Vespa Club of the Philppines visits the City

Approximately 82 kilometers southeast (or is it southwest?) of Manila and about 500 feet above the mean sea level lies San Pablo City - a place known as the “City of Seven Lakes.” Right at it’s heart is a suburban hub bustling with people, commerce and the resulting traffic; but the backroads still possesses the rustic, rural ambiance with cool and fresh winds fanned by the swaying coconut breeze against the backdrop views of Mounts San Cristobal and even Banahaw on a clear day.

Yesterday, the Vespa Club of the Philppines (VCOP) headed to that direction upon the invitation of two of our members (brothers-in-law Enjo & Jojo) who are based there. Ironic as it may sound, it’s actually my first time to join a VCOP out-of-town ride. By car, San Pablo is just a 90-minute drive via the expressway. The VCOP boys took-off past 6AM and took the longer but scenic route of the Sierra Madre foothills (via Famy) which clocked approximately 3 hours to get to our destination riding for 153kms. Just before heading to San Pablo to meet our gracious hosts, we stopped by the Calauan Church to meet-up with our friends from Scoot66 who took a different route and arrived there ahead and patiently waited for us.

After a short rest and some chitchat outside the church, we headed to the city and were met by our gracious hosts by the roadside who the led us to this sprawling school property (special thanks to the owners of Blue Danube School) which has a perfect view of Mt. San Cristobal. For lunch, our host’s family prepared a hearty meal: pansit, binalot (rice topped with chicken adobo and wrapped in banana leaves) and lechon. For dessert, there’s that very memorable sansrival (on hindsight, I’m regretting I only got a slice) and some polvoron. Of course, there’s some beer for those who need to have their fill with some after-meal chatter and banter. We headed to the biggest and most popular of the seven lakes — Sampalok Lake for our final stop before we left for Manila. Here’s the photo of all the scoots and riders who participated in this milestone ride.

Again, our thanks to Enjo & Jojo and their family for hosting a group of hungry and rowdy riders and treating us with that special kind of San Pablo hospitality.

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• Here are some ride details courtesy of Vex’s GPS mounted on his scoot:

Shell-Julia Vargas to San Pablo, Laguna - (via Famy)

Departure: 6:54am
Arrival: 11:40am
Time Moving: 3h 19mins
Distance Traveled: 153km
Moving Ave: 46.1km/h
Max Speed: 89.7km/h

San Pablo, Laguna to Shell-Julia Vargas (via Calamba)

Departure: 2:02pm
Arrival: 5:31pm
Time Moving: 2h 38mins
Distance Traveled: 92.9km
Moving Ave: 35.1km/h
Max Speed: 86.2km/h

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