Every year for the past 14 summers, Toyota Motor Philippines has brought the motoring media to scenic spots within the country, to drive its cars and to appreciate our beautiful sights at the same time. This event is called Road Trek.
This time the Japanese carmaker toured us around its new dealerships in Central Luzon, before flying us to Balesin Island for some down time.
Since this is the year of the subcompact seven-seater, the new Rush was the main attraction. We drove Toyota's subcompact SUV from Manila to our first stop, Toyota Angeles, and then we alternated vehicles after that depending on the outcomes of challenges laid out for us. At some point Toyota PH even pulled a surprise when it unveiled a face-lifted Alphard.
All in all, it was a refreshing respite from Metro Manila and its fast pace.
Now, one must think a Land Cruiser or a Camry might be more suited for an exclusive island getaway like Balesin, but the Rush's design (and our lifestyle editor Elaine Lara's eye for aesthetics) helped it fit in in the stylish locale. Check out our snapshots and see for yourself.
Which one is your pick?
We found nothing wrong with the Alphard's former face, but this is a good-looking minivan.
Can you spot the improvements?
Touchdown Balesin! This is in the Mykonos Village where they serve delicious greek grub.
Now we're in Toscana Village, which reminds us of a dating reality show for some reason.
"Your Rush awaits, Don Pablo."
The Toyota waits for its VIP to arrive.
The driver is back from his two-hour lunch break.
Even the Rush prefers the shade in this sweltering heat.
Something for The Gram.
Elaine wishes she brought a real photographer along. This shot is barely passable.