A British bloke, Benjamin James Oates, 39, issued a public apology before media members this past Tuesday. That’s Oates in the lead photo with the horseshoe, biker, moustache reminiscent of Paul Sr. from “American Chopper.” Seated next to the apologetic limey is Bacolod Traffic Authority Office, BTAO, head Luisito Acebuche. (Lead photo credit: Panay News and AKSYON RADYO, Bacolod.)
My asawa and I were in the office of “Sony,” the “in-charge” person at our Land Transportation Office, LTO, in Guimaras. We wanted to renew the vehicle registration on our Ford Ranger.
The crusty old expat was extremely grouchy. Our Ford Ranger had just undergone its first “smoke test” in the Philippines. The LTO, Land Transportation Office, database, however, rejected the results. While our truck had successfully passed the analysis, a problem with our license plate was causing a hitch.
Regular readers of “Philippines Plus” are well aware that the tag “Crusty Old Expat” fits my persona perfectly. Thanks to Scott H, retired Iraqi War Veteran, I’ve used that moniker for several years now.
“What do you mean our registration ended in March?” My significant other was on the phone with an insurance agent. The agent, “NicNic” has just informed my wife that our Ford Ranger’s registration had already expired last March.
Any notion knocking around inside my fat head that I’m living in paradise is usually shattered by a visit to any local government office. “Philippines Vehicle Registration Ruckus” is a prime example. While I had hopes that an insurance agent in Guimaras, the island province we call home, could assist us, our “fixer” was woefully unable to assist us.
Ford Car Show Model (Photo Source: ABS-CBN News.com )
My asawa converted her Illinois Driver’s License to a Philippine Driver’s License about 18 months ago. My Illinois License, which I first acquired at the age of 16, had expired two years ago. I could have renewed it at the local Land Transportation Office like my spouse did, but since we only recently acquired a vehicle, felt no need to do so. In retrospect, it probably would have been smarter to renew before it did expire because once a foreign driver’s license is expired the owner of such license has to first obtain a student permit. Thus, the crusty old expat visits the Iloilo LTO and acquired said student permit.
Certain passenger trucks in the Philippines, such as Dodge Rams, can be difficult to find. But we narrow our search for a new vehicle and after visiting the local Chevrolet, Toyota and Foton dealerships in Iloilo City, we’ve gotten the best deal from Isuzu. We’ve ruled out the Nissan Navara (ugly), Mitsubishi Strada (short truck bed), Mazda BT-50 (price) and Tata Xenon (no automatic transmission and untested new truck from India), Ford Ranger (I’m a Chevy man from way back but the Chevy Colorado only comes in a 4×4 automatic model and is 400,000 pesos more expensive than the 4×2 AT Isuzu we looked at.)
Photo source: Isuzu Philippines
Our local barangay in Guimaras recently held their fiesta. My asawa got off the phone from our niece, Michelle, who is staying at "The Compound" helping her tita, aunt, Alida, in the preschool located on the premises. "Lolo wrestles a pig." Yes, that was Michelle's message. Seems that my father-in-law, who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, slipped past my brother-in-law Joery and made his way to a nearby relative's house.