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Best friends, the MMDA and the K2500

What was also wonderful was meeting Manny Aligada, the affable working president of Kia Philippines. We spent a few moments talking about the power and reliability of Kia vehicles in general, how he drives for himself every day, and the combination of Mountain Dew and gin, if I remember correctly

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A few nights ago, I had dinner later than usual and was alone downstairs at the dining area, or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me, our dog Peeta was lying down at the landing of the staircase, keeping me company. He was waiting for me to finish my business downstairs, as he always does, before he heads upstairs to his room, also known as my Mum, his grandmother’s room.

For as long as I can remember, that was how he has always been. For the past seven years, he has been my constant companion, my source of joy and my best friend. And as I petted him on that landing, telling him how much of a good boy he was, the idea that, like dogs, cars, too, can be man’s best friend, crossed my mind.

MY three best friends in one photo — my sister Eena, our dog Peeta and our 11-year-old Innova. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR

If you think about it, save for one huge difference, which is that one is a machine and the other is God’s gift to man, cars and dogs have a ton of similarities. Our cars are our companions on trips and errands and everything in between, just like our dogs are our constant company. Both can be witnesses to our triumphs and heartbreaks. They bring us joy. They are reliable and can provide us with much-needed therapy at times, too. My 11-year-old Innova, my 28-year-old Patrol, and my seven-year-old maltese shih tzu nephew (because he is my sister’s dog) are definitely my best friends.

Another thing they have in common is they both cost money. Which is joyfully spent on them, no expense spared, to keep them healthy and running in tiptop shape.

Speaking of best friends, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has now reimplemented the color-coding scheme, albeit in a “clipped” manner for it will only run from 5 p.m.

to 8 p.m. On one hand, as I mentioned in a past column, this seems like a considerate gesture as this means people can use their vehicles going to work every morning and would just need to go home later after 8 p.m. on the night that they are coding. But, on the other hand… Well, let us just see if (and hope) this helps in alleviating the horrendous traffic we have all been experiencing.

Traffic is definitely on top of the list of things NOT MISSED from pre-pandemic days.

ALL smiles at the K2500 Media Drive with KiaPH president Manny Aligada and lead instructor George Ramirez.

It was my “Xtreme” pleasure to have been a part of Kia Philippines’ K2500 Media Drive Event. I, along with other friends from the media and the “aweXome” folks from KiaPH, drove from BGC to The General’s Farm in Batangas and back using the six-speed manual transmission 4×2 and 4×4 variants of the K2500 lineup.

Yes, you read that right, “4 BY 4.” The K2500 is the only one in its class offering a four-wheel-drive light commercial vehicle. It was a great first experience — first time to drive a manual on South Luzon Expressway going to the province and first time to drive a light truck. The K2500 fulfilled my dream of being a kargadora trucker for a day and despite the hiccups I experienced as I was acquainting myself with its light clutch, I can very much say it was wonderful to drive.

What was also wonderful was meeting Manny Aligada, the affable working president of Kia Philippines. We spent a few moments talking about the power and reliability of Kia vehicles in general, how he drives for himself every day, and the combination of Mountain Dew and gin, if I remember correctly. I have always believed that a team is a reflection of its leadership and meeting him made me understand why everyone at Kia was just nice.

I also got to experience working with the team of Tito George and Tito Louis Ramirez, which was wonderful. I learned a lot from both those dashing mestizos during the drive. The off-road course they prepared for the K2500 test drive was a great way to showcase the driving power and maneuverability of the vehicles. Also, driving on it marked my first time to go off-roading, so to speak.

The day I spent with the K2500 was a day of firsts for me. It is the first in its segment to offer a 4×4 variant of a light commercial vehicle — definitely a game-changer.

To everyone who reads this column, and my Mum, this humble columnist wishes you a great week ahead! You may contact her at [email protected] or find her on TikTok and everywhere else @the_Xeres.

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