Most would rather take a bus down south to Bicol. Others even opt to hop on the recently refurbished Philippine National Railways (PNR) train just to avoid South Luzon’s notorious roads. Driving yourself there one would think: hassle. Well that’s just the first thought.
Flashfloods and landslides are common during the rainy season, busting up paths and making the ride rockier than, say, up North. Back in the ’80s the Quezon area bordering Lucena was rumored to be NPA-ridden and just last January, a shootout in Atimonan, Quezon left 13 alleged criminals said to be part of Public Armed Groups (PAGS) killed.
So not only do you have the wrath of Mother Nature to worry about, you’ve got gun-wielding men too–or even worse, a flat tire.
But the '80s are over. And unless you’re some communist involved in Jueteng who's packing heat, there’s no reason to get in your own vehicle and take what will probably be a 10-hour drive. As you’ll see, the south is filled with friendly faces, mouthwatering eats, and desirable destinations. You just need the guts and a gung-ho-attitude to get there.
Pambahay clothing, optional.
On the next page, our epic road trip begins. Along the way, we'll also be sharing some tips that we learned during our long, long drive.
You can also click here to read our story on how to prepare your car for the long road ahead.
NEXT: Four in the morning, and hundreds of miles ahead of us
Photos Paul Mondok