Monday, June 20, 2011

Mini Bike Tour of Calamba, Laguna

Brommie Skywalker with a Jose Rizal decal in front of Rizal's new statue in Calamba, Laguna
Last June 19, 2011, I went on a bike ride with Tiklop Society of the Philippines to Calamba, Laguna, to join in the celebration for our national hero's 150th birth anniversary.  The main group met up and started at Luneta in Manila, where Jose Rizal was executed more than 100 years ago.  I joined them in Puregold Supermarket along NAIA Ave. in Paranaque at 7am with 2 other bikers, Richard and Karlo.
Brommie Skywalker waiting in front of Puregold
Brommie Skywalker ready for the wet weather
From Puregold we biked south to Sucat Road.  We stopped at GoodAh!!! (yes, that's the name of the restaurant) and had breakfast there.  There were 27 of us present--pretty good attendance for TSP!
That's us lining up to give our orders.  And that's our jersey!
Dr. Arman Lee, Al Castillo, me and Mike Donadilla
I had Arrozcaldo, Asado Siopao and Coke, all for P145.  Not bad.
Group photo in front of GoodAh!!!
From there, we proceeded east towards the the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
We crossed the bridge and entered the East Service Road and headed south to Alabang.
Once we got to Alabang in Muntinlupa City, we entered the Old National Highway.
We continued biking south and we passed San Pedro City in Laguna.  Saw a funny sign which read, "Welcome to Laguna--The Resort Capital, Detroit and Silicon Valley of the Philippines!" 

Really now, Gov. Ejercito.  Resort Capital, may be.  But Detroit AND Silicon Valley?  You've got to be kidding.  
After San Pedro, we passed by Binan, Laguna.
And after that, we passed by Santa Rosa and Cabuyao.
Here we are at Seven-Eleven in Cabuyao, Laguna
Having pedaled more than 40 kilometers, we pedaled some more.  We continued going south until we reached Calamba, Laguna, hometown of our beloved national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
Entering Calamba City Proper.
Passing through SM City Calamba.
We turned right just before the Old National Highway would lead us to Los Banos.  We entered the 6.7 hectare Tinahuyan Park where we were greeted by protesters and policemen in full battle gear.  I think they were farmers calling on President Aquino to amend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform law, among many others.  It's a good thing the police blockade allowed us to pass through.
After biking over 50 kilometers, TSP finally reached the new Jose Rizal statue in Calamba! The statue was unveiled by no less than President Aquino earlier that day.  Standing 22 feet, it is allegedly the tallest Jose Rizal statue in the world.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Arman Lee
After taking a million group photos, we decided to have lunch.  We biked a couple of kilometers more until we reached Aviles Restaurant in Brgy. Real, and had Bulalo.  Yum!
Photo courtesy of Dr. Arman Lee
After lunch, some members went back home to Manila.  Doc Arman invited the rest to visit the Rizal Shrine, and so about 20 of us biked back to Calamba City proper.  

When we got to the main intersection, the road leading to the shrine was blocked because of a parade.  Apparently, the whole city government of Calamba was participating in this big parade to celebrate Rizal's 150 years.

The 5 of us: Doc Arman, Abel, Gerry, Papa Rocky and I, managed to pass through the security cordon and some how, some way, got to join the parade as 'participants' of the Human Resource Management Office.  Hehehe.

Those at the back, including Al, Ruth, Tina and Ronx, weren't as lucky.  The police didn't let them pass.  So they turned around and went home.
That's Papa Rocky following the parade.
That's Doc Arman leading us.
Abel, Papa Rocky, myself and Gerry
We finally reached the Rizal Shrine, our national hero's ancestral house and birthplace.  Here I am with Gerry.  That's Rizal's house behind us!
This is us with soldiers dressed up as Katipuneros.
And this is us with the whole PNP of Calamba right at our backs.  It's a wonder none of them ever questioned our participation in the parade.
From the Rizal Shrine, we biked 2 kilometers back to SM Calamba.  Abel's knees were hurting so he folded his Brompton and took a tricycle to Brgy. Turbina, where the bus station was.
Papa Rocky, Gerry, Doc Arman and I continued biking 3 kilometers heading west to Turbina.  When we got to Turbina we folded our bikes and boarded a bus for our trip back to Manila. 
Brommie Skywalker sat next to me in the bus.  The ride back to Manila was fast.  It took only about 30 minutes. I got off at the Magallanes Interchange and biked back to my car in the nearby village.

Great ride with TSP!  Biked a total of 55 kilometers from Paranaque, Manila to Calamba, Laguna, to visit the new Jose Rizal statue and Rizal's ancestral house, on the very same day the whole nation was celebrating his 150th birthday.  How cool is that?!
Good times!

PS: Special thanks to Doc Arman Lee and Al Castillo for some of the photos in this entry.


  1. Nice article on this ride. Wish I was there. Maybe next time...

  2. Next time, Vegetarun! Next time! I really enjoy riding with TSP. Not only do we all share the passion for folding bikes, but our pacing is just right. Not too fast, but not to slow. See you soon!

  3. Some interesting and well researched information on cameras. I'll put a link to this site on my blog. Thank you! Mini Bike