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Top Gear Philippines


My name is Dylan Lacsamana, and my friends and family call me DyLac. I am a Generation X-er telco executive by day, and a full-time car lover. I've been driving since the age of 15, so that's about three decades now.

My late father was Boy Lacsamana, or BoyLac, and like all men of my generation I give credit to my dad for my driving skills. I never enrolled in a formal driving school.

How I drive is a reflection of what my father taught me, which were the basics plus some add-ons. Here are the top 10 car and driving tips that I learned from him, and still apply in my 30+ years of driving experience: 

1) BLOWGAS. I bet my father read this from somewhere or learned it from somebody, but the acronym was practical so I adopted it. The basic items that you should check before driving your vehicle includes the following: brakes, lights, oil, water and gas.

2) Plan your route. What's the best way to go from point A to B? Research and plan. Nowadays, there are free navigation tools like Waze and Google Maps that can guide you. Don't just start the car and drive. By thinking ahead, you save gas, hassle and stress. 

3) Have a smooth driving style. Your passengers are not ingredients inside a blender. They want to get to their destination in one piece and not confused as a result of the jumpy ride. Drive as smooth as a plane. 

4) DyLac the Explorer. When time was on our side, I was taught to discover new routes. Often, there are alternatives to go from one destination to another. Waze is not omniscient. Do not be afraid to explore.

5) Follow the leader. Imagine it’s raining cats and dogs on NLEX and visibility is less than 10 feet. What do you do? You follow the leader. It would be wise to look for a 'pace car' that seems to know what it's doing but doesn’t know you’re trailing him. Just ensure you keep a distance. Not following the last instruction might be fatal. 

6) Truck ban. Whether on a rainy or sunny day, never follow a truck! My father said it's next to being blind on the road. And speaking of blind...

7) Blind curve. Drivers know that it's dangerous to overtake on a blind curve, but some still do it. It's a major no-no and a lose-lose situation in case the unexpected happens. 

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8) Go fast...alone. Boys will be boys. The curiosity (that killed the cat while you were driving 100 kph) in us will always be there. If you want to explore the limits of your car, do it alone. Spare your family from your mischievous deed and let them enjoy your life insurance. 

9) Parking check. Before backing up sensors or reverse parking cameras were born, there was this thing called common sense. When parking in a tight squeeze or to ensure you’re within the limits of the parking space, nothing beats going down to check if you're parked properly. 

10) Getaway mode. When parking, ensure that you’re always parked in the 'getaway mode'. This means sacrificing time and effort to park before alighting the vehicle so that you gain the rewards when you leave the park space. You never know when you need to leave in a hurry.

Parents really play a huge role in molding their children, and learning to drive is something I'll always carry with me from my father. Happy Father's Day, pa!

Dylan Lacsamana
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