Historically, 4WD’s have played a pretty major part in just about every event you can think of. From the humble Jeep during war, to the Troop Ccarriers used by the UN and the World Health Organisation. 4WD’s have also become a part of recreational activities the world over. Whether you enjoy camping, fishing, dirt biking or just good old fashioned touring… the 4WD is the enabler that allows you to get out there and experience it.
Timothy Tuazon is the owner of Mototesto Adventure Travel Shop in the Philippines, and is the official Tough Dog Distributor for the region. Tim and his crew have turned their passion for 4WDing into a useful way of helping communities around the Philippines. The activity is called Voluntourism. As the name suggests it is an interesting hybrid between tourism and volunteer work. Tim says “We go for a 4WD trip and explore the area. If we see a requirement for medical attention, outreach or resupply, then we organise a Voluntourism trip and go back with the people and equipment necessary to help.”
The most recent expedition was to the Central Luzon region of the Philippines, visiting the towns of Tubo and Abra. This is a staggering 1000-7000ft above sea level, so the terrain is pretty mountainous. “The journey takes us 600km from Manila, the capital, and involves three major river crossings.” Tim explains, “The travel time is about 15 hours and is only accessible by 4×4. The roads are only passable between November and June each year.”
Tim says “The area has 10 sub communities in outlying areas, and some of them have walked 4-5 hours along mountain roads to reach the central town hall for treatment.” While this may seem like a huge expedition, its nothing compared to the 12 hours of trekking across 3 rivers that leads to the nearest permanent medical facility.
The mission’s team consisted of 70 people in total, 30 of which were qualified doctors and nurses that volunteered their time to assist. The vehicles were all fitted with equipment from Mototesto, including Tough Dog suspension. “Each vehicle was carrying about 500kg in supplies and equipment, excluding passengers,” Tim told us.
The Mission has been branded as a rousing success, with just over 800 patients treated in total, and plenty of essential supplies left behind. At Tough Dog we want to applaud Timothy and his crew’s efforts and dedication to helping remote communities with missions like this one.
If you want to get involved, speak to Mototesto 4WD Adventure Shop, the Official Tough Dog dealer for the Philippines by heading to the Dealer Locator.