If there's anything we, Filipinos, are guilty of, it's probably the concept of 'Filipino time’. This concept, which literally translates to being 'late,' has become a habit that it earned the recognition of other people from around the world. I think we've grown up too loose that we think anything set on a specific time has an hour of allowance – so we slack off and allow ourselves be late.
This happened to be my realization days ago, while inside the Ford Everest before flagging off the starting line. Oh, I was at Clark that time – the day for Sunshine Television’s 2018 Auto Rally Corporate Challenge (ARCC), the country’s largest corporate time-speed-distance rally.
A quick runthrough, the ARCC is a Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally that aims to promote road safety with its effective tagline, “On Time, All the Time”. Given the motto, the rally is not won by crossing the finish line with the fastest time. Rather, the participants must reach all checkpoints under the given time and get back in the perfect time - as possible.
The annual rally is competed by almost all car makers found in the country. These car companies compete under three teams, where AutoDeal got to join the two teams: one group was with Team Ford Philippines and the other for Team Lexus Philippines.
The Team Ford, which in our case, included: the driver (Caco), navigator (me), and the timer (Allysa). All roles were crucial to win the rally; the driver drives, the navigator figures out which way to go, and the timer calculates the time needed to reach every tulip on time.
It was a tiring (but fun) seven-hour stroll around Clark and Subic, which started at the West Aeropark Building in Clark Global City. Good thing the riding comfort of the Ford Everest was exactly what our team needed that time, not to mention that it has more than enough room for us three. We managed to finish the rally safe and sound, although we missed one checkpoint and tried to be cool about it afterwards. Did we get on time? Nope - that’s how hard being "on time" is.
However, I did learn something. Following closely to instructions wasn’t an easy task for me, neither initiating an idea based on the given instruction. These were just two of what this year’s ARCC has taught me, apart from working in rhythm with my colleagues. All of which are part of the main goal: finishing the rally on the perfect time.
A short contemplation on our way home struck me in which I had to ask myself, “if we stay planted on the idea of Filipino time, how far can we go? Or, will we ever get anywhere?” Well, not that far in my opinion. The problem is we are too complacent. We don’t value time as much as the Japanese people do and we have taken the phrase “it’s better to be late than never” abusively that often we find ourselves in need of more ‘time’.
It’s not easy, I give you that but without effort, nothing is easy. Take it from us who’ve competed, even if you exert more than you usually do, nothing will come easy – not until you are consistent in dealing with it. This is what the ARCC has taught us. We all love giving up after a few tries of being on time so we ended up with saying, “everyone will be late, as usual, so it’s okay to be late.”
So, why don’t we peel that side of ours off? Being on time doesn’t suck as much as being late is never cool; you get to do more stuff, plan ahead of things, among others. All you need is practice, determination, and a calm mind to get used to it. We all must remember that by arriving pass a schedule, we’re wasting more time from others than what we have for ourselves.
Oh, and another important thing that the 2018 ARCC reminded me of was obedience. Obeying rules, especially traffic rules, isn’t hard. However, often do we unconsciously disobey out of personal and selfish reasons. Good thing there are events like this that reminds us that there are no room for neglectance on the road, as a lot of lives are literally on it everyday.
And, If you ever are looking for something to remind you to always drive safe, it’s this: “it doesn’t matter how fast you get to your destination. It’s how you have gotten there that counts the most” – and we (2018 ARCC’s team Ford PH) have surely brought it with us on our way home.