Words and photos by Jason Chao
Breakfast with the majestic view of Mount Apo was the first stop of the First Yamaha Tour de Rev in Mindanao. Before the sun was out, riders from Yamaha Club from Mindanao set out to join the three-day ride of more than 1200 kilometers around one of the country’s major island. More than 50 riders were carefully selected to join the tour from Davao City to Cagayan de Oro and then Surigao before going back to MotorHub RevZone Davao. Riders with their reliable Yamaha motorcycle began to line up along MotorHub RevZone Davao before entering the National Highway signaling the start of Yamaha Tour de Rev Mindanao Loop. With headlights illuminating the highway, riders from this group are very visible with their bright green riding vest uniform. We sped throughY the road and gradually went up to Barangay Kapatagan in Digos City for the first meal of the ride. Cool breeze and nice weather greeted us. Riders not only enjoyed the food in the Kublai Art Garden but also the breathtaking view of Mount Apo from a distance. The riders left after taking some photos and enjoying the nice break, after all this is only the beginning.
The ride continued on to its next destination while passing through different sceneries going to Bukidnon. Riding in the gently curved road is also fun for the riders. You can compare them to water, flowing where the road goes. Good road with a clear view of the hills with green grasses around you just releases your mind from the daily hustles of the city. Few hours of this recharges and refreshes your mind.
After an hour or two, the group arrived in Bansalan to fill up the motorbikes. The whole gasoline station was swarmed by a sea of Yamaha motorcycles. Bystanders and locals began to ask how to join the group ride. It shows the natural interest of local people of Mindanao in riding and touring. After this quick stop, the group continued on to Bukidnon, passing by Carmen for another quick gasoline stop. The riders are now in urban area. The pace is still fast but riders are now more alert because of much busier traffic. The riders arrived in Thadeus Resto just in time for lunch. A sumptuous meal was served and everybody digged in. After finishing the lunch, there is still an hour before the scheduled departure. Riders started to get to know each other. Originally they are from different motorcycle club but is riding as one big Yamaha Club for this ride. The group departed as scheduled and is now heading towards Cagayan de Oro City. We encountered strong rain in the roads on the mountain. Everyone wore their raingear and safely continued with the ride. The rain lasted only for less than an hour. There were many portions of the roads that are being expanded and rehabilitate going to Cagayan de Oro. We arrived in the hotel in Cagayan de Oro a little past 5 in the afternoon. The riders were to meet again for dinner after settling up in their rooms. Food was great. And during the dinner, the ride leader presided a meeting to analyze the day, and to improve the ride for the next day. After giving some pointers and reminders, everyone goes back to the hotel for their well-deserved sleep.
The ride started before sunrise on the second day. Everyone was pumped up because the destination for the day was the Enchanted River in Hinatuan. Riders had their lunch in VJ’s Restaurant in Butuan City. They also opted to depart early to have more time in the Enchanted River. After a few gasoline stops and quick break, the group arrived and take a quick dip in this magnificent river. After spending almost two hours, it was time to leave. Though it is really hard to leave such a wonderful place there are still many places in Mindanao that we have to see and explore. We stayed in the town of Bislig for the night. Just an hour’s ride from the Enchanted River. The riders, stayed in a hotel with a river view.
After logging more than 800 kilometers, the last day of the ride had come. From Bislig we passed through a section of road that is being realigned going to Cateel, it was muddy and fun! A little off road experience on the trip is good add on. We had lunch in the City of Mati. Riders enjoyed the having their photo taken in the I (Heart) Mati sign after having their lunch. Then they proceeded to Tagbibinta Falls, before going back to MotorHub RevZone for the finish line.
The Yamaha Club riders arrived shortly after sunset in MotorHub RevZone. A victory party is waiting for them at the store. A short awarding for the finishers were held on the outdoor stage. Just in time when everybody was indoor having their dinner the rain started pouring.