A journalist enjoys the perks of not only being invited to test-drive cars, but also of getting to drive them in different places around the country. So when the Subaru XV SubUrban Drive event brought us to Davao City, we were certainly pumped up to see the road conditions that awaited us. A brief chat with the guys from Image Cars Davao (Subaru Davao) only added to our excitement.
Davao City, we were told, has a great combination of hilly and coastal roads, as well as highways. \"You\'ll certainly test the Subaru XV\'s handling and speed on our way to our first stop,\" said Image Cars Davao president Wally Alvarez. \"We\'ll pass by Eden Road, which has both uphill and downhill parts.\"
With Alvarez driving the Legacy lead car, our convoy left the dealership in Lanang. We hit Diversion Road and eventually ended up at the ascent of Mount Tolomo, heading to our first stop, Eden Nature Park. The road allowed us to feel some of the XV\'s good points. It was nice and torquey going through uphill stretches; its suspension was steady as we traversed the zigzag parts.
And what a first pit stop it was! An 80-hectare property, Eden Nature Park used to be a hotbed of illegal logging. Now, it is full of lush trees and has the scent of freshness in the air. Beautiful downtown views of Davao City are visible from the park. We then proceeded with a short tour around the complex where we were shown how organic fruits and vegetables were grown. Luckily enough, we were able to sample the fresh produce together with a lot of seafood for lunch.
Just when we were about to feel drowsy after eating a sumptuous meal, it was back to Eden Road again. We were then headed to our next stop: the Philippine Eagle Park. Driving around the urban areas of Davao, you\'ll notice that a lot of slow cars tend to stay on the left side. Hence, a lot of overtaking happens from the right. But you won\'t mind it because the roads are wide and in great condition. As we did our share of catching up with the rest of the convoy, we felt the responsiveness of the XV\'s 2.0-liter boxer engine. One step on the gas pedal and our slowpoke driving ways were forgotten for those few seconds.
The Philippine Eagle Park houses a number of animals, one of which is, er, the Philippine Eagle. It was great to finally snap a photo of Pag-asa, the first eaglet (and now a full alpha male) saved by the Philippine Eagle foundation back in 1992. From the Philippine Eagle Park, we quickly drove to our last stop, the Davao Crocodile Park, where we saw more wildlife.
After seeing plenty of animals for the rest of the afternoon, we proceeded for a short and relaxing drive back to the hotel. It was the best way to end our Davao driving adventure.
Although short, the tour allowed us to experience the thrilling drives one can do around the city. In fact, it made us wonder what else we had yet to explore. We are certainly coming back.
If only we had a Subaru XV to drive again next time.
Photos from Motor Image Pilipinas