The local automotive industry is getting livelier in the past few months with the continuous presence of different car clubs and motorsport events doing their thing in order to make a name for their purpose. While the usual gimmicks they do are not new to us anymore in making a noise in the industry, it’s quite undeniable how some car clubs do inappropriate practices in managing their own group like doing unnecessary money-making businesses inside their organization or encouraging others to make their cars look “cool” (a laughingstock, rather) even if reality says that it’s the opposite. Fortunately for us, we still have plenty of car communities around the network that observe good practices and deeds in maintaining a healthy and proper relationship among their members. One good example of which is the AWD Squad PH, a group composed of highly-known AWD cars that gather once in a while to showcase their vehicles and observe good camaraderie and brotherhood with each other together with such unwavering passion for their cars and for their group as well, no monkey BS or whatsoever. Luckily for us, we were one of the few guys invited to join their Tour of the North Speciale, AWD Squad PH’s 2nd Anniversary fun run to Subic, Zambales.
The event started to kick off with the main meet-up point took place in a gas station along NLEX. Everyone that time was already getting giddy to go and show their need for speed towards the lunch destination in Subic. Upon arriving the meet-up point, a bunch of Evos and STis were already parked waiting for the others to arrive. Seeing their faces while waiting gave us an impression of how passionate they are not only for their cars but more so for their squad as a whole. After just a few minutes, other members and attendees started to show up as well with some unexpected cars gracing the event, like a Porsche 911 Turbo and a Legacy GT Wagon.
With all the attendees present at the meet-up place, the squad started getting ready to take off. Leading the convoy is AWD Squad PH’s Alain Uy towards the next gas stop somewhere in Clark to meet another set of members from Cabanatuan. Upon getting ourselves ready to go, we can already feel the engines heating up as we are prepared to leave the meet-up point. Just in about a few minutes, we set off the place and started to run with everyone feeling the sheer joy and pleasure of driving their street weapons on a sweet open road. Everyone was really stepping on the throttle enjoying the wide open road while we, the Streetcustomsph crew in our service car were kinda… umm… struggling trying to catch up with the whole convoy, because how can a Mirage G4 catch up with turbocharged AWD monsters that easily? We really wondered how, to be honest. Haha!
In just after some more minutes trying so damn hard to keep up with the whole squad, we made a quick stopover somewhere in Clark to take photos of individual cars before we eventually arrived at our stop at a gas station in Clark. Quite thankful that everyone calmed down right after doing some speed, we started to continue taking some more shots while enjoying and appreciating the very nice view the cars of AWD Squad PH gives us. After a while, the folks at 9tro started to brief everyone on how we’d shoot their cars while rolling because we did felt how they wonder the scenario of catching up just to take really decent photos. With the briefing done and some attendees finished filling up some more gas in their cars, including ours, we started to set off again towards the event’s destination in Subic.
Thankfully, the continuation of the run already enabled us to take much more creative shots without struggling for speed thanks to the briefing held earlier. It was also a good thing that the weather cooperated with the run very well since the whole group really was anticipating a slight rainfall during the run which gladly didn’t happen at all. The scenic view we were getting while taking the shots of the convoy with the weather being good to us resulted to having some very astonishing shots which can really entice those who doesn’t have that much interest with the cars involved. The whole team and the members were enjoying the run so much that it came to a surprise how we approached Subic sooner than we expected. Upon approaching the venue, everyone already settled down in driving and was preparing to eat some delicious lunch in a diner within Subic Bay. After arriving to the venue, each and every one of us started to order some good food as we were really getting hungry as well. With everyone finished with their lunch meals, the moderators of the squad started to conduct a raffle for all the attendees of the event. It was quite a surprise that there were many raffle prizes prepared by the squad, not to mention the value most of the prizes given away. Lucky for me though, I was able to snag two raffle prizes which turned out to be an overall change oil package after all!
After all those fun moments during the raffle and the lunch held at the diner, it was time for the last hurrah for those who still wanted to enjoy the spare time left with the whole squad before heading back to Manila. It was indeed a fun and memorable experience for everyone who participated at the successful event held by the group. In that decent amount of time we had, it was truly an amazing moment to see how these AWD junkies play and bond with each other enjoying the view of those traction monsters unleashing a part of their hidden potential on the open roads. We surely can’t wait for the next one!
Photo: Vincent Capili
Words: Juan Miguel Mendoza