April 27, 2018 By Francis G. Pallarco Images by Jun Vinluan

Gone Off-Roading

The Wheel Gallery throws down an off-road event unlike any other
Strictly off-roading. That was the agenda for the day as Sam Liuson of the Wheel Gallery and
Black Rhino Adventure Team together with Justin Uy organized a unique and ‘in your face’ off-roading event. The adventure-packed day was held at the challenging trails of Jungle Base Firing Range and 4×4 Center in the hills of Tanay, Rizal and in cooperation with Yokohama Philippines.
A convoy of close to twenty 4×4 rigs assembled early in the morning where select invited
members of the motoring media were assigned their respective rigs. From there the group made its way to Mt. Daraitan in Tanay where Jungle Base is located. For years this has been the ‘go-to’ place for off roading as it offers numerous trails depending on how basic or advanced one wishes to traverse. After a short orientation by resident 4×4 guru Kits Aragon and a blessed prayer from Atoy Llave, the group was off.
Unexpectedly, I was assigned to drive the ever reliable modded Mitsubishi Pajero EVO of the
Wheel Gallery that’s been prepped by Project O Motorwrks’ Olson Camacho. Having rode
shotgun in Sammy’s FJ Cruiser years ago on a similar off road trip; I knew I was in for some
serious driving. First of all, let me tell you that what these 4×4 guys call basic or mild is truly an understatement. The first segment of the trail immediately involves flexing the suspension in ways and angles one can only imagine. A shallow river crossing came next that was quite a
breather because of the scenery it provided that presented nature at its best.
However, it was the second segment of the trail that literally got rougher as it involved trailing on steep and very uneven narrow trails with dirt and rock laden roads thrown in just for good measure. The most daunting part of the trail was a rather deep and lengthy river crossing which got a couple of vehicles stuck. Not to worry though as Jungle Base comes equipped with recovery rigs should the need arise that got them unstuck. Thankfully, the Pajero came with Yokohama’s latest Geolandar G003 Mud Terrain M/T tires that made it through both segments without a hitch.
Aside from the aggressive tread pattern, the robust sidewalls held up well against the sharp rocks and provided great traction on the dirt. Overall, words can’t fully describe just how exhilarating both off road driving segments were making the whole experience well worth the trip.
After a sumptuous lunch that satisfied everyone’s appetite, Yokohama Section Head for
Marketing and Business planning Shawn Pamintuan gave a brief introduction regarding their
Geolandar G003 M/T. This is Yokohama’s latest off road tire geared towards 4×4 vehicles that’s designed to offer all the positive traits of an all-around off road tire without sacrificing comfort.
Also present during the event was Yokohama Philippines president Satoshi Hariyama and AVP
for Sales and Marketing Bong Romero. In line with other gear that comes with having an outdoor kind of lifestyle, Joel Pedro of Adventure Kings talked about his array of outdoor essential products that can be fitted to all 4×4 vehicles.
Made in Australia, he has tents, awnings, powered coolers, and custom made drawers for organizing stuff and more to make ‘glamping’ in the outdoors even more convenient. Lastly, Sammy Liuson also announced the partnership between Yokohama Tires and the Wheel Gallery in their quest to offer only the highest quality Black Rhino Wheels and matching Yokohama tires. He also thanked everyone for a safe and wonderful event. Already looking forward to the next event. Count me in!

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