When people plan trips or vacations, a lot of times they have a clear picture of where they’re going. What their destination is going to be like. What they’ll do there. Some people on the other hand believe that the journey is just as important as the destination. For the past year that we’ve been doing Random Road Trips, we’ve been to amazing destinations in the Philippines that are relatively unknown to most people. In some of the places, we were the only travelers in sight! And just like the destinations themselves, we do put importance to the way we travel just as much as where we travel. Here are some of the ways we’ve traveled from our first Random Road Trip to nearby Rizal up to the last one to the exotic coastal towns of Isabela.
1. The Random Road Trip Jeepney
When we first started our Random Road Trips, we chose a very special kind of jeepney to carry us to our destination. This was not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill jeepney that plies through most thoroughfares of the Philippines, but a bigger, badder, big-wheeled, air-conditioned, bus-type jeepney that can only be found through one route in Makati.
This huge jeepney could take you easily over different terrain! With its large wheels and a huge, powerful engine, it can take you through hills and rough roads, at the same time cause onlookers to marvel at the humongous jeep loudly crashing through their quiet countryside towns. We wrote about the Random Road Trip Jeepney in detail last year. Check it out here.
2. Small Boats
As an archipelago, it is almost impossible to see all that the Philippines has to offer without getting aboard these small, light boats. Generally, these are meant for calm seas, but on more occasions than we probably should have, we’ve taken these small boats for a ride and tested them (and our stomachs) across choppy waters.
Shown in the pictures above are some boats we took over the Governor Rapids in Quirino, over the tranquil waters at Magat Dam in Ramon, Isabela, and a 4-hour long boat ride across the choppy waters of the country’s East coast from Divalacan to Honeymoon Island to Palanan in Isabela.
3. Big Boats
Small boats are fine for calm waters over short distances. But for longer distances larger vessels would be more practical. Although we did take a 4-hour small-boat ride from Honeymoon Island to Palanan in Isabela, since no big boats plied that route. With sophisticated equipment such as radar and life vests on board, riding one of these things offers more peace of mind. When I wrote the article about our 6th Random Road Trip, I took special note of the trappings inside one of these fairies. Yes, they had airconditioned areas, a small bar, television sets, but what I really took notice of was how nice their comfort room was! It really had the best comfort rooms on any public transportation I have ever been!
Ferries can also transport land vehicles across our islands, and are much safer to take even when the seas get a bit rough as was the case when we headed home from Marinduque over seasickness-inducing seas.
Used in: Random Road Trip 6
Sometimes, there’s nothing like the liberting feeling of feeling the wind in your hair on an open road! Granted it’s actually illegal to do in Metropolitan areas, out on the highway the sensation of speed brings about a thrill that seems to awaken the soul!There’s a different kind of joy when you ride top down, whether it’s a stereotypical convertible on a road trip, riding on the back of a pick up truck, or topload on a jeepney in some faraway province. Kindred spirits get to bond in a truly unconventional manner, form deep connections, or simply howl like crazy, deranged monkeys like shown here below:
Then again, even INSIDE the van it doesn’t take much for our Random Road Trippers to amuse themselves…
5. Off-Road 4×4
I haven’t been on many 4x4s. Once, I once rode an old Jeep converted to a 4×4 crossing the lahar-covered landscape on the way to Mt. Pinatubo. And I heard there are 4×4 adventures up in Ilocos Norte. But I’ve never been on a Land Rover Defender! And I don’t think many of you either! I need to tell you right now that the Defender is one magnificent piece of machinery! It will make the roughest road feel like slightly melted butter!
Palanan, Isabela Mayor Bimbo also graciously let us ride some of these off-road vehicles. It actually makes sense for the mayor to have these vehicles in their stable as there are not many roads in Palanan that are paved in concrete.
Check out some of the clips we took in our 4×4 Adventure, which was just a small part of the Indiana Jones package that was Random Road Trip 7.
Used in: Random Road Trip 7
A hummer. A frickin’ hummer. ‘Nuff said.
Seriously, guys, if you are going to go across to the other side of Sierra Madre mountain range without the benefit of a plane, you had better choose a transport that is as hardy as this. While technically a hummer is still a 4×4 off-road vehicle, I felt that it deserved a separate entry. Now there are commercial hummers available now on the market such as the H1, H2, and H3, but this stripped-down military-transport-like hummer without frills like airconditioning or cushioned seats really put us on the wild outdoors, roughing it in some far exotic place mood!
Used in: Random Road Trip 7.5
Probably a transportation you will most often encounter when you’re in the Philippines is the small but trusty tricycle. While it does have a shorter range than the jeepneys, this form of light transportation is cheaper making it more readily available even in remote towns.
But the size of this transport doesn’t mean it can’t take you places. Less capable than a 4×4, and yet it still brought us up some wickedly steep and slippery inclines to the ancient sarcophagi (that’s plural of sarcophagus, FYI) in Mulanay, Quezon or across muddy terrain in Palanan Isabela.
Every now and then, it’s just a joy to go on a short ride on one of these things.
7. Dump Truck
When you say dump truck, I imagine those that go around the city on a weekday morning (evenings in some places) collecting garbage. Stinky, slow, and very congestion-causing in our already congested streets.
Fun fact: we were able to ride a dump truck for the first time in Random Road Trip 7 in Isabela, but it was also a serious consideration during Random Road Trip 4 when we were deliberating what transport to take from Catanauan to Mulanay in Quezon. Due to some circumstances, we had to go with a long, inter-town tricycle ride.
Not many people can say, “I’ve ridden in a dump truck. Not in the cabin, but in the payload.” Speaking of payload, here’s Roz on a payloader. Because why the hell not?!
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to ride it. But badass Palanan Mayor Bimbo drove it when we were there!
Used in: Random Road Trip 7
8. Speed boats
Isabela was really cool. Palanan and its Mayor Bimbo particularly so, as you probably have been reading about all throughout this article. That was just the start! Palanan, being the strategically-located coastal town that it is, is not only home to off road vehicles and payloaders, but also has an assortment of boats as part of its police and city transports. This not only helps them patrol the town quickly through their rivers and the coast, but it also makes for a cool ride when touring important visitors! Not shown below is an even bigger speedboat with two motors that belong to their police force.
Did we also mention they had jetskis as well? Yes, they do. And Mayor Bimbo took some of us girls on thrill rides at one of the rivers of Palanan. Here’s Mayor Bimbo looking all smug after taking the girls out for a spin. You rock, mayor!
Used in: Random Road Trip 7
9. Small Passenger Planes
A day before, our Random Road Trippers were exhausted after an afternoon spent traveling to places that the towns of Cauayan and Santiago in Isabela had to offer. But that exhaustion soon turned to excitement because prior to our trip, they had no idea we would be going to a small airport in Cauayan, and had even less of an idea that we were scheduled to ride an even smaller 19-seater plane across the Sierra Madre mountains to Maconacon! We’ve never even seen a plane this small (except for museums or airshows), so the prospect of riding one was exhilirating! That or the fear of whether or not this tiny thing could actually take us to our destination in one piece!
But land we did and with complete limbs! And not only that, but we took another ride on an even smaller plane! On our way back from Palanan, we rode 4- and 6-seater Cessnas (we had to take multiple planes/trips since obviously we weren’t all gonna fit) which had an even greater possibility of being blown by the strong winds above the Sierra Madre mountains! It was a new experience for all of us and an experience we won’t soon forget! There were more surprises during those trips, but I think it’s better that you just join us next time to find out. 😉
Used in: Random Road Trip 7
We’ve been on tricycles, 4x4s, dump trucks, hummers, and we even took it to the skies! But these photos below prove that there is no transport too exotic or too…alive for our Random Road Trippers!
Ok, we really didn’t ride them going anywhere, but still if you have ever fancied posing for a picture on top of livestock, the Philippines is the place to be as you can find a carabao (or kalabaw) almost everywhere in all of our provinces!
Below is another farm implement commonly seen in farms around the country, but this one is a non-living two-wheel tractor called a kuliglig. It means “cricket” and is meant as a replacement of the carabao. So, yes, we as travelers like getting on top farm stuff.
And there you have it!
After more than a year of doing Random Road Trips, I myself was surprised that I could dedicate one whole, relatively-long blog post all about the wonderful vehicles that we’ve taken in our many trips! Who knows what else we would be riding on our next adventures?
There’s only way to find out, and that is to join one of them!
Head over to our Events section to see what we have currently lined up and join a trip you fancy!
There’s also still 7 more days to go with our Experience Philippines Travel Differently Getaway so be sure to join to get a chance to win goodies or a FREE trip on our future trips!
Many thanks to all of the Random Road Trippers who have joined us in our travels, and for letting us use some of your pictures!
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