To many urbanites, Cavite may just be the next-door metropolitan satellite, and the all-too familiar Tagaytay Ridge which is the nearest place to cool off during the long, hot summer. But despite being a part of the now-famous NCR Plus Bubble, certain portions of the province remain bubbled in mystery, particularly its eco-tourism and sporty destinations—mountains, beach coves, golf courses, farm resorts, upland plantations, and quaint dining places, where you can go further to the roads less traveled.
And what better vehicle to take but the Ford EcoSport, a compact sport utility vehicle which is already a common sight in the province because of its adaptability to both modern and countryside settings.
Pit Stop 1. Cavite City. The old provincial capital until 1954, it boasts of a checkered history being a Spanish fortress and naval base, an American airfield, and the Philippine Navy’s current home. Overshadowed by the more touristic places, the city is teeming with heritage with its Old World charm evident in the ancestral houses, churches, and public parks and road networks reminiscent of colonial urban planning.
Not be missed is Fort San Felipe Museum inside the Navy base which chronicles the country’s rich maritime history dating back to the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. It is also the site of the 1872 Cavite Mutiny where the famed priests Gomez, Burgos and Zamora (GomBurZa) were implicated and eventually executed.
Drive around the narrow streets and you will notice historic landmarks, most notably Plaza de Armas where the Trece Martires or 13 Martyrs were shot in public by Spain during the Philippine Revolution.
The hook-shaped peninsular city has the unique feature of being surrounded by three bays—Manila, Bacoor and Cañacao, where the active character of the New Ford EcoSport will surely blend.
Pit Stop 2. Naic. This rapidly-urbanizing town was among the closest beach getaways to the metro up to the 1980s. While its resorts have become sleepy shores once again, it is inching its way to becoming a city with the mushrooming of mix-use commercial buildings, concept malls, mid-priced homes, and villages with farm plots.
In the heart of Naic is the Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Church which figured prominently in the in-fighting among Filipino revolutionaries while fighting the Spaniards. Its convent was used by Andres Bonifacio as headquarters after the fateful Tejeros Convention where he formed a separate military council with his followers. In a queer twist of fate, its casa hacienda will serve as his prison with his brother Procopio, after they were arrested following a shootout with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s men in Indang town.
With the area’s growing middle-class sector, the Ford EcoSport, with variants 1.0L EcoBoost Titanium AT, 1.5L Trend MT/AT, and 1.5L Titanium /AT, is an ideal vehicle of choice and a head-turner with its eye candy colors and state-of-the-art interior.
Pit Stop 3. Alfonso. This upland town on the edge of Tagaytay Ridge has gained popularity as a haven of boutique hotels, garden resorts, and romantic restaurants. An iconic spot is Sonya’s Garden, a not-so-secret hideaway at an interior road in Buck Estate, which pioneered farm-to-table dining in the late 1990s.
From an intimate bed-and-breakfast setup, it has grown into a sprawling resort dotted with flower gardens, vegetable farms, and al fresco dining halls which is perfect under the new normal setup. Its new attraction is a river resort tucked within a ranch, which is a 15-minute fun drive with the New Ford EcoSport with its windows rolled down and its sunroof open for an authentic country feel.
At an altitude of 356 meters, Alfonso abounds in uphill meandering roads, and mini-zigzags, which the SUV’s 1.0L EcoBoost Engine can negotiate seamlessly with the power you want at the precise moment you need it. With its fuel efficiency and eco-friendly features, it will surely fit in with the environmental advocacy tourism stakeholders are pushing.
Pit Stop 4. Magallanes. Named Ferdinand Magellan, this obscure municipality is a pleasant surprise to unsuspecting motorists with its numerous eco-themed establishments, among them Magallanes Natures Farm, an adventure camp and agri-themed riverside subdivision.
With the town’s scenic four-lane roads, driving at full-throttle with the Ford EcoSport is bliss even when loaded with five passengers and personal effects as heavy as a sixth person. While many of its attractions can only be accessed through bumpy feeders, this SUV’s splendid suspension can take you and your family in style and comfort.
This far-flung area will soon be a quick drive from Tagaytay with the forthcoming completion of Cavite East-West Road which will cut through the interior villages. At four lanes on rolling terrain, the new road will be an exciting playground to go further and explore the hidden eco-wonders and sporty locations of the hinterlands.
A true-blue day tripper since age 19, he has travelled across the archipelago by land, air, and sea. As a communications trainer, travel photojournalist, tourist mapmaker, scuba diver, environment advocate, or simply a family road tripper, he has imbibed the diversity of the Philippines by learning the basic way of life of the places he visits.