Great drive depends a lot on great companyBy Botchi Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Ever had great memories back in the day with your car?
I had a lot of great times with my cars back in college. I had two cars back then, a Mitsubishi Galant VR V6 in my freshman and sophomore year in college, and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV RS in my junior and senior year.
I studied college in University of Asia and the Pacific, where I now also teach part-time in the program that I finished in proudly, the Entrepreneurial Management Program under the School of Management. We EM Boys, as we were called, usually had the best cars back then (or so we’d like to think).
Since our proximity to the malls meant we could easily drive there for a quick and tasty meal during breaks, we did it often. This was the time gas was cheap and a thousand pesos of gas would last more than a week. It also gave us more freedom to explore things around us as opposed to other universities and colleges back then. One day we’d be at SM Megamall, followed by Robinson’s Galleria and of course Shangri-La Mall. And since I was always excited to drive, I’d offer my car as one of the cars for the barkada to drive to the malls, even if it was just a short and traffic-ridden drive. Being behind the wheel was fun then, and it’s still fun for me now.
Towards our junior and senior year, we’d get crazy six-hour breaks. Being the adventurous lot that we were, we’d go to Tagaytay once in a while to enjoy the cool breeze, and one time, my friends went to another friend’s beach house in Calatagan during the break, only to end up staying for an hour before needing to come back and reach our last two classes for the day. It was crazy, wasteful, decadent even, but memorable and fun. We were college kids then, and we felt free. Cars helped reinforce that feeling: we could go anywhere, anytime, so long as we had cars, gas money and some cash left for food, which was always an important part of our daily itinerary.
Of course, college parties were also a big thing back in the day. We’d go to a friend’s house, line up all our cars outside, and have our own mini-party among car enthusiasts outside while everyone else not interested in cars stayed indoors. With the girls. A lot of us were happy to be surrounded by fellow car enthusiasts and the cars we loved and drove.
There were memorable moments too, as well as moments I’d like to forget. I don’t drink any alcoholic beverages. But there was this one time when friends forced me to drink one bottle of beer. Four bottles later and I was too plastered to drive. And my friend ended up driving home. He was tipsy himself, so he crunched every gear and almost overheated the clutch with his lousy driving but we got home safe. The next day, I had to bring my car in for servicing.
Another fortunate thing was I never liked drag racing on the street. We’d go out to watch but never participated. When cops would come, it was really fun scrambling out and was part of the thrill but after some friends got into accidents feeling from cops, I thought enough was enough and decided to avoid these impromptu midnight illegal gatherings.
Cars were, and still remain a large part of my life, and the lives of many other people. Cars are a status symbol that helps elevate your popularity and allows you to meet hot girls when you’re in college. I met a lot of girls because I had a car and was willing to drive them to and from places. Unfortunately, they all left me as soon as I opened my mouth and started spouting horsepower figures, acceleration times, top speeds and lateral grip.
Cars also limit your type of friends I guess. I spent many summer months looking for car parts and stuff.
It’s a way of life indeed, a means of freedom. To go to places, meet people and experience new things. I’ve gone on to many new experiences and meet new people with the new cars I get to drive, in foreign places, with some of the best, fanciest and flashiest cars. But the good vibes always remain. Because much like a meal, a great drive depends a lot on great company.
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