|Autobot Jamboree 2023 at Agno, Pangasinan|
As part of their 16th Anniversary celebrations, Autobot Offroad Philippines conducted the much-awaited Autobot Jamboree 2023. The two-day off-road, overlanding, and camping activity started at the open parking area of the Trinoma Mall along EDSA in Quezon City, where around 65 participants, driving their modified rigs, converged at between 12:00 midnight until 2:30 AM, Saturday, August 26, 2023.
|Meet-up at parking area of the Trinoma Mall|
At 2:30 AM, Autobot Offroad PH President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Lao, after going around and checking on the participants, signaled to everyone to form a convoy and head to the first stop, the Petron Lakeshore service station along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Mexico, Pampanga, where several other participants and their 4x4 rigs were waiting. After an hour of camaraderie and snacks at Petron Lakeshore, the convoy, which now grew to more than a hundred vehicles, took off and drove towards the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) until they crossed into the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)
Before daylight, the convoy made another stop at the northbound lane Petron TPLEX service station, where more participants from North Luzon were waiting. Now numbering almost 150 4x4 vehicles of different brands, sizes and configurations, the convoy went back on the highway and exited at Ramos/Paniqui toll gate. The convoy then drove thru the Province of Tarlac through Camiling and San Clemente towns before crossing into Pangasinan province at Mangatarem town. They drove thru the towns of Aguilar, Bugallon, Labrador, Sual, Bolaney, and a portion of Burgos before reaching Agno, Pangasinan.
The convoy then set up their campsite on raw land located in a 5-hectare beachfront property near the Umbrella Rock Beach. Autobot Offroad PH Chief Operations Officer Ken Lao, on board a Surron electric dirt bike, went around the campsite to check on the needs of the participants. Intrepid overlanding enthusiast and motoring media veteran Ron De Los Reyes of Auto Review, accompanied by cameraman Davein Madrid, was among those who experienced a bit of off-roading on the mud with their 2023 Isuzu D-Max 4x4 before they got to set up tent and camp near the beach.
After setting up their tents, a short mid-morning nap, and lunch, the participants were treated to a couple of games in the afternoon, while the children of the participants had fun on the beach. In the evening, Autobot arranged a live band entertainment with a riveting local band, drew raffle prizes, and offered a gastronomic extravaganza with a freshly-cooked roast calf and four sizzling lechon (roast whole pig). While the participants were enjoying the meal, fireworks courtesy of Dragon Fireworks lit up the night sky.
Autobot Offroad PH President and CEO Randy Lao was overjoyed with the number of participants. “There were 170 people who registered the week before the event and we had to limit the number of participants to avoid overcrowding the venue”, he said. “Probably because of the looming typhoon, some of them backed out. But I’m still thankful because there were around 145 rigs here in the campsite and some vehicles parked on the road outside the property. We were able to beat our previous record of 113 rigs last year during our first Autobot Jamboree that was held at Lake Mapaneupe in Zambales.”
“We organized the Autobot Jamboree as a way to generate camaraderie among our customers and within the 4x4, off-road and overlanding community”, Randy added. “It is also our way of thanking our customers, suppliers, and partners as well as making everyone feel that they are all part of our expanded Autobot family. I thank God for all the blessings he has bestowed on our family, our company, our employees, and our customers”.
On Sunday morning, August 27, 2023, some of the participants packed up their gear and drove back while stopping at tourist spots along the way. Others, like Randy, Ken, their families, and several hardcore campers planned to stay until Monday since August 28th was a holiday. “Despite the threat of a typhoon and the experience of camping in the rain at night, we are happy that everyone enjoyed this, our second jamboree”, exclaimed Randy and Ken. “We plan to expand our plans for more events and more fun for our customers. They are also welcome to come back here in Agno any time for a more intimate camping experience.”