Words and photos by Gelo Sison
Unlike Motorcycle enthusiasts, car enthusiasts start car clubs out of love for modifying their cars aesthetically. No one really starts car clubs to celebrate the joy of driving across the country. However, because of endurance challenges like the BOSS Ironman Challenge, which opened their doors to car drivers, two veteran endurance drivers, Carlo Reyes, of Honda Club of the Philippines and, yours truly, Angelo Sison, of Kia Auto Club Pilipinas, together formed Club 500. Club 500 is the first Filipino car club that was formed with the objective of driving 500 kilometers around the Philippines during each leg, more known as the Club 500 Run Fun Rally. Club 500 was also formed to encourage its members to participate in endurance challenges and other motoring events.
The first Club 500 Run Fun Rally was held last March 29, 2015 with the participation of 7 drivers. The cars that joined the Fun Rally were two Honda Civic FDs, respectively driven by Carlo Reyes and Riel Faustino; Pom Zaragoza in his Honda Civic EK; Gohnsen Price in his Mazda Z5 powered Kia Pride; Jeremy Lapus in his Kia Picanto 1.2 MT; Emman Madlangbayan piloting my personal Kia Rio JB Race Car; and yours truly in my daily driver–a Hyundai Accent CRDi. Carlo Reyes is a three-time BOSS Ironman Challenge Finisher and a top 10 placer last Cannonball Run, consistently finishing the endurance rallies in his Honda Civic FD. The Kia Rio was my weapon when I finished the BOSS Ironman IX Challenge, while the Hyundai Accent CRDi is the car I will be using in the upcoming Cannonball Run 2016 and the 2016 BOSS Ironman Challenge XI.
The group met up at Petron Diego Silang C5 at 3:00 am of March 29, and left for the first stop at Jariel’s Peak, Infanta, Quezon at 5:00am. The route was the CALABARZON loop, starting from Petron C5 and ending in Petron Tagaytay. The group drove to Jariel’s Peak to have breakfast via the Tanay Sampaloc Road, enjoyed the roads up to the Infanta boundary, drove back to Tanay Sampaloc Rd., then drove to Pililia Wind Farm where the group stopped for photo ops, then drove to Laguna via Mabitac. Club 500 had their lunch stop at Isdaan, Calauan, Laguna. After lunch, the group drove straight to Batangas, passing by Lipa, Alcala, Taal, Lemery, Nasugbu all the way to Tanza Cavite via the Kaybiang Tunnel, then drove up to Tagaytay via the Indang Naic Rd. The group unfortunately caught traffic during a procession at Mendes, Cavite that made the fun rally quite tiring. The total time covered for the 500KM run was 17 hours including meal stops, restroom stops, re-grouping, and refueling.
One of the main objectives of the Club 500 Run is that all drivers will start together and finish all together which we are proud that we did so for 500KMs of pure fun. A new brotherhood was formed and new friendships started because of the Club 500 Run. We invite anyone who’s interested to join the Club 500. You can find us on Facebook by searching for the Club 500 Facebook group and by liking our page. The Club 500 Run will be an annual event and a training ground for future endurance challenge participants.