Automotive

STV breathes life to old motorsport with ARCC

Keeping the spirit of rallying alive

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I was at Clark, Pampanga in a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines for the STV Auto Rally Corporate Challenge (ARCC).

For the unfamiliar, it’s also called Sampaguita Rally in the Philippines, but it was actually inspired by the Dutch’s Tulpenrallye (Tulip Rally) for the way the directions in the handbook look like. It gained popularity in Europe at the beginning of 1950s and was also the number one motorsport in the Philippines back in the 80s. The sport eventually died down but Sunshine Television has been faithful to breathe life into the sport until today.

STV Chairman and CEO Ray Butch Gamboa kicks off the event.

Now, the “rally” in its name might paint a different picture for some. Usually, speed is associated when you hear the term “rallying,” and that’s because of the modified rally races that are popular today. STV’s ARCC doesn’t follow this trend and stays true to its roots wherein drivers are not required to go fast to win.

Taking an oath to play fair and square.

Car manufacturers, importers, and distributors were the event’s participants and I was invited to be one of Ford Philippines’ representatives. There were a total of nine media reps split into three groups and Ford gave the groups a vehicle each to use in the event.

Our group was in a 3.2-liter Ford Everest Titanium with me at the helm, while one was assigned as timekeeper and the other as navigator.

You, as a participant, get in the vehicle with your teammates and are put on a public road along with other motorists. You’re expected to follow driving rules just like you normally would while following the tulip-shaped directions written on the handbook.

This is what the handbook looks like with tulip-shaped arrows for directions. The smaller sheet is filled with our time for all the checkpoints.

More than speed, the key factor to winning is precision. A series of checkpoints were set up throughout the course, and our team, along with hundreds of participants from other brands, had to arrive at the perfect time at each checkpoint. Get there one second late/early and you get a demerit. In the end, the group with the least number of demerits wins. Having said these, the goal is simple: Be on time, all the time.

With more than 150km of driving, the goal of the event was to promote driver discipline and road safety. This means if you violate traffic rules, authorities can and will flag you and issue a ticket (plus the organizers can disqualify you from the event depending on your offense).

There’s our ride, Vehicle 24.

The dynamics inside the vehicle (at least for us) worked like this: The navigator obviously had the handbook and told the driver where to turn. Meanwhile, the timekeeper calculated the time needed from one point to the next to made sure we get to the checkpoints at the perfect time — all while inside a moving car. Then there’s an average speed indicated per direction so I, the driver, had to maintain constant speeds depending on the instruction. Mix in traffic lights and buildup of cars and the feeling of frustration crept in knowing we needed to catch up.

Still, it was a great practice for coordination and communication among us inside the vehicle. Since Rally Director Georges Ramirez chose a route with tricky turns and hidden checkpoints, it made things more exciting and required us to almost be at the edge of our seats looking out where that next turn would be.

Team Ford (although not complete)

The 2018 ARCC was indeed a challenging experience, but it’s for that same reason that all of us enjoyed the event. Our group didn’t make it to the top list but hey, it was an adventure that you don’t do every day. It also taught us a thing or two about teamwork and precision driving, and I even ended up making new friends. So it’s not all that bad.

Automotive

All the essential gadgets you’ll ever need for a glamping trip

Visiting Chile with Nicole Scott of MobileGeeks!

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Traveling is a great deal of fun but packing the right gear can be a headache. So, I called for reinforcements.

I spoke with Nicole Scott, all-around traveler and co-founder of MobileGeeks, and asked her what her travel essentials are.

Nicole is always on the road which means she does everything while she’s traveling. She walked us through her last trip to Chile where she went glamping in the desert. These are her must-haves.

Some wheels to get there

The destination is the Atacama Desert, the driest on the planet. To get to the glamping spot, you need a ride.

For the few minutes drive from San Pedro to Atacama Loft & Glamp, the Audi Q8 is Nicole’s vehicle of choice. The Q8 has a host of smart features, and most importantly…

… it has wireless charging built in!

A phone to take photos with

In this area, there’s barely any reception. But these days, phones are still useful even without cell signal.

Nicole brought along her HTC U12+ for photo-taking purposes.

Working on the go

Since she’s always moving, Nicole is used to working on the go. She brings her Microsoft Surface Book everywhere. 

An external battery pack is also a must-have — this means an extra two hours of laptop time without having to plug into an actual electric socket.

Part of her setup is working with a mouse — Nicole shoots and edits, too. Her weapon of choice? The Microsoft Surface Arc.

Now, enough about work!

Adding some background music

A good pair of headphones is always a great idea when traveling, or when you’re horseback riding through the desert like Nicole.

These TaoTronics Bluetooth earphones are her favorite because they have great sound quality despite being pretty affordable.

Taking time to meditate with the scenery

Nicole always has her Fitbit Versa on her and on trips like this, it proves pretty useful.

She uses the Relax function to take time out of her day and enjoy the beautiful desert sights with breathing exercises.

Watch Nicole’s full video here:

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Automotive

Honda offers limited edition City, BR-V, and Odyssey

Comes with a major discount, too

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is proud to introduce limited edition variants of the new City, BR-V, and Odyssey. These souped-up models offer additional features, safety systems, and even discounts.

Adding to its slew of features, the new Honda City 1.5 Sport CVT has two new front tweeters for improved audio and entertainment experience. It is also equipped with new front, side, and rear under spoilers for a sportier look while a Sport Edition Emblem has been added to set it apart from the basic model.

This limited edition variant will be available for a suggested retail price of PhP 898,000 and will come in Modern Steel Metallic, Taffeta White, and Ruby Red Pearl.

The second best-selling model in the Philippines following the Honda City, the seven-seater BR-V 1.5 Touring CVT boasts fuel efficiency and new exterior features. This includes a tailgate spoiler, daytime running lights, shark fin antenna, and parking sensors to make backing up easier and safer.

It will be available for PhP 1,058,000 in Modern Steel Metallic color, Taffeta White, and Lunar Silver Metallic.

Last but definitely not the least, the luxury seven-seater minivan Odyssey EX-V CVT gets an exclusive variant with only 45 units available for sale. This package includes full leather interior, cradle captain seats with ottoman, and a lineup of driver assistive technology features.

For PhP 2,428,000, it will be available in Platinum White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, and Super Platinum Metallic.

To further sweeten the deal, Honda Philippines is offering to slash off PhP 50,000 to encourage customers to take advantage of the offer. Interested buyers may place reservations at any of the 38 Honda dealerships in the country.

SEE ALSO: New Honda Civic Type R arrives in PH

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Automotive

Ford Ranger Raptor now up for pre-orders

Be one of the first to own it

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Ford’s factory-built performance truck is now up for pre-orders at dealerships in the Philippines.

Launched earlier this year at a grand event in Thailand, the Ranger Raptor combines Ford Performance DNA with the Ranger’s tough constitution. It’s thought to be a motocross bike, snowmobile, and an ATV rolled into one macho pickup truck.

With a capable diesel engine, terrain management system, and a host of safety features, Ford’s truck is a promising package for the rough riders. Color palettes include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, and Conquer Grey.

Those who want to get first dibs on the Ranger Raptor can pre-order now by contacting or visiting any Ford dealer in the country. Pricing is still undisclosed but will be revealed closer to its launch date in the third quarter of this year.

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