Going around an archipelagic country connected by a network of roads, bridges and ships can be quite tiring with long travel hours. But the landscapes and seascapes that await the traveler are worth all the tired muscles.
In the islands like Siargao and Samal, the mopeds rule the roads and inland tours on unpaved and dusty roads are done on habal-habal.
Just last year, Jay and Jo Directo, a couple in their 60s, made the headlines of the touring circles by traveling in their motorcycle from Luzon, Visayas, to Mindanao and back.
The On Any Sunday Riders (OASR) was formed in 1987 in Davao City. Unbeknownst to many, it has been on a Philippine Loop from Davao-Aparri-and back to Davao.
Here is a sample of a Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao schedule for a cyclist groups’ convention in Pampanga.
The OASR membership is made up of men involved in commerce and industry and has bonded over love for the big bikes (minimum of 600cc), touring the country on two wheels, and making a difference in others lives through their outreach programs.
This year, the club has reached over 200 members and with a big group, the logistics must be daunting when organizing a long ride. Thanks to their chief logistician, Tjader Regis, each tour is well-planned, safe, and on time.
OASR Chairman Emeritus Retired Colonel Sam Afdal also divided the huge group into 7 teams so that communication and coordination is easier.
A long ride like the Philippine loop would take 14 days and reaching 500-600 kilometers in one go, and would require a recovery vehicle that has a standby mechanic, tools, tires, oxygen tank and first aid kit.
Jimmy Gomez, who has been a member of the organization since 1987, considers dogs crossing the roads, pedestrians, tricycles, and potholes as dangers to the cruising motorcycles. But in their 30 years, they have been blessed not to have major accidents.
He recalls that one of the most memorable rides for him was the ride to the Zamboanga Peninsula after the Zamboanga Siege in 2013 when they had to travel through pitch black roads at night. The adrenalin was high even when faced with the danger of encountering lawless elements. He still recommends driving through Mindanao as a must-do for the scenery and culture that you can experience.
Attorney Martin Heje and Doctor Vic Salvado say that the Philippine Loop is a must-experience for the rider. Traveling on roads passing through different provinces make you appreciate the beauty of the Philippines.
For the On Any Sunday Riders, being on the road with brothers on motorbikes is not just feeling the wind rushing and bonding with each other, it is discovering places while rediscovering ones selves.
How to get there:
Major airlines have daily flights o Davao City from Manila and Cebu. Travel time from Manila is an hour and 50 minutes while Cebu only takes 50 minutes.
The On Any Sunday Riders (OASR) is based in Davao City.