Weekend Drive

Human beings are social animals; thus, being cocooned at home during the past seven months or so has not been an easy nor enjoyable task for most, if not all, of us.

But we must comply with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for our own good and that of the nation as a whole, to bring COVID-19 cases down.

I surmise that, even post-pandemic or in the “new normal,” we will still be staying home most of the time.

If that is the case, then it would really be nice to stay in an abode that is not only creature comfortable, but also clean as well as green.

The author with Chris Ward, president of CMC and GM of ABC.

“Sustainability” is the buzzword moving forward into the post-pandemic future. And aside from creating more environmentallysound and, therefore, healthier spaces to live in, there is also the need to adapt to more earthfriendly technology.

I have written before about how the future is electric, about how electric vehicles (EVs) bode well for tomorrow’s world. They are the perfect match for the home of the future.

Traditional car companies like Jaguar Land Rover have seen this as the future and have embraced electric vehicle technology, introducing them to erstwhile iconic models.

The proof of the pudding, however, is in the eating. I can only salivate whilst reading the brochures and watching the videos of the EVs that Jaguar Land Rover has to offer.

(From left) Coventry Motors Corp. assistant vice president Ryan Bermudez, All BritishCars Inc. sales manager Jay Coson, the author, ArthaLand Corp. real estate advisor Javier Toledo, Chris Ward, ALCO real estate advisor Miguel Reyes, ALCO sales manager Kaira Golez, ALCO real estate advisor Reggie Ungco.

Coventry Motors, the authorized importer and distributor of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles in the country, recently launched (during the lockdown at that) not just one but three electric vehicles worthy of serious consideration – the Range Rover PHEV, the Range Rover Sport PHEV, and the Jaguar i-Pace BEV.

 I had been hoping against hope that I’d get to try out one of these fine vehicles on the road someday, perhaps when the quarantine has been downgraded or when the situation normalizes a bit.

Be careful what you wish for, as an old adage goes. True enough, when travel restrictions under the quarantine were relaxed somehow, I did get the chance to take to the open road and stretch my legs.

 I was invited as part of a select, exclusive group to a Weekend Drive at Sevina Park in Biñan, Laguna.

Javier Toledo, Miguel Reyes, Kaira Golez and Reggie Ungco

Both Arthaland and Jaguar Land Rover Philippines partnered to “present the opportunity to navigate the country’s most sustainable mixed-use community in Laguna by test-driving both the Ranger Rover Sport PHEV and the Jaguar i-Pace.”

Arthaland, of course, is considered as the foremost developer in the Philippines for premium green and sustainable projects. It is recognized by both local and global organizations for its superior design, high quality, and focus on sustainability and innovation.

Some of their known projects include the Century Pacific Tower and the Arya Residences in Bonifacio Global City. They also have the Savya Financial Center in ARCA South, Taguig, as well as the Cebu Exchange, of course, in the bustling Queen City of the South.

 Sevina Park is the first and only development in Southeast Asia to achieve platinum certification for both LEED for Neighborhood Development and LEED for Homes.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It was developed by the US Green Building Council or USGBC and is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing thirdparty verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

So, the drive down south that Sunday was both a welcome and exhilarating treat. Who could resist spending a day in this exclusive enclave in one of our more highly-developed provinces, with free-flowing food and drinks exquisitely curated by no less than THE Wolfgang Steakhouse.

And, of course, the cars. These fine pieces of engineering, comfort, and design. A spin around Sevina Park was really not enough to savor the kind of seat-of-the-pants performance that they bring, particularly the hypercar-quick Jaguar i-Pace, all done in whisper-quiet comfort as only EVs can bring.

I must make mention of the homes that will eventually populate the Sevina Park community. If the model villa was anything to go by, it was very impressive, and I was amazed at the level of technology and innovation that goes into the residences of today built verily for tomorrow.

A bona fide “ smart home” is no longer the stuff you see in futuristic movies. It is here!

If this was the kind of home that I had to stay in under quarantine for another seven months or so, then I would not mind.

And with that Jag or Rangey EV parked in the garage, well, this is the good life.

My hats off to both the Arthaland and Jaguar Land Rover teams for making this possible.

To my son, Javi, whose idea of collaboration between two similarly minded organizations, embracing the universal clamor of sustainability, made that weekend a reality: Bravo!

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