On our way to Sorsogon, driving through San Pablo and Lucena is always a pain due to heavy traffic. Coming back is worse. So when I heard from my wife’s friend that he’s taking the Rizal route going to Naga, bypassing the both cities, I was curious and wanted to try it.
My wife and my dad (who went with me and my daughter on the trip) were against it. They felt it was very reckless of me to take my daughter on unfamiliar road. The day before the trip, I checked the net for information especially Google Map. I found out that it will traverse the same direction when Tin and I went around Laguna de Bay, except that when we hit Pagsanjan, we have to turn left on our way to Tayabas. According to Google, the route via Rizal is shorter by a couple of kilometers.
We left at 6am. When we were in Teresa, I realized that since we are passing smaller towns, there will be narrower roads and lots of tricycles. Going down from Antipolo to Morong is uneventful. We cleared the Manila East Road easily until we started climbing the hills of Laguna after Pililla. It was raining and the road was slippery.
Once we enter Laguna, my phone’s GPS became indispensable.
Originally, we had to take this bridge in Pagsanjan then turn left on Pagsanjan-Cavinti Road, but the said bridge is closed for repairs. We tried a parallel road but didn’t see any sign that it will intersect to the said highway. After asking somebody on the road, we turned back and had to take the Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti Road, which added approx. 6-8 kilometers. However, the added distance was compensated by a magnificent view of the man-made lake – we even drove on top of the dam, which was our first time. The Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti Road is uphill but there very few vehicles.
Then we proceeded to Luisiana, Laguna‘s answer to Baguio City. Again, it was an uphill drive with tricycles and jeepneys struggling to climb up, drivers who kept on stepping on the brakes/clutch – all delaying our travel. The rain was turning from bad to worse. From here on, the rain never stopped and it will worsen from Tagkawayan, Quezon to Castilla, Sorsogon.
By 10am, we found ourselves on the intersection of Pan-Philippine Highway and Tayabas-Pagbilao Road. We exit to the Pan-Philippine Highway just a few meters away from the intersection of Recto Street (one way going to Manila).
So, my plan of clearing the route within 3 hours went down the drain. But I realized that it’s tough if it’s raining, unless we leave earlier than 6am. Furthermore, we passed by several elementary schools; if it was school season, the travel would’ve been worse.
Will I still take this road? You bet, especially on my way back from Bicol.
Sa mga mabiyahe tabi niyan na Pasko, ingat lang tabi kay mauran-uran.