Anyone who has ever had the same vehicle for more than a handful of years will tell you that, over time, a car becomes more than just a means for getting around. After a certain time, it isn't just a set of wheels anymore—it's family.
HR Aujero and his trusted Ford Ranger is one such case. The 40-year-old doctor and teacher has owned the vehicle with his family for 18 years. His dad bought the unit brand-new back in 2001 for him to use as his service vehicle in med school. But his dad needed a pickup for farm duties in Iloilo, so off it went. It was 2010 when HR finally took ownership.
"Initially, my dad told me he was going to buy me a car to use to and from UP Manila. I convinced him to get a pickup because of the floods on the way to Manila: España, Taft Avenue," HR says.
"From the dealer, I went straight home and looked at it and read the manual. I didn't drive it far muna, I was too excited and was afraid as well. Ayaw ko siya gasgasan or anything. I just stared at it at home and read the manual, opened the engine bay. I looked at it from all angles."
The Ranger carried HR through his residency, allowing him to reach the Philippine General Hospital in Manila despite the area's flood-prone streets. "It was the time of great floods in Metro Manila, and it survived them quite well," he says, referring to his Ranger. It became a people carrier, and occasionally an equipment carrier as well.
In 2014, following his residency training, Aujero packed his bags and transferred to Baler, Aurora, bringing the truck with him.
"I really wanted to escape a hectic life in the city so I really looked for a place where I could transfer and Baler, Aurora just seemed to be a logical place back then," HR explains. "It's peaceful, and they needed an ENT here so I packed my bags, placed it on the truck, and transferred my whole life here."
"Throughout my stay here in Baler, the Ranger has always been part of my life. It takes me everywhere and anywhere and takes me home as well."
The Ranger's reliability didn't just prove useful for HR's studies and work, either. In 2016, the vehicle served as his and his wife's bridal car. "Even if the wedding organizer was giving the bridal car as part of the package, I didn't want any of their cars," HR says.
"I said I'd use my truck. Since it brought us here, it brought us to different places, it would be just fitting that our Ranger would bring us to forever."
HR and his ride are inseparable through thick and thin, it seems. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't consider getting an upgrade. "Like I said, the Raptor looks really good. If not that, I'm good with the new XLS 4x4 because I really need a 4x4 that could help us explore more forbidding places."
It's hard to argue with HR's choice. The new Ford Ranger comes available with a powerful new 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel capable of 213PS and 500Nm of torque to go along with its rugged design and versatile ground clearance—the perfect setup to make new memories in. Interested in living the Ranger lifestyle as well? You can check a unit out at the Ford dealership nearest to you.