I made the decision next morning, I will go to Basilan to accomplish what I set out to do… and that is to reach the farthest that I can south on a motorcycle. I paused for a while to plan for what I’m about to do. I can just spend a couple of hours at the capital city of Isabela, go around some populated spots then ride back to the port and take the next RORO going back to Zamboanga. I felt like my plan was solid… until I got to the port.
The first night I arrived at the island of Mindanao an old lady from Surigao asked me where I intend to go. I told her “I will try to reach the farthest that I can here in Mindanao. That would most probably mean I would have to go to Zamboanga.” She was very surprised and cautioned me, “Do not go there! There are a lot of bombings and terrorist activities that happens there.” Instead of becoming afraid I got more curious and wondered if this old lady has actually visited Zamboanga or she is just reiterating what is being broadcasted on the news.
I went back to gather my gear to leave the place as I’m losing light fast, it would be hard for me to navigate at night. A man from a nearby house came up to the store and started asking questions about me. He said he overheard me speak in Tagalog and that is a rare occurrence on places like this. He concluded that I’m not from nearby. As always I told him my story and my journey. He smiled and said it was really brave of me to venture out this far. Then he casually invited me to join them for a beer.
I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. As I open my tent all you can see was the vast ocean with a few fishing boats darting the horizon. It felt like I was at the edge of the world and that this is the final frontier for me… but obviously not yet, it just felt like that.
By this time I was so used to the idea of inter-island travel taking an hour or more. When someone told me that I can go to Samal island in less than 15 minutes, I was a bit skeptical. So I decided to check it out of it’s true.
I rarely get a message on Instagram. What’s more unusual was, it was a lady that looked like a model. Honestly, at first I was hesitant to even open the message, scams and bots typically use images of beautiful women to entice you to click on a link. The next thing you know you’re having issues with your account or worse your computer.
This is my cousin that I have only met for the first time. I wanted to take a photo of him in the most natural way possible. For some strange reason I just blurted out “Who’s your favorite superhero?” He said with a very big smile on his face “Ironman!”.
I went through some really dark times during my 5 year motorcycle experience. Most of those can be attributed to bad relationships with mechanics who brought me nothing but misery. It’s extremely hard to find reputable and trust worthy motorcycle mechanics. Most will start of being friendly, but later you realize that their sole intention is to milk you with your hard earned money.
As we head on leaving Mel, I noticed that Jaime was getting more and more confident riding the mud. She was slipping less, there are times wherein she didn’t even place her foot on the ground to maneuver. She was amazing to watch, given that this is her first time to ride trails.
I met Jaime about 2 years ago, it was over lunch. I just won the Wrangler True Wanderer 2015 and from what I know it was her first time here and Wrangler got her as an ambassador for the competition. Wrangler organized a meet and greet with us finalists to sort of celebrate and cap off the competition.