Padyakan sa Bataan: Pedaling Enthusiasts Race through the Scenic Loop of Mariveles

It was during the fad of phony Facebook events such as “Suntukan sa Ace Hardware”, “Bardagulan sa National Bookstore” when I received an invitation to cover a cycling competition called “Padyakan sa Bataan”. I though it was too good to be true, but it turned out legit. Bataan has been holding this cycling event annually for the past few years as an activity to accompany the Araw ng Kagitingan celebration every month of April.

Killer Loop of Mariveles Bataan

As a biking enthusiast but way short of being a competitive cyclist, I would have wished to have participated just for fun. However, logistics of bringing my decade old mountain bike presented a problem as we can barely fit inside our media service van. 

Alyanna Bromeo

So, instead of being a part of it, I welcomed the idea of witnessing this year’s Padyakan sa Bataan as a spectator. I figured I’ll have more opportunities to experience the so-called “Killer Loop” biking route snaking around the mountains of Mariveles.

11th Pedaling to the Metal in Bataan

More than 300 participants ranging from a 4-year-old kid to 70-year-old grandfather, signed up for the 11th Padyakan Sa Bataan. There are three major categories; Men, Women and Kids. While those joining the kids category will only bike through a short route, the organizers designed a tough but picturesque course for the adult participants. 

Cycling routes in Philippines

The race kicked off at a hilltop with a clear view of the Mountains of Mariveles and circling into Mt. Samat before passing through Bagac and Orion. Aptly described as the Killer Loop because of its uneven terrain with sharp ravines on the side, it sounded to me as something every biker would want to try.

Marianne Tagaca

Our host from Bataan Tourism explained to us that they made sure the route is safe by putting warning signs for the dangerous part of the trail. Knowing how this kind of competition is staged, I am confident that the bikers will have a safe cycling experience even in the difficult biking trail of Mariveles than pedaling on the streets of Metro Manila.

Desa Tayting

The race lasted several hours from 9am until early in the afternoon when we started witnessing the arrival of the first wave of finishers. It is very inspiring seeing them cross the finish line after bagging what could be a memorable experience. 

Levy Amosin

Trophies, medals and cash prizes were handed out to the top finishers–courtesy of Bataan Tourism and the event's sponsors like Shimano, FOX, Max's, TOTAL and other outdoor companies.

Side Trip to Sisiman’s San Miguel Rock

As the Padyakan sa Bataan wrapped up an hour and a half before darkness, we found time to go on a side-trip to nearby San Miguel Rock in Brgy. Sisiman in Mariveles, Bataan. It is a coastal town famous for its rock formation, quaint setting and the magnificent view of the sunset.

Danica Lolita Tigas

Although sadly, the site is now being besieged by quarrying activities, a towering rock formation–which I hope will be spared from excavation–towers attractively and living up to the local’s description of it as “susong dalaga” (breast of a lady). Well, that is one pointed breast if you ask me. Let’s just chalk it up to the rich imagination of the residents.

Leslie Jorge

As we go back to our hotel and the sky turned into a fiery red color, I picture myself cycling through the rough terrain of the Killer Loop–regaling at the charming countryside views of Mariveles and huffing and puffing in exhaustion. What a wonderful experience that would been.

Pinoy Travel Bloggers

And yes, we capped the day with an ice-cold San Miguel Beer.