Behind, “Behind the Manibela”

As many of my friends and family knows that my love for cars is unquestionable. It started even before I learn how to speak and read.  As long it has 4 wheels attached to them, I am hooked.



Saturday afternoons with my mom was so ecstatic as she drives me to nearby showrooms along Libis. It was the time were BMW Ph only has the 316i on display and the Lincoln Town Car is the flagship model for Ford. Sales Agents and Showroom Managers gave me tons of reading materials, brochures and accessory catalogs. Touching, smelling or even taking a seat on the display was really an experience I will never forget. Thanks to my mom that always get a long with my passion and love for cars. Time came and I have to out-grow these fantasies.

When I reached 11 years old, I started learning how to drive. As a big kid, I can reach the pedals and steering wheels without having a pillow to sat in. My confidence grew as I started the engine for the first time without the help or supervision of everyone. I managed to learn about driving through books in the school library during lunchtime or my late-night internet browsing back when ISP Bonanza is the King of IP providers. No porn tho. :D. It took me 2 years just to drive our owner-type jeep around our subdivision, illegally.  As the neighbours took notice that I am driving and still a minor, they called up my parents to ban me from using it. Aside from countless sermons and belt swingings, they hide the keys and drained the gas tank so that it will not be used when they are at work. With my resourcefulness and my keen understanding on things, I managed to get it from their hiding spots and saved up all my school money just to buy 2-3 Litres of Fuel in a nearby gas station and fill her up. I literally walk from our house to the gas station bringing with me 2-3 1.5 soda bottles. And again, my stubbornness prevails. At age 14, I was able to drive in and out of our town. Driving thru steep back roads  of Antipolo and Angono. I felt freedom. And it was addicting. Came along your teenage friends and ask me if they can come along to take joy rides. It was fun and rebellious. Not thinking about the precautions it may bring if something goes wrong. Luckily and thankfully, I was never involved in any accidents whatsoever, up to this day. Time came when my parents knew about it and step-up the notch and decided to have our jeep to be transferred in the province. It was a sad day for me and I cried so bad like its the end of the world. But then, I have to out-grew my foolishness and start it off right.



After high school, it was allowed for you to get a Student Driver’s License if you reached 16 years old. So on my birthday, I went to LTO and have it done. My mom was with me and thinks that it is  necessary as we apply for passports and visas. After a year, again on my birthday, I decided to get my Driver’s License. I did it all on my own. Without any backers or even my parents. I used my school money I saved for months. As I walk up to my parents and proudly said to them that I got the license on my own. They were surprised and a bit worried now that I can drive legally.

From errands and until I became the designated driver for my family and friends, I knew then that driving is a responsibility heavier than a plastic card entitles you to be.  I believe that reading car or driving related books and understanding the rules on road usage and proper car handling and maintenance benefits me up to this day. Lessons learned and I always tell my self to grow up and be a responsible and courteous driver. No matter how many “bling” you put in to your car, or how much you pay for them, It always boils down what kind of a person you are “Behind the Manibela”. Roads are meant to be shared. For us to reach our destination peacefully and in one piece.




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