Freeman Cebu Sports

Cebu-Zamboanga on a Motorbike

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

Two Sundays ago, I did the most audacious, or stupid, adventure ever, on a motorbike.

I was to sponsor a wedding of a son of a college classmate in Zamboanga City. The plan was to take a flight from Cebu to ZC but unfortunately, there was no direct flight yet, because of the pandemic. So the flight was redirected to Manila, and then changed planes for the ZC flight.I would take the 7AM flight from Cebu and arrive at the Orchid City very late in the afternoon.

My mind was spinning fast, and I decided, by 90%, right there and then, to go to the wedding on a motorbike. Now, my longest ride was just over 100km, and this ride, unsupported, would take me close to 1000km and three ferry boat transfers.

I’ve been to Mindanao a few times, and although I feel comfortable there, there were many “what if’s” in the remaining 10%. There were many negatives in the trip. One, my motorbike, a Harley Davidson Iron 883, “is not suited” for long rides, as some of the pundits say. But if somebody can ride in South America on a 150cc bike, then I couldn’t find a reason why I can't. Two, although my bike is relatively new (a 2019 model), I know I should have it checked by a mechanic if it was roadworthy. I don't have it checked! Third, I wasn’t familiar with the road and the traffic along the route. But I wasn’t planning on breaking the record time, so I should be fine. Fourth, I have plenty of students from the area and they told me it's perfectly safe as long as I ride during the day.

So off I went!

The first leg was from Cebu City to Oslob, where I was to take the ferry to Dapitan. It was raining the last half of the ride and when I got there I was soaking wet and still unsure if I could get a ticket. After a few tense moments, I finally got the ticket and was directed to the boat. The trip to Dapitan took about 5 and a half hours. Since I knew I’d arrived at almost 11.30PM, I booked a room in Dipolog.

Early, morning, I tried to explore the city, but I'm not very good with directions so I ended up at their charming boulevard. I wanted to capture the beauty on a drone but the drone wouldn't take off since it was a restricted airspace, the airport was just nearby.

After a quick breakfast, I went on my merry way down south to the town of Liloy, 128km away. The roads surface good but could be better. From Liloy, I turned west to Ipil. There, the roads are a motorists paradise. It was mostly 4 lanes, completely paved and almost zero traffic for 50km!

After meeting a few friends in Ipil (btw, I thought Ipil was a sleepy little town. I was wrong!), I was on my final leg to ZC. The road conditions is 6/10, with places under construction, some portions are wide and well paved and some areas have large potholes.

I finally reached my destination at around 2pm.

My conclusion: I should have done this earlier, as it was one of the best moments of my life. There’s so much to see in our beautiful country and meeting other people feels invigorating to me. I can't wait to go on my next adventure. This time, my wife will ride with me.

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