Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My First Car: A Blessing and a Gift!

November 7

That night I got a message from Ruth Arienza-Go reconfirming my plan to buy a new car. And I replied YES! Then she gave my contact number to an agent, which later I knew by name as Rusnel. Ms. Rusnel called after my dinner with my brother, Manong Danny, was served. She asked me to SMS her my personal data and that she will prepare my car loan application.

November 8

A personnel from the Toyota Financing Services (TFS) called me and interviewed me over the phone, affirming the data I provided in the application form. That was 9 o'clock in the morning. Then I received another call from the same person at around lunchtime. That afternoon when I returned from my lunchbreak, I actually met with my sister to do some bank transactions including the deposit of the P5,000 reservations for the toyota innova, one of our administrative assistants informed me that the TFS called and talked to them, inquiring my work status and other information. At around 4pm, Ms. Rusnel messaged me that my car loan application was approved.

I needed P120,000 to produce by the following day to post as my downpayment for the release of the car. I asked my sister-in-law, Ate Mely, P30,000 to borrow and deposit it in my sister En's account. We siblings, Manong Danny, En and I, planned to go together to witness the release of the unit.

November 9

Ms. Rusnel scheduled me to appear at Toyota Otis at 4pm. I withdrew P70,000 from my UCPB account, P20,000 from my BDO ATM, and add them to the P30,000 that En withdrew that Ate Mely deposited earlier. The three of us reached the Toyota Otis on time. I signed all pertinent documents and paid the P100,000 downpayment, inclusive of LTO registration and insurance fees. Then we were informed that the unit will be released after some basic makeup such as seat coverings and window tainting. The P20,000 we saved from the downpayment, having granted the loyalty discount (as referred by Samson and Ruth Go who were loyal to Toyota), will be used for the freight and handling via 2Go.

November 10

Manong Danny and I went back to Toyota Otis at 10am, the final schedule for release. The making up of the new car lasted until 2pm. Since, we decided to transport the new car via landtrip, so we postponed it to Surigao to the following day.

November 11

Today is my 15th anniversary of being a Certified Public Accountant. Only today that I owned a car of my own. Yes I owned it but I will not be using it. It was basically purchased for my parents. My father, Tantong the senior (let me remind you, I am the junior), has been wishing and pushing me to own one. It was initially a Hyundai Starex, but I opted a Toyota Innova. Now I am proud to hand it to my beloved Papa and Mama.

We departed from my sister's place in San Jose Del Monte City in Bulacan at little past 4am. The couple Jun and En accompanied us until Lucena City. The ride through Lucena was so smooth, given that there were several diversion roads constructed and usable nowadays; one was in Candelaria, another in Siriaya. More diversion roads can be found in more areas beyond Quezon province. Thus I wrote an article entitled, "Landtripping is more fun in the Philippines!"

We were told not to overstretch the speed capacity of the car this early, so we travelled at 80kph max speed even in the South Luzon Expressway. We have some wrong turns made but I realized it soon enough that prevented us from getting lost. There have been some road spots where maintenance were happening that day and the delay was due to alternate pass using one lane, facilitated by workers waving red and green flags from either end. Manong Danny and I reached Matnog, Sorsogon where the Maharlika port is located at little past 6pm. We did not realized it that we already travelled Luzon for 12 full hours. This included stops for urinating and eating breakfast and lunch.

The freebies of landtrip are the zigzag and steep roads in Quezon National Forest Park, otherwise known as Imelda National Park in Atimonan, Quezon. It is known that the park is declared a Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary. The present area  is 984 hectares (4 sq. miles) with its highest point at 366-m above sea level. More can be seen along the way, like the views of Isarog Volcano in Camarines Sur and Mayon Volcano in Albay. It was raining though when we arrived in Bicol and clouds hugged the two mounts tightly.

Manong Danny facilitated the boarding documents for the car and me as passenger; he is the driver and he is free of charge. He approached some of the fixers there and paid P1,500 for the freight. He gave the fixers and all other port personnels 50 pesos each for a charge they called "pangkape lang po". The boat ride which started at past 8pm took one hour and 30 minutes, we reached the port of Dapdap, Allen in Northern Samar at around 10pm.

Since Samar is famous for bad roads, so we decided to better sleep for the night in Allen. We checked at the nearby resort which name I cannot remember.

November 12

My brother-driver woke me up at 4am; the time to get ready for another day's ride south. I was actually on official business today and I have a meeting (courtesy call) at 9am in the DSWD Region 8 Office in Tacloban City.

The day was dark and wet! It may sound bad but we were surprised to pass through good roads traversing Northern to Western Samar. This roadtrack has been know to be problematic and never been repaired good that causes delay in driving. But the road was great, asphalted in most section, except for some spots were bridges are underconstruction and some road sections need repairs and maintenance. I arrived at the meeting late but at least I showed up for the courtesy call.

Later then, I excused myself to accompany my brother down south to deliver the car to Mindanao. We commenced our drive at 11:30am and arrived in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte's Ferry Terminal at 2pm. Leyte's road networks are known to be good and thank God the ride was smooth and easy.

The perks of riding the Eastern Visayas section are the drive through San Juanico Bridge, the bridge connecting the Islands of Samar and Leyte, thus forming the letters S and L at aerial view, the MacArthur Landing Memorial in Palo, Leyte, and the Agas-Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte section. It was creepy when we crossed the Agas-Agas Bridge because the heavy rains casted fogs over it. It was a scene in any horror movie that despite the car headlights, the half section of the bridge seemed unknown. That fear had me forsaken the chance to grab my Nikon 3100 SLR camera and capture the fogged bridge moment. I missed that, bigtime!

After clearance to board the ferry to Lipata port in Surigao City and paying around P2,500, I left my brother in the port and deliver the car to our parents himself. I rode a commuter bus back to Tacloban City where work is waiting for me. I need to work harder this time because I have a monthly amortization to pay for the new car.

Road tripping with my new car is a blessing... Driving with Manong Danny is a blessing... Experiencing the luxury of good road networks, philippine highways, natural landscapes is a blessing... Now the car - a gift for my Papa Tantong and Mama Dulcing - has been delivered and the driver is home.

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