This October, Toyota Motors Philippines will spearhead the exciting motorsports competition called the Vios Cup.
The race, to be held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga, will be participated by some members of the media and celebrities.
TV personalities Rhian Ramos, Aljur Abrenica, Fabio Ide, Phoemela Barranda, and Jinno Rufino were formally introduced as official race participants, in a press launch held September 20, at the Midas Hotel in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay.
DRIVING TIPS. Last August 17, a number of celebrities were invited to join the Waku Doki racing challenge, held at the World Trade Center in Pasay.
The challenges, which included race simulation games, were done in order to find out who will qualify for the October race.
PHOTOS: A world of cars and stars
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) got to speak with some of these celebrity racing hopefuls and asked for useful driving tips.
Kapuso actress Rhian Ramos—who is one of the few selected to be an official race participant—admitted that she wasn’t confident about her driving skills during the Waku Doki challenge.
“Not really. Kasi before I started working, when I was 15—and siyempre that’s too young to drive—nasanay ako na pagpasok ko sa kotse, oras ko iyon magpahinga, matulog, gano’n.
“So, ano, kelan-kelan lang ako natuto ulit mag-drive. Parang na-tripan ko lang bigla.”
She was actually surprised to know that she qualified for the race.
“Hindi ko talaga in-expect! So now, I’m training with the Tuazon Racing School. They're teaching me all the basics, and basically everything I need to know for the race.”
Some racing tricks she has picked up so far: “Do not constantly press gas. It’s not a good idea especially on a turn.”
As for driving on regular city roads, Rhian advises: “Wear your seatbelt, of course! Me, the second I get in the car, I snap it on. It’s like a habit for me already.
“Like, you can never just assume that nothing’s gonna happen that day kahit malapit lang iyong pupuntahan mo.”
Rhian adds, “Also, there is such a thing as overconfidence. Although, medyo delikado din pag masyado kang kinakabahan.
“If you’re being like way too careful, way too slow, especially for the lane you’re in, everyone’s gonna get pissed at you especially in this country.
“You have to be prepared for Philippine driving. It’s different talaga, e. Dapat merong konting defensive driving know-how ka.”
Another Kapuso star, Aljur Abrenica, is also one of the chosen finalists for the race in October.
He tells PEP, “Actually, first time ko ‘to kaya sobrang excited ako. Kasi… Iba iyong pakiramdam ko, e. Bago kasi lahat sa ‘kin ito, e.
“Hindi ko kasi talaga sport ang racing, pero iba iyong pakiramdam ko ngayon, iba iyong thrill. Parang delikado iyong nararamdaman ko.
“Ibig kong sabihin na delikado, iyong parang… parang ma-a-addict ako dito, e!”
A proud owner of a sports car, Aljur reveals that he only discovered his liking for cars after he bought his unit early this year.
It can be recalled that weeks after Aljur purchased the car, he got involved in a road accident. Now, PEP asks: What advice does he have for fellow drivers on the road?
“Basta, ang masasabi ko the best teacher is experience.
“Ang tip ko na lang sa lahat ng mga drivers, okay lang naman mag-enjoy, okay lang naman na magsaya.
“Alam naman natin na masarap mag-drive, alam natin na thrilling kapag nag-o-over-speeding tayo. Alam natin na kapag mabilis tayo nakakapagyabang tayo.
“Pero ang ma-a-advice ko lang is safety first. Sundan natin iyong rules and regulations.
“May lugar para sa karera. Meron po tayong mga tracks diyan, meron po tayong pang drag racing na mga tracks diyan, so doon po tayo sa mas safe. Mag-e-enjoy pa tayo.
“Mag-e-enjoy na tayo, at the same time, wala pang ma-a-aksidente,” says Aljur.
TIPS FROM THE NON-QUALIFIERS. Rocco Nacino completely agrees with Aljur in the aspect of safe driving.
The self-confessed adrenaline junkie also owns a race car, which he hopes to bring to the Clark International Speedway for a quick run.
Unfortunately, he didn't make the cut to participate in the final race.
However, Rocco still finds racing to be an interesting sport, and he hopes to try it for himself soon.
Meanwhile, he has these tips for driving safely on city raods: “Unang una, huwag abrumbado. Be patient.
“And when you’re driving, always prepare to go… For example, when you’re going to the right, malayo pa lang pumwesto na sa kanan, at put on your signal lights para hindi makasagabal sa ibang tao.
“Para sa akin kasi, parang a lot of people lack the education in driving kaya lumalabas iyong pagka-barumbado. From left, biglang kakanan, so... ano lang, proper driving ethics lang, saka sana habaan ang pasensiya ng tao.”
Like Rocco, Alden Richards also didn’t make enough points to qualify for the race in Clark; but this actually sounds more like good news to the actor, who admitted to being a real amateur when it comes to racing.
Although he has been a fan of cars since age 12, Alden has never tried racing before.
He’s also never been to a formal driving school.
“Wala akong formal lessons. Lakasan ng loob iyong pagda-drive ko!" He quipped.
But so far, Alden has learned a lot from his two years of experience in driving.
And now, he gives this tip to fellow motorists: “Actually, masarap mag-drive talaga... Sobrang sarap na minsan nakakalimutan na natin iyong basic rules.
“Ako, even though I don’t have formal education when it comes to driving, I know, like, iyong mga basic signage, [no] overtaking, ganyan.
“Especially now, pag maulan, chill lang dapat. Kahit maluwag iyong daan, don’t overspeed kasi iyong kotse may tendency iyan na kapag overspeeding ka, especially on wet roads, madulas, e.
"Minsan mag-a-out of control ka, which will cause accidents pa, so chill lang pag nagda-drive, and ingat din.
"Relax lang. May time para mag-race, pero hindi sa roads na highways or streets.”
FEMALE DRIVERS. Unlike Alden, actress Kris Bernal has been in the game quite longer.
The 24-year-old star has been driving herself around since her college years—and she still does up to now.
“Ako lang nagda-drive sa sarili ko kahit saang location, kahit sa taping. Matagal na. Feeling ko kasi kaya ko naman.
"Saka siyempre, gusto rin… Nagse-save din kasi ako. Sayang din iyong pang-monthly [payment for driver], so sabi ko, ‘Kung kaya ko pa naman, kung kaya ko, ako na lang.’”
In her years of driving, Kris has encountered some driving blunders. She admits getting caught for violating certain rules.
“Oo, naranasan ko na rin iyon. Minsan nag-o-overspeed ako!" She said, laughing out of embarassment.
"Masama, ha. Pero okay na ako ngayon. Kumbaga talagang nag-adjust ako, at saka gano’n talaga, kailangan safe talaga lagi.”
Having learned from her brush with traffic authorities, Kris advises drivers, especially girls, to always stay on the safe side.
“Ako, iniiwasan ko lagi na umuwi ng madaling araw. At saka dapat laging may kasama, lalo pag babae ka.
"At saka pinaka-importante talaga, intindihin mo iyong mga drivers na high blood, na nagmamadali, na nanggigitgit. Inditindihin mo na lang. Huwag kang gaganti.”
Another long-time female driver is Bianca King, who also has tips for women on the road.
“Always lock your doors. Saka know the basic necessities in dealing with a car, like how to change a tire or know who to call pag may emergencies, ganyan.”
Comfort also matters a lot for Bianca, especially when taking long drives.
Her best advice is to always have a pair of sneakers or ballet flats ready under your car seats.
Meanwhile, TV and movie personality Carla Humphries urges female drivers to be more vigilant.
“Always have, like, a male friend or male family member on speed dial.
"When something goes wrong kasi, siyempre bilang babae, ayaw mong mag-isa ka sa gitna ng daan, and just so you have like a back-up plan.
“Learn from a good driver din at saka kailangan fearless ka, kasi you have to really have guts to drive here. Sometimes if you hesitate, that’s when an accident happens.”
Also agreeing with Carla is Glaiza De Castro, who says that safety should always be your priority when driving— regardless if you’re a female or male driver.
“Dito kasi sa Pilipinas parang hindi masyadong nai-implement iyong ano, e, seatbelt law, di ba?
"Na-realize ko na [safety] is very important. Iyong safety ng mga drivers, minsan na-o-overlook natin iyon.
“So, unang-una safety, tapos follow the rules kasi ano, e, lalung-lalo na sa Pilipinas talaga, iyong traffic malala. Wild siya!
“So, parang iyon na lang iyong mako-contribute natin bilang drivers, na i-follow natin iyong mga rules.”
Finally, model-actress Bubbles Paraiso points out that extra caution must be taken now that its still monsoon season.
She considers driving on wet roads a particularly dangerous situation.
In order to avoid accidents, she says, “Make sure that you drive slow and talagang careful lang kayo, asi when you’re fast, when you hit the brakes hindi kaagad iyon… I mean, kakagat naman iyong brakes mo, but madulas iyong road, so may chance na ma-hit niyo pa iyong car in front of you.
“And always look to your side mirrors because baka mamaya may car na pala sa side.”
She also discourages rushing when driving.
“If you’re gonna be in a hurry, then I suggest na if it’s raining, leave your house earlier. Like me, I left an hour before the call time and I got here on time, thinking pa na I’d be 30 minutes early.
“Pero grabe iyong traffic, so I got here on time and I was telling my driver, kasi parang nagmamadali siya, sabi ko, ‘Hindi tayo nagmamadali. Dahan-dahan lang kasi ayokong mabangga.’”