BY RICKY MONTECILLO
February 12, 2021
Sael Requierme intimated to Randy and me how “fast good karma” was. We had just distributed toys, clothes and goodies to the poor children in Tinambac, a poor fishing town next to Siruma, Camarines Sur.
He was feeling good in giving charity and then he gets a text message from a big client saying he bagged another project.
It is in giving that we receive, goes the prayer of St. Francis.
For The Long Riders Motorcycle group, it is part of our joy to share to the poor people we encounter on our moto-adventures. riding, giving and letting go. This is who we are.
Siruma is about 450 kilometers from Manila and the route is fun- filled with open highways, mountain twisties and intermittent rains.
There are many hidden gems in the Philippines. Natural wonders like beautiful beaches, mountains and rivers and water falls. One such gem is tucked away in the sleepy coastal town of Siruma, Camarines Sur, Bicol.
Our group didn’t go straight to Camsur though. We passed via Daet where Jojel Ecat and his friends met up with us. They again brought us to the Cory Aquino Boulevard in Bagasbas town.
It is said to be “Longest Boulevard in the Philippines”, about 9 kilometers long. It is a scenic ride along the beaches of Bagasbas and connecting towns.
One of them had a resto-bar along the boulevard, in front of the ocean. It was raining intensely, the wind blew strong and the waves of the ocean were rough.
From the South Luzon Expressway where we started, it was already getting late in the afternoon and raining hard when we got to Daet. Drenched and famished, it was such a wonderful surprise that Jojel and company had prepared a sumptuous meal for us. And we were not few. Hats off to Jojel and Company for their utra gracious hospitality.
The plan was to camp right there but because of the weather we decided to ride to Naga, which is a better jump off point to Siruma.
In Naga, we checked-in at the Villa Ceceres Hotel. It is good that Naga seems to be open for business, almost looking normal save for the mask protocols and controlled buffet meals. It is one of the better hotels in Naga. I like Villa Caceres. It is pretty decent and the staff are very friendly.
They also have a covered parking area where our bikes stayed along with our wet boots, jackets and other riding gear.
The following morning, we rode to Siruma. It’s only about 120 kilometers and this time the day was bright and shiny. It took us only about 2 hours to reach Tinambac where we ate at the local carinderia and that’s where we distributed gifts to the poor children.
The fishing village in Tinambac is so poor said the old lady vendor, that she doesn’t believe in government anymore. There is nothing. Some of the children didn’t even have pants on.
Siruma is just a short ride from there. But this is where our adventure riding got interesting.
Mostly riding the biggest and baddest BMWs and Ducatis, while some of us rode all sorts of bikes like Yamaha, Royale Enfields and KTMs. The ride became exciting and thrilling. From the paved road going to Angelica Resort, it led us to a dirt fire road.
And then, the path started to become muddy and bumpy. Some of us slipped, turned and tumbled!
And there it was. Siruma. A beach front with white sand and clear ocean waters. We occupied the end most of the island where there were pine-like trees. We camped there. It is where the river meets the ocean and where mangroves serve as fish havens.
With our big bikes, we camped pitched tents and sleeping bags. We held our usual fellowhip with some spirits. During such campfire gatherings, we get to know more of each other and bond like long lost adventurers wandering in the wild.
I told Doc Ron Sadang that we don’t see many people our age doing what we do. He commented that many young people would want so much to be able to do what we do. Ride, camp and let go.
I wonder why such a marvelous work of nature is not very popular in the country. Siruma would give Boracay, Palawan and other beach destinations a run for their money if it is managed well and promoted properly.
I’d certainly go back to Siruma when I get a chance and when COVD-19 finally leaves us.