I could say that this is the longest road trip I’ve been to so far. Before this it was Baguio. When we passed by Nueva Ecija it dawned on me that it is farther than Nueva Vizcaya! Hey! laugh at me if you wish! I’m not a Google map lover! I’d rather read blogs than tire my eyes looking at maps. And for me any place in the Philippines that has “Nueva” is one among the farthest (now lol at myself).
Well according to genius search sites, the actual distance of San Mateo Isabela from Manila is 263 kilometers. You can check more details about road trip to this province through search sites but I can share to you right now what I actually experienced. Tag along with me as I share our exciting (and a bit scary) road trip.
- The photos are taken on the way back to Manila. I was not able to take photos on the way to Isabela because it was a night trip. We left Manila by 3:00PM and we reached our destination at 2:00AM.
- All photos were taken while I’m aboard a speeding vehicle. We don’t have time to wander around. Our stop over are mostly for “nature call” and quick eats on past food and gasoline stations.
- We were warned that it would be an eight hour drive but ours actually took eleven hours on the way to Isabela. Maybe because we took the Bulacan route as we were instructed to do that. The trip back is shorter by two hours because we took the Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway (SCTEX).
- Most vehicles along the road are heavy trucks, huge vans, bus, tankers and the likes. Since Isabela is an agricultural land, overloaded trucks carrying harvests and fertilizers are common along the highway.
|the unwanted convoy|
|the road monsters|
- Traversing through this rough road with sharp curves along with these caterpillar-like vehicles is the real thriller. One wrong turn and you’re off down the cliff and ravines.
- A huge portion of the Maharlika Road is under construction. There was a point that one side of the traffic would wait alternately for the other side to pass by. We were unfortunate to be on the waiting side both back and forth ways. The night trip was bit scary during the waiting time. Imagine that we were inside our non-moving vehicle with all darkness around us except for the headlights of huge vehicles passing by the other side and a few construction people managing the traffic. We are all unfamiliar with the place.
- During the night travel also, we passed by a dead man on top of his motorcycle. We’re not sure if it was a vehicular accident or a murder incident. The scene is very recent because the blood is still oozing from the man’s head as we passed by. There were few people around but no one’s touching the body, they are probably waiting for the police. I dared not take photos of the scene.
|the EXTRA CHALLENGE road|
- The only consolation about this long trip are the breath taking views of nature. Mountains ranges, streams and fields are soothing both for the eyes and soul.
- There were times that I wondered why my mobile phone is detecting wi-fi access while passing by between mountains. Later I realized the wi-fi signal are coming from commercial buses servicing the area. LOL.
|the breathtaking views|
- There are quite a lot of beautifully built houses along the highway. Far more beautiful than these two in the photo but I failed to catch them in my camera because we're travelling in maximum speed.
- Most houses, even the ordinary-built ones have satellite dish installed on their roofs, marked with Cignal TV. I guess that is how they receive TV broadcast.
- There are quite a number of Iglesia Ni Cristo and United Methodist churches built in every few hundred yards. I surmised these two are the dominant religion in these areas.
And for the reason why we had this trip? Now this is the sad part. The mother of one of my best friend died. We went there to pay our last respect.
|my ever dearest BFF|
And that is a far more sadder thing than me not finding a scarecrow.