by Dreams Inn. I remember staying there in the past and its not that bad so I decided to stay there for the night. For 550 pesos, single bed, air conditioned room and a hot shower, I think that’s fair enough.
The next day, I checked out around 5:30am and headed for Jollibee for a light breakfast. After breakfast, I got back on track going to Matnog Sorsogon. On the way to Matnog, I made a short detour to Bulan Sorsogon and dropped by my GF’s home town and visited her Mom and Brothers. Stayed there for an hour and a half. Thank you Tita Norie for the meal and pabaon!
Im now at Matnog Sorsogon Port where land travelers will need board a ferry to cross the waters separating Luzon and Visayas. It was just about 30 mins from Bulan sorsogon and I arrived around 10:30 am.
Finding the Ticketing Offices can be confusing. It’s actually outside the port. Upon arriving and seeing the port’s gate you need to turn left. Then turn right at the second corner and right again at the end of the road. I think there are about 3 to 4 ferry offices you can choose from.
In the past, I was able board Santa Clara, it’s cheaper compared to FastCat, which I took this time because apparently Santa Clara at the time doesn’t have enough straps for motorcycles to hold it in place inside the ferry.
There were a bunch of fees you need to pay. For the motorcycle that would be 720 pesos, that includes your ticket, then Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) fee, 65 pesos. The terminal fee, 30 pesos and lastly the Matnog Sorsogon Port Users fee, 15 pesos. After paying all the necessary fees, don’t forget to go to the coast guards office to have you and your motorcycle logged in their books.
This is how it looks like inside the premium economy. Unfortunately, this is not where I am supposed to be. I thought it was the same as Santa Clara that it makes no difference if you want to stay outside or inside the air conditioned room. I just found out about this when I was already on board the Liloan-Lipata (Visayas-Mindanao) Fastcat when they made their routine ticket inspection.i was told I should be in the upper deck (aircool). And to be at the premium economy I need to pay an additional fee. Good thing was it was only an additional 30 pesos and you can pay it right where you are sitting. The ferry left Matnog around 12:15 pm and Arrived At Dapdap port, which is a little ahead of the usual Allen port, at around 2:00 pm. I immediately took of after disembarking the ferry because I want to reach Tacloban City around 6:00 to 7:00 pm so I can hind a hotel to stay for the night. At 4:30 I arrived at Catbalogan, which is just a couple of hours To Tacloban City, and had my Early Dinner.
It was already dark when I reached San Juanico Bridge. I was hoping to get a picture before dark but unfortunately it would be impossible already if you left Matnog 12:00nn onwards because it will take you 1.5 to 2 hour ferry ride and about 4 hours of road to cover to reach San Juanico Bridge.
Sounds cheap. So I went there and it doesn’t look cheap at all. But they do have a dorm type accommodation worth 500 pesos. It was well within my budget so I took it.
I was also the only one staying there the whole night, so had no trouble of using the common restroom. Make sure to choose the farthest bed because it’s really cold, the air condition unit is at full blast. The one thing I didn’t like here was the shower. Im not sure if the hot water is not working or there is none. So make sure you hit the showers as soon as you arrive so it wont be too cold for you later on or early in the morning.
The next day, I woke up around 5:30am so I can pack my things and get breakfast. I was told they have breakfast buffet for 190 pesos. I think it was at a reasonable price compared to a fastfood chain. I mean it’s a buffet right!
After breakfast, I was back on track by 7am going to Southern Leyte. I was actually hoping to drop by at my relatives in Carigara Leyte but it was in the opposite direction of where I’m headed and since i’m not familiar with the road ahead it may take me more time traveling. I had my 3rd gas stop at Palo Leyte and consumed 5.7liters of unleaded gas which covered 266 kilometers of road from last gas stop.
According to Maps.ME it should take me around 1.5 hours to reach Liloan Port. Assuming you are traveling at speeds 80 to 100km/hr and with no traffic. And it’s about 2 hours to San Ricardo Port, the farther port which is closer to Surigao. Since I took a liking for FastCat and its has in Liloan Port only, I decided to take the Liloan-Lipata route to the Islands of Mindanao.
As a rider we seldom stop to take pictures because we usually would want to enjoy the road more and just admire the views as we pass by, but there are places were you couldn’t help but stop and take a minute or two just to admire nature and thank God for letting you see and experience his creations.
At last I reached Liloan Port. It took me almost 3 hours to get to the port due to a few stops to check if I’m headed in the right direction. So upon entering the port I was advised to buy my tickets and pay fees which is pretty much the same at Matnog Port, and better because all the offices are inside the port. It was just past 10:00am and the ferry will start boarding by 11:00am. You can visit the small town and buy food just make sure to be back before they start boarding or you can buy inside the port which is a little more expensive.
And at last we have arrived at our destination. Surigao City Proper is just a couple of kilometers from the port.
Gas in total = 903 Pesos
Motorcycle (FastCat) = 720 Pesos
PPA = 65 Pesos
Terminal Fee = 30 Pesos
Matnog Port Users
Fee = 15 Pesos
Motorcycle (FastCat) = 720 Pesos
PPA = 65 Pesos
Terminal Fee = 16 Pesos
1st day (Jollibee) = 400 Pesos
2nd day (Jollibee)
Breakfast = 110 Pesos
Lunch = 0 Pesos
Dinner = 165 Pesos
Breakfast = 190 Pesos
Lunch = 145 Pesos
Dreams Inn = 550 Pesos
Basic Rooms Hotel = 500 pesos
Long ride essentials
Essential tools for minor trouble
Wet wipes And Water Bottle
This concludes my trip. This is not a budget trip but an adventure for a motorcycle enthusiast, to enjoy the road and places for the first time. As for me, it’s back to reality and back to work, but i’ll make sure to write about places to visit here in Surigao, Especially the Enchanted River that i’m looking forward to visit as soon as possible.