Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Honda Gen-S Pride Ride Cebu

"Maayong Udto riders!"
Honda knows how to have fun.  It was so evident in the last Pride Ride which was held in Caliraya, Laguna (Luzon) that a Visayan leg must happen and it did.  The riders, including me (especially me), are thankful to Honda Philippines, Inc. for bringing the Honda Gen-S Pride Ride to Cebu.

Three guys from Luzon are supposed to join the Cebu but unfortunately Mr. Gilbert Chao had an eye accident that led to an infection causing him to miss this event.  Ms. Donna Alo and I boarded the plane bound for Lapu-lapu Cebu.

Upon arrival, we took an hour-long ride from the airport to the "affordable three star hotel" Quest Hotel but it feels really like a 5 star.  This hotel is humble!  And since no Gilbert Chao, I had the room all to myself.

Alright!  This is the Honda XR200 with CRF fairings!  Love it!

After a wan-tu-sawa (all-you-can-eat) breakfast at the hotel, though I've only eaten a half-cup rice, 2 longganisa and a cup of, of course, the brewed blend.  No coffee no workee!

An estimated half hour ride from Quest Hotel is the 1st Flagship Store of Honda, situated in Lahug Cebu, owned and operated by DES (Du Ek Sam, Inc).  Oh man. when they say flagship store, what they really mean is a toy store for us fellow throttle-happy people.  The store features a 3-tiered metal casing featuring Honda toys, errr, motorcycles.  I say, what an awesome display and I'm sure everyone who comes in to the store wishes his garage is like this.   That's just the showroom.  There's also a service area where riders can have their bikes checked while ogling at the display.  The spacious parking at the front can accommodate horde of riders.  And lastly, though it isn't up yet, but a coffee shop will be put just beside the showroom.  This will be an awesome hangout!  If only my house is near though.

True to what they say, if you ask nicely, you might just receive it.  I really really REALLY wanted to roam the roads of Cebu but in the many times I've been here, I still haven't.  I thank you Ms. Ochie and of course the whole Honda Cebu for lending me not one but two Honda bikes for this event.  The Honda Beat FI and the Honda Click 125!  Me happy!

"Gamay lang!" I heard someone scream.  As most riders are unaccustomed to dirt, I saw at least one tumbled but true to the nature of Pinoy and Honda spirit, many riders ran to his immediately aid."

After a few minutes of briefing, on what and what not to do, the riders are asked what the Honda guys regularly do every morning.  Calisthenics!  Headed by Honda's assistant vice-president for customer service operations himself Mr. Tomoaki Watanabe!   This is in my opinion should be, if not compulsary, highly advised before every ride for our muscles to be awaken , especially if the road is gonna be long.  Well, the ride to Hidden Paradise they say wasn't that far, but the traffic congestion is always terrible so we have to bear with it.  Although it wasn't that bad that day, it was ok.  Nothing a man from Manila couldn't handle.

Ok, it's been ages since I last rode in a convoy.  For the longest time, I really enjoyed doing solo rides, but had to re-orient myself to group riding.  I almost forgot how fun it was also to be part of a crowd, cheered and looked on by another crowd.  It was a slow, steady and uneventful ride.  Until it got twisted.

I don't know, but I'm bad with directions and place names.  But I can only remember, it was a narrow right turner when the fun started, at least for me.  Twistees yey!  I purposely stayed behind, and waited a few minutes.  I wanted the long and winding road all to myself!  I took out my camera and of course no travel is complete without a selfie-on-a-bike photo!

I was a little baffled when there's a long string of the riders patiently waiting at the side of the road.  I understood when riders had to slow down because we apparently reached the end of the road (which translates to REAL start of fun, for me at least).  I even witness one biker slipped and almost dropped his bike, if not for the speedy response of the riders around him.  Good save guys!  Good save!

Hidden paradise is a private resort with amenities like pool and activity areas.  Honda fans filled all the rooms together with their assigned groupmates.  The riders, despite having their own clubs, had to partner up with other clubs by dividing into 6 color-coded groups.  Together they planned, strategized and pushed themselves to the limits to the mini games that the organizers had in store for them.  It was whole day of fun, laughter and camaraderi for the red riders.

At nightfall, immediately after a hearty meal including what Cebu is famous for, lechon, entertainment by dancers, bands and stand up comedians kept the riders, well, entertained.  As there will be no more riding that night, riders are allowed to some "fun" (read: booze).  What I adored most about the Visayan guys is their let-loose attitude, which is always a good thing.  They even took the bands' job and decided to gig together.  Ah I remember the Honda Carafun...  It was a parteeeey!  I've had a little fun myself sipping hard drinks with the Honda guys.  Thank you!

.... and the overall champion is...

Knowing about Cebu traffic reputation, we had to leave a bit earlier than the riders the day after.  Our flight is at 11.30am and we took off at 8am.  Luckily, there were no traffic jams that time, owing it to a lazy Sunday morning, and we had ample time to shop, well at least Ms. Donna did.

It was yet again one for the books. This is one Cebu trip that I actually enjoyed.  You know why I'm saying this?   My first time in Cebu was to assist in the aftermath of Yolanda.  It was depressing to see our fellow country left with nothing, devastated.  I even crashed my bike on the way there.  The second time I was down south, my gall stone attacked and had to be brought to the hospital.  Thankfully nothing untoward this time.  Even the last time, the Honda Rider's Convention was an awesome experience.

If I may just add, this event made me decide to learn the dialect of the south: bisaya.  Yes I'm learned a few words and phrases and intends to be fluent in it.  Why you ask?  Firstly, I may (or may not) find myself spending a lot time of down south.  Secondly, I have so many bisaya friends, so might as well join them in the conversations.  Thirdly, it's part of my oath to try always learn something new.  Yes I'm learning a new language (or dialect if you want to get technical). And last reason, why not bai?

Thank you Ms. Jean Garcia for always taking care of us.  Thank you Ms. Ochie Kinkito for the very warm friendship.  I am always looking forward to seeing you guys!  Thank you so much Honda Philippines, Inc.

All alone in this room for two.

As a motorcycle nut, I gotta have me this truck! 

XRM in the house!


Now this is a toy store!

The Honda CBR 150R with the Repsol livery.  

Tough bikes!  These are the legendary Pinoy's bike, the Honda XRM

Ms. Ochie Kinkito, Ms. Donna Alo, myself and Mr. Tomoaki Watanabe.


Hello there my love!  The Honda CRF 250L

Zoomin' in to your hearts, these are a couple of Zoomer X's

Dig the 'shield bai!

Selfie?  Wait for me!

Mr. Lagahit, store Manager of the toy store addresses the Honda riders before take off.

Mr. Watanabe himself leads the calisthenics routine of the Honda riders.

...and up... and down... and up.... and down....

Ah I didn't recognize you Mr. John.  Thanks for driving us around!

This is the south end of the Cebu subway tunnel stretching almost 1 kilometer!  

This is the not-so-Hidden Paradise, now that everyone knows about it.

Even my camera knows this bike.  CLICK!

Honda guys at the welcome arch.

Ei it's the CBR!

What kind of post do you want sir?
You know those bands from the...
Say no more!

Catch me if you can!

All alone again in this room for six.  Time for some "origin of the universe" and "meaning of life" philosophical thinking!

Ah hello there neighbor for a day!  Ms. Donna of Lifestyle on Wheels.

Mr. Watanabe thanks the riders for staying loyal to the brand, thus this event as Honda's way of saying thanks.  And yeah, the riders ride with pride with then Gen-S bikes.

Guwapa gyud Ms. May!

Fun games galore!

Of course all riders have to pose here.

I can make out a few of their words, but boy did I really laugh out loud.   I did best to steer clear of these comedians (or is it commedienes) as I didn't want to be "okrayed"  

.... and the winner of the Mr. Gen-S Cebu  is....

Lucky guy indeed!
Not only is he the 2017 Mr. Gen-S but he also won himself a brand new Spyder helmet!
'gratz man bai!