| 12/03/2013 | 0 Comments

The Land Rover Club of the Philippines (LRCP) gathered Land Rover enthusiasts from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for the “Land Rover Festival 2013 – Mount Pinatubo to Baler, Aurora” from February 22 to 26, 2013.

Story: Roberto Consunji
Photos: Jundio Salvador

LR_Festival_14The Festival involved a four-wheel drive expedition to the volcano Mount Pinatubo in Pampanga and across the Sierra Madre Mountain Range of Luzon Island to the Pacific Ocean at Baler, Aurora.

LR_Festival_8LRCP first hosted the Festival in 2011 to promote the remote off-road destinations of the Philippines by inviting Land Rover owners from around the world. The objective of the Festival is to put the breathtaking off-road scenery of the volcano Mount Pinatubo into the list of Top Off-road Destinations of the World.

LR_Festival_7Over twenty Land Rover owners and enthusiasts from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand joined the event. The camaraderie among Land Rover owners is very strong and cuts through different countries and languages. It is often said that the green blood of a Land Rover owner is the glue that puts and keeps Land Rover owners together.

LR_Festival_2Also joining the Festival was Mr. Luis J. A. Wee, the creator and founder of the Rainforest Challenge of Malaysia (or the RFC), the world’s most internationally represented 4×4 off-road jungle adventure. For Land Rover, the association with adventure like the RFC comes naturally.

LR_Festival_5The LRCP members brought out over 40 Land Rovers for the Festival ranging from a preserved 1975 model Range Rover 2-door; to the Discovery 1, 2 and 3; to the Defender 90, 110 and 130; and to the current model of the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque.

LR_Festival_10Mount Pinatubo is a volcano situated west of the central plains of Luzon Island. In 1991, the volcano erupted and ejected a record volume of volcanic material, making it among the largest volcanic eruptions in recent history. The off-road trails to the volcano are constantly changing due to the numerous tropical typhoons that hit Luzon Island every year. This combination of volcanic terrain and tropical storms create an offroader’s ideal playground.

LR_Festival_11Day One of the Festival greeted the participants with unexpected and non-stop monsoon rain. The deluge derailed the plans for the Festival to have an outdoor welcome party and program in the garden. The heavy rain caused the cancellation of some commercial flights and prevented the hot air balloons from taking off at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

LR_Festival_1Day Two started before sunrise to watch the hot air balloons take off that morning. The rain clouds were gone that early morning. As the sun broke through the horizon, the Festival participants watched the hot air balloons take to the sky. The convoy of Land Rovers then snaked its way to Crow Valley, formerly the aerial combat bombing range of the US armed forces, for a 20 kilometer trail of sand and rock to the volcano’s crater rim. A half hour hike led to the volcano’s summit with a view of the majestic blue and green lake at the volcano’s crater.

LR_Festival_4Day Three was a 200 kilometer drive passing through the man-made reservoir and dam at Pantabangan along the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and to see the Pacific Ocean at Baler, Aurora. The drive through the countryside of rice paddies and coconut plantations offered opportunities for offroading.

LR_Festival_16Day Four was a chance for the participants to go surfing at Baler, Aurora, considered a surfer’s paradise. Before driving back to San Fernando City, Pampanga, the convoy stopped for lunch at the “Millenium Tree” at Maria Aurora, Aurora, which is claimed to be the largest Balete or Banyan tree of its kind in Asia.

LR_Festival_12The Festival proved to be an excellent venue to promote inter-action among Land Rover clubs from various countries. In addition, the rovernuts are planning another international event for Land Rover clubs to get together.

LR_Festival_15The Philippine Department of Tourism supported the Festival to showcase the tourism promotions campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. The Festival was sponsored by LRPhils Motors, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Land Rover vehicles in the Philippines; Petron Corporation, the largest oil company in the Philippines; and, Air Asia Philippines, the budget airline.

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Category: NEWS

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