Bike Trails: Rural Meets Regal in Calatagan

I was up early on our second day in Calatagan, Batangas. I insisted on bringing my bike on this trip even if it meant less leg room for us in the vehicle because I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to pedal on provincial road (read: better views, less pollution).

CAPOceans Foundation/Calatagan Peninsula Resort in Madrigal compound

The chilly 5AM air rivaled the air conditioning in our dorm-type beach front room. I scanned the beach and for a while contemplated on doing some yoga poses first (it was so tempting). I decided to make a bottle of milk for my kid instead - to buy me extra time for my morning ride.

Sonrisa, channeling South American, perhaps?
The morning sun peered from the Eastern side of the peninsula. CalatagueƱos are proud of the fact that they can witness the sun's performance twice in a day - pick your side.

The lighthouse has been here longer than any other resident

I ventured North, passing by vacation home after another. Regal properties dotted the coast land, in between seemingly miniature versions of Negros sugar cane plantations. It was no surprise to find out that Calatagan is the playground of the elite. No less than the Zobels and Madrigals own vast properties in the area.

A nice shaded path

The lack of kilometer markers on the road got me doubting whether I can reach my target finish line which is the town church (in the town center). But the prospect of sightseeing quickly dissolved these thoughts.

The guard couldn't let me in (because the resort manager has just arrived)

Grand trees line the both sides of the cemented road which sloped gently up and down. I rolled from one shadow-island to another. Even the cracks on the ground seem to smile as the first rays of sun touch its surface.

No such thing as an empty road

Somewhere, near or distant, fallen leaves are being burnt. You know how a smell can take you back to a certain place in your memory? For me, the smell of smoke from burnt leaves in the morning reminds me of my childhood days living in an old house with a huge backyard.

self portrait attempt

The authentic rural charm of this place is not swayed by the fact that several exclusive resorts have put up shop in the area, including the posh Playa Calatagan and the strictly-by-invitation-only Stilts Resort. A short uphill challenges me as I pass by the latter resort. I pumped on the pedal until I reached its apex.

car-less road- just the way I like it.

I pass by Barangay Santa Ana. Fresh from a fiesta celebration the day before, its people are just calling it a night at 6AM. Further along, I see a group of friends jogging on the side of the road. I wonder where they're headed...

I can see the East coast from here

By this time it seemed that I've reached the highest point on the road, in Barangay Tanagan, for I can see both shorelines of the peninsula. I half decided to go back, because the morning is getting long. Pushing my defeatist thoughts aside, I raced on to the finish line. The town center, I'd later find out, is about 10 kilometers away from my starting point - not bad for a morning ride (how much is that in calories again?).

Santo Domingo de Silos Church will celebrate its centennial next year

The church doors were open but it was quiet inside. After a quick inspection, I find that a wedding ceremony is being held in it, at 7AM! That, and my exhaustion from the long ride is my excuse for not having noted down the name of the historical church. But online search reveals it for me: Santo Domingo de Silos Church built in 1913.

The facade has a subtle hint of baroque in it

I started taking pictures from this point on (so those images above were posted in reverse order). It probably took me another hour to get back to our resort in Barangay Bagong Silang. For more information on how to get here, check out my Calatagan Beach, Batangas itinerary post. Anyway, here are a few more snapshots from my ride. I hope you enjoyed my first Bike Trails post!

Wall art outside the police station

Road to paradise: Turn left at Apacible St.

Barangay Bagong Silang vicinity map
Check out my bike trail map here:

View Calatagan 10k bike route in a larger map

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