There’s no denying that in every local tourist attraction, there is always a flock of motorcycle riders enjoying the sceneries or just enjoying the local delicacies. This only proves that motorcycle riders, in general, like to travel and enjoy the best the country has to offer.
Our government has recognized this and has seen the vital role of motorcycle riders in helping the tourism industry bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, in partnership with Breakfast Ride Community, former senator, JV Ejercito; DOT Region IV-A and different local government units (LGUs) of CALABARZON, spearheaded the Philippine Motorcycle Tourism (PMT) program at the Rizal Park on Saturday, November 20, 2021, to bring back the confidence of the public to travel within the country while upholding new normal health and safety protocols – on two wheels.
Daranak Falls, Tanay
“Our current efforts are focused on boosting domestic tourism as a way for the tourism industry and the economy to recover. In line with this, motorcycle riders become our domestic tourism ambassadors to aid us in promoting fun and safe travel around the country. We are now on the road to sustain recovery and with the help of our riders, motorcycle clubs, and associations, the tourism industry will be back in full swing in no time,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat in her keynote address.
Motorcycle riders try to find almost any excuse just to ride their beloved steeds. For example, a good excuse to ride to Tagaytay is to sample a hot bowl of bulalo. Coffee lover? Ride to Baguio for a cup of Cordillera-grown coffee. Love longganisa for breakfast? Why not ride to Lucban, in Quezon, for their famous longganisang Lucban.
As motorcycles prove to be the perfect tool for a weekend getaway, former senator, JV Ejercito, started the Moto Turismo campaign in 2019. The program aims to encourage motorcycle riders to get out and ride, explore the country onboard their motorcycles and sample local delicacies the countryside has to offer.
Former senator, JV Ejercito
After being sidelined due to the global pandemic, Moto Turismo has come back, this time, it has evolved to become the Philippine Motorcycle Tourism.
Safety is the top priority
As part of PMT’s priorities and preparations before the kick-off ride, participants both onsite and online attended the hybrid webinar which was aired from the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and made virtually available through an online platform, with more than 3,000 live stream views on social media, November 19.
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Maragondon
The said webinar equipped motorcycle riders and enthusiasts with knowledge on safe riding, off-road driving techniques and skills, and adventure tourism through the expertise of Rod Cruz of the Arangkada Riders’ Alliance, Gen. Fernando Paez of the Law Enforcer Riders’ Association of the Philippines, and Mel Aquino of the Yamaha Off-Road Training Camp.
“Our community is privileged to be part of the organizing committee for the kick-off of this program. We are elated for the support of the tourism industry because we really want this to take off. Just the news that destinations are open for motorcycle tourism will signal all riders to go around, see places, and eat in restaurants — if you pool together the income generated by millions of riders around the country, it will be a big business opportunity for tourism,” said Breakfast Ride Community Head Raymon Gabriel.
The beautiful CALABARZON
With over 250 motorcycle riders in attendance, it would be prudent to make the most out of the 2-day PMT kick-off event. There were two routes: one took the Laguna Loop, while the other took the similarly beautiful Cavite-Batangas Loop.
The Old Grove Farmstead, Lipa City
The Cavite-Batangas loop included stops in Habi of Maragondon, Simbahan ng Maragondon, Caingin River – all in Maragondon, Tagaytay for lunch, Basilica San Martin De Tours in Taal, Batangas; Marcella Agoncillo Historical Landmark, Apacible Historical Landmark, and at the beautiful Blue Coral Hotel and Beach Resort in San Juan (Laiya) where riders from both the Cavite-Batangas Loop and Laguna Loop converged for the Riders’ Night.
The beautiful shoreline of Laiya
On the second day, the riders took their motorcycles to Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Church in Lipa, then to the My Honey’s Farm in Mataas na Kahoy (opposite of the Tagaytay Ridge), the National Shrine of Padre Pio, the Old Grove Farmsteadand for lunch (which was hosted by the City of Lipa) then finally to Nuvali Park in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Those who rode the Laguna Lake Loop (Rizal-Laguna-Quezon) covered Antipolo (Antipolo Cathedral, Hinulugang Taktak) Tanay (Daranak Falls), Pililia (Pililia Windmills, Pakil (St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church), Paete, Luisiana (pandan weaving), Lucban (Kamay ni Hesus), San Juan (Laiya), Dolores (Bangkong Kahoy Valley), San Pablo City (Sulyap Gallery Cafe), and Sta. Rosa Nuvali Park.
Full Speed Ahead for PMT
TPB Chief Operating Officer Atty. Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones
With the gradual easing of travel restrictions and the resumption of leisure travel across diverse local destinations, TPB and DOT are optimistic that the launching of the PMT will help kickstart domestic tourism and the local economy in the new normal as riders take the wheel in promoting Philippine tourist spots and helping local businesses and tour operators recover from the pandemic’s effect on their livelihood.
Breakfast Ride Community (L-R): Fred Penalea, Edwin Cua and wife, Ada Mamon, Malou and Raymon Gabriel, Joey Ermita
The PMT activities were conducted in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) guidelines. Health and safety protocols were strictly observed during the event and only fully-vaccinated individuals were permitted to join onsite.