Every person passes through a certain stage that brings about significant changes in life and whose memory reverberates later on as the years go by. My youngest daughter becomes a teenager this month; a phase most children look forward to as it is a turning point of being able to enjoy a little bit of “independence.” The psychological, physiological, sociological and environmental signs are there for her to take note of as she enters a new and higher step towards maturity and self-awareness. In fact, she started her countdown to being 13 as soon as the calendar hit November 1. The same excitement and thrill I suppose everyone experiences as we go from elementary to high school and then move to college and eventually transition to adulthood.
Such are the vivid memories from those bygone times that I distinctly remember and some of them involved a car – the Mini Cooper which is known simply to owners and car aficionados alike as the MINI. My fond recollection of this “little car that can” started during my college days, when my eldest brother brought home a British Racing Green Mini Cooper which invariably became the go to chariot for young adults in those days. He was single at that time and maybe it was a chick magnet that made it a favorite with the younger set. The Mini was cute and had a distinct color that stood out compared to the other car models in the 1980’s that were basically large, noisy and gas-guzzling.
I cannot exactly remember if I rode with him in that car. But what struck me the most was my recollection of my brother removing the steering wheel of the Mini whenever he parked the car so people would think it was broken and as such, would not be stolen. Children in our neighborhood loved the car so much and would volunteer to help my brother wash it. It was a fun car, according to my brother, who could easily overtake a bus along EDSA with its 850cc engine. But at some point, he had to sell it as it kept breaking down and he moved into another phase of his life and got married and had a child. The Mini was no longer a fit for a growing family.
What jogged my memory of the MINI actually was my receiving, a few weeks back, of a photo of my niece with her MINI Cooper, a gift from her parents when she turned 18 and recently graduated from high-school. The pre-owned car was in recognition of her having achieved those significant milestones. Seeing that Mini Cooper brought back memories of my eldest brother in his youth and the significance that it played in life’s many phases such as my niece’s coming of age. I also learned from her that high-school students in California are no longer required to take driving lessons as a requirement for graduation. In reverse, as an advocate for responsible driving, I believe, secondary schools here in the Philippines should be adding driving as a course in our curriculum.
My father told me that when he was in first year high school, the boys in his class were assigned to take automotive training as a vocational course subject. A regular subject on motoring and driving if offered in high school will certainly improve the attitude, behavior and performance of drivers in the Philippines and help minimize the occurrence of fatal road accidents and prevent unnecessary loss of lives, as well as ensure orderly traffic on the roads.
DRIVE IN MOVIE
Now to a pandemic note: I received an invitation to the Drive In Fund Drive event at Nuvali in Sta Rosa which promised a day of entertainment and gathering in an open setting. My daughters and I have been looking for pandemic-safe activities to do that can be enjoyed without worrying about closed spaces and crowds. The designated venue for the event is the parking lot of the Ayala Solenad mall which could accommodate up to 490 cars but due to the IATF restrictions, they have allowed only 250 cars. According to Illac Diaz, organizer of the event, they will hold this Drive-In Fund Drive every weekend of this month till December 6 in Nuvali. For the next weekend, the movie that will be shown is “Hintayan Ng Langit.” Since a lot of people are now looking at options for safe entertainment, Diaz said that they plan to replicate this in other venue like the Circuit in Makati starting 12 December. It is an exclusive partnership between REV UP and Ayala Land and Ayala Malls.
It was a perfect Saturday outing with my daughters. Safety mandatories were put in place: scanning the QR code for the contact tracing form, temperature check, and alternating parking slots for the cars to ensure ample social distancing. The movie audio is hosted on a radio station which allows cars to have a personal surround sound experience. LSS, the movie being shown, features songs from Ben&Ben and is directed by Jade Castro—incredibly talented individuals who we have had the honor of working with. We were only too thrilled to catch a movie outside of our house again; and it was made worthwhile by the enjoyable story and the nostalgia-evoking songs the perfectly complements the scenes. The only thing missing from our movie experience was a bucket of popcorn and snacks, but maybe that’s something an app can help us with next time.
Peachy Vibal – Guioguio is a PR strategist who has lead communications departments in GMA Network, ABS-CBN, and TV5. She enjoys long drives, taking scenic routes, and finds a thrill going wherever she pleases behind a wheel. She has yet to learn how to replace a flat tire.