Ride. Rest. Repeat.

Vespa Scooters for Everybody!

Something is afoot in the community and it ain’t all bad. Most Vespa enthusiasts had already heard of the rumor about a new player in town. A new distributor of the fabled Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera etc. line. It wasn’t as if they were trying to hide it. The announcement was right there on their webpage and several new Facebook pages had sprung up heralding this new development. So it came as no surprise to us that an announcement on the internet was made that they were finally selling scooters. What came as a shock to most of us was its price. As you can see on the banner posted above, they were having a promotion of the Vespa LX 150ie for a staggeringly low price of Php 99,000.00 for the first 99 units. This kind of pricing has never been seen for this class of scooter in the local market. A couple of reasons might be behind the extreme drop in the pricing of the Vespa LX. The LX is being currently sold at more than Php 200,000.00 for the Italian import. The current batch of the Vespa LX is currently being built in Vietnam. Vietnam has been churning out Piaggio scoots, specifically the Liberty and the Fly since...

Bucket List: Day 6 & 7

After a much needed rest day in Samal Island, we were ready to continue with the adventure. We were resigned to the fact that we wouldn’t be able to ride out of the resort to the ferry we asked the staff to arrange a special trip of their ferry for us, 3 passengers and 3 scooters. It cost a pretty penny but I guess the sight of 3 scoots on the water was worth every centavo. Around an hour later we had reached the dock on the mainland. The scooters were manually carried from the boat down to the dock. Good thing there were enough able bodied people on the dock to do it. After making sure all our things were in place we were off again. We were to take the Buda (Bukidnon-Davao) Highway on our way to Cagayan de Oro. As we passed through Davao City, which closely resembled any Metro Manila street during rush hour, the cityscape slowly melted away and the welcome green of mountain scenery again returned. The Buda Highway was a bittersweet experience. There were beautiful areas of both winding and sharp turns as well as the unbelievable beauty of the mountain scenery. Hot weather turned into cool into cold and back again....

Bucket List: Day 4 & 5

Up at the crack of dawn, the group was raring to go. The hotel would be serving breakfast at 6 am and we were at the coffee shop by 5:45. Once done with the food, we were off. Hitting the road at round 7 in the morning, Surigao City was in full swing by the time we were passing through it’s streets. This was to be one of the highlights of the trip. This long almost 400 kilometer leg which will take us from the northernmost tip of Mindanao and cross a ferry to the Island Garden City of Samal. The route would take us through breathtaking mountain passes with magnificent views of Lake Mainit. My Vespa suffered a flat tire in one of the seemingly endless, sweeping turns. I felt the slight wiggle coming out of a turn and knew right away I had lost my rear tire. No drama there, just stopped on the side of the road and replaced it with my spare tire (don’t you just love Vespas). Continuing on the rout we reached the junction of the Butuan-Davao highway junction. We had a long break here since Bunso made some repairs on his battered suspension that had him bouncing all over the road on...

Bucket List: Day 3

Waking up just before dawn, we were surprised to see that the weather had turned sour. The wind had kicked up a lot and the rain was pretty strong. Butchoy’s tail end had finally caught up with us. After frantically searching for news about the weather, we decided to push through as scheduled. Donning our rain gear we were off. The road out of Catbalogan, was very slippery, made much more dangerous by a lot of oil on the road. You could see the rush of the oil carried by the rainwater crossing both lanes of the highway, specifically during downhill turns. This slowed the pace down, better safe than sorry, we still had a looong way to go. The weather was breaking as we approached the fantastic San Juanico Bridge. I had long aspired to cross the mighty San Juanico (the longest bridge spanning a body of water in the Philippines) ever since I started scooting and here I was literally minutes away from doing it. The crossing itself was uneventful but the experience was fantastic. We couldn’t really slow down or stop too much since there was traffic crossing the bridge and I don’t think they’d really appreciate 4 scooter riders stopping every 100 meters to take...

Bucket List: Day 2

Day 2 began with the group leaving Legazpi City around 8 in the morning. We were supposed to take off at 6 but the hotel didn’t serve breakfast till then so we decided on the late start. The road to Matnog, Sorsogon is one of the best roads I have ever ridden on. Road condition was excellent for the most part, and where it had damage, the area was painted in a bright yellow box which you could see a good ways away. We had our full of pretty fast paced riding zooming past the different cities and municipalities of Sorsogon. Around an hour before lunchtime we finally arrived at the port of Matnog, Sorsogon. We were leaving the island of Luzon. We spent the next few minutes parking our scoots inside the ferry. Checking and double checking that they were secure. As expected, the guys were in high spirits since this would be the first time that some of us were making the crossing. That crossing has to wait, and wait long. The ferry did eventually leave, 3 hours after we had boarded. Still, we didn’t mind. The Visayas was just an hour away. After an hour of uneventful travel, we finally landed on the island of Samar....

Bucket List: Day 1

The chance comes once in a lifetime. When fellow scooter fanatic Uriel Protomartir asked me if I wanted to join him in riding to Mindanao, I jumped at the opportunity. Having gotten the permission of my family, we were off. Expecting rain, we had our bags wrapped in plastic and raingear prepped. Departure time from Manila was 3 in the morning. Without the usual fanfare of people seeing us off, 4 riders somberly began the quest. Passing through provinces previously passed, the ride was uneventful. The weather held up beautifully and we reached our breakfast stop in Gumaca, Quezon in 4 hours. Not bad for 3 PXes and 1 GT300. After a hearty meal we took off and hit Bicolandia around 9 in the morning. Going to Naga City via the Andaya Highway, we never thought we would get there in one piece due to the horrendous condition of portions of the highway. Potholes as big as our scoots and around 8 inches deep littered the roads and all you could do was suck it in and take the hit. With more than 50 pounds of baggage and 200 pounds of rider on the scooter we were lucky we didn’t break anything. Reaching Naga by lunchtime we decided to...

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