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A fun run where all brands and models are welcome

The ‘Unity Run’ aims to connect normally clannish car clubs

That one time the Nissan GT-R seemed to be as common as the Toyota Vios. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Car guys are cliquish. Also, their preferred automotive brands usually dictate which group they’ll join and pledge allegiance to. And even then it’s not a guarantee they’ll stick together forever. Car clubs have been known to splinter into breakaway groups. There’s just something about men—especially Filipino men if we’re honest—that makes it so difficult for them to agree with one another and exist in permanent harmony.

One day it’s a close-knit squad that goes on weekend track days and organizes laudable medical missions, the next it’s a fragmented crew that slanders each other and fights over the pettiest things (including, sadly, money). So never mind assembling a huge group of car enthusiasts—just try to gather a small band of one-make-and-model car owners for an activity, and see if you won’t get a splitting headache.

Caltex customers were treated to a car show. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

Which makes the “Unity Run” all the more impressive. First held in 2013, the fun run is organized by businessman Rouelito Narvaez, who, for some reason, didn’t answer our questions about the event’s history and instead narrated to us things that were irrelevant to this article. The all-embracing joyride aims to bridge the numerous gaps between car clubs. Its tagline says it all: “Different cars. Different clubs. Different people. One passion.”

That passion, obviously, is the automobile. And there were many of them—of varying types, shapes, sizes and nameplates—at this year’s edition, which was held yesterday (January 28) in spite of the gloomy skies and the mud-splashing rain. The meeting place—the Caltex station on southbound SLEX—was swarmed with all manner of sports cars. One realization: There are now so many Nissan GT-R owners in the country.

Even small Japanese cars are welcome here. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

The participants proceeded to Tagaytay Highlands to partake of an P800 breakfast (probably seasoned with gilded herbs) and engage each other in car-centric conversation. In attendance were members of Cars and Chronos, Club Z Philippines, Euro United, Honda Jazz Club Philippines, Manila GT-R Owners Club, Mini Car Club of the Philippines, MR-S Philippines, Muscle Car Society Philippines, Porsche Boxster and Cayman Club Philippines, and VA WRX STI Owners Club.

If you're now depressed after looking at all these eye-popping pictures, so are we. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

Did they achieve their objective? Not sure. We have a feeling they just needed a noble excuse to tell the wives for driving out with the boys on an early Sunday morning: “Hon, this fun run is for world peace, which contestants of your favorite beauty pageant always profess to aspire to.”

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.