Each year, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) mounts a big drive with the unspoken goal of besting the previous trip. This year's event revolved around Mayon Volcano and their 7-seater Nissan Terra.
Are We There Yet?
From the time we approached the Legazpi airport, everyone was already trying to capture their best images of the iconic volcano. Luckily, despite the Level Two alert by Philvolcs, the weather allowed us glimpses of Mayon's perfect cone shape in all its glory. When we finally landed in Legazpi, we were herded to our assigned vehicles and were soon on our way.
The route going to our lunch venue in Naga was a hundred-odd kilometers of fast provincial highways and congested bayans. Being a Ramirez-managed activity, the pace was fast all though out and we were fortunate to have 180 hp and 450 nm of torque under the hood plus Nissan's Intelligent Mobility Suite at our disposal.
The scheduled driver changes along the way ensured we each had quality time with the Terra, both behind the wheel and from all available seating. While the driver's is arguably the best seat in the house, it was the passengers seated at the back, however, who were living the life #LikeABoss. With our early call time, the comfortable seating, and the controlled cabin temperature, it was like they were purposely being rocked to sleep.
After our sumptuous meal at Casa Soriano, the convoy hit the road again, this time taking the scenic, albeit longer route back to Legazpi. As the sun started it's descent and the question "ARE WE THERE YET?" got more insistent over the radio, we found ourselves heading up a mountain and turning into a white-fenced property called the Quituinan Ranch.
It's in the details
Our jaws collectively dropped when we saw what was waiting for us. Behind the Instagram-worthy setup was one of the most spectacular views of Mayon we've seen thus far (only to be outdone by the activities we would be doing the following day. But I'm getting ahead of myself).
In his opening remarks, NPI president Ramesh Narasimhan welcomed us to the campsite that was to be the setting for the evening's socials. He also introduced the highlight of Nissan's display -- the Limited Edition Fiery Red-colored Terra with black leather interior and rear roof spoiler. Narasimhan added that even though there would only be 100 units available, they would be selling them at the Terra's SRP of P1,899,000 for the 4x2 VL variant, and P2,096,000 for the 4x4 VL.
Another announcement Ramesh made was about tweaks to the newer units of the Terra. "Nissan listens!" he said, and so newer models of the Terra will now have the option to display its Intelligent Rear View Mirror feed on its head unit, while still using the built-in rearview mirror conventionally.
The evening continued with lots of food and drink, paired with the awesome ambiance and great company. Our hosts also thoughtfully had drivers on standby for anyone who wanted to go back to the hotel at any time that evening. This, to me, was not only for our convenience but also a testament to their commitment to safety and responsible driving. Anyone who's worked in events management will tell you that it's the littlest of details like these that take the most coordination and often times add to the expenses. Lucky for us, Nissan was definitely on the ball with this one.
Day 2's call time was not as early as the day before. Fully rested we drove our Terras to the nearby Black Lava Wall whose vicinity would be the base of the day's activities. We were promised that the steep climb would be worth the effort and indeed, the view did not disappoint. After taking hundreds of photos (each!), we awkwardly descended the black rocks back to the safety of Terra firma. Pun intended.
While most of us were slowly going down, there were those who just couldn't wait and took the (scary) zip line down. I'm just not sure if Ramesh was coerced to try it or if he did it on his own volition. haha
For the next activities, the group was split into two and our contingent got to take the ATV tour to the foot of Mayon first. The endpoint of the ride was the closest one could get to the volcano without actually hiking. The view of the volcano and the ocean on the other side was truly breathtaking. Ang ganda ng Pilipinas.
Dusty but happy, we headed back to camp where a sumptuous lunch of local fare was waiting.
With full tummies, it was finally our turn to experience off-roading trail with the Terra. If "GLAMPING" refers to glamorous camping, I wonder what we could call what we did -- wading through water and traversing all sorts of terrain, all in the comforts of our cushy (but capable) steed.
Truth be told, the ride felt like we were just traveling on bad roads in Metro Manila, only with a better view. The Terra maintained its composure even when the clearings were barely wide enough for us to pass and the trails required accurate maneuvering. Whilst far from being real-world conditions you'd normally take your multi-million-Peso vehicle to, you learn to appreciate Terra's surefootedness as well as all the technologies that come with it.
With a big part of the company's global plans banking on the Terra, Nissan confidently proved that their 7-seater can indeed #GoAnywhere.
We headed back to Manila the next day knowing why Nissan has sold as many units as they have and still has a growing number of reservations waiting to be served.
Read more about the Nissan Terra here.
For more information about Nissan in the Philippines, visit their website at www.nissan.ph or any of their dealerships nationwide.