32 positive thoughts about driving in the Philippines

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ILLUSTRATION BY STEPH BRAVO

Let’s face it; it would have been easier for me to write about 32 things we hate about driving in the Philippines. The list might even reach a thousand.

Because we are always bombarded on news channels, social media feeds, and friends’ chats about what is wrong with the country, we all have become experts about what is negative about our country.

Its actually harder to think about what is right about it.

In any positivism book or workshop, the first thing that is taught is to be thankful for what you have.

Gratitude is the key to happiness. Listing things you are grateful for is healthier and more productive in improving one’s life.

On this note, for the 32nd anniversary edition of the Inquirer, instead of listing down what is wrong, I asked myself and a couple of friends what they like about driving in the Philippines.

Jeanette Tuason

Mom of five, entrepreneur and columnist

“What I like about driving in the Philippines is how diverse the terrain and landscape are.

“One minute you are driving along a coastline, and in the next few minutes, you are on a mountain, then passing a rural barrio.

“Our country is so blessed with beautiful places we don’t need to drive far to see how diverse and gifted we are.”

Atty. Mike Toledo

Former Press Secretary/Philex Mining executive

“I Like driving in NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX, and SLEX. I enjoy the good, well-maintained roads that take us to different parts of the country faster and safer.”

Raymond T. Rodriguez
President, Lexus Manila

“I like that it gives me bonding time with my family especially during heavy traffic. Also, I love that in one hour from Alabang, I can reach Tagaytay and enjoy many scenic views.”

Alvin Uy

Section editor, Executive Essentials

“Owning classic cars is still a relatively affordable hobby, thanks to the availability of skilled and almost artisan levels of car restoration services ranging from tinsmith, body paint to mechanical works at prices far less than other more developed markets.

“Registration of classic cars (at least as for now) is also still very affordable and easy.

“There is also a healthy population of special interest car clubs (from European classics to retro-Japanese JDMs to American muscle cars) that serve as a forum for technical advice, parts sourcing and road trips that makes the classic car ownership experience worthwhile.”

JP Tuason

JP Tuason

Champion racer/road safety advocate/president, Tuason Racing School

“I love breakfast meetups where car enthusiasts can enjoy and share their cars with fellow car lovers.

“Its the same as appreciating art in the museum.”

Keith Bryan Haw

Racer/car tuner/DJ

“I love driving in the Philippines simply because I love cars. It gives me time to focus on my music.

“I mix the songs in my head during traffic plus the sound of the engine and exhaust creates a such a great background its music to my ears.”

Lester Codog

President, Foilacar Industries

“I love driving in the Philippines because everyone is friendly and accommodating, especially outside Manila.”

Mark Lapid

Actor

“I like driving in Manila because it is a challenging drive. No two roads are the same.”

Issa Litton

Host/actor

“On the brighter side, if you can survive driving here, you can drive anywhere!”

Louie Ysmael

Manila’s night life king

“The best thing I like about driving in the Philippines is the SCTEX because of the practically free and open road.”

Maricar Parco

President, BMW Philippines

“There are always new and exciting destinations that are accessible by car.

“It’s still good to be able to turn short drives into a bonding opportunity with my family, and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

Fabio Ide

Fabio Ide

Actor/model/businessman

“I like driving in the Philippines because I get to explore places that I have never been before.

“A road trip gives me a deeper experience of the place.”

Aubrey Miles

Aubrey Miles

Actress/fitness influencer

“I love taking long drives out of the city because of the beautiful scenery that you see in just a few hours.”

Felix Ang

President, Cats Motors

“What I love about driving in the country is that it can bring my cars out for a spin on Sundays with fellow car enthusiasts.”

Michael Rojas

President, Rota Wheels

“From a motorist point of view, getting a ticket in the Philippines is still not too costly; it won’t cost you an arm and a leg unlike in other countries.

“But looking at the overall picture, this has also an effect on motorist discipline.”

Marc Tagle

Chairman and president, Aston Martin Manila/president and CEO, Bridgestone

“I appreciate my drives on weekends because I get to fully experience my car’s performance—which I don’t get to do during the busy weekdays.”

Gretchen HO

Gretchen Ho

Host, UKG/sports personality

“What I love about driving in the Philippines is that there’s always a stop an hour or two away that’s a tourist destination.

“There’s always a new sight to see and a new adventure to find.”

Senator JV Ejercito

“I like driving (and riding) in the Philippines because of its beauty.

“People don’t realize how beautiful our country is. The countryside, the mountains, the beaches, the waterfalls—they are, indeed, islands of paradise!

“Discover the Philippines by driving around.”

Raffy David

Parts Pro Racing Team principal

“The part I enjoy about driving in the Philippines is that other drivers are not as overly sensitive about things they encounter on the road.”

Kenneth Cobonpue

Internationally acclaimed designer/car enthusiast

“Open and winding roads which reveal amazing vistas of corn and rice fields, the ocean and the hills, and a chance to share it with fellow enthusiasts at the annual Tour de Cebu: That’s what I look forward to every year in the Philippines.”

Jenni Epperson

Always Sunday Skin Care founder and lifestyle blogger

“Driving in the Philippines keeps you on your toes, and there is no chance of being bored behind the wheel.

Rhian Ramos

Rhian Ramos

Actress/racer

“My favorite thing about driving in the Philippines is leaving Manila. It’s my only chance to use the gas pedal.”

Sam YG

Sam YG

Racer/DJ/host

“In three hours, you can go from a congested city to a serene and peaceful beaches.”

Al Gonzales

Ironman certified triathlon coach

“What I love about driving is in the Philippines is that whether you’re stuck in mid-traffic of the metro or some far-flung part of one of the 7,107 islands, you’ll never be lacking supplies for your trip.

“From freshly steamed peanuts and cold bottled water, to fuel in old glass Coca-Cola bottles, cell phone chargers to bobbing-head doggy toys, the list is endless.

“Such is the entrepreneurship of the Filipino that sometimes make up for what our infrastructure lacks.”

Botchi Santos

Inquirer Columnist

“I love driving to a new place unspoiled by urbanization. I get to experience this when I go off-roading. That is what I appreciate about the Philippines.”

Jason Ang

Motoring journalist

“I love the spectacular scenery that we can experience while driving, for example to Baguio and Tagaytay.

“The passengers have the advantage here. That’s why rest stops are necessary.”

Steven Tan

President, Mazda Philippines

“I love exploring Metro Manila on long weekends when the congestion disappears and I can thoroughly enjoy the many beautiful treats in the city during those light traffic long weekends.”

Glen Dasig

President, Peugeot Philippines

“Where else can you learn ultimate patience? I thank driving in the Philippines for that every day.”

Jong Arcano

Editor, Inquirer Motoring section

“Nothing beats the satisfaction of driving your family to the malls on weekends and holidays.

“There is a multitude of choices, whether its up north or down south in the NCR, for dining, leisure and dining experiences.

“Traffic takes a backseat when the family is having fun just talking about the fun moments at the malls.”

James Deakin

Media personality/motoring journalist

“Every traffic light is like a drive-thru: you can get food, water, bubble gum and license covers.”

Dominic Ochoa

Actor/racer/classic car enthusiast

“I love driving or riding along the scenic and coastal roads of the south like Cebu, Dumaguete, Negros, and Bohol. Fantastic roads!”

Isha Valles

Editor-in-chief, Preview magazine

“Driving in Manila has certainly given me a better sense of direction and navigation, something that I find useful when I travel.”

Happy anniversary, PDI, and more power to us all.



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