Top 10 Gas Scooters

Many manufacturers of gas scooters have come and gone in the past 10 years. It has become a very competitive industry; especially since the influx of cheaper Chinese brand clones entering the U.S. market. That being said, the quality gap between USA made and Chinese made scooters still heavily tilts in favor of the USA branded scooters. It is no surprise that 10 out of the 10 top gas scooters are all USA made scooters.

1. EVO 2X Powerboard

The Evo 2X is a third generation gas scooter from Puzey Design. The Evo brand powerboards are the highest quality products on the market and the fastest scooters ever built. The 2-speed gearbox is a patented, unique drive system that is the heart of the Evo 2X. It is the first two speed scooter in the world.

The range of applications of powerboards and scooters have thus far been limited by low revving, low horsepower engines. Now with the 2-speed gearbox, you can have the power when pulling off, or going uphill, in first gear and have the top speed with 2nd gear. Steep hill climbs for riders over 250lbs are no problem for the Evo 2X.

Another technological advancement found in the Evo 2X is the patented Cam-Link suspension. It is a true suspension system that offers a smooth ride, while offering excellent resistance when landing after jumps. Once you try it you will simply see there is nothing like it. This suspension is the strongest, most robust front suspension in the industry today.

The Evo 2X is one of the most reliable scooters ever produced. The steel and T6 aluminum frame are nearly indestructible. There have been reports of Evo scooters going 1300 miles without even replacing a belt.

Things you’ll never have to replace include:

The Frame and Suspension – Even though this scooter is largely designed with light weight aluminum, it is reinforced with steel where necessary. This makes the frame and structure of the scooter nearly indestructible.

The Engine – The Active 50 is not only an impressive power plant, it is also one of the most reliable engines available. A properly maintained engine which is run on 91+ octane fuel with a proper mix (1:40 – 1:50) will last the life of the scooter.

The Deck – The Evo 2X comes with one of the sturdiest decks available for a scooter. Although it is aluminum, it is unbelievably resilient to scratching and will never bend or crack.

2. Go-Ped GTR46i – Trail Ripper Interceptor

The Goped GTR Interceptor is an on-road, street racing version of the Goped GTR46 Trail Ripper. This high-performance Go-Ped now comes with the following modifications:

  • New quieter exhaust system
  • Smooth ride AT Primo Duro Trap aggressive treaded street tires
  • Higher speed, better fuel economy
  • Quieter GSR46R 6-76 sprocket drive ratio

These modifications make the Go-Ped GTR46i perfect for those that want to experience the fully suspended plush ride on paved and unpaved surfaces that comes only from the race proven and patented CIDLI suspension system. Dubbed C.I.D.L.I. for Cantilevered Independent Dynamic Linkless Indispension, this unique front and rear swing arm system is indispensable to this practical and fun light weight off-road machine.

3. Go-Ped Riot

The Go-Ped Riot was introduced along side the Go-Ped GTR46 as a pitbike like “scooter”. Like the GTR46, the Go-Ped Riot features front and rear CIDLI suspension.

Using the patented Trail Ripper adjustable suspension system in the front and rear, it offers riders great off-roading capabilities with 6″ of travel on each end. Powered by the powerful Go-Ped GP460RS engine geared at 6:98, the rugged and highly reliable Go-Ped Riot gives excellent bottom end and a stock top speed of 30mph. The centrifugal clutch provides for a very user friendly yet thrill-packed ride.

4. Martin Monster Beast

The Martin Monster Beast is the most powerful MMI production scooter available. It comes stock with a 52cc Mitsubishi engine which has almost twice the torque as the RC230 powered scooters. Each Beast is hand built by a single technician.

The frame uses the same dual suspension system Martin Monsters has become famous for. The frame is show chromed and hand polished. The drive chain is a robust 35 pitch heavy duty chain with a centrifugal clutch for easy stop-and-go use. The Beast is very powerful but also very quiet with tremendous reserves of power and torque. The Martin Monster Beast comes with an anti-vibration system for a very smooth vibration free ride. Many aftermarket performance parts are available to further customize your Beast.

5. Go-Ped GTR Roadster

The Goped GTR Roadster is an economy version of the Goped GTR46i. With the exception of the smaller Chung Yang GPL290 engine and welded T-bar handlebars, the GTR Roadster is the exact same scooter.

This cool scooter features the race proven, patented, adjustable and bullet proof GTR full 6″ CIDLI suspension frame. To that we’ve installed the incredibly light, yet powerful and quieter GPL290 engine with TT tires and sprocket drive ratios of the GSR Cruiser.

6. Martin Monster Super Shocker

The Martin Monster Super Shocker is a dual purpose machine equally at home, off road, or on. It comes with 10″ pneumatic knobby tires, to handle any terrain. The Super Shocker comes with a heavy duty automatic clutch which allows hands free stop-and-go operation.

This is the first and the best production scooter to use full suspension. The front suspension is telescoping motorcycle style and the rear is mono shock absorbing with up to 4″ of travel. A drilled front disk brake gives sure fast stopping. Power from the Martin Monster Super Shocker is by the Komatsu Zenoah RC230 engine with 2.5HP.

7. EVO 2 Powerboard

The Evo 2 is a third generation gas scooter from Puzey Design. The Evo brand powerboards are the highest quality products on the market and the fastest scooters ever built. The 2-speed gearbox is a patented, unique drive system that is the heart of the Evo 2X. It is the first two speed scooter in the world.

The Evo 2 is a high-performance, two speed scooter released as a more economical version of the Evo 2X. Unlike its big-brother, the Evo 2 does not have front suspension or a scrub board to protect the under-deck area. Rather than the impressive Active 50, the Evo 2 sports the milder Active 40 engine.

Since the Evo 2 does have the two speed transmission of the Evo 2X, it still does perform impressively despite the lack of performance in the Active 40 engine. If the Evo 2 is being used purely for transportation, the Active 40 will provide enough power along with the two speed transmission, but if any real speed is desired, an engine upgrade should be the first step.

That being said, the Evo 2 is one of the most reliable scooters ever produced

8. Go-Ped Super GSR46R

The Go-Ped GSR46R is one of the most powerful street scooters released by Go-Ped. It is intended to be a street-only scooter since it lacks any form of frame-based suspension. When it was released, the GSR46R, Go-Ped marketed it as the fastest production scooter in the world. Although the claim is debatable, it could very well have been true due to the high speeds attainable with the large R460 engine.

Developed on the legendary GSR40Tsi – Interceptor Go-Ped – the Super GSR46R is powered by the same motor as on the fearless Trail Ripper GTR46. Equipped with a patent pending centrifugal clutch chain drive mechanism geared at 6/76, the GP460RS engine delivers 4.2HP and 2.31 ft-lbs torque with a 17,500 redline, providing for excellent performance at low and high speeds. Tunable, it can even reach 5.5+ HP and 2.6+ ft-lbs of torque with the addition of an aftermarket expansion chamber.

The front and rear Mad Dog disc brakes provide excellent braking performance perfectly matched for the power output of the Go-Ped Super GSR46R.

All of Patmont Motor Werks finest racing components come standard: Heavy duty 4130 chromoly steel frame and double sided fork, pneumatic TT tires mounted with magnesium rims and 20″ Motorcycle style “Tim Patmont bend” racing handlebars fitted with a slide tube clamp, billet stem pro clamp, Go-Ped race pad and Pro control levers.

9. Martin Monster Moto

The Martin Monster Moto is a full suspension, chain driven scooter which inherited much of its design from its older brother, the Martin Monster Beast. The Moto’s advanced design features include such technical innovations as an anti-vibration system, which provides for a smooth vibration free ride. Other features include dual disk brakes, heavy duty chain drive, automatic clutch and front & rear suspension.

10. Go-Ped GSR Cruiser

The GSR Cruiser is the perfect machine for the customer wanting a quiet, reliable and economical motorized scooter with good performance, but also for beginners wanting an affordable, safe and easy to learn first scooter. PMW believes it is the perfect machine for a very large segment of motorized scooter enthusiasts.

The Go-Ped GSR Cruiser is also the perfect machine for motor heads and the after market community, as chassis upgrades and screaming engine mods are widely available. The GSR Cruiser’s power plant, the new GPL290, is based on the high performance GP290RS engine, designed to be a very reliable, quiet and economical cruiser. Top speeds for the GSR Cruiser are in the mid 20mph range, and its horse power is similar to the earlier GSR40.

Stopping power comes from the front Mad Dog brake caliper and double ground and hardened stainless steel Wave disc rotor. The rear brake mount is ready for the rear brake upgrade should the customer so choose to modify for more speed which needs more stopping power.

Leisure Batteries: Why Your Next Leisure Battery Purchase Should Be Leoch Branded?

Leoch batteries are well-known for their durability and reliability and are manufactured for the leisure vehicle market. These batteries are used in mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, motorcycles, golf trolleys, golf carts, hunting and fishing equipment, lawn and garden tools, photography equipment, power sports equipment, portable power tools, numerous toys, all sorts of hobbies and their associated equipment and even safety and back up lighting. Because of the reliability, good warranties, numerous available models, and strong reputation of this product, those that want to enjoy a battery powered electric piece of equipment will be quite happy to have it run on a Leoch. These batteries come in a variety of sizes with multiple voltages available and can be obtained to match the specifications of all sorts of equipment and various models within each category listed above. Leoch offers AGM, deep cycle, gel cell, front terminal and some other choices that might be required in order to power any number of products.

For the Leisure Market

While Leoch batteries are known for being able to be used in all sorts of situations and for multiple types of equipment, it is undoubtedly the most desirable brand of leisure battery. Those who are enjoying themselves while engaging in their favorite leisure activity would, of course, prefer not to worry about battery power or break downs. Whether it is a trolley for golf clubs, a motorcycle, or a mobility scooter that allows one to move about and enjoy life, these batteries are vital to keeping that item running well so that life can be easier and more enjoyable.

Choosing the Right Leoch Battery

First, one must know the required size dimensions, number of volts, amps and any other specifications required by the manufacturer of the equipment that needs a new battery. Next, one should look at a list of the products made by Leoch and narrow it down to those that are capable of fulfilling the required standards for his or her equipment. Then, taking budget, longevity and any other factors into account one should be able to choose the appropriate battery for his or her situation.

Great Reviews

Leoch batteries have great reviews from happy customers. Users of these products are more than happy to recommend them to friends, family and colleagues. The products all come with standard warrantied that rarely need to be used but are honored without hassle when a problem does arise. Leoch batteries for mobility scooters, motorcycles and golf trolleys, along with those for all of the many other leisure and safety usages, are well-known for lasting long, for ease of maintenance, durable casing, and reliable power output, all of which makes customers happy and keeps them coming back to Leoch whenever they need a replacement or have a new piece of equipment that requires a battery.

Leoch is renowned for its products in the leisure battery niche. These well-reviewed, well-liked products offer all of the features consumers need in order to make activities as carefree as possible where power is concerned.

Cowhide Versus Buffalo Hide For Leather Jackets and What the Differences Are

There have been a lot of misunderstandings about which type of hide is stronger for a jacket, a buffalo hide or cowhide. Now buffalo hide they use in leather jackets come from water buffalo, not American bison. In it’s natural state, a buffalo hide is thicker than cowhide.

However they don’t use the full thickness of a hide when they make leather jackets. With both a cowhide and buffalo hide they actually split the hide into several layers. The layer that had the hair on it is called the top grain, the other layers are called the split grain. Most quality leather motorcycle jackets use leather that is between 1.5 MM and 2.0 MM in thickness.

When they process each type of hide, they split them down to about the same thickness. So they both are the same thickness! Therefore there is no truth that a buffalo leather jacket is thicker than a cowhide leather jacket. You can find both types in different jackets that are different thicknesses depending on the quality of the brand and if it’s top grain or split grain. But two comparable leather jackets made from buffalo hide and cowhide are the same thickness.

Is a buffalo hide stronger than a cowhide motorcycle jacket, that’s the next question. After they process the hides into leather, a buffalo hide is actually a little bit softer than cowhide. A hide from buffalo and cows are really about the same as far as toughness and the ability to resist cuts and punctures. In it’s natural state on a buffalo the hide is thicker, so it can withstand more abuse.

But as I already explained, once they split the hide and process it into leather, they are the same thickness. So, both a buffalo hide and cowhide are the same in strength and durability. I know a lot of people don’t think so, but that’s the truth. If your getting a leather motorcycle jacket and want the toughest type of hide, both will give you equal protection.

In fact pigskin is also a very tough and strong hide that is almost as durable as the other two. Some even prefer pigskin, as it does seem to be a bit softer and more flexible than others.

What is more important is getting a top, full grain leather jacket rather than a split grain one. A top grain cowhide leather jacket will be thicker than a buffalo hide split grain leather jacket, and the opposite is also true. So if you get a top, full grain buffalo hide or cowhide leather motorcycle jacket, you have chosen the best leather jacket you can find. Both are strong and can take a lot of punishment.

Cebu City, Philippines – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A tourist visiting Cebu City for the first time may well be turned off by some of the city sites. The city has several world class resorts, hotels, beaches and dive sites. It also has some areas of the world’s most devastating poverty. Cebu City is the capital city of the Cebu Province and it is the second largest city in the Philippines following Manila. I always feel at home in the city and lived in the city before building my home in the rural Cebu Province of Camotes Islands. Cebu City is a mix of the old and new, rich and poor, good and bad and pretty and ugly. There is also the mix of clean and really dirty or filthy. The rule for anyone going to Cebu for the first time is to not make a snap judgment.

My first trip to Cebu City was in February 2004. I went to the Philippines to meet a girl (Judith) now my wife. I flew into the Cebu-Mactan Airport and was met by Judith and one of here sisters. My flight started in Florida and the last leg of the flight was from Hong Kong. The Cebu International airport is just a little outdated, but very functional. Once outside of the airport doors I saw waves of people waiting to meet people coming off of the flight from Hong Kong. The airport was not all that busy when I arrived and I think my plane was the only arriving flight at the time. As people from my flight walk outside of the airport door they were bombarded with shuttle, taxi and V-hire greeters, all trying to get a fare. I met Judith just outside the airport doors. She, her sister and I all jumped into an old Kia Taxi and we were off to my hotel.

The taxi was old and not very well maintained. The Air conditioner didn’t work and the window wouldn’t go down. Of course that didn’t matter as I couldn’t close the door because the door latch was broken. So, I got lots of air. The hotel was about a 30 minute drive from the airport. As we traveled the city streets I saw crowded sidewalks made even more crowded by the many sidewalk vendors and street vendors. Some of the roads we traveled were moderately maintained while others were in very poor condition. The roads were crowded with many types of cars, but mostly Kia’s and Hyundais. There were also a lot of Jeepneys, a Philippine traditional method of travel. A jeepney looks like a stretched army jeep with a hardtop and a large cargo area used for two benches for passenger seating. Jeepneys are normally painted with several different colors and lots of chrome. Many of the jeepneys are poorly maintained and most have bald tires and the braking systems may be questionable. Also, there were lots of small motorcycles.

After traveling just a few minutes I decided that the most dangerous vehicle in Cebu was the Jeepney, the Taxi and finally the motorcycle. The jeepney drivers tend to rule the road and stop on either side of the road to pick up or drop off passengers. I saw many jeepneys cut both lanes of traffic off just to drop off people and then saw others swerve quickly to the side of the road cutting off traffic so the driver could jump out of the jeepney to urinate along the side of the road. Taxis are no better, but pose a slightly smaller threat because the vehicles are smaller than a jeepney Motorcycles seem to be a danger only to the motorcycle driver and passengers and anyone walking along side the road or on the sidewalk. Motorcycles make their own traffic lanes on whatever little shoulder the road may have to offer or sometimes drive on the painted divider line as a narrow roadway to make an extra traffic lane for themselves. At other times I saw motorcycles throttle down sidewalks weaving around pedestrians. Yet, the pedestrians seemed little concerned of the carelessness and just continued on their way.

As we continued on our way to the hotel we drove through many different areas of the city. Some areas were very old and the buildings looked as though they were ready for demolition years ago. Many buildings and store fronts are concrete with plywood or corrugated steel sheets added to broken windows and steel bars cover the window or plywood. I can’t imagine what would be worth the cost of the steel bars as the buildings were so poor. I was sure the contents within were no better. I noticed several small store fronts with one big open widow covered with chicken wire. These little stores are about the size of a small closet and there are dozen of these little stores on every street. They are called sari-sari stores and sell just a very few items such as canned fish, rice, snacks, cigarettes and so on. Most of these little stores are attached to the front of private houses and are crudely constructed of unpainted plywood and tin roofs. Most of the Sari-sari stores block the sidewalk, forcing people to walk on the road to get around the protruding plywood box. Other Sari-sari stores have a small table or tables along the narrow sidewalks for their rum buying customers and a karaoke machine assist in blocking the sidewalks.

In many of the old areas the sidewalks are filled with vendor’s shacks, tents or some other type of hurried shelter to sell goods. The sidewalks belong to the vendors and the pedestrian is left to find his own way around the ugly obstructions. These small vendor shacks on the sidewalks block the store buildings behind and I still wonder why the store owners allow the vendors to block their stores. The old neighborhood streets and sidewalks in most areas are filthy. Trash is all over the streets, chickens are tied to utility poles or street signs as well as dogs. Many of the old homes along the city’s commercial streets may or may not have running water and a sewer system. Many people use the streets and sidewalks as their bathroom and even bath on the sidewalks. The infrastructure of the old neighborhoods is almost non-existent. There is poor drainage, poor sewer systems, and electric lines hang low to the ground with hundreds of wires attached carelessly to a single wimpy pole. I often wonder how trucks make it under these wires without hitting the wire. In many cases the bigger trucks do indeed hit the wires and knock out power to large section of the city.

The one thing that stood out for me as we past by all these areas in the taxi was the people all seemed happy. Despite, what I saw as great poverty and terrible living conditions, these people, or least many people were happy. Although, most of the people I saw were rushing down the sidewalks going about their daily routine. I thought these people are doing the same thing as other people do in any major city around the world. Yet, my first visit in Cebu City opened my eyes to the fact that at the very least, the city was poverty stricken or had a large population that lived in poverty.

After about 30 minutes riding in the taxi we came into a much nicer area of the city and there like an oasis in the middle of all the poverty was this beautiful Hotel and a large modern shopping mall next to it, as well as several large modern well maintain high rise buildings. The scene was a stark difference to the old areas of the city. This area could be found in any modern US city and looked very much like a commercial area of a US city. The area is called the Ayala Business Park and the Ayala Mall. This is modern Cebu City and it is everything you would find in any modern city.

Once at the Hotel, the Marriott, I checked into a very nice room and we all went to the dinning room for a pleasant lunch. Soon after that it was just Judith and I as her sister went home. Judith then took me across the park to the Ayala Mall, just a five minute walk and once inside the mall I was amazed. The stores were the same as in the US, Ace Hardware, Levi, MacDonald’s and so on. Plus, several Philippine Department stores and many different types of restaurants and coffee shops. All the store clerks and sale people spoke English and most all the Filipinos walking through the stores were speaking English. Others used a mix of English and their native Cebuano. All the store signs are written in English and the restaurant menus are written in English. In many ways I felt as if I just traveled 20 plus hours from Florida to be in a US city.

Although there were many other foreigners in the mall many Filipinos walking by asked where I was from and in general everyone was very friendly to me. While at the mall I bought a few souvenir type things to take home and Judith and I just did a lot of window shopping. I was happy to see the prices of most things in the stores were very cheap compared to the US. At that time one US dollar bought 56.00 pesos. Today it’s one dollar to about 44.00 Pesos. Still a good deal, but today I’m careful in my spending. By the middle of the afternoon I was ready for some sleep after my long flight to Cebu. Judith went home and I retired to my hotel room.

The next morning Judith was at the hotel bright and early and we had breakfast at the hotel and then off to see the city and some of the beach resorts. Cebu has wonderful and beautiful resorts and all very affordable. The resorts are all well maintained and modern. The biggest population of customers at the resorts are foreigners and the staff Filipino. I quickly change my opinion of the city from a poverty stricken third world to a modern commercial and tourist city with a few old areas that needed a lot of help.

During my trip to Cebu we went into the old area of Colon. Colon is the oldest street in the country and has several landmarks. However, Colon is a dirty area of very old and poorly maintained buildings. Prostitution is a major problem in the Colon area as is street crime. There are some wonderful markets and great bargains to be found in Colon, but not an area for the new tourist to wander alone. Hotels can be had for a really cheap price in Colon. Some just $20.00 a night, but these hotels cater to those picking up street girls and both the girls and the rooms are really dirty. Last year Judith and I stayed at two different Colon Hotels. We went into the city for our monthly shopping trip from Camotes Islands. We decided to try the hotels as they are cheap and close to many of the outside markets. I would never stay at either of these hotels again. The best words to describe them is old, filthy, rat infested and full of prostitutes. Both of these hotels seem to cater to single foreign men and any girls the men may find at the Colon bars or on the streets. The area has several little Bikini type bars with Bar Girls (Prostitutes) also called GRO’s. Unless you are looking for a prostitute there is little reason to go to Colon after dark and even then one needs to be very careful. This is not intended to say that all of Colon is bad. There are some nice stores and restaurants in Colon. I enjoy shopping in the Colon area, but one needs to use caution in Colon.

During my first visit I saw most all the areas of Cebu City and felt safe at all times. Of course we didn’t go into the old parts of the city after dark. Rather we were at the resorts or around Ayala Park and these are all very safe and enjoyable areas.I would recommend Cebu City to anyone that wants to go to a great resort and spend time on a beautiful beach, go diving, take a boat tour of the outer islands and not spend a lot of money. There is just so much to do in Cebu City and so many great things to see. Staying at any of the resorts is very affordable just about $60.00 per night and some as high as $250.00. Dinner at restaurants is also very cheap. Meals at nice restaurants can cost just $10.00 to $20.00 for two people, I had a wonderful time during my first visit. However, I had Judith as my tour guide and as my girlfriend. I’m not sure I would have liked Cebu City as much as I did if Judith wasn’t with me during the first trip.

Soon after my first visit to Cebu City I moved from Florida to Cebu City in 2004. By this time Judith and I were engaged to marry and I wanted to live in Camotes Islands. However, we decided to live in the city while looking for land to build a house in Camotes. Camotes Islands are a rural province of Cebu and just two hours from the city by boat. We rented a brand new two bedroom house in the Lahug area of Cebu City. The monthly rent was just $125.00 plus our TV cable for about $15.00 a month. The house was located on a hillside overlooking the city and close to everything we needed. Lahug is a very nice area and now there are many new housing sub-divisions built in the area. Our monthly budget while living in Lahug was approximately $700.00 and that included the rent, utilities, food, taxi cabs and even lots of dinners at restaurants and entertainment. I assume if we still lived in Lahug the budget would be just a few more dollars a month.

Within just a couple of weeks after moving into the Lahug house I felt as if Cebu was my city and I really enjoyed the city life. The city has many things to offer the foreigner and the city is always trying to attract more foreign retirees. It truly is a foreign (expat) friendly city. The largest group of foreigners in Cebu is Korean then Americans, Australians, British and Japanese. There are no racial tensions or problems in the city that I am aware of and the city is very safe. However, like any major world city there is crime, but using common safeguards and precautions one can have a happy life in Cebu City. Driving in the city is something I have never attempted and I don’t think I ever will drive in the city. The taxi cabs can get you almost anywhere in the city for $1.00 to $2.00 and that’s fine for me.

Shopping in the city is great and there are products from all over the world in Filipino stores. Many food stores stock western brands so you will never get homesick for your favorite foods from home. The outside markets, located all over the city offer great bargains and it’s always fun to negotiate prices with the vendors. Cable TV is available in the city and it offers many American shows and news programs. You can go to the movie cinemas and see a new release movie for about $1.00 and the popcorn is just a few pennies. The city has grown since I moved to the Philippines. There are many new gated housing Sub-Divisions that cater to foreign buyers, new high rise condo buildings and the resorts all continue to attract foreigners. The two major malls in the city, Ayala and SM are both expanding. Many of the roads have been upgraded as well as the infrastructure in many areas. The city is a major draw for tourism and is always attempting to bring in more tourist and more foreign retirees.

Any expat on a monthly pension of about $1,000.00 can live like a king in Cebu City. You can live on less than $1,000.00 but I think $1,000.00 is the right figure if you include saving a little each month for emergencies, trips back home and medical needs. The city has very good hospitals and medical cost are much less in the Philippines. Good dental care at very reasonable rates is also available in the Philippines. Many people go to Cebu for medical or dental vacations. Just remember, if you think you want to move to Cebu City do your homework. Do you want to live in a new country? do you want to be separated from your family and grandchildren?, if you are married how does your wife feel about living in Cebu? If you have young children do you want them to live in a new country and what about their education? Do you have the patience and understanding to learn and live in a new culture? Do you have the money to live a good life in Cebu without the need to find work? Do you have enough money to cover any type of emergency that may require five to ten thousand dollars? Finally, what is your reason for wanting to live in a new country? If you can be honest with yourself and have a positive answer for the above questions, then maybe Cebu City is for you?

Remember too, The Philippine economy is struggling. Filipinos with four and six year college degrees are driving taxi cabs or working as store clerks. Unemployment in the country is through the roof. Poverty is a major issue in the country. For all the beauty of the Philippines Poverty continues to destroy many Filipinos and their futures and creates an ugly face to an otherwise beautiful country. Just this week on November 8, 2007 an 11 year old girl in Manila living with her mother, father and little brother in a shanty town hung herself. The reason left in a note from the little girl was because of the poverty she and her family lived. The father not able to find work for months and the mother working for just $1.00 a day. The little girl had just the night before asked her father for P200.00 for a school project. The father did not have the money, just under $4.00. All the girl wanted was to finish school and buy a new bike. A simple dream complicated by severe poverty in a country struggling to overcome political corruption and theft. Please remember, what you may spend in just one day in the Philippines is what a Filipino may have to live on for a month. Poverty does indeed take lives.

I truly love my lifestyle in the Philippines, but it took some time, patience, understanding and a few sacrifices to live in the Philippines. I made several mistakes before coming here and a few since living here. I didn’t have enough money when I came here in 2004. I’ve made a few trips back to Florida to do some contract work and then returned to my beloved Camotes Islands. I’m currently away from home on a teaching contract. However, for me, it’s worth the price to have just a few months a year in my paradise called Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines. I think anyone looking for a great vacation will enjoy Cebu City. Those looking to retire on a modest pension can live well here, but just be sure living in a new country is right for you. Before making a decision to move here it’s wise to come on a vacation first and see the city for yourself. Then you can decide if this is the life you want. Once again, for me this is paradise.

250cc X31 Gio Pit Bike Review

Are you looking to get into the pit bike realm? Are you on a budget? You’re in the right place because Gio Bikes, a Canada based company, has some awesome deals on pit bikes. While China continues to build mostly worthless pieces of junk, Gio Bikes has been making and selling off-road worthy pit bikes.

A 250cc pit bike is the perfect learners bike for a larger kid or an adult because it has a high enough seat height and has enough power for a bigger rider. Gio Bikes has a few different 250cc bikes, but the 2010 X31 (19″/16″) is their most popular 250cc pit bike. You may be thinking, “this is just another cheap look-a-like dirt bike,” because it’s not as well known as Honda or Kawasaki. Think again, because these pit bikes are Canadian-made with higher quality parts than China copycat bikes.


The engine in the 2010 X31 is a 250cc air-cooled four-stroke. It has decent torque, but pulls good in the mid to upper rpm. It comes with a high-performance Mikuni carburetor, which is used on the best name-brand motocross bikes. This bike has enough power for anyone to have fun on. It can hold its own in the trails and has enough ‘oomph’ when messing around with your friends. It also comes with a high-flow exhaust system that provides good power and sounds great.


The engine is wrapped around by a lightweight aluminum perimeter frame. It’s the style that the big motocross bikes use. The CAD designed frame is made to be abused by adult riders and weekend warriors. It’s much stronger than a Chinese pit bike and is light enough so a kid riding it can lay it down in the corners without tipping over.


Are you a younger and smaller rider that likes to rip the trails up? A female that wants a good bike to follow the family around? Or are you a bigger guy that enjoys fartin’ around on a pit bike and shows off to his friends? If you are any of those, or in between, the suspension on this 250cc pit bike can adjust to your riding style. Both the shock and the forks have fully-adjustable suspension that is Japanese-grade (much better than Chinese). The forks on the 2010 X31 are inverted Fast Ace shocks that have great damping. They probably aren’t quite strong enough for motocross or big jumps, but they do get the job done if you stay close to the ground. For the rear, it has an air cell Showa shock absorber. Showa shocks are used on Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and other big name-brand motorcycles and dirt bikes, so you know it’s top notch. Not all pit bikes come with fully-adjustable suspension, let alone adjustable, so that is a huge benefit this 250cc Giovanni pit bike has.


Almost every part on this pitbike is made with high quality material. This means less sudden breakdowns, unlike Chinese copycats. Just by looking at this bike you can tell that the parts aren’t cheap. You will be able to ride Gio Bikes 250cc bike for hours on end, assuming that you do regular maintenance to it as you would any other dirt bike. I would definitely recommend Gio pit bikes for their quality parts as an alternative to Chinese bikes.


There is a lot to the X31, but the main features other than the engine and suspension are the brakes, controls and other body parts. Both wheels are stronger than the previous years of this bike, assuring you they will withstand the abuse given to them by adult riders. On the wheels are hydraulic disc brakes to give you stopping power like motocross bikes. The triple clamps are made from high-grade alloy that make the controls softer and more comfortable. Plus, you can get the bike in four different colors!

Final Thoughts

The anodized and motocross style features, the Japanese-quality parts, and the slick look of this 250cc pit bike make you want to go ride. With electric start, anyone that can get their butt on the seat can ride it. If you want a cheap, durable bike that has enough power and suspension to tear up the trails and corn field, go no further. Gio Bikes has auctions where you can get these bikes for dirt cheap (pun intended). If you don’t want to wait for an auction to end you can just pay for a bike and they will ship it out to you right away. Also, if you want to upgrade or change a few parts, Gio Bikes has plenty of aftermarket and replacement parts in stock to fit your pit bike. As long as you take care of this bike, it will take care of you. Have fun, and rip it up!

Proven Reliability of the Zongshen Cyclone RX3

TheCyclone RX3 distributed by CSC Motorcycles was introduced with an inaugural group ride through Baja Mexico in April 2015. This ride took 15 adventure bikers on a 1,700-mile round trip through the Baja peninsula and back to the CSC offices in Azusa, California. In total, the 15 new Cyclone RX3 motorcycles accumulated 25,500 miles with only a few minor issues.

This first promotional ride was followed by the “Western Adventure Tour” in July 2015. Here 10 riders from Columbia, China, and the U.S. accumulated 50,000 miles total on 10 new bikes. This epic ride inspired the book, 5,000 Miles at 8,000 RPM’s by Joe Berk, the spokesman for CSC. Again, there were no major mechanical issues with the new CSC Cyclone RX3 motorcycles that were ridden hard for 18 days at speeds up to 75 mph, and sometimes over 400 miles per day. The tour riders (and the machines) encountered freezing temps to over 100 degrees, and elevations from sea level to 9,000 feet at the Continental Divide.

These rides proved conclusively the durability of the RX3 adventure bike. But the rides also pointed out some improvements that would be required on subsequent shipments of the CSC Cyclone RX3 including upgrades to the standard 12-volt batteries. The rides further helped to finalize the maintenance schedule recommended for the North American cycle owners.

But the RX3 motorcycle was proven before it was ever available for sale in North America. The bike has been sold in China for several years, and is also sold in many other countries under multiple brand names. For example, the same basic bike is sold in Belarus as the M1nsk TRX300i and in Central America as the AKT Moto TT250. In fact, Zongshen’s single largest motorcycle market is in Columbia. Motorcycle sales exceed 700,000 units per year in Columbia – compared to less than 500,000 total motorcycle sales in the United States.

It is also interesting that the most popular motorcycles in Columbia are only 100cc to 125cc. A 250cc motorcycle is considered huge! The best selling machine is a 100cc motorcycle manufactured in India. The Zongshen/AKT Moto version sold in Columbia is named the TT250 and is considered to be a high-quality upgrade and exudes prestige.

What is a M1nsk?

The M1nsk motorcycle company originated in 1951 when the USSR took control of German DKW Motorcycles as part of WWII reparations. The company relocated to Moscow and built motorcycles under the M1A brand. Eventually, the factory moved to Belarus where they built bikes under the Minsk brand. From the early years the Minsk brand has been actively involved in motorsport, especially in motocross and circuit racing. Minsk-Pamir (1969) and Brest-Vladivostok (1971) rallies became iconic milestones in the Minsk brand history. Based on this reputation, Minsk motorcycles became known for their durability and were exported to other European countries.

In 2007, the company became private and began using the brand name M1nsk. Today the M1nsk company produces snowmobiles, ATV’s, scooters, dirt bikes, and retro styled bikes based on their old 1950’s model designs.

How does the M1nsk TRX300i fit in? M1nsk does not manufacture the TRX300i adventure motorcycle. Instead, the TRX300i is a rebranded Chinese motorcycle, the Zongshen RX3. Zongshen is a modern manufacturer, founded in 1992, that builds over 1,000,000 (yes, that is 1 MILLION) engines and motorcycles per year. Many of these models are now sold worldwide under various brands by master distributors.

The U.S. and North American distributor is CSC Motorcycles, and sells the CSC Cyclone RX3 direct to the public. To connect the past with the present, M1nsk entered three stock TRX300i motorcycles in the 2013 Brest-Dushanbe rally with total length of 6,200 miles (10,000 km.) The rally traveled through the rugged terrain of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and all three bikes completed the journey. This rally was previously covered in an article by ADVPulse in February 2014.

Note: this “rally” is not the Baja 1000 or the Dakar Rally. Think more along the lines of Ewan and Charley traversing the rough countryside of the same region in Long Way Around. A video of the rally (in Russian) can be seen at the Minsk Motorcycles YouTube channel.

Again, it was an impressive endurance milestone that the three stock motorcycles from Zongshen covered 30,000 km cumulative distance without mechanical issues.

The CSC Cyclone RX3: Proven Reliability

The M1nsk TRX300i is nearly identical to the Cyclone RX3 marketed through CSC Motorcycles. However, another unique attribute of Zongshen is that each national distributor has the ability to make changes in the final specs of the motorcycle to comply with regulations for their continent and the demands of their target buyers. In his book, 5,000 Miles at 8,000 RPM’s, Joe Berk outlines how CSC made changes to the wheel size, alternator capacity, wiring harness, battery and other components before finalizing the model that would become the Cyclone RX3 for sale in North America. In addition, CSC Motorcycles has also assembled a complete catalog of aftermarket parts, accessories, options, and special editions to suit the requirements of adventure riders in the U.S. and Canada.

The net result is that the North American Cyclone RX3 is even BETTER than the original Zongshen model. Remember that tens of thousands of these original models have already been proven in Asia, Central America and Europe. (The INITIAL order of the AKT Moto model by the Columbian distributor was 6,000 motorcycles!) Since 1992, Zongshen has produced tens of MILLIONS of engines in many sizes. The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility tests EACH of these engines before assembly into a complete motorcycle, and then EACH of these complete motorcycles is dyno tested for quality control.

While adventure motorcycles are a growing recreation niche here in North America, Zongshen motorcycles have earned a strong reputation for quality and durability in the rest of the world where motorcycles are the primary means of transportation and integral to commerce. These motorcycle owners demand inexpensive operation and dependability. In some of these countries, the average annual income is less than the cost of a set of the fancy aluminum panniers found on many European “adventure bikes”!

On top of this, CSC Motorcycles has made the commitment to continually refine the base bike and the selection of parts and accessories for sale to North American riders. CSC Motorcycles is including a full maintenance manual with each Cyclone RX3 and is also producing a comprehensive catalog of tutorials that cover all aspects of routine maintenance. Finally, CSC is standing behind the Cyclone RX3 with a warranty that covers parts and labor for one year and all parts for two years with UNLIMITED mileage.

Is the Cyclone RX3 the right adventure bike for you? That is a very personal decision since everyone’s requirements are different. However, the dependability of the Cyclone RX3 is without question. Not only has CSC Motorcycles subjected the motorcycle to torture tests in real life touring, but tens of thousands of adventure riders around the world have also proven its reliability. There is a growing and devoted “cult of the Zong” related to this motorcycle because it not only works but it outperforms motorcycles that cost two to five times as much for a comparable fully-equipped touring package. Further evidence of the dependability of the Cyclone RX3 is that two national motorcycle rental and tour companies now offer this model for rent and in tour packages.

Now available: the CSC RX3-P Police motorcycle – a specially-equipped variation of the Cyclone RX3 Adventure model that has been used (and abused) by law enforcement in Asia! Stay tuned to the CSC Blog for more information.


ADVPulse, 02112014

CSC Motorcycles (

Top 10 Best-Selling Motorcycle Brands

In addition to the Japanese Big Four (Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha), the list of top-selling motorcycle manufacturers includes companies based in Italy, the U.S., Austria, and the UK.


Honda’s motorcycle division sells more than 15 million motorcycles annually, which makes it world’s leading manufacturer. One of the factors driving the company’s sales is its popularity in Asian markets. Yet Honda also dominates in North America.


The Italian brand headquartered in Bologna manufactures motorcycles since 1935. Ducati is known for its powerful sport bikes. The company has a long and successful racing history, which started in 1951. Today it spends over 7% of its revenues on racing business. The brand belongs to Audi through its subsidiary Lamborghini.


Great 20th-21st century history and exhilarating riding experience give Harley-Davidson the status of the legend bike company. This brand is familiar almost to everybody, even those who have never ridden a bike in their lives.


Yamaha bikes are known for excellent performance, ride quality and comparatively easy handling. Yamaha is almost as successful as another famous Japanese manufacturer, Honda. Moreover, the number of dirt bikes it sells exceeds Honda and Yamaha combined.


The Motorcycle & Engine division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries gained recognition as a manufacturer of a wide range of bikes, from very small to sport ones. These motorcycles are loved all over the world for their powerful and reliable engines, capable of developing great speed. There are production sites in Japan, North America, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.


One more representative of the Japanese Big Four. The GSXR 750 and the DR 400 are among the most popular Suzuki motorcycles. The company has over 35 production facilities in more than 20 countries.


During its first years the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer specialized in 2-stroke and 4-stroke off-road motorcycles, but in the course of time its product range grew wider. In addition to dirt bikes, it now includes street motorcycles and sports cars. The brand belongs to CROSS Industries AG and Bajaj Auto Limited.

BMW Motorrad

BMW is one of the oldest motorcycles manufacturers. The company’s first bike was made in 1923. BMW Motorrad is famous for its road bikes, sports-touring bikes and sport bikes. Some of the most well-known models are the GS Adventure, the S 1000 REFRIGERATORS, and the K1600.


The largest motorcycle maker in the UK, Triumph specializes in road bikes that belong to the cruiser, naked, and sport classes. The Triumph brand is owned by BMW.


Victory is a comparatively new brand, it started production of motorcycles in 1998. Its large-displacement cruisers are famous all over the world. The company based in the U.S. has its final assembly facility in Iowa.

Utila, Honduras – Off the Beaten Path With Hippies and Divers

Ever heard of Utila? Me neither. Utila is a tiny bay island off the coast of Honduras, less than 7 miles long and 3 miles across – at its widest. The population of 5,000 (including 1,000 to 2,000 tourists at any given time) resides primarily in Utila Town, off the protected southeast harbor.

Our trip to Utila began with a three-hour flight from Atlanta to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. While gathering our luggage I saw a large, healthy man struggling to remove a gold chain and cross. He accepted my help and told me crime is rampant in the city. After noticing that I was one of only a few people wearing jewelry, and that my diamond ring was getting a number of looks, I stashed all my jewelry away safely.

Delayed and cancelled flights are the rule rather than the exception with TACA, the local airline. They’ve earned their nickname, “Take A Chance Airline.” Rather than spend the night in crime-ridden San Pedro Sula and Take A Chance with TACA again the next day, we opted for a four-hour bus ride to La Ceiba (locals just say “say-ba”).

After an overnight in Ceiba, we caught the Utila Princess the next morning for the one-hour ferry trip to Utila. It, too, earns its nickname – the Vomit Comet. TACA has flights to the island and we will Take A Chance next time and avoid the ferry.

Once on the island, though, surrounded by mellow, laid-back SCUBA divers, hippies and hippie-divers, you’ll hear a mish-mash of English and Spanish spoken as well as a multitude of other languages. People from all over the world, many of them in their 20’s, flock to the island to attend the least expensive dive certification courses in the world at one of the island’s many dive shops. I put my jewelry back on as crime is all but non-existent.

Although Utila is a Mecca for divers, surrounded by dive sites and coral reefs, snorkelers are not left out. At the west end of the bay 30 Lempira “lemps” (two and a half dollars) buys dock privileges for the day, and the reefs are just a few moment’s swim away. You can also rent equipment and buy lunch off the grill, as well as other snacks and drinks.

With narrow, congested roads, cars are a rarity. Most of Utila Town gets around on foot or by bicycle, scooter, motorcycle or golf cart. All are available for rent on the island.

Don’t let Utila’s infamous sand flies scare you away. I saw plenty of pale people with the telltale red welts up and down their legs, but with proper preparation you can avoid this. Just bring repellant and use it. One long-time resident swore by a heavy coating of baby oil.

Hotels and rooms-to-rent are everywhere and unless you arrive during the August Sunjam festival, you can wander Utila Town until you find suitable accommodations. Most are budget hotels geared toward the backpacker-dive crowd. If you are looking for a full-service upscale resort, go to neighboring Roatan Island, not Utila.

Restaurants are also everywhere and sometimes take some detective work to find. Structures along the waterfront are often three deep. A street-side store, a bar on the water and an open-air restaurant nestled in-between. Signage is often missing or out-dated. Indian Wok, next to Tranquila Bar, was good and Munchies Café was always busy.

Nightlife is abundant. Only a certain number can stay open late each night, so the bars coordinate among themselves to even the playing field. I recommend Coco’s (formerly Coco Loco) next to the Passenger (ferry) dock.

It was at Coco’s that I met Sara, and there my Utila adventures began in earnest. Sara recently purchased Coco’s and I offered to go with her to Shelly Mac’s, the plant nursery, to help choose plants for hanging baskets. There I met Shelby, the owner, who invited me to visit him on his 14-acre farm north of town.

The next day, I walked up Pumpkin Hill and found Shelby’s farm. I wandered around calling for him until one of the young men tending fruit trees pointed me in the right direction. Shelby didn’t warn me about his guard goose and my left thigh sported quite the blood blister for some days!

After a quick snack of fresh bananas and mango, we toured the farm. I admired Shelby’s many fruit trees, medicinal plants, and so much more, including pineapple, bananas, mango, papaya, limes and lemons… never turning my back on the goose.

Shelby anchors the daily news for Utila’s only cable television station, HQTV. He asked me if I would be his co-host that night. The miracle fruit bushes were in full fruit and we would film my first experience with them as well as interview people on the street. How could I refuse such an adventure?

I sampled the miracle fruit and then cut up a lime. Miracle fruit changes your taste buds for several hours, rendering even the sourest tastes sweet. The lime tasted like limeade – delicious!

I hopped on the back of Shelby’s little motorcycle and we drove back to Utila Town, where we invited passers-by to sample miracle fruit followed by slices of lemon or lime, talking to them and taping the whole time. That night, we watched my Utila television debut at the Mango Café bar.

Too soon, another ferry ride back to mainland Honduras was imminent. We ferried one hour and twenty minutes on the Galaxy Wave to Roatan, which is three hours from Atlanta by air. It too, has earned the nickname of The Vomit Comet. Although now without appetite, we sampled one of Roatan’s all-inclusive beach-side resorts for the night and dreamed of Utila.

What Is Was Like to Go to Yeoman "A" School in the Untied States Navy in Mississippi

What is was like to go to Yeoman “A” School Training.

I arrived at Meridian, Mississippi, for Yeoman “A” School Training, they called it. It was supposed to be a couple of months long school, where they teach you all the proper ways, to type up Navy correspondence, and other paper work.

I arrived in the middle of the night to my new duty station. The way the dorm rooms were set up, there were 3 guys to a room, and 4 rooms per common area, with sitting tables, TV, and stuff like that, that was like our living room. I remember a really big fat guy, yelling at the top of his lungs, “fresh meat”, he was yelling. Luckily for me, that jerk was just on his way out, and I did not have to put up for him very long at all.

I remember, going the first day, down to school. First, you had to fall in line with everyone else. The whole school marched from the barracks, down to the school, in a military order. Down at the school, they were going to teach us how to type, to start off with. I had had, a typing class in high school, but I never actually learned to type one word on the typewriter. The teacher was nice to me, and gave me a D-, just so I could pass the class. But this was the Navy, and I’m sure they expected me to learn how to type. There was no way around learning to type, it had to be done. I learned to type the right way, and at a certain speed, in about 2 weeks.

The way the Navy teaches you to type, is they show you a movie in the dark, and hide your key board from your eyes. They turn the lights off, and they show you these Navy movies, that are about two weeks long. Each couple of hour movie shows you how to type different words, and before you know it, the movie is done, and you know how to type in your sleep. You do so much repetitive typing, that you end up doing it in your sleep, it seems, and you have to be able to type a certain amount of words, per minute, in order to graduate from the class, and move on to your next duty station.

Besides the day to day learning at school, about doing paper work the right way, and stuff like that. Yeoman school was pretty much just like any other school, you would learn stuff at. Except here, you wore a uniform, and had to get into formation each morning, and listen to things being told to you.

You could pretty much do what you wanted, after school each day. You were allowed to do what you wanted pretty much, but you were not allowed to leave the base, and go into town. I was in Meridian for about two months, but I did not have much chance, to see a lot of different parts of the town, only a few times, when they let us out on liberty call.

At school, most people are coming and going, getting ready to ship out, to new duty stations. People were getting assigned orders to all kinds of exotic sounding in places. They have a thing in the Navy, that they call the “dream sheet”, where you pick three places you would like your next new duty station to be. The Navy says they will try to get you one of your dream duty stations, or as close to one of them, as they can.

I picked Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii. The Navy ended up giving me orders to a ship that was stationed in Guam. I had never heard of Guam before. I had to go look it up on the map. It was about right in the middle of all three of my duty station selections, but just not one of them. But going to my new ship, would still come later. I still had to finish yeoman school, and graduate from it first. Some people could never get the hang of typing, at a certain speed. They ended up having to drop the school, and pick another job to train for.

School was still a fresh place for most people. We had just finished boot camp, and was learning to have more freedom given to us, and a lot less yelling going on, like boot camp had. Some of the characters, in the units we were berthed in, were just plain crazy.

The building Unit we were all living in, was three stories tall, and had various people living in it. Some of the people that were living in our unit, were waiting to be discharged from the Navy, for various reasons. In one of rooms that was directly below us, was some flamboyant gays living. They were so outrageously gay, and flamboyant about it, like Liberace. A black and a white guy.

The Navy was discharging them both, for being openly gay. They were about the gayest guys I had ever seen, and I think they might of been the first ones I’ve ever seen, in real life, besides on TV. I was from a small town, they could of actually been doing the best darn act, to get out of the Navy, but I don’t think so, no guy would go threw that.

On one of the days, that I was assigned my first watch, it was to be with a partner. We would be a roving patrol for the school grounds for four hours. When I showed up for my watch, I was partnered up with a girl, that was going to be a yeoman also.

As we walked around for our 4 hours on watch time, we did the usual stuff. Just walking around, and making sure nothing was wrong. My new partner I had just met, was asking me, what kinds of drugs I liked to do. I told her my experiences that I had with drugs, and it was limited, and then she told me hers. I had never heard of some of the drugs she was talking about, back then anyway. Now a days, the stuff she said is everywhere, but she was from the city, and said she loved it, and did it all the time, and I did not even know what she was talking about. That was really the first girl I had ever talked to, who wore a uniform just like mine, and I wondered what kind of girls join the Navy?

While I was still stationed at yeoman training school, we got another paycheck. All of a sudden, I had a lot of extra money, and I did not owe anybody any of it. I was looking at a bulletin board somewhere, and I noticed this motorcycle for sale, for $500. It was one of the staff members who was stationed on the base, and also lived on the base, but just worked somewhere else.

Students were not allowed to leave the base, unless they were on liberty. I bought and paid for the motorcycle, with almost all the money, from the paycheck I had just received. The guy I bought the bike from, also gave me a lot of extra parts, like an extra gas tank, gas can, oil, those sorts of things, you get with a bike when you buy it sometimes. I parked the motorcycle in the parking lot of the barracks. I was going to keep the motorcycle, just for me to ride around with, on base, just while I was at school, and then get rid of it. I put all the extra parts, gasoline, oil, etc… in my storage locker that stands up like a small stand up closet, that you are supposed to keep your dress uniforms in.

One day, the staff said, they were going to have a surprise inspection, to see how things were going. We never had any inspections before at the school, so this was new to me again.

When they come in to inspect, they call “attention on deck”, and you are supposed to stop what you are doing, and stand at attention, until someone yells, “carry on”. They had us all line up in front of our lockers, at attention, and they were opening up each locker, and seeing how the guys clothes were put away, and then they came to mine.

When they got to my clothes locker to inspect, and I opened it up for them, they first saw all these gas cans, oil cans, motorcycle parts and more, they did not know what to think. They had to call in special people, to see about the fire hazard. I was told to get everything out of my locker, and I was told I was not allowed to own a motorcycle on base. I ended up getting rid of it to another staff member for $50, that knew I was in a bind.

I did get to ride it around the base, and it was missing the muffler, and it was loud, it wasn’t a Harley, but you could hear me coming. When other guys were in the common area, just sitting around, watching TV, I had been out after school, riding around on my motorcycle, checking out the base, on my motorcycle I was not supposed to have.

At the end of the school graduation, they let the students go out into town. Before you are allowed to go out into town, on liberty call, you are told what to expect, and what to do, and not to do, to stay out of trouble. They said that the town people, do not really like the Navy people, so be careful while you are in town, to avoid any fights.

We all went to one of the most common name brand bars in town, where it was pretty much all guys and girls from the base, not to many locals hanging out. It was going to turn into a giant meat market. Everyone could finally shack up with anyone they wanted to from school, that you could not do in school, or at the barracks. Any male, or female, caught in each othe’s rooms at school, was called fraternization, and was very serious, and could get you kicked out of the Navy. Out in town, everybody ended up with someone, and everyone rented rooms for the night.

School was over, and it was time to join the “regular navy” as they called it, and the regular Navy, meant ships and sea, and going to other countries.

I took my first leave of absence from the Navy, before going to, and reporting for duty, to my first ship. I wore my dress uniform, as I was required to do, and I rode a greyhound bus, from Meridian, Mississippi, to Detroit, Michigan. It was one of the longest rides, I had ever taken on a bus. It must of stopped at every chicken farm ranch, along the way. When I finally got back to Michigan, I was dead beat tired from the bus. I stayed home at my sister’s house for about 10 days.

It was time to go to my first “real” duty station. My first real duty station, was a submarine tender, named the USS PROTEUS (AS-19) that had a little more than 1,300 people on it. 6 of the crew member were ladies, all officer ladies. Half of them would be working in my department.

The Barotuan Ati-Atihan Festival of El Nido

The Philippines is popular for its festivals, such as the Maskara festival, Ati-atihan, and Sinulog Festival. Barotuan Ati-Atihan Festival is similar to the famous Ati-Atihan festival in Aklan. This is because the ancestors of most residents of El Nido came from Aklan.

The Ati-Atihan

Aklanons celebrate this event every year in January to honor Santo Nino (Infant Jesus). “Ati-Atihan” means “to be like Ati’s or Aetas.” Historians say the Aetas were the dominant dwellers of the Philippines islands. Some say the Aetas also settled for a time on the Island of Panay, where you can find Aklan. Tribal music playing and street dancing are common features of many festivals in the country, including the Ati-atihan. Those joining the festival wear native costumes and parade on the streets. When getting an El Nido tour package in January, make sure stay in town for their version of the Ati-atihan.

According to some, this festival started when 10 Datus (Malay chieftains) fled Borneo and went to Philippine shores. The Ati, an ancient tribe of Panay Island, gave the chieftains a place to settle. When a famine struck the land, the Ati suffered hunger and descended to the Datus’ settlement. The chieftains offered food to the Atis. Out of gratitude, the Ati sang and danced for the Datus. This gesture became a tradition that evolved into the famous festival.

Barotuan and the Migrants from Aklan

Barotuan is a humble farming village you can reach through a one-hour motorcycle ride from El Nido town center. Every third Sunday of January, locals and tourists head to Barotuan to experience the Barotuan Festival. Many visitors book El Nido tour packages during this time to witness the festival. The Barotuan Festival is also related to the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. Locals narrate that Aklanons migrated to Palawan using a boat called Balangay. This wasn’t small enough for the narrow channels of some islands they had to pass through. Realizing this, the migrants built smaller boats called “Barotu.” The Barotu successfully transported the Aklanons to Palawan’s northeastern point. From then on, locals called the docking area and the village near it Barotuan.

Just like the Ati-atihan festivals in Aklan and Cebu, the Barotuan Festival liven up the town with rosary processions and masses. With the irresistible rhythmic drumbeats during the parade, it’s common to see people dancing on the streets. The parade goes on for a week and takes place regardless of the weather.

Experience the way Filipinos celebrate festivals. Book an El Nido tour package in January and participate in the Barotuan Festival.

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