In my recent trip to Nasugbu, Batangas, I visited the increasingly popular attraction in Fortune Island. To get there, I took a drive for the first time into the less-taken path of Nasugbu-Ternate highway.
This long twisted route was possible only after the first of July, 2013 when the Kaybiang Tunnel was finally opened. This tunnel, the longest in the country at 300 meters, passes through Mt. Pico de Loro connecting the towns of Ternate and Nasugbu. Ever since, it has been a destination among riders, cyclist and bikers.
After witnessing the incredibly scenic view of the surrounding landscape, I instantly grew the fascination to be back here and ride my bicycle into this very alluring road. It took a few more months for the stars to line up, and last weekend it finally pushed through.
I joined the some folks from UP PGH bikers on the way to Nasugbu as part of an Independence Day ride. It wasn’t one of the easiest day tours I had in a while, but all the post-ride body pain was certainly worth it.
Nasugbu – Kaybiang Tunnel Ride Details
Our ride started from the PGH grounds, heading south via Quirino Ave. Then we took the Antero Soriano Highway going to the heart of Cavite. In Naic, we turned left to Governors Dr and went straight to reach the towns of Marogondon and Ternate. Lastly, after the Kaybiang Tunnel was the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway.
Distance : 113 kilometers
Max Elevation : 350 m
Elevation Gain : 1605
Moving Time : 8:47:02
Road Sights and Scenes
Kilometer 20-30 : Aguinaldo Shrine
It was six in the morning when we left the PGH grounds in Manila. The sun was up and the sky was clear- signs of a another hot afternoon coming. But since it was still early in the day, we were on a good pace and reached the province of Cavite in a little over an hour.
The Philippine Independence would be celebrated in less than a week. And to make this ride a bit more significant with the occasion, we decided to make a stop to where it all started, the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit.
More than a century ago, on this very spot, Philippine Independence was declared. And for the first time, the national flag was raised.
Kilometer 50 – 65 : Bonifacio Shrine
After our stop in Kawit and a quick breakfast, we continued pedaling to the town of Maragondon to visit another historical landmark. According to historians, Andres Bonifacio and his brother, Procopio, were shot dead on this part of Cavite. To commemorate the late hero, a shrine was built after his name.
Unlike our first stop, the Bonifacio Shrine is not easily accessible to everyone. To get there, we had to cross a hanging bridge to Brgy Pinagsanhan then bike through a few kilometers of rough road.
This actually wasn’t my first time to visit Bonifacio Shrine. Seeing the trails once again reminded me of the fun we had last time we headed here (Check : Bike Ride to Bonifacio Shrine,).
Kilometer 66 – 76
The route from Manila to Maragondon was almost all flat, so aside from the short trail climbs in Mt Nagpatong, our ride was relatively easy so far.
When we reached the town of Ternate, difficulty level started to go up a notch (or two). Elevation rose gradually as we get near the DENR office (jump off to Mt Pico de Loro). The slow climb stretched ten kilometers, draining our energy little by little.
Kilometer 77 – 85 : Kaybiang Tunnel
Past the DENR office were a few more short climbs. Then it would be followed by a long steep downhill into the luscious green forest before reaching the famous tunnel. We were relieved to finally have gravity on our side, at least for now.
Prior to its opening, words about Kaybiang tunnel has already spread among travel/adventure enthusiasts. Ever since, this engineering marvel stood among the famous landmarks located south of Metro Manila.
For any motorist passing by, especially first timers, you can’t help but stop and take a picture of this remarkable structure as it pierces through the grand Pico de Loro mountains. Of course, our bike group were no different.
Perhaps, almost everyone will find their share of amazement about the Kaybiang tunnel, myself included, but I think the best part about this route is what’s waiting beyond it – the majestic, jaw-dropping view of the unspoiled Cavite and Batangas coves.
It really takes no effort for anyone to find appreciation of the beauty of what lies beyond the tunnel. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something interesting.
Five kilometers after the tunnel was a viewing deck where vehicles can stop and linger on the scene. The eyefeast continues for around ten more kilometers.
Straight down this road was the town of Nasugbu, Batangas where we planned to finished our ride. Distance-wise, it was quite short at twenty kilometers. But I knew, we still have a long way to go before we can actually relax.
The view on the road, shared the same breathtaking sights, literally and figuratively.
We reached Brgy Looc in Nasugbu at around 5 pm where we came to a fork of two roads. Both of them leads to Nasugbu town proper at almost the same distance. The left one though, is relatively easier than the right with less climbs and more flats.
We chose to take the right path, and honestly, at some point I wished we didn’t. The sun was already starting to set, and we were still climbing up some unending uphills.
But nonetheless, it was rewarding to see the beautiful Batangas sunset.
We reached Nasugbu’s town center a little past six, drained and exhausted. We were a bit worried that we might not catch a bus with a compartment big enough for our bikes. Fortunately, we did.
As we head home, we can’t deny the relief in our faces as we were able to finally relax after a day of epic biking – another one in the books.
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