I can still remember the first time I rode the Ford Territory. I was astounded by the vehicle’s creature comforts that gave drivers and passengers a cozy experience.
We traversed between cities, looking for good food. Despite the hellish traffic that comes with driving in Metro Manila, we were entertained by the technology packed inside the automobile.
More than a year later, the Ford Territory found its way to my garage. It’s like a gift of adventure, in time for my birthday.
9:00 am. south kids, ready to go.
July 23. It was a Saturday morning when I received a call from my best friend, Mark, asking me to get ready. They arrived shortly and tried to wind down watching Netflix at home while I prepare everything we need for the trip.
The last time I celebrated my birthday was three years ago. When the pandemic robbed us of time and moments to be with the people we love, I found it difficult to find joy in glamorizing my day. As the world eases up, I knew I had to take this chance to get out and be fabulous.
Before we set off for an adventure down south, we took a photo in front of the Territory.
It was only the three of us who are going for a ride, though. Two of my friends, Oliver and Marlon, weren’t able to join my momentous occasion due to a conflict in the schedule but they decided to stop by and greet me.
10:00 am. navigator at your service.
We were headed to pick up the parents of my godson along Santana Grove in Parañaque. Of course, I wasn’t the driver. I took on the shotgun to be the navigator and the DJ. And so I can always look at myself in the side mirror.
The first half of the trip consisted of exploring the Territory’s technology. A drive isn’t complete without good music, so we used Apple CarPlay in its infotainment system to connect our iPhones. Plenty of devices can get in the way of easily connecting your iPhone to the vehicle, but it’s still easy to pair.
What we found troublesome was using both Maps and Spotify. The music gets interrupted whenever Maps prompts with a new direction to take. Since music is more important to us, I used my Android phone to use Maps and have a separate, dedicated navigation tool.
If you have a car mount like Moshi’s SnapTo Universal Car Mount, you can clip it so it’ll hold your smartphone.
11:30 am. blue skies.
Our destination for the weekend was Calatagan. That means we have to pass through Tagaytay, which is horrible on the weekends. We took several detours and long cuts just so we have to make it to our favorite stop, Mahogany, in time to meet our other friends driving their sedan.
Finally seeing good weather, we blasted ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry and opened the windows, as well as the sunroof, while traversing CALAX.
I was already having a good time, and it was just the morning.
1:00 pm. time for bulalô.
Our mood went down; energies depleted. We finally encountered Tagaytay’s unbearable traffic on the weekends. It took us at least half an hour to arrive at Mahogany Beer Market, and we even struggled with finding a parking slot.
When we found a space to park, I loved how the Ford Territory assisted us, thanks to its Ford Co-Pilot 360, an advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies. Parking in reverse — parallel even — allows the screen to provide a simulated aerial view of the Territory’s surroundings on the screen.
The Mahogany Beef Market is popular for serving fresh meat such as beef, chicken, and pork. On the second floor of the beef market, you can find a slew of food stalls serving Bulalô — a Filipino soup dish made from beef leg bones and marrow.
Mahogany wasn’t fancy in any way, but the food is overwhelmingly delicious and they serve it at a cheaper price compared to restaurants found in Tagaytay. The place is also nostalgic. I remember my drunken nights from Papa Doms, stopping over at Mahogany so I can get sober.
READ: 24 Hours in Tagaytay
3:00 pm. safe drives in the rain.
It took us more than an hour to reach Calatagan coming from Tagaytay. The drive was filled with chill OPM blasting through its speakers. We weren’t able to use the sunroof since we encountered heavy rains and thunderstorms when passing through Nasugbu.
The infotainment system came in handy when I was adjusting the vehicle’s air-conditioning system, the ambient lighting, and sometimes, the seat’s heater. My friend kept increasing my seat’s heater while I try to take a nap, which annoyed me since my butt’s getting really warm.
On another note, my friend was able to keep his eyes on the road and take control of the vehicle’s settings even if we were all asleep, thanks to the easily reachable buttons in and around the steering wheel.
4:00 pm. hello, calatagan.
By four in the afternoon, we were able to arrive at our destination called The Beach along Lucsuhin-Hukay Rd. There are military checkpoints along the way, so be sure to stop when they tell you to do so — even if you’re obstructing the traffic. They’re pretty angsty if you’re considerate of other vehicles.
Nevertheless, the staff at The Beach greeted us with a welcoming smile when we arrived. Even in the lobby, the staff were polite, courteous, and accommodating. When we got the keys to our room, we were served refreshments while we bask at the sound of the waves crashing down the shores, along with the murmurs of friends and families chatting and having fun.
We tried to settle in and change our clothes so we can relax.
6:00 pm. dillydallying at the beach.
As the sun sets, we were vibing, dancing to the beat, and drinking beer, while gawking at the scenery unraveling before us.
When the night came, we ate our freshly-served dinner and I blew the candles from the cake my friends surprised me with. It’s funny how they stole the Instax films I have at home as my cake’s topper to make it really about me.
My birthday night ended with moments of revelry, alcohol, music, and good companionship. I couldn’t ask for more.
07:00 am. mornings by the beach.
The Beach, home to aesthetically-pleasing sets and decors, looked immaculate when I went out to enjoy the rising sun. The sea was calm, the breeze was cool, and there are happy vibes all over the place.
The resort offers a freshly-brewed Kapeng Barako, a coffee varietal grown in Batangas province coming from the Coffea Liberica species. There’s also a complimentary breakfast for the guests.
The Beach had an Instagrammable dining area by the sea, and we opted to eat our breakfast there.
9:00 am. laughter and splashes.
Making the most out of our stay, we decided to head to the beach. We weren’t thrilled with the kayak, and instead, we swam up to the inflatable which proved to be challenging for almost everyone trying to make their way up.
We took several photos, had fun splashing around, and enjoyed swimming.
Moments later, we decided to try the Infinity pool. Of course, we still had our photos taken.
12:00 pm. it’s time to go.
Check-out is at 12 noon. We dressed up because we were a little extra. We took group photos in several parts of the resort to commemorate the celebration.
Of course, we all posed in front of the Ford Territory. Rising pop-rock sensation, Noela, and her boyfriend stood out of the sunroof. If this was a 7-seater, we would’ve really enjoyed using only one vehicle, and our drives may have been filled with waves of laughter and stories.
2:00 pm. wind in my hair, i was there.
We were on the way home, and there were only three of us inside the Territory since the couple we picked up before were joining my friend in another vehicle. We were taking separate ways after eating our lunch at Tagaytay, again.
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I took this moment to sing along to my favorite songs, as I open the sunroof. We were savoring the cool breeze despite the blazing heat of the sun. It was literally a Taylor Swift moment of “Wind in my hair, I was there” because I remember it all too well.
4:00 pm. do you have oat milk?
Like on ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’, we took a long way home. But no, we didn’t ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright. We passed by Amadeo, the coffee capital of the Philippines. We stopped over by Kaffe Belardo so my friends can buy their coffee beans.
I bought a ready-to-go beverage, taking a sip of their cold brew mixed with almond and oat milk. It’s rare to see local cafes offering milk options, especially for those allergic to regular, fresh milk.
With the scent of coffee and the cool breeze thanks to a lineup of trees surrounding the highway, Amadeo is a good place to drive when you just want to get away from it all. I wish I went here when I was losing myself before.
9:00 pm. singing in the car, getting lost upstate.
The Sunday traffic was arguably hellish, especially if you’re down south. The full tank was almost depleted after over a hundred-kilometer drive, which made us giddy since we didn’t have to stop over at gas stations to refuel while we were on our way. It made the trip efficient, and our planned schedule was followed — even with bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The Ford Territory offers a cozy experience — whether you’re a driver or a passenger. It makes being on the road fun and comfortable, thanks to its creature comforts that are easily accessible to anyone. Moreover, the technology infused in the vehicle makes everyone feel safe.
I never pegged the Territory as a long-drive companion, but it proved that it can handle city drives and road trips excellently, more than what we asked for.
To know more about the latest offers, visit ford.com.ph/shopping/latest-offer/ or any Ford dealership nearest you.
Honda launches CONNECT app: Safety and security at one’s fingertips
Enhancing the ownership experience
Honda Cars Philippines has officially launched Honda CONNECT. It’s an app that automates customer service and offers Honda car owners a full package of safety, security, and convenience.
The app is available as a free three-year subscription for owners of the all-new Honda CR-V. Owners will get a telematics-based (TCU) version of Honda CONNECT that connects the phone of the owner with their car.
Some features include Automatic Collision Detection, Security Alarm, Remote Diagnostic Support, Speed Alert, Geofencing, Vehicle Dashboard Information, and Remote Vehicle Control.
The new service also supports Find My Car to make it easier for drivers to locate their parked vehicle.
For owners of other Honda models, the app is also available as a non-TCU platform, allowing owners to make emergency calls for 24/7 roadside assistance and browse location search for places of interest such as gas stations, ATMs, convenience stores, and more.
Everyday hero: HATASU HERO ebike now official
Multi-ride, easy go
HATASU ebike has launched the HATASU HERO, the company’s latest three-wheeler model and sixth product offering overall.
The latest addition to the company’s growing lineup of e-bikes is a multi-use, easy-go e-bike that can cater to daily riding needs such as household use, service, business, and more.
Designed to help users save their respective days, the HATASU HERO has a 250-kilogram capacity to support up to three adults or have someone fetch a bunch of kids from nearby schools.
It has top speeds of up to 20 to 25 kph and can cover 60 to 70 kilometers in one full charge.
The HATASU HERO comes in virtually an all-black design, sporting a splash guard in front, along with eagle-eye headlights that resemble a superhero mask.
The three-wheeler comes with a patented leather roof and back cover similar to a superhero cape, so users won’t have to worry about purchasing attachable roofs as add-ons
The e-bike also has an under seat and back compartment for riders to be able to load more goods such as groceries.
Inside is a high-powered 650W differential motor and an upgraded controller for better acceleration.
Accompanying the setup outside are dual and reverse horns and a motorcycle suspension fork, as well as a stainless front fender and large front wheel.
The HATASU HERO is priced at PhP 64,990 and is available in HATASU ebike dealers and online via Lazada.
Customers who purchase from November 15 will also receive a limited gift box worth PhP 1,790 and five raffle entries to HATASU’s Holiwheels Raffle Promo.
Honda Holiday Deals: Choose your own promo package
For the BR-V, Brio, City, and Civic
Honda Cars Philippines is offering customers several promo packages on participating models as part of its Honda’s Holiday Deals promotion.
Customers interested in availing of the All-New BR-V, New Brio, New City, and New Civic may choose their preferred promo – each coming with freebies or discounts:
- Package 1: Additional PhP 5,000 discount
- Package 2: Promo discount plus one year PMS
- Package 3: Promo discount plus PhP 7,000 accessory voucher
Downpayments for the BR-V, City, and Civic start at PhP 55,000.
Honda CR-V: Special insurance package
Meanwhile, customers may also be interested in getting a special insurance package offered for a purchase of any variant of the newly-launched All-New CR-V.
As part of the package, customers may enjoy benefits such as a waived PhP 2,000 deductible on first claim or an upgraded personal accident coverage, depending on the insurance partner (Standard Insurance, MAA, or AXA Philippines).
The latest iteration of Honda’s midsize SUV comes with e:HEV full hybrid system, Honda CONNECT, and Honda SENSING.
Flexible financing options
Honda is also offering low cash-out rates of just 15% to 20% downpayment and low monthly amortization bundles for up to 60-month payment terms.
There are several banks participating in this offer but customers will have to be approved first to push through with their car purchases.
Downpayments for the BR-V, City, and Brio start at just PhP 10,000 while all-in cash-outs for the City Hatchback, HR-V, Civic, and CR-V range from PhP 60,000 to PhP 142,000.
Honda Genuine Accessories package
Lastly, Honda car owners may enjoy up to a 90% discount on selected Honda Genuine Accessories, such as spoilers, trays, tailgate garnishes, covers, and more.
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