April 24, 2024

That Mysterious Billboard and Those Always-Postponed Summer Road Trip Plans

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  • That Mysterious Billboard and Those Always-Postponed Summer Road Trip Plans
  • “Tara friends, let’s drive!”

    “Uyy, tara!”

    Have you noticed that conversation-like advertisement on a billboard along EDSA and other locations? Whether you’re frequently invited on road trips with friends or your summer travel plans always seem to fall through, seeing the billboard can trigger a trip down memory lane. Some friends might have suggested driving out of town for a relaxing staycation, while others might have invited you to nearby beaches reachable within a few hours’ drive. There might even be a friend who proposed riding motorcycles for a longer journey to catch up, especially if they’re someone you haven’t seen in decades.

    The Changing Friendship Dynamics in Your Mid-20s to 30s

    It’s common for friends to bail on much-anticipated plans, or for plans to fall through unexpectedly, especially when you’re in your mid-20s to 30s. Some within the Gen Z or millennial circle are busy with their careers, some have started families, and others are balancing graduate studies with work commitments. Even something as simple as grabbing coffee at a city cafe can be challenging when you have a lot on your plate. Connecting with friends who live nearby or just a bus ride away should be easy, but making plans can sometimes feel like it takes forever. Just imagine if it were a road trip!


    Road Challenges

    IMAGE from Pexels

    If you’re a Filipino or reside in the Philippines, you’re likely familiar with the issue of heavy traffic, whether it’s for your daily commute or a road trip. Traveling by land from the National Capital Region to popular destinations typically takes around two hours. However, if you and your friends crave fresher air and a different environment far from the heat, smoke, and noise of the city and nearby provinces, Baguio remains a top choice, though the travel time extends to about five hours. Whether you spend two or five hours on the road, or even more, these journeys pose challenges, especially for those with busy schedules or family responsibilities.

    Despite concerns about traffic congestion, time wastage, and distance, road trips remain popular among Filipino millennials and Gen Zs. These young, adventurous, and tech-savvy travelers often enjoy group journeys to explore popular local tourist destinations. This enthusiasm for domestic travel is reflected in a 2024 survey, which revealed that 92% of Filipinos have plans to explore local destinations such as Tagaytay, Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, and Palawan. These areas are known for their breathtaking views, aesthetic hotels, and unique restaurants, which are worth capturing and sharing on social media. 


    Financial Considerations

    Since the Philippines is made up of thousands of islands, a road trip can be taxing, even if you’re not the one behind the wheel. Gasoline costs can be expensive, too. Of course, the passengers will most likely be the ones to shoulder the gasoline expenses since usually, the driver is also the owner of the vehicle. Despite being friends, it’s important to share expenses fairly.

    To fund these local adventures, you’ll need to budget between P15,000 and P30,000 for a comfortable four-day trip. If you’re just starting your career as a regular employee and don’t have much disposable income, or if you’re starting a family and have young children to care for, it may take up to a year of saving and planning to afford to join your friends on such trips.


    Friendship Is About Overcoming Challenges Together

    The changes in friendship dynamics, busy schedules, heavy traffic, and financial limitations can be a hurdle in planning the ultimate Barkada road trip. After several plans that remained mere “drawings” and never materialized, you might find yourself losing hope and energy to follow through with plans with long-time-no-see friends. However, remember the Filipino saying, “Kung gusto, laging may paraan; kung ayaw, laging may dahilan.” [If you want something, there’s always a way; if you don’t, there’s always an excuse]. With the vast resources available online, you can find tips and ideas that can help make your summer road trip a reality, even on a tight budget or limited time.

    Whether you intend to drive from the North to the South of the Philippines or vice versa, as long as there’s a road and the bond among friends remains strong despite many years of being apart, a road trip can certainly be accomplished. So, the next time a friend like Rich unexpectedly messages you, saying “Saan ka friend? Tara, let’s drive!“, be the friend who eagerly responds with, “Let’s go!” Confirm your availability and discuss the details. After all, friendships are opportunities you should always seize, and with hope, you and your friends will finally hit the road before summer ends.






    This is a press release. Minor edits were made prior to publishing.

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