Tribute Drive: Quezon Province via MaRiLaQue

by Enzo Tacadao

Rose and I joined the epic Tänaybürgring 2015 last July 26, an event meant to place casual car owners, tuners, and car enthusiasts in the middle of the symphony of nature and concrete roads. An event helped organized by my good friend, college buddy, and car guru, Iori Suzuki.

Tänaybürgring 2015

The B13 was not one-hundred percent ready for the expected 14-hour Tänaybürgring drive at least a month before the event. Suffering from occasional overheating problems, starting issues, among others, I consulted Iori around June. As always helpful as he was, he pointed me to trusted mechanics and auto shops in the metro. After a couple of weeks, the car was ready for the big event.

Rose and I were so thrilled to join the epic matsuri that she decided to celebrate her birthday by joining me through the 300+ kilometers route. July 26. We arrived at the meeting place before 5:00 AM. We had our breakfast with Iori and Vero, his girlfriend and one of my closest college buddies. Before the event formally kicked off, Iori reminded the participants about road safety and guidelines. Before the sun fully conquered the skies, mufflers of the 50+ beautiful workhorses started to roar on the roads of Macapagal Highway. The epic ride was on.

Iori’s Last Run

Little after an hour since the convoy left the starting point, in Naic, Cavite, pile of cars stopped on the side of the road. Rose and I were wondering what happened. We passed Iori’s red MR2, wrecked, crashed into a concrete wall. “Fuck, fuck, si Iori yun! Si Vero!” All of my senses were nonexistent. I parked the car on the side street. Charged towards the scene. Images I thought I may only see in movies. Rose rushed to speak to Vero for her to remain conscious. I called Vero’s parents to inform them of what happened. It was heart-wrenching hearing Tita Oyie’s and Tito Mon’s extremely brittle and shaky voices. After 30 minutes, Vero was salvaged from the wreck. We followed her to the hospital, stayed with her, and updated her parents. We were quite relieved when the doctor told us that she’s conscious and responsive. However, bad news followed. After almost two hours, Iori’s body was retrieved from his car.

He was gone too soon.

Vero’s On Her Way to Full Recovery

The incident almost deprived me of two good friends. Vero, as of this writing, is still recovering from the serious and life-altering injuries she took. She’s definitely a warrior; though we were not surprised about it, she continues to amaze us on how fast she’s been recovering. Classic Vero. My hats are off to our closest college friends who keep on supporting her, cheering her up, and making her feel comfortable despite the almost fatal injuries. I was told not to visit her yet because her memory still prevents her from remembering what happened that day, and visiting her might do her more harm than good when her memory starts to regain abruptly.

The Tribute Quezon Province Drive

September 5 and 6. I asked Rose if she wants to do a road trip to Quezon Province via MaRiLaQue and some parts of the Tänaybürgring 2015 route. It was a spontaneous road trip, a quick break from the stressful work loads she’s been having in the past couple of weeks. There was no concrete reason why we did that road trip, yes, it was for a short vacation trip, but when I got home, I realized that that trip was also for Iori and Vero. It was a tribute road trip. We were one with nature, driving in unpopular routes, as envisioned by Iori.

The route we used.

The route we used.

View of the Pililla Wind Farm from Santa Maria, Laguna.

View of the Pililla Wind Farm from Santa Maria, Laguna.

Jariel's Peak, Infanta, Quezon.

Jariel’s Peak, Infanta, Quezon.

Jariel's Peak, Infanta, Quezon.

Jariel’s Peak, Infanta, Quezon.

View of Sierra Madre from Santa Maria, Laguna

View of Sierra Madre from Santa Maria, Laguna

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, Lucban, Quezon.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, Lucban, Quezon.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, Lucban, Quezon.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, Lucban, Quezon.

Lucban Church, Lucban, Quezon

Lucban Church, Lucban, Quezon

View of the Pililla Wind Farm from Manila East Road.

View of the Pililla Wind Farm from Manila East Road.

It’s such a shame that I can no longer share the road with Iori. To many, he is a car genius, a passionate car guy, but to us, his college friends, he is also a genuine friend who always assures others that “Ako na bahala.” Race in peace, Iori. Continue being strong, Vero.

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