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Top Gear Philippines


Bohol is a place I’ve been wanting to visit since my younger years. From what I see in old travel magazines to the latest travel websites, Bohol looks not only very fascinating but interesting as well. The century-old churches, yummy local food, and warm, cordial residents are so inviting. 

Finally, the opportunity came for me to visit Bohol. Since it was a quickie break, I did my research on things to visit while in the island, and the obvious results came out: Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, Loboc River Tour, waterfalls, or simply chill at the beach.

Aside from pristine beaches, Bohol is known for its well-paved circumferential road that leads to the relaxing Amorita Resort at Barangay Tawala, Panglao Island, where I made a reservation. Me being me, I knew I would just fall asleep in the shuttle van and miss the first salvo of the scenic journey.

Only a few hours after I left Manila, I already felt the ‘rider’s itch’ again. There’s no medicine for this, I have to ride.

So, I took to the Internet to search for a motorcycle to rent in this island paradise. Then I came across a website and found exactly what I was looking for—a shop that offers a wide range of motorbikes.  With a P1,000/day rental fee, the selection process begins: scooter, nope; street naked, nope; underbone, nope!

At the end of the line were two sexy sport bikes—a Kawasaki Ninja 250SL and a Honda CBR 150. Without batting an eyelash, I go for the Ninja with the bigger engine displacement.

Due to time constraints, I booked the Ninja for only a day. And to reenergize myself for the next day’s 145km ride, I went to bed early and skipped the evening party. That’s one hell of a sacrifice!

Around 7am, the resort reception called to say that the motorcycle rental guys were ready at the parking lot.  The staff of islandsrentals.ph showed up with helmets but I opted to use mine. They also offered tour options: 1) ride with a tour guide to show you around or 2) ride on your own. I chose number one.

For someone used to riding in the concrete jungles of Metro Manila, Bohol was a breath of fresh air literally and figuratively. Even with the sun up high, I found the mountain breeze and the lush greenery I drove by soothing. I noticed almost all the scooter riders were without helmets and T-shirts.

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Once in a while, I get paranoid with farm animals that just pop out on the roadside. On the flawless asphalt, I rode cautiously on curves and sloping stretches.

As I went further along Bohol’s circumferential road, the fresh, rural scenery became more astonishing. The clean river systems, vast farm lands, majestic Chocolate Hills, and pristine coastal waters hit me like doses of opium. These wonders of nature give a calming effect that words cannot describe.

On top of these sights was a twisty road, stretching only about two kilometers, covered by a thick forest of old mahogany trees. From a distance, I hear not only the sound of a waterfalls, but also the moisture emanating from that water system penetrating my helmet’s visor and riding jacket.

Here, the Kawasaki Ninja’s green skin blended perfectly. Having no modifications, the silent engine and exhaust of this entry-level sport bike made me savor the sights and sounds of Bohol’s treasures.

Although I found it a bit short of power, I believe that the 25hp Ninja 250 performs better on a race track than on out-of-town trips. I realized that the rider position is not appropriate for long rides, too. Yet, this sport breed is a head-turner for the locals.

The Ninja shuttled me safely and efficiently around Bohol in just one full day of riding. It also gave me a sense of contentment in that brief but fun-filled vacation.

As I took a plane back to Manila, I still hear the islands calling me back again. I said to myself: I shall return!




Gaki Moto
I'm a fitness trainer by day and a drummer by night, and in between, I ride my motorcycle with a camera strapped on.
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