Much has been said about the new movie, Avengers: Endgame in and around social media since last Wednesday. Many of you have been going to great lengths to catch it in theatres by falling in line, as early as 6 a.m., unfriending those who give out spoilers, or even avoid spoilers completely by logging out of social media. As of this writing, it was reported that The Avengers: Endgame already grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide and is expected to break the $2 billion mark before its movie run ends. If you ask me, the PR agencies behind all the Marvel hype did a good job.
Our favorite stop with a view of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon, just before reaching the broken bridge of Marilaque.
Despite what the Avengers would have you believe, catching the movie isn't a "Do or Die" activity. You can be your own superhero, and also avoid spoilers with this alternate activity.
My daughter asked me if we could watch the movie in a theater near our home. As a self-proclaimed 'motodad', I had a better idea. I asked her: “what if we just ride instead of watching the movie?” Her response was a "Yes!" with so much enthusiasm, I never had to ask twice. And if you do the math, this activity could be well worth more than what you spend on the ticket.
This Marilaque bridge was washed away by mud and a land slide during a severe storm a few years ago. Up until now, it is only passable to light vehicles via a makeshift bridge.
So, how much does a movie ticket cost? For an outstanding movie experience, we will have opt for the IMAX screening of Avengers: Endgame. The ticket costs PhP 480.00 per person. Mall parking will be PhP50.00. Snacks for that 3-hour long movie could cost around PhP 400.00. Since the movie has a run time of 3 hours, you'll likely end by dinner already (if you caught the movie in the afternoon), especially if you wait for the post-credits scene. Dinner for two will be another PhP 1,000.00 or so. Don't forget the PhP 200.00 for gas. Add all that up and it's PhP 480 x 2 + 50 + 400 + 1000 + 200 = PhP 2,610. The price may vary depending on where you watch and what you eat. If you bring your child to watch it at a mall (especially if it's your unica hija), there's always gonna be a side trip to the toy store or the arcade. As a father, you might end up spending more than P3 - P4,000.
This road was previously impassable when the soil underneath collapsed.
We have to first thank our friend, Manu Sandejas of KTM BGC, who loaned a 690 Duke. This is the “big brother” of the 390 and 200 Duke. Yet bike aside, this can be done with any motorcycle that can comfortably seat two (child must be over 12-years old).
Real Quezon's freshest catch are inside these styro coolers.
Our ride was pretty straightforward: traverse the entire Marcos Highway from Marikina to Infanta which is more popularly known to riders as Marilaque, then proceed to Real Quezon where there's a seafood market that sells the freshest catch at very reasonable prices. Since it was also a Thursday, traffic along the route was light to zero and there was an absence of unruly kamote riders.
We were hoping that the shrimps were larger just like last time, but some buyer bought them all earlier.
I've befriended a local store that offers paluto services (they'll cook what you bought from the seafood market). I first learned about them during one of our off-road expeditions in the jungles of General Nakar, so that's exactly where we wanted to have lunch.
Only PhP350.00 for 3 shrimp dishes, including one for pasalubong (not in the picture)
We stopped occasionally for photo-ops and we reached Real, Quezon just minutes after lunch time. Since shrimps were my daughter's favorite seafood, having these crustaceans on the menu was automatic. We bought 2 kilos for only PhP 480.00/ kg, with ingredients, a bottle of SMB Light (for me only) and water for only PhP 350.00, inclusive of paluto for three different dishes of shrimp. We spend another PhP40.00 for the reusable container for Mommy's pasalubong, PhP100.00 tip and a total of PhP800.00 gasoline for the 690 Duke.
KTM 690 Duke at Sta Maria, Laguna.
After resting at the nearby beach resort, we headed back home via Famy-Pagsanjan-Los Banos-SLEX. Toll fee: PhP 97.00; bonding time with my unica hija: priceless.
Her favorite seafood. Her smile. (Note: no riding right after this meal)
P480 x 2 + 350 + 40 + 100 + 800 + 97 = PhP 2,347, all for a nice road trip and shrimp run via one of the nicest roads we have close to Manila. Instead of joining the Avengers: Endgame bandwagon, why don't you take this opportunity as another excuse for a great ride? We did.