PCP Run to Negros Island, 27 April-1 May 2014

May 5th, 2014

Day 1
It was a hot start to the trip as the group of 6 Porsches and a lone Mustang made the journey along the SLEX and STAR highways to Batangas Port. Descending towards the ferry terminal the outside air temperature showed +38C, the hottest day of the year.
Arriving at around 2.30p.m., thus started the long hot wait before the departure time of 9p.m. It is still a mystery why the ferry company insist upon arrival at the port six hours before the ferry leaves. Upon check in the group was informed that there would be a one hour departure delay and that all the cabins were full. Accommodation for the nine hours trip would be in tourist class, not exactly a good start!
After dinner and some of Luciano's excellent wine to go with the cheese course, the group found their respective bunks and settled down for the night.
 

Day 2
Arrival at Caticalan was at 7a.m., however due to the inadequate number of unloading bays available it was a further hour before offloading began. Once on- shore a quick ‘splash and dash' fuel stop was made in preparation for the five hour journey to Iloilo. The route was planned to run down the west coast of Panay Island through Antique. The group enjoyed a great drive on good roads through superb scenery, in hot clear weather.
Approaching Iloilo it was clear that Tony was having brake problems with his 964. The group pulled over to investigate the cause and the initial diagnosis was a loose brake calliper due to a missing attachment bolt. As it was too dangerous to continue in this condition, John (one of the PCP's local Porsche friends), organized his own flatbed to transport the car to his shop to work on the problem.
Noy's early 911 was also having a problem with suspected f
uel starvation which needed attention also.
As the original plan had been to have lunch with the local Porsche guys and then proceed to Dumangas port to take the Ro-Ro to Bacolod, the delay which had resulted meant that the group would miss the ferry for the 2-hour crossing. This being the case, it was decided to postpone the crossing until the morning with the hope that Tony's car would again be serviceable.
After a late lunch at ' General Dennis's' restaurant it was off to the hotel, very kindly organized by the club's Iloilo based Porsche friend, Eugene.

The evening was the opportunity for both the Iloilo and Manila Porsche groups to get together for dinner and it was a fine selection of Porsche cars which drew the interest and admiration of the many alfresco diners.
 
Day 3 
An early call for what was to be a long day. Tony's brake problem had been attended to so six Porsche's set off for Dumangas Port for an 8a.m. departure to Bacolod. Unfortunately Herve was unable to join due to a problem with his back. The 2-hour crossing was on flat calm seas and arrival was on time.
Prior to departing for San Carlos, an early lunch at the famous 'Joe's Chicken' restaurant, the group was joined by Kenneth who would act as  guide in his 996 for the journey.
After setting off Kenneth lost contact with the following cars which caused these drivers to miss an important turn off and continue for a considerable distance before realizing their mistake.
After retracing the route for about 5 km, Tony had to pull over with a further brake problem. The brake pedal had little effect on stopping the car. There was nothing that could be done to fix the new problem at this point so it was decided to leave the car at the nearest gas station, and Tony would ride 'shotgun' with Jun in the Turbo.
By this time Kenneth had also retraced his route to look for the group, so now reunited, the cars all set off on the excellent driving road towards San Carlos.
To drive this highway was in fact the main reason for the trip to Negros Occidental. Those of the group who had done the same trip a few years earlier had always said the experience had to be repeated!
In fine weather, the 7 Porsches set a 'strong' pace through stunning mountain and plateau scenery before a refreshment stop at the beautiful La Vista Height Resort, the view from which was breath-taking.
Moving on to San Carlos the group met up at the local SM before heading to an Italian restaurant owned by a German where pizza and spaghetti were kindly provided.
As time was moving on, a fast transit back to Bacolod was made in fading light in order to catch the 8p.m. ferry and to
retrieve Tony's car. Luckily it was discovered that with pumping the brake pedal twice when required some braking could be achieved.
Arrival back at Dumangas at 1015p.m. saw half of the group head for the hotel and the others for a late dinner.
 
Day 4 
Tony's car was the main priority for the day, to get it fixed and in good shape for the drive back to Caticalan. Very luckily John's 964 was off the road waiting on spare parts and he kindly offered to transfer any parts required to Tony's 964.
Whilst the work was continuing the other members had their cars washed and went for an early lunch. Just prior to this Luciano decided on an early departure and leisurely drive with his 993 due to brake wear indications.
Due to the nature of the hazards of driving in the provinces after dark, it was always the rule on trips away  to keep night running to the absolute minimum.
By 2p.m. it was clear that the work required on Tony's car was not going to be finished for some time. With this in mind and with a 5-hour drive ahead, it was decided that Gary, Jun, Herve and Mike would leave for Caticalan, whilst Noy would stay and escort Tony once the 964 work was finished.
With Jun in the lead the mini convoy set off and after a while driving North turned onto the mountain road which although shorter was under resurfacing. Approximately 2 km of road under repair caused a slow-down in what up till now had been good progress. However, once clear, there were some challenging hills, bends and corners which suited the Porsches just fine. Herve struggled with the Mustang!
The Mustang had taken a nail in one of the rear tyres causing the low pressure warning to show. So every 45 minutes or so a gas station stop was required to top up the air instead of fitting the standby 'doughnut' spare.
After 1 1/2  hours night driving the group reached Caticalan and our host, Duke, was on hand to escort the cars into the guarded night parking.
Gary, Jun, Mike and Herve then joined  Luciano and Arnold for dinner and more fine Italian wine. 
Tony and Noy arrived at 11p.m.after a swift 4 and a half hour night drive from Iloilo
 
Day 5

A 5 30a.m. call got the group moving down to the ferry terminal for a 9a.m.departure. Unfortunately, Herve had to take a flight back to Manila as the back pain he was suffering was too great for the 10-hour boat trip back to Batangas via Romblon. So Bernie offered to drive the Mustang back.
During the trip the remainder of Luciano's fine wine was despatched and everyone took a well-deserved nap!
After leaving the ferry the group made slow progress on the congested STAR highway to the nearest Petron station where a final dinner was taken before the group made their separate ways home.
 
Once again the idea that Porsches are only good for coffee trips in good weather has been disproved.
The group drove in excess of 1000 km during the 5 day trip. Many different types of terrain, road conditions and weather were encountered as well as mechanical issues. All were dealt with in turn with all cars returning together. For those on their first road trip outside Luzon, all agreed that it was an unforgettable experience.
Remember, you cannot regain those days upon which you failed to drive your Porsche!    
 
Participants:    Noy        1967 Early 911 soft window Targa
                        Tony       1993  964
                        Luciano  1997 993 Targa
                        Jun          1995 993 Turbo
                        Gary        997 Turbo
                        Mike       1997 993S
                        Herve      2014 Ford Mustang GT