‘Glamping’ with Nissan
In celebration of the Nissan Navara’s second year in the domestic market, Nissan Philippines Inc. embarked on a journey of discovery and nature tripping. With select members of the motoring media in tow, Nissan organized a ride and drive event up North, the in the scenic province of Ilocos Norte.
Dubbed as the “Beast of Both Worlds” event, motoring pen pushers were divided into groups of seven and drove 14 hours to the northernmost part of Luzon, in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. I was paired up in Navara number 4 with Patrick Tulfo of the Business Mirror. From Nissan’s dealership in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, the participants met up in the wee hours of the morning and drove to Agoo, La Union for our first stop which was breakfast. Travelling at night might be the best time to drive because of zero traffic on the roads, as the participants arrived in La Union shortly after sunrise.
From Agoo, the contingent snaked its way through La Union and proceeded for our second stop of the day, lunch in Laoag, Ilocos Sur. After a hearty lunch of Ilokano delicacies, the convoy pushed hard to our destination in Pagudpod. With good throughout the journey, we were able to put the Navara through its paces. The 2.5 liter engine hummed with authority during passing maneuvers and long straights. The multi-link suspension system gamely absorbed the road imperfections along the route and was balanced when taking fast corners.
Passing through the famous Bangui Windmills, the group of Navara’s arrived at their destination before sun down. In line with the outdoors theme of the event, organizers established a campsite a few meters away from the shoreline of the South China Sea. With tents provided by Coleman, it was this writer’s first time to spend the night in a tent. I was a bit apprehensive at first because sleeping on the ground was the last thing I need after a long 14-hour drive. Nissan proved me wrong because the tent itself was comfortable, with an air bed, a Coleman night lamp plus a thick blanket to keep us warm from the very cool breeze that enveloped the camp site. It was more of a glamour camping, hence the term “Glamping” because we had servants at our beck and call; there was a bonfire with sticks of marshmallows on the ready; chefs were grilling some steaks and fresh seafood and drinks of all kinds were available all night. If only camping was this comfortable and cool, I would do it every weekend.
“The Navara is one of the brand’s most successful vehicles and one of Nissan’s best sellers for 2016,” states Ramesh Narasimhan, NPI’s youthful and down to earth President and Managing Director. Narasimhan also spent the night among us in Nissan’s tent city in Pagudpod. The following day, the Navara contingent did a bit of off-roading in a barangay enroute to a winery. Here, participants utilized the technical advancements of the Navara like Hill Descent Control, Traction Control and Vehicle Dynamics Stability Control, which enabled us to drive confidently through the rough terrain. “In just two short years, the Navara has risen to the third position in its segment because of its versatile character and go anywhere engineering and comfortable ride,” says Narasimhan.
Since NPI took the reigns of domestic distribution in 2014, it has become one of the fastest growing automotive companies registering a 62 percent growth in 2015 and a nationwide network of 28 dealerships, with 11 more in the pipeline.