A week after logging close to 23,000 test kilometers in 27 separate vehicles in North America, I got to re-establish how appropriate the new Volkswagen model range is in the Philippines along with my media colleagues in what was also a 3-day celebration of Philippine culture and Girl Power!
On both directions going and coming back from the 400-plus multi-destination journey, I enjoyed the experience from an admittedly very disruptive back-seat-driver passenger point-of-view! My apologies to the ladies especially to my buddy James Deakin’s director for sales and marketing, Erica De Zuzuarregui, who may still be recovering from the fallout from driving us up from the Volkswagen Quezon Avenue dealership to the lovely freshly opened Highland Bali Villas Resort and Spa overlooking the spectacular Pantabangan Lake in Nueva Ecija!
Now veteran experienced driver Angel Rivero, on the other hand, who drove us most of the way back to the metropolis, effortlessly joined in our vibrant dialogue with her only challenge being a real trooper in the rice-field as she expertly demonstrated the planting procedures at the outstanding Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Muñoz. We were all enlightened and inspired by the passionate and hard-working team at PhilRice. I only wish that much more of our countrymen dedicate to rebuilding our fundamental industries for the good of the whole nation. We need exceedingly more life-bringing and nurturing farming rather than the current focus on cemented developments. Established back in 1985, PhilRice has endeavored to make our country self-sufficient with high quality rice production. With the help of modern technology, I can see that it would be realistically possible with the cooperation and support of our people.
As a passenger I got to enjoy all three new Volkswagens; the Santana, the Lavida, and the Tiguan in their practical every day realistic usage in appreciated comfort. Each cabin boasts exceptional sound and road noise insulation combined with spacious yet supportive rear seats. The fuel consumption was also reconfirmed to be as consistently efficient as we originally tested a couple of months ago.
Volkswagen Philippines wanted us to champion their new line of people’s cars by also devouring delicious Philippine cuisine highlighted by Bale Dutung in Angeles, Pampanga; Hapag Vicentico’s in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; and, Bahay na Tisa in Malolos, Bulacan.
We ended the festive media event at the historic Barasoain Church where we also took an abridged tour of the Museo ng Republika ng 1899 in Malolos. Which was particularly special for me as many elements of the museum’s presentation will be seen and enjoyed in the upcoming epic film Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, the follow-up film to director Jerrold Tarog’s hugely successful and grand Heneral Luna. Watch both films, you all just might recognize a chunky bearded fellow causing havoc.
Bravo to the whole Volkswagen Team for a wonderful and expertly curated media event that uplifted both their machines and our love for our beloved country.