Of Motorbikes and Cheap Thrills

September 28, 2015

During the Baler leg of my short Philippine break, I did something I always imagined myself doing when traveling--I rented a motorbike and drove myself around for almost two hours.

I thought it was gonna be a walk in the park. They say, after all, that an old skill will never be lost on you. Well, apparently it was. I didn't take into account that there will be other vehicles in play, people crossing the road, animals resting ON the road, sharp road curves, broken bridges that made you detour to a steep rough road path. To stop burying the lead, I lightly crashed into a mountain of gravel three minutes into driving, and had two VERY scary near-misses on sharp curves on the way back to The Circle Hostel.

To be honest, I was scared for my life and I kept swearing and shouting "Tangina! What did you get yourself into, Jen?!" However, to me that was still an achievement unlocked, considering I haven't driven a motorbike for the past 12 years. And because, you know, it was exactly as I envisioned myself doing before doing this side trip--driving by the sea, getting mesmerized by the view. I am very cheesy, #sorrynotsorry!

Realizations brought by this experience:

1. There is a line between confidence and reason that I should not cross. But in the event that I'm too stubborn to make something happen, I have to commit to it. No second guessing because that's what will get me into trouble AKA crashing and then landing on the gravel with my knee breaking the motorbike's fall. Ouch!

2. The first fall shouldn't be a sign to give up. It's a sign to do better. Several people came over to help me prop the motorbike up and as if I had no choice, I started the engine again. This time, my grip was lighter and my focus on the road was stronger.

3. Vanity will be the death of me. I swerved too many times while trying to fix my hair. (Read: I was responsible at it, okay. Only did it when there were no other vehicles and people on the road.)

4. Never forget to slow down, whether in life and in driving, ESPECIALLY during sharp curves. This can get as deep as it can get so let's be literal about it. "Wag kalimutan mag-menor kapag liliko", as what the tricycle driver driving behind me kept telling me.

5. Know when to stop. I still had three more hours left with the motorbike but I decided to take a nap, instead of maximizing the time. It was enough adrenaline rush for the day for me.

There's currently only one motorbike rental provider in Baler. If you wanna try this too, contact Aliyah Surf Camp at 09195299751 or go directly to their front desk. Rental fee for 6 hours costs PHP 400 per motorbike.

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