Amazing Travels in the Philippines - From Manila to Subic: A Trucker's Travelogue
March 15, 2012: A chaperon for trucking sked
It's more of a road trip but I might as well tell you in a travelogue form the chronology of exciting events that happened to me on that date.
I agreed to be the second man or a chaperon in a trucking service of my friend's forwarding company. It was bound to the central part of Luzon, Philippines.
It meant: from Manila, the driver, who's the cousin of the owner, will carry the goods to Subic, Zambales.
So, to make the story short, around 8:00 AM, I was literally ushered to the front seat and donned my seat-belt (a must!) and started our journey to the Luzon Expressway.
One thing you'll brave here in my country, aside from traffic, is the series of toll gates that await the commuters from town-to-town or city-to-city or provinces.
Well, contractors of our super highways here came from multi-national companies from South Korea, Japan, Malaysia or China.
Just a piece of advice: if you're interested to travel here using your own car, you must also carry an ample fund of cash (money), so that, you'll reach your destination without delay.
I've taken lots of photos while traveling, good shots and hazy ones. We just stop at the roadside, to empty our bladder and ate our lunch at the roadside eatery.
We've reached our destination, Subic, Zambales, past 12:00 PM. We've waited for the guard's instruction to let us in at the factory's facade and the signing of cargo's receipt, then went back to Manila around 5:00 PM.
The summer air varied from polluted (in Manila) into fresh one in the cities and towns of Valenzuela, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales.
Traveling north was exciting and fun.
My only regret is that I cannot appreciate the scenery and awesome spots as tourist.
I'll be back there, both as a hiker and a photographer, for sure!
A One-Day Travel to Northern Philippines
My Travel Photos: From Manila to SubicClick thumbnail to view full-size
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Places to see in Central Luzon, Philippines
Aside from Metro Manila, where Rizal Park is situated and lots of heritage sites to visit (as in churches and places), places that come to mind up central and north will be always Baguio City, Subic (Zambales), Bataan, Pampanga or Ilocos region.
We all know that the occupancy of American G.I.s divided the sentiments of many Filipinos, where the campaign to oust the military bases came to reality during the Ramos administration in the early 90s.
This time, they're back again but most of them are tourists and still enjoy the scenery and write or blog about it.
Like what I'm doing now, you've got to visit the following provinces at the northern part of the country every summer. Fares are cheap. Foods and refreshments are delicious. Beaches abound everywhere.
Where to go:
- Bulacan - located immediately north of Manila; lots of heritage sites, like the Barasoain church where the first declaration of independence happened; Angat Dam is located here powering water supplies in Metro Manila and nearby cities. Hikers should trek the Mt. Oriod, highest point of the province.
- Valenzuela - 14 kilometers north of Manila; lots of feasts and celebration from April to May each year, just like any other provinces.
- Pampanga - bordered by the provinces of Bataan and Zambales; home of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; lots of heritage sites to see; Sandmining at Porac provides jobs to many people and income to the place; lots of swamps for migratory birds; known as culinary capital in the Philippines.
- Bataan - known for Death March during Japanese war; the place is a rocky extension for Zambales mountains; you can hike the Mt. Samal and other mountains or enjoy the beaches overlooking Subic and South China sea.
- Zambales - Subic Bay International Airport is here; tourists flock the province, especially Subic, due to its beach resorts, casinos, cottages, parks and historical artifacts.
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