Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Bike Commute in Cauayan, Isabela

I was in Cauayan, Isabela (a city 350 kms. north of Manila) for 5 days to attend a seminar, and I brought with me my Brompton M6L to commute around town.

Cauayan City is not so different from my hometown of Laoag. There are a lot of tricycles plying the streets. There's a city hall. And next to it there's a church--here it's called Our Lady of the Pillar parish church. There's a public market. There are the usual banks. There's a Mercury drugstore. And as for the fastfood selection, there's a Chowking, a Greenwich, and a couple of Jollibees. 

The new Cauayan City Hall
Our Lady of the Pillar church
Laoag is a bit more progressive, I think, since in addition to what Cauayan has, we have a Mcdonald's and a Max's restaurant! (way the go, Kris, judging a city's progressiveness based on the number of restaurants it has.)

Laoag is more touristy, too. My hometown has the Tobacco Monopoly monument, the Museo Iloco, the sinking bell tower, St. William's Cathedral, the Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Shrine (shameless plugging) and the La Paz sand dunes. On the other hand, Cauayan has one statue. One statue! (and it's of Jose Rizal) That's its only landmark.

And Cauayan feels smaller, at least that was my perception. It took me less than 10 minutes to circle the central business district.

Now, let's talk more about my commute.

Anyway, every morning, after breakfast, I'd unfold my Brompton and bike from my hotel to my seminar venue in UPHS-Isabela Campus, 3 kms. south of the city center. It took me about 8 minutes to traverse the Maharlika Highway to get to my destination
Upon reaching the university, I'd fold my bike and enter the seminar room. I had no problem tucking the Brompton behind my chair. I don't think it bothered anyone.
I'm glad there was a shoulder on the highway where I could bike at my own pace.
The Isabela Hotel
Brommie Skywalker also attended my seminar
After the day's session, at around 5:30pm, I'd simply unfold the bike and ride back to my hotel. Saved me forty pesos (P40.00) on tricycle fare, and I got to enjoy the Isabela landscape! (not too thrilled with the smoke coming from the trucks and tricycles, though)
Leaving the campus
I bike along the Maharlika highway
And that was my bike commute for a week here in Isabela.

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