Operation Angalo 2015 Road Trip Adventure

I have been to a lot of places and experienced a lot of different adventures in my 28 years of existence. However, my recent trip to the province of Abra redefined my idea of what adventure really is.

Operation Angalo 2015

This memorable trip happened last June 2015. I was invited by my good friend Terence Sy of Skunkworks Customs to join a  group of 4x4 enthusiasts for a Medical Mission to Abra dubbed Operation Angalo. Since I don't have a customized 4x4, (my Ford Escape lacks needed modifications) I hopped in and joined Terence's crew in his modified Nissan Patrol.

Operation Angalo 2015

Preparing for the long trip ahead

Here's my ride for this operation

Passing through Abra Arch

Stuck and flat - summary of our first river crossing

Sabnangan Footbridge at Luba, Abra

One of the 4x4s crossing the river (on a raft)

We left Manila on a Thursday afternoon and met up with the other teams in Pasig City. We then pushed on and drove the whole night so that we could reach Tubo, Abra in less than 17 hours. The travel was smooth until we got to the rough roads of Abra. The rough road terrain was actually the least of concerns. It was the river crossings that gave us a run for our money. To be honest, our attempt to cross the first of the two rivers ended in failure. Despite the setback, our 4x4 still proved to be road-worthy and we continued on to cross the second river in the municipality of Luba (by riding a balsa this time). We, (the crew) on the other hand, crossed the Sabnagan Footbridge to cross the Abra River.

Those are just some of the locals of Tubo who came for the medical mission

Our foreign specialists...

...and dentists

Preparing our medical supplies

Check out this unique tent!

Camping near the river

Our team finally reached Tubo, Abra 25 hours after our departure from Manila. Despite the challenging off-road ride, we were rewarded with a very welcoming populace. As a matter of fact, the town's gym was jam-packed with more than 300 individuals. They were very excited about the medicines and supplies that we brought in with us and not to mention the free medical check-ups by the doctors that joined us on our trip.

Driving back home...

Some beautiful sceneries along the way

The medical mission lasted for two days and was a big success. The 4x4 teams then proceeded to a nearby waterfall for some R&R. Sadly, our team decided to head home early and skip the extra trip due to the river incident a day back. One other team decided to accompany us just in case we needed help. This time, we used an alternate route on our way back to Manila. in this way, we'd avoid the river crossings and cut at least 3-4 hours of our travel time. We didn't escape the rough road though, we drove a good 4 hours' worth of off-road trail before we reached San Emilio, Ilocos Sur. From there we drove for 7 more hours going to Manila. 

Most of the roads were unpaved.

Overheat? No problemo!

Overall, our 2D/3N Operation Angalo 2015 Road Trip Adventure was very much worth it. I never thought that off-road adventures were equally challenging as that of climbing a mountain or skydiving (I haven't tried this one yet hehe). Once again I'd like to thank my dear friend Terence Sy of Skunkworks Customs for inviting me to this awesome adventure. Hurrah!


  1. Hey, Nic!

    Agree and IMHO, this is the true essence of travel is!
    And I do like this kind of challenging journey before achieve the goal (arrive at the destination).

    Nice, I glad to hear that your crew did this on behalf of humanitarian mission.
    Because passion is nothing without contribution. ^^

    Thanks for sharing your journey!
    Cheers from Indonesia!

    "It's not just about the destination, but the journey"


    1. Thank you so much George Martinus!
      I agree with you
      "It is not just about the destination, but the journey.

  2. first article that i read which included a cause which was totally selfless along with a off road experience , so what was the issue that you faced in the river crossing which affected the vehicle . kudos for doing such a noble cause

    1. Hi Sumit. Our 4x4 sank halfway the river. Hahaha. We managed to pull it out but there are some damages.

  3. Great adventure! I miss this activity.


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