Before the pandemic, the arrival of the much-awaited Amihan (northeast monsoon) with its cold temperature and chilly air usually inspires a certain kind of hopeful yearning among Filipinos. There’s the general feeling of happiness since the lowering of temperatures in tropical Philippines heralds the beginning of the world’s longest Christmas.
These days, while the general holiday feeling remains subdued, it’s still there. Getting brighter and stronger with each day of decreasing COVID-19 cases and lowering of restrictions, giving Filipinos the promise of a mostly normal holiday season. For most, a normal holiday season means spending it anywhere but home.
While rules and regulations are still being finalized for most of the country, popular vacation spots like Baguio, Clark, Zambales, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur are no longer requiring a negative RT-PCR test from fully-vaccinated adults. If you’re like the majority of Filipinos going crazy with cabin fever, a road trip to vacation spots that are within reach is the perfect activity to cap off a generally challenging year. However, before jumping into your car, be sure that you have the following essentials with you:
For General Safety
Don’t forget to bring the pandemic essentials: face masks, alcohol, and face shields (strictly for compliance). While you can probably buy them at the vacation place you’re planning, it's always prudent to be prepared and that’s one thing off your mind.
Also, follow the local news closely. You can probably find official local government units on social media, follow them or like their pages. This way, you’ll be informed about the current COVID-19 situation in their areas.
Essentials For Kids
If you’re bringing along unvaccinated children to your road trip, check with the local government first as to what the requirements are. For example, Baguio requires a negative RT-PCR or antigen test for unvaccinated minors while Zambales requires a negative antigen test from both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Other essentials include car seats for children, something to distract them from a long ride like portable handheld consoles, snacks, and plenty of patience (and wit!) on the part of adults to answer the never-ending “Are we there yet?” questions.
Working Away From Home Essentials
Yes, we understand that your work is probably one of the main reasons why you sorely need a road trip and you probably couldn’t wait to get away from your work laptop. However, you wouldn’t want to be jobless while in the middle of the pandemic, right? Other than a stable source of income, you couldn’t afford to lose your HMO, literally.
Other than your work laptop or cellphone, you need a stable Internet connection. Check with your network if their service reaches the place you’ll be going to. Don’t forget your charger or powerbank before embarking on a road trip, you wouldn’t want to be out of battery juice when you’re out of town.
A Reliable Ride
Lastly, you’ll be needing a car that goes beyond just bringing you from point A to point B. Comfort is something that almost all new cars these days offer and you’ll also most likely to find a dedicated multimedia unit inside them, making the ride not just comfortable but entertaining as well. The main consideration of all car owners, now, though is not these two things. It’s fuel economy. Especially now that every week sees an increase in fuel prices.
Enter the Honda City. Both the sedan and hatchback of the Honda City displayed impressive results when their fuel economy was tested by the Automobile Association of the Philippines and Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. in June of this year. Both managed to get 25km/L (slightly higher for the hatchback – 25.17km/L, compared to the sedan’s 25km/L), making them perfect for any road trip that you might think of planning for the year. Think of all the savings that you’ll get with the much improved fuel economy, more so during a pandemic when literally every peso counts. All your fuel savings can instead be used for an additional serving of bulalo in Tagaytay or a couple of strawberry jams in Baguio.
As far as passenger comfort, the second row has ample space and leg room to provide a relaxed ride. In terms of loading cargo, you'll be happy to know that both variants have trunk sapce that's more than enough for a subcompact car to accomodate your haul.
On the safety side of things, those who have for young families will be estatic to learn that both variants have you covered too. They both have ISOFIX, a universally standardized car seat fitting system, to take away your concern when it comes to strapping in your little one(s).
For the Hatchback model, it's interesting to note that its ULTR seats provide versatility, utility and comfort whenever you and your family head out for long drives for a family excursion. You can tap into different modes to best suit your cabin needs, whether it be adjusting for space and comfort or even making room for cargo if need be.
But what makes the Honda City a truly safe vehicle to travel in is the access it has to authorized Honda dealers nationwide. The sites aren't hard to locate, so tune-up tasks and periodic maintenance activities may be administered at your convenience.
Truly, Honda City offers a plethora of conveniences that make for a safe and smooth ride. So now, whenever you get behind the wheel, all you have to look forward to taking in the scenic views, enjoying the cool weather, and making memories with people that matter.