When you mention bikepacking here in the Philippines, the Mountain Province immediately comes to mind. Of course traversing the Mountain Province and Benguet is one of the most exciting and challenging backroads in the country; with breathtaking views, the calming scent of pine, and pleasantly cool climate to match. But this route begs you to take it slow, and would need at least 4 days to really enjoy it and take everything in.
But last month, we have arranged a different route that will fit our collective schedules. A three-day traverse of the southern part of Mt. Mariveles in Bataan. We didn't really expect anything out of the ordinary from the route, and given that it's only a few hours away from hustle and bustle of the metro, we assumed that it's not going to be something special.
But we were wrong. It is definitely one of the best adventures on a bike that most of us have experienced. Lush greens, dusty fire roads, and winding mountain passes. The experience was euphoric, like we were riding somewhere else, somewhere near the edge of the earth.
We covered around 60 kilometers a day for three days. Our first day was through the hot roads of Mariveles to its rivers, waterfalls, then camped atop its glorious mountains. The next day we descended the mountain through fast fire roads and rivers to the beaches of Bagac, and finally the rolling hills of Morong to our last stop in Olongapo.
Three days through Bataan is definitely worth the time. Covering only a short distance everyday prompted us to take it slow and really take-in what Bataan offers.