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Born to be wild

Born to be wild

Bernard Supetran

Adventure-filled destinations where you can take the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and prove that not all pickups are created equal

To many road trippers, the second half of the year is an exciting season to go off-road driving notwithstanding the unpredictable weather. For aficionados of 4×4 pickup trucks and SUVs, the rains, floods muddied rough roads are the elements that make driving doubly exciting.

One perfect vehicle which can take you to the wild tracks with style and bravado is Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 AT, the most technology-driven Ranger variant with its driver assist and standard features that will make cruising a breeze. Its 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, hill launch assist and hill descent control and trendy interior will make negotiating rough roads a walk in the park.

Below are some of the wild tracks close to the metro which are adventure-filled destinations where you can take this beauty and beast of a truck, and prove that not all pickups are created equal.

Wild track No. 1: Sacobia River. The lahar trails created by Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991 are top-of-mind go-to places for offroaders because of its challenging overall experience, not to mention the surreal but Instagram-worthy landscapes. Among these popular 4×4 trails are located in the river beds of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga, which have become avenues of adventure over time.

Sacobia River, which divides Tarlac and Pampanga, is the most accessible to the big city as it is situated just on the fringes of Clark Freeport Zone. With the blend of the industrial enclave’s modern road network and a hilltop village of the indigenous Aeta tribe, the area transports you to a different dimension within a short driving time.

One of the major waterways which bore the brunt of mudflow over the years, Sacobia River Valley is now an adventure playground for 4×4 driving, biking, and horse-back riding organized by El Kabayo Stables, an equestrian training center in Clark.

Ford Wildtrak at Sacobia Rivera

The Wildtrak’s double wishbone with coil springs and leaf spring front and rear suspensions, 18-inch alloy wheels, 65/60/R182 tire and other superb features make the rough and steep terrain of the river valley like child’s play. To bring out the beast in this beauty of a pickup, an all-terrain mud tire upgrade can be thrown in for an ultimate road safari.
Wild track No. 2: Bulacan. Known for its vast ricefields, this province in the plains of Central Luzon has its share of lesser-known but equally exciting rough roads tucked in its interior towns. Norzagaray and San Jose Del Monte, which hosts some hilly portions and rock quarrying firms, will delight off-road enthusiasts with the meandering and scenic municipal roads.

The heritage town of Bustos takes pride in its numerous Spanish-era churches, garden-themed resorts and dining places, and its iconic dam which boasts of the longest sector gates in the country. The reservoir, which irrigates farms in lowland Bulacan, is an occasional recreational park for outdoor lovers and riders.

An emerging off-road haven is Don Remedios Trinidad or DRT, the province’s biggest town and frontier for adventure tourism for mountain bikers, nature trippers, and countryside drivers.

Bustos Dam

With the new power roller shutter feature recently launched by Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 AT, pickup lovers can enjoy improved security and utility for work and play.

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Boasting of a sleeker and cleaner profile, the power roller shutter can be activated from inside the cabin through a switch on the dashboard, via a button in the tray, or by using the key fob. It is also designed with an anti-pinch feature to prevent injury or damage when coming in contact with an object.

Wild track No. 3: Taal Lake. The recent ramblings of Taal Volcano has brought again the spotlight to this small but terrible peak in the middle of a placid lake. Seen by most people from afar in Tagaytay Ridge, the lakeshore towns is a totally different world from the highland hideaway.

The coastal municipalities of Talisay, Tanauan, Agoncillo, Laurel, Balete and San Nicolas hold some of the best-kept secrets in this side of Batangas hiding from plain sight. Accessible via the Gen. Diokno Highway, and the zigzag Ligaya Drive and Sampaloc Road, the downhill drive to the lakeshore towns and circumferential coastal road is a splendid experience for those who love rural retreats.

Taal Lake Yacht Club

Taal Lake Yacht Club in Talisay is arguably the best spot to gaze at the enigmatic volcano, picnic with the family, or get your feet wet quite literally in water sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and sailing. The visitor-friendly club is acknowledged by Lonely Planet as the “mecca of sailing of the Philippines” with its ideal wind condition and array of sailboats from Goose, dinghies, windsurfs, to the tournament-grade Hobie 16 catamarans.
With the Wildtrak’s power roller shutter, you can now securely bring camping gear, bicycles, and other sports stuff for land and the water.