As far as places go you would be hard pushed to find somewhere more different to the UK than the Philippines, landing in Manila rips the comfort zone right out from underneath you. Gone are the normal western customs, humidity is king of the weather even in deepest winter, and the traffic is mind-boggling. Heading out of the airport we could not be happier to have guides Iztok, Bans, and Tena by our side.
The Philippines as a country is made up of over seven thousand islands. With the western isles being a relative no-go zone for foreigners due to kidnapping, pirates, and a whole host of other things that didn’t sound too appealing. We were relieved to hear that our trail hunting mission was taking us north through the rice fields towards sun-baked Narvacan.
With Narvacan making a solid bid to become the action sports and horsepower capital of the Philippines we quickly found ourselves slinging our Genius’s into the back of a jacked up pickup to sample some of the local trails. With steep fireroads and dust being the gourmet starter on in the ups department, the main would not disappoint. Dropping almost vertically from an outcrop that was being prepared for a paragliding school the trails snaked back down to the golden beaches through steep channels, big jumps, and phenomenal corners. The smiles and the dust was cemented on our faces with the only way of blowing it off being on a supercharged quad, then a jet ski, then a Polaris rounded out by a Porsche. I think it would be tough to argue with the action sports capital’s credentials.
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Photo/Video: Sam Flanagan