PCP Run to the Visayas, 21-26 March 2011

March 28th, 2011

Porsche Club Philippines ' 4567 boys' run to the Visayas was thoroughly planned, however, even the best laid plans sometimes don’t work out as they should! Here is the account of their journey.
Day 1, 21st March -- Manila-Caticlan
Tony, Noy and Mike, being the only ones to have time available, met at 12.15 am on the SLEX for the short drive to Batangas Port to catch the 2am Ro-Ro to Calapan. Departing on time, with smooth sea conditions, the 2 hour crossing passed quickly. Whilst on board the group decided to rearrange the schedule and attempt to catch the 8am Ro-Ro from Roxas City to Caticlan, making the evening arrival in Iloilo a few hours earlier than originally planned. Just after the docking in Calapan the rain started, which, together with prolific sections of road works, served to slow progress towards Roxas City considerably. Arriving at the port at 6.45 am, the group was in good time for the revised planned departure. It was at the ticket office that that things started to fall apart. The 8am Ro-Ro was cancelled and the 10am was non-existent; next ferry- 12 noon!

Faced with a 5 hour wait in a place with few facilities, the group managed to find a cafe that sold cold cans of San Miguel “tea” and settled in for the long wait. During this period the plans for the journey had to be revised yet again. It was now apparent that the group would be too late into Caticlan to make the drive to Iloilo in daylight; in fact, it would have meant an arrival near to midnight. Preferring to err on the side of safety, a stopover in Boracay was unanimously agreed upon. Noy contacted his brother John in Iloilo and arranged for him to drive up to meet for the evening, together with friend Ken, who brought Noy's Carrera along. As with the trip the previous year, the group were welcomed at 'The Tides' Hotel where sun downers were enjoyed at the rooftop pool before dinner at the beach and a good rest.
Driving distance 95 km.
Day 2, 22nd March --  Caticlan-Iloilo
After a filling breakfast, the group took a banca back to Caticlan where the cars had been safely stored overnight. The plan was to drive down the east coast of Panay to Roxas City for lunch at the previously visited seafood restaurant on the beach. The road surface had deteriorated since the visit last year so cautious driving was needed to avoid potholes. The food was as good as the group remembered so inevitably the lunch lasted longer than anticipated! Heading onwards through the city towards Iloilo, the Mayor, a friend of John's, called to ask if he could meet with the group at City Hall . Upon arrival the four  Porsches parked up at the main entrance where a photo call was made with the Mayor welcoming the group to his City.
Reaching Iloilo at 5.30 pm Tony, Mike and Noy were welcomed  at John's house for the night stopover. Later dinner was at the famous 'Breakthrough' Restaurant where the 'boys' were joined by Iloilo based BMW biker and Ironman competitor Ingo, who would join the group for the onward trip to Cebu.
Driving distance 430 km.
Day 3, 23rd March -- Iloilo-Bacolod-Cebu 
Early breakfast, then gas up and  drive to the Dumangas Ro-Ro for the crossing to Bacolod. Now three cars in the convoy with John riding with Tony and Kenneth with Noy. The road to the ferry was a disgrace, more like a rally cross circuit than a highway. To avoid damaging the cars progress was at less than walking pace and the group only just arrived in time to board the boat. Most of the other vehicles on board were overloaded sugar cane trucks, one of which caused Tony to consider moving his car as, had the precarious load on the adjacent truck fallen, it probably would have flattened his Porsche! A late departure would mean a tight schedule to catch the next Ro-Ro at 3.30 pm to Toledo.
Driving from Bacolod towards San Carlos for the next ferry crossing was an absolute joy. The scenery, undulating well surfaced roads and lack of other traffic well surpassed the Sierra Madre run that  the PCP group did earlier in the year. Climbing up to over 850 m for nearly an hour, with the smell of fresh pine from the roadside groves and brilliant sunshine was an unforgettable experience. Noy leading the way, needed to ease a little when his brakes started to complain!
Arriving too late due to the previous delayed departure, a decent lunch break was out of the question so it was Jolly Bee to the rescue!

The arrival in Toledo just before dark meant a careful drive over the hills to Cebu, even more so as the rain started to come down. A planned dinner meet with the Porsche guys from Cebu at the Adventure Cafe high up in the hills above Cebu became doubtful as the wind increased to very strong, the rain lashed down and visibility decreased rapidly. Eventually the '4567' boys arrived  finding 9 Porsches of various types, with their owners waiting with a nice welcome. With dinner in full swing inside and the weather making its mark on the outside, proceedings were abruptly brought to a halt when the high wind condition needed cars to be moved when the cafe's signboard was uprooted and was in danger of falling on the car park! With the panic over, it was decided to head off in convoy - now 12 Porsches - to Cebu City and the night stop venue at the Waterfront Hotel. On the way the group got split up due to heavy traffic and Mike and Ingo (the BMW guy on his bike) got totally lost. A search party was sent out and after retrieval to the hotel it was a quick San Mig and bed after a long day.
Driving distance 215 km.
Day 4, 24th March -- Cebu-Bacolod-Iloilo 
An early departure was called for. Firstly to see Cebu Porsche enthusiast Jay Aldeguer's beautiful collection of Porsches, and secondly, to catch the only ferry from Toledo that would allow connection in San Carlos and arrival in Iloilo the same day.
Jay's collection is amazing, a fabulous selection of classic models including all three types of 356s, a 912 and three early 911s, all pristine and housed in a purpose built garage with attached workshop. The group was in total envy!
With time running short, the drive back to Toledo was 'spirited'.  Arriving at the terminal  to find that places were booked out and that the group was on standby, caused a nail biting hour or so. However as luck would have it, the 2 cars were squeezed on - luckily Noy had left his car in Cebu for a later trip!
After arriving in San Carlos the enjoyable drive onward to Bacolod was over all too quickly. At the terminal plans were again disrupted when the group was informed that the 6pm ferry couldn’t be used as the cars were too low to be safely off loaded in Dumangas due to the arrival being at low tide. So it was a wait for the 8pm. In the meantime dinner called! So off to the local S&M for the local delicacy, Bacolod chicken. Also a good opportunity to get a few 'cans' for the trip.
By the time cars disembarked at Dumangas the time was after 10pm. Again it was a battle with the 'rally cross' road out of the terminal only this time made more hazardous being dark. Arrival back at John's house around 11pm found the group ready for some sleep.
Driving distance 210 km.
Day 5, 25th March --  Rest day 
Due to the late arrival the previous night the decision was made to rest up as the next day required a 5am departure to connect with the Ro-Ro’s back to Manila. The morning was taken up 'tinkering' with the cars and a meet for lunch with Ingo for seafood. In the evening the group was invited by John to a Mongolian barbeque to celebrate his daughter’s graduation, after which a 'sort of' early night.
Day 6, 26th  March --  Iloilo-Manila. 
At 5am the group was on the road. John with Kenneth was acting as escort as far as Caticlan. The routing back to the terminal was via the west side of Panay. On generally good roads, progress was swift although rain sometimes hampered visibility. Arriving at the port, loading for the ferry was almost immediate; departure just about on time. The four hour crossing was very rough with high winds and moderate seas. Sometimes spray covered most of the vessel. Consequently, the cars were subjected to a salt water shower! Arriving late, the drive from Roxas City to Calapan for the last leg of the trip to catch the 5pm ferry was further complicated by the continuing road works which involved long tailbacks and delays. So the group had to settle for the 6pm Ro-Ro back to Batangas. Arrival back in Manila via the STAR and SLEX was around 11pm.
Driving distance 500 km.
Total distance driven 1450 km.
On the third long distance trip undertaken by the '4567' group, both the 'boys' and their cars came through without any major problems. The only minor inconveniences which occurred were a loose steering wheel on Noy's Carrera, a fuel relay which fell out on John's SC and the electric windows failing on Mike's 930. All in all not a bad result for 33, 28, 25 and 19 year old cars! Porsches were made to go the distance!
Participants:  Tony Alunan - 964 C2
                        Noy Yao -  911 Carrera 3.2
                        Mike Bradley - 930 Turbo
                        John Ng - 911 SC
Photo's by Tony Alunan