I MISSED the awards night of the STV Auto Rallye Corporate Challenge winners. One of my three Lexus Teams won twice and I only have praises for my gallant heroes Mike Lee and Mico Lee of Toyota Alabang, and Brent Co of Auto Industriya. Congrats, fellers!
In spirit (fueled by Mike Lee’s Hibiki), I was present at the ceremonies as only Ray Butch “Elvis” Gamboa, the Rally founder-organizer, knows it by heart—even as I was in faraway Calauag, Quezon, a charming town just a spitting distance away from Bicolandia.
Ah, Calauag, my trusted hideaway sitting by the Lamon Bay, the lapu-lapu-rich body of water coved by the blue Pacific Ocean and green South China Sea snaking all the way to Guinyangan, Quezon, from Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan.
For me to get to Calauag (its crabs, too, are the nation’s yummiest) from Quezon City, you need to hurdle, suffer almost eight hours of driving on Maharlika Highway. And that is just a distance of 230 kilometers, more or less.
How many times have I said that traffic is made worst by tricycles traversing the highway in wild abandon, especially in the almost endless stretches from Alaminos, Laguna, to Gumaca, Quezon.
All these years there’s been a lot of road-widening projects along Maharlika Highway, many of which had been completed to almost-flawless perfection.
Alas, many of the widened roads are being used indiscriminately as parking lots of private-vehicle owners—putting to waste the government’s noble intention of providing motorists the luxury of comfortable, safe and stress-free driving.
Only in the Philippines, indeed.
And so, again, what has the Department of Public Works and Highways done thus far in killing this scourge on the road (paging Secretary Mark A. Villar), not to mention mayors not lifting a finger to discipline hopelessly errant tricycle drivers, as well as owners of vehicles parked along the widened roads of the Maharlika Highway, practically from Santo Tomas, Batangas, all the way to Tagkawayan, Quezon?
That said, let me go back now to the STV Rally, whose outcome had been collated once more by Jenny P. Bleza, the event’s perennial workhorse, for my delectation. Sponsored by Ayala Harbor Point, SocioCom Foundation for Asia and Young Street Smart Club, the Subic leg had the following as winners feted recently at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City, following inspiring remarks by Elvis and chief steward and grand marshal Georges Ramirez.
PEE STOP Jade B. Sison, the sharp-shooting Toyota marketing wizard, has left Toyota Motor Philippines—almost. She was saved by her ever trustful and wise judgment—deciding, finally, to dump the “tempting offer” and stick it out with the country’s top car company “because it’s the right thing to do.” By doing so, Jade did her Dad, Jera, proud…Happy birthday today (June 2) to Dayong J. Mendoza, the assistant coach of San Miguel Beer. His ninong, Uncle Tito J. Laurel of New York City, celebrated his yesterday (June 1) in the Big Apple…Cheers to U-Bix founder Bert B. Bravo, whose array of cars is the envy of many but whose Fortuner, now relocated to Dumaguete, is one of his favorite rides. Incidentally, Bert had just hosted the Konica Minolta Hybrid Distributors Conference to a smashing success at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City, with no less than Shoie Yamana, Japan’s president of Konica Minolta Corp., as guest of honor. All the best, Pareng Bert!