I’ve been to Bulacan several times in my life. Most of these instances were to visit my extended family in the rural areas of Calumpit. The other reasons included field trips, work-related excursions, vacations, or enjoying some of the restaurants in the city proper.
However, at some point, I also saw the province’s natural beauty when I visited Biak Na Bato National Park in San Miguel. It still had a dense forest, rock formations, and a cooling river that most tourists flock to after hiking in the nearby mountains.
Seeing those mountains always made me wonder what the view is like atop, but I’m not adept at hiking. On May 10, I had the chance to see the mountains of Bulacan from a different perspective—and I didn’t have to hike to get there.
A family-owned business in San Miguel offers tours using all-terrain vehicles (ATV) that tourists can drive themselves. Now, ATV tours aren’t unique in Bulacan, as numerous others provide these services. San Miguel DRT ATV Tours allows their guests to explore the Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) and Sierra Madre mountains, offroad trails, hidden waterfalls, and more.
It started as a sideline business for Ferdinand Carreon, 29, and his wife in January 2021. Eventually, they saw the potential of tourism in giving them a lucrative source of income while promoting the natural beauty of their province.
“We also saw it as a way to keep us grounded and to allow us to spend more time together since we’re a growing family,” Carreon said in the vernacular.
He added that it also became a way for them to stay afloat during the pandemic since many city folks were looking for an adventure while following health protocols. The nearby mountains, abundant with fresh air and sparsely populated, supplied these demands.
With the help of a private business partner and local government support, they acquired several ATV units to get their business started. They also worked with some local suppliers to get ATV units and spare parts for maintenance.
Carreon said that their ATV units undergo maintenance before and after use to secure the safety and satisfaction of their guests.
Those who aren’t familiar with driving an ATV receive a crash course from Carreon before the start of the tour. He explains the basics promptly so guests can easily understand the ATV’s controls. They’re also allowed to test the ATV for a few minutes until they get the hang of it. As an added safety precaution, Carreon advises their guests to have a firm grip on the handles to prevent swerving and other accidents while on the road.
Once everyone can maneuver their units, Carreon gets the tour started. Guests can choose which route they can take and base it on their experience on the ATV. Those looking for more adventure can opt for the challenging path that’s filled with off-road terrain, steep slopes, and sharp turns.
Regardless of the path, Carreon will let the guests experience crossing rivers, rocky roads, and new heights so they can make the most from their ATV experience. He hopes that their business will bring more tourists to the mountains of Bulacan and boost the local economy while highlighting the province’s natural beauty.
Visit San Miguel DRT ATV Tours on Facebook for more information.