It’s been 4 month since I did a biketour and I’ve been itching to do a short one before I go from a year long break for work.
Since I started doing long distance trips in 2015, I’ve heard of this famous route among mountain bikers-the laiya-lobo loop in Batangas, Southern Luzon in the Philippines.
Perhaps what makes the ride special is the coastal route and challenging off road sections of this loop…so with some friends, we decided to do this trip in a shortened fashion by starting at Lobo and ending in San Juan, Batangas.
We left Saturday early morning and took the bus at South Station Alabang (we took the Goldstar bus and they charged Php180-ticket and bike storage included)
Starting in Batangas City Grand Terminal we headed to Lobo Batangas and passed by a Church up the hill…the climbs and pavement were fine though we got stuck when rain hit hard…
Good thing it was early afternoon (about 230pm) when we reached Lobo town proper and had late lunch…we got to Punta Malabrigo Beach Resort in Lobo Batangas at 5pm and enjoyed the beach.
One of the nice things in this trip is that this was the first time that we got supplies from the town market and cooked our meals (thank goodness to our companions Arnie and Fechi for cooking our dinner and breakfast the next day!)
The next day, we headed to Laiya and this is where the (off road) adventure began…
The Malabrigo Lighthouse, Lobo Batangas
Aside from brutal climbs, we had to contend with off road terrain but we were rewarded with a great coastline view of this place. Though weather was generally pleasant there were stretches where we needed to stop and take a break from the intense heat…
Off road cycling (Courtesy of Fechi Fajardo)
We were able to reach San Juan Batangas around 430pm and took the bus at the Alps Station and got back to Alabang around 730 in the evening.
Though we only traveled 110km in total, the off road section which spanned about 20-25km was a great but physically challenging experience and I look forward to doing more off road tours in the future.
- Many recommend the full loop which is about 270-300km if coming from Manila (distance depends on where you’re coming from) but I believe the off road sections will definitely be a test of physical endurance as the terrain can vary from light to harsh (fireroads, rocky paths filled with goatheads which are notorious in causing flats and even unfinished pavement). Therefore, it is strategic to get to Batangas City or San Juan via bus to conserve that needed energy for the climbs and off road sections.
- Very few stores can be seen along the way and therefore it is important to stock on water and small snack items to keep you going.
- Punta Malabrigo Beach resort charges 2500 for a night good for 4 people in its cottage. You could also camp for a cheaper rate as they have a wide variety of options. We just got a room since weather wasn’t really all sunny.
- There are very few restaurants along the way and it’s advisable to get food to cook from the public market in Lobo Town Proper.
- Suspension forks will be a great plus as the rocky terrain will definitely shake your body during the trip.
Here’s the strava route of our trip if you’re interested in doing this as well