The Road Less Travelled: Bicol Roadtrip with The Philippine FJ Cruisers Club

I’ve lived in Metro Manila all my life and while living in the city has its pros, there are definitely a lot of cons – traffic, pollution, overpopulation. Now, I’m not saying that city living sucks (I still love it) but I am a firm believer in needing to get out of the city every once in a while to destress and recharge. The Philippines has a total of 7, 107 islands and there is definitely a lot to see out there.


A view of the ocean from Misibis Bay, Bicol

Last year, I decided to grab every opportunity I could to explore outside city limits and see what the country has to offer. My latest trip brought me to my father’s home province, Bicol, with the Philippine FJ Cruisers Club.

PFJCC is a national association of Toyota FJ Cruiser owners. While it employs the new technologies to enhance its reach to more people, PFJCC sees itself as a real association of men and women with common interests and values.

More about the PFJCC here.


Me with at 8 out of 11 FJ Cruisers

11 FJ Cruisers, companions and families in tow, left Manila for Legaspi City at 9 p.m. on a Thursday. The convoy reached the city at 10:30 a.m. The first stop was the famous Cagsawa Ruins, one of the province’s top tourist destinations.


The majestic Mayon volcano has always been a sight to behold but the view above was not the one that impressed me. My dad having hailed from the region, it was not the first time I laid eyes on Mayon’s perfect cone. The trip’s highlight involved a different view of Mt. Mayon:

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The afternoon was spent on an off road trail which led to the most breathtaking views.

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The 2-3 hour trail was not a challenge to the Cruisers at all. The rugged terrain was a treat to the driver-adventurers of the club.

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The trail ended at a clearing with the most beautiful view of Mayon. Of all the times I’ve ever seen the famous volcano, this was the first I saw it from a different perspective – away from the busy tourist spots and the crowded viewing decks. The tranquil spot we found ourselves in after hours of dirt road offered a  view of Mayon that not a lot of tourists see. Its perfect slope rolled elegantly into the the green landscape that surrounded us.


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