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AAP Travel brings 44 individuals to Bulacan for “Drive, Dine and Discover” curated day trip

AAP Travel brings 44 individuals to Bulacan for “Drive, Dine and Discover” curated day trip

Bernard Supetran

On a typical weekend, there’s a very strong chance of us hearing John Denver’s 50-year old song being aired either on our home radio sets or car stereo sets as we drive on an out-of-town trip. And with the Alert 1 and reopening of many provinces for leisure travel, this folk classic isn’t no longer wishful thinking, but a real journey we can take on.

This is what the AAP Travel did in a carpe diem moment to literally seize the day and roll on the country roads as part of its recent caravan to a metropolitan neighbor after a long hiatus.

Under its modified enhanced “Drive, Dine and Discover”, 44 individuals took on the historical, cultural, and culinary spots of Bulacan in a curated day trip.

The drive tourism arm of the Automobile Association of the Philippines, AAP Travel has been doing caravans and fly-drives across the archipelago over the past 10 years.

At a Bulacan ancestral house

The second excursion during the pandemic era, participants drove around the towns of Guiguinto, Baliwag and Bustos, and the City of Malolos, with touristic pitstops to help local tourism and enterprises restart.

On top of the usual sights and sounds, a heartwarming attraction was Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres in Bustos where the motoring group was serenaded by the string ensemble of orphan young boys who underwent guitar and violin lessons from volunteer musicians.

Meanwhile, the orphanage’s Instagrammable Ivatan-inspired houses and stone church transported guests to the idyllic wind-swept island province of Batanes.

Earlier in 2020, the group made a two-day pre-Christmas caravan to the heritage sites, farm resorts, and note-worthy restaurants and specialty stores in Pampanga and Bulacan to break free from the protracted fluctuating quarantine classification.

“AAP caravans are safe to join because the itinerary program is designed and coordinated with local government authorities and complies with prescribed health and safety protocols,” says AAP Travel president Mina Gabor.

The former tourism secretary noted that participants have been driving their own vehicles even during the pre-pandemic era for their safety and convenience in caravans around Luzon.

Despite the low recorded cases of Covid-19, destinations and elements of the tours are curated and endorsed by the Department of Tourism and local government units to ensure the group’s physical and health safety.

Baliwag’s historic poblacion

She also revealed that more destinations are lined up this year to discover new touristic experiences in nearby provinces, such as Cavite, Clark and Subic, Pampanga, Laguna and Batangas.

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Slated in the latter part of May is a caravan to the upland municipalities of Cavite overshadowed by the more popular day trip spots.

The locus of the planned itinerary is the historic town of Maragondon known for farm tourism establishments, loom weaving craft, a clean and green river with a bamboo raft cruise, and the fateful spots where revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio was tried and executed in May 1897.

Adding prestige to the motoring events are car firms which occasionally showcase the form and function of their latest vehicle models as they cruise on the gorgeous country roads.

Leading oil firm Petron Corp. has established a partnership with the group in the advocacy for road safety, sustainable environment, clean fuel, and paying forward to the community through their shared advocacies. In several occasions, the firm has provided caravan participants with Petron Value Card with P1,000 credits, lube oils, and free change oil service at select stations for a worry-free run.

Situation-permitting, we can look forward to country roads taking us home to the places where we belong through the caravans of the AAP Travel … and John Denver’s cruising music playlist.

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