Come rough terrain or high water

Come rough terrain or high water

Petron Philippine Overland Expedition 2024 to off-road from Quezon to Aurora

By Dylan Afuang

THE PHILIPPINE Overland Expedition (PHL-OX) — formally called Petron Philippine Overland Expedition on account of its titular sponsor — could very well be overlanding here at its most extreme form.

Overlanding, an activity that’s seen growing in popularity here and abroad, combines off-road driving and camping. Hobbyists, known as “overlanders,” drive through the roughest terrain, arrive at a remote location, then — while surrounded by nature — sleep, bathe, or cook in their SUVs or trucks equipped with huge wheels and camping needs.

Now in its second-year, PHL-OX 2024 will be participated in by about 30 adventure-seekers who will overland along untouched landscapes from General Nakar, Quezon, to Dingalan, Aurora, from today until the 25th. In between campsites, teams of adventurers will encounter jungle trails with deep ruts made of mud, gravel, and rocks, and river crossings three to four feet deep. The terrain could be baked by blazing sun or doused by pouring rain, whatever the weather would feel like bringing on those days. Onboard their 4×4, overlanding-ready vehicles, competing teams will pass through 10 stages designed to test their driving, navigation, and vehicle-recovery skills.

A grand prize of P500,000 awaits overlanders who will finish the stages in the fastest time and safest way. The second- and third-placers will receive P200,000 and P100,000, respectively.

Enthusiasts can also spectate the expedition by either tackling the terrain along with the competitors, or meet and camp with them at campsites in Masanga Point, General Nakar, and Dingalan, Aurora.

The event is co-organized by Mototesto Overland Equipment Philippines and All Traction Performance, and is supported by, of course, Petron Corp., along with Motolite, ARB 4×4 Philippines, Bushranger, and Second Air.

“This event is just not about earning, but it’s also (done) to show that there are (scenic) places to visit in the Philippines,” Mototesto Overland Equipment CEO and Founder, and PHL-OX 2024 Race Director Tim Tuazon expressed to the media on the sidelines of the competition’s press launch.

But at its inception, the purpose of the Philippine Overland Expedition was to bring a competitive edge to overlanding. “After the (COVID-19) pandemic, over a campfire, we (overlanders) wondered if we could level up Philippine overlanding events and make them more professional, so we opened a competition,” Mr. Tuazon said in Filipino.

Teams consisting of three vehicles and six members each are formed for PHL-OX 2024. The vehicles are divided into three groups, and each will be subject to scrutineering. Production cars are standard SUVs with the standard off-roading equipment installed. Production models that have been extensively tweaked, including changes to the engine and body, are known as modified vehicles.

Prototype cars are specially designed and have no relation to any production car. A minimum of one production vehicle and a maximum of one prototype vehicle are required for each team.

A release for PHL-OX added, “Each team must also be self-reliant, bringing with them provisions such as food, water, power source, as well as critical vehicle spare parts and supplies.”

For more information, visit the Mototesto Overland Equipment Philippines website (