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August 27, 2018

Experiencing Central Luzon in the Volkswagen Santana, Lavida, and Tiguan

The Philippines has declared August as “buwan ng wika,” a month-long celebration of the Filipino language. Of course, it’s only fitting that Volkswagen, a brand revitalized with a more affordable roster of vehicles, brought its Santana, Lavida, and Tiguan on its first-ever road trip through Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan.

Planned to highlight the capabilities and comfort of these three new Volkswagen vehicles, the group stopped at restaurants famous for Filipino cuisine: Bale Dutung in Angeles, Pampanga; Hapag Vicentico’s in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; and, Bahay na Tisa in Malolos, Bulacan.

The trio of vehicles also visited sites with notable cultural and historical significance such as the Barasoain Church and The Museo ng Republika ng 1899 in Malolos, Bulacan. There were also stops at two Nueva Ecija landmarks, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Muñoz, and at the Pantabangan Lake.

Day One was on relatively flat lands from Volkswagen Quezon Avenue in Quezon City to Pampanga, then to the newly opened Highland Bali Villas Resort and Spa in Nueva Ecija. Running almost exclusively on the NLEX and SCTEX, the Santana, Lavida, and Tiguan all showcased commendable power and fuel efficiency (about three-quarters tank used in the case of the Santana).

The next day was spent touring Nueva Ecija with its rolling hills created by the convergence of three mountain ranges (the Sierra Madre, Caraballo, and Cordillera). It perfectly highlighted the power, stability, and handling, particularly of the Tiguan with its turbocharged 1.4-liter TSI engine.

The last day saw the group drive from Nueva Ecija to Bulacan province, then back to Volkswagen Quezon Avenue. The route, a combination of provincial, city, and expressway drives, showcased the flexibility of these vehicles. The fuel efficiency, in particular, is stellar given today’s steadily increasing fuel prices.

After more than 400 kilometers across three provinces of Central Luzon, everyone certainly had a clearer understanding of what these three new models of Volkswagen vehicles had to offer. In addition, everyone had a deeper appreciation of Central Luzon’s key role in the culture, heritage, history, and identity of the Filipino.

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