The daily traffic and continuous fuel price increases are causing a growing number of Filipinos to rely on motorcycles for their everyday commute. According to recent data compiled by the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association Inc., over 1.3 million motorcycle units were sold in 2017, and it is projected that the total annual sales will reach 2 million units in 2020. While many city dwellers, particularly in Metro Manila, are using their motorbikes to get to work faster, owning a bike can also open up a world of adventures on the open road. Though Manila may not be the best place for riders due to its heavy traffic, there’s no reason why you can’t go on a road trip to any of the fun day trip destinations south of the metro. But before you get on your bike, here’s what you need to do to prepare for a safe ride.
Before heading south, check to see if you can ride your bike along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) without breaking motorcycle laws. Last year, the Department of Transportation and Communications issued an order regarding this, which states only motorcycles with engine displacement of at least 400cc are allowed inside expressways. If your ride doesn’t meet this requirement, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger bike – a variety of motorbikes are suitable if you plan to go on frequent road trips in the future.
Having a DTI-approved helmet is a must, and if you plan on taking someone along for the ride, ensure that your passenger also has a helmet with the ICC sticker. Never attempt to leave home without the proper footwear—absolutely no flip flops or sandals, and keep in mind that only closed shoes such as sneakers or motorcycle boots are acceptable for riding to any of these day trip destinations.
If you’re coming from Manila, there are two ways to go to Tagaytay. You can either take the Cavite Expressway, or go on the SLEX, then go through the Sta. Rosa exit. Once in Tagaytay, you’ll be refreshed by the cool weather, and you’ll get to see the Taal Volcano from many of the holiday town’s restaurants and recreational sites. Park your bike at the Picnic Grove and eat some delicious food, go ziplining, or maybe go horseback riding for a change of pace. To get up close with nature, head on over to Paradizoo where you can see different animals, plants, and a flower garden. Don’t forget to have a cup of coffee at Bag of Beans before riding back home.
Take the SLEX, then the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) to get to Lipa, Batangas on your motorbike. For some quality me time, head to The Farm at San Benito, a holistic spa where you can get massages to take care of your aches and pains, take yoga classes, and indulge in healthy fare. If you’re a history fan, check out some of Lipa’s historical sites such as the Casa Segunda and the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church. Feast on the town’s famous lomi, and bring back some local coffee beans, known as kapeng barako, or balisong (fan knife) for your family and friends.
Before leaving for your day trip, check to see if your motorcycle is in good running condition with a motorcycle GPS tracker to avoid hassles while you’re on the road. The next time you’re itching to get away from the city, head to Tagaytay or Lipa on your motorbike and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of these day trip destinations.