The 2019 Ford Media Drive Bacolod Leg |Ford Ranger Trucks Review

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Experiencing the comfort and ease of driving the high end Ford pick trucks was just amazing. Here’s my take on the 2019 Ford Media Drive Bacolod.

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Mr. Dennis Piccio, manager of Ford Negros.

This is a first time that a media drive was held in Bacolod City. I was hesitant to go at first. But eventually, I went and did not regret it.

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Trying out the Anti-Lock Breaking System during the Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL).

And thanks to the Ford Driving Skills For Life campaign, I am more confident behind the wheel.

2019 Ford Media Drive Bacolod

Nine (9) media personalities joined the Ford Media Drive Bacolod. It was an interesting mix of writers from different publications. There were Bacolod bloggers and vloggers. I was one of the Bacolod bloggers who were invited to take the Ford Ranger Experience.

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Bacolod bloggers, vloggers, and media for the Ford Media Drive Bacolod.

We were grouped into teams of three. The members took turns driving a Ford truck. We exchanged vehicles with other teams along the way.

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The Route

We rolled out from Ford Negros showroom in Talisay City around 10am. Our first destination is Barangay Concepcion, Talisay City, with several stops along the way.

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The Ford Ranger is so easy to navigate along winding roads.

This drive eventually led us to the winding and sloping roads of the Municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental. It is our testing ground for the performance of the three kinds of Ford Ranger. These are:

  • Ford Ranger XLT
  • Ford Ranger Wildtrak
  • Ranger Raptor
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The Ford Ranger XLT.

To take the challenge further, we filled the cargo bed of the XLT with pineapples. We wanted to see how the truck fared in the sloping hillside drive.

My Teammates

My teammates are tandem Bacolod Vloggers Miss Gee and Jurhin. Subscribe to their social media sites:

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We were first assigned to take the Ford Ranger Wildtrak for a spin. Our next ride was the Raptor. Our turn to take over the wheels of the Ford Ranger XLT came last.

Honestly, I got awestruck and fell in love with these award winning pickup trucks!

The Adventure

The 2019 Ford Media Drive Bacolod was not any other test drive. It was a road trip filled with different adventures and great experiences.

One take away that I will never forget was the talk with the pineapple farmers in Don Salvador Benedicto. I was happy to learn that they are earning better due to modern pineapple farming techniques.

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A pineapple farmer in Don Salvador Benedicto.

However, a pineapple farm of one hectare doesn’t really yield a substantial income. They could barely support the family. The gross income appears big. But when the net income is divided into the number of months needed to grow the fruit, it is really not much.

I will never forget what the farmer said, “Diri sa amo, ang neto sir, ok ra man namo biskan gamay pa gani diha. Tungod nga wala man mi na anad sa dagko nga income…” (“We are okay with the net income even if it is small since we are not used to having a big income.”)

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Pineapple farmer for a few minutes. Driver for the rest of the day.

I was blown away by that instant preaching on contentment! But I agree with the commentary of Mr. Carlo Leonardia of The Visayan Daily Star. He said that the farmers should get maximum yield from their hard work.

Gastronomic Adventure

For lunch, we stopped at Cafe La Guada in Don Salvador Benedicto. It’s a quaint roadside cafe overlooking green hills.

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I had my first taste of fried frogs for lunch! Nothing extraordinary, though.

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After lunch, we enjoyed the scenic mountain views of this municipality. The cool mountain air has made Don Salvador Benedicto the Summer Capital of Negros Occidental. 

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The cottage at Stonepeak Cafe.

We stopped at the Stonepeak Café for some snacks. I highly recommend their cheeseburger. The downside, even if you dine here, you have to pay an entrance fee of P50. It’s not consumable.

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The cheeseburger at Stonepeak Cafe.

Overnight at La Vista Highlands Resort

Our last stop was the La Vista Highlands Resort, which is located in the mountains of San Carlos City. It’s a scenic resort hotel with premier amenities.

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The next morning, we took off for Bacolod City early. While I took the Ranger Raptor on our trip home, I felt that my stint on behind the wheel was way too short. It was too bitin. Hope I get the chance to drive it again.

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My morning view at La Vista Highlands. Too bad we were not able to stay long.

In Search of a Family Car

I grew up with a pickup truck for our family car. My dad chose this vehicle primarily because our family had a fish farm to manage. So the truck had a double role — serving the family and the business.

A pickup for a family car was alright except those times when we had visitors. When we had relatives over, we had to sit at the cargo bed whenever we went out. A roof covering and secure seats were installed. That sort of turned our pickup truck into a passenger vehicle like a jeepney.

By the way, please note that passengers on the cargo bed is already against the law.

Three Seats vs. 4 Kids

My parents has four kids and I am the eldest. The four of us sit at the second row until we grew big. And we were indeed BIG.

The 5-seater double cab pickup suddenly “shrunk”. That was when my father decided to buy a minivan.

So maybe, this is also why I never thought that a pickup truck could be a family car. I set my sights on mini vans or SUVs.

HOWEVER, this experience driving the Ford Ranger series changed my mind. Now, I want to try out these trucks with my family. I only have two daughters, so the seating capacity of a pickup is just comfortable.

I didn’t get to bring my family along to the Ford Media Drive Bacolod. But read our: Tri-city road trip with the Ranger Wildtrak.

About the Ford Ranger Series

The new Ford Ranger series offers a choice of three diesel powertrains. These are designed to deliver greater versatility and meet consumer demands The trucks are powered by the new generation 2.0L Bi-Turbo and 2.0L Turbo engines, and the Ranger’s proven 2.2L TDCi engine.

Meanwhile, the Raptor is equipped with the 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine. It delivers a maximum of 213PS of power and 500Nm of torque. The engine delivers greater responsiveness, drivability, and maximum efficiency.

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The Ford Ranger Raptor engine.

The Ford-designed 10-speed automatic transmission is shared with the F-150 Raptor. It’s been created with high-strength steel, aluminum alloys, and composites to optimize durability and weight.

Experiencing the Power of the Ford Ranger

I can attest to these specs after road testing these Ford Ranger pickup trucks. Absorbing these information while at the Ford Negros showroom impressed me so much.

But test driving these road monsters is another story. You forget about the details and get the urge to own one. That is why the Ford Media Drive Bacolod was an exhilarating experience.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak

The Wildtrak is agile and flexible. That is how it felt when steering. This is thanks to the electronic power steering assist. Maneuvering the pickup truck around tight turns of Don Salvador Benedicto became very easy.

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The ride is smooth and accelerating was a breeze. The Wildtrak has that edge over the Raptor and the XLT.

Ranger Raptor

On the other hand, the Ranger Raptor is robust, powerful, and more stable. That’s how it won me over. The riding comfort is several notches higher than the other two. Jurhin and Miss Gee call the front row seats as “gaming chairs”.

I got to test drive the Raptor on a winding road at Don Salvador Benedicto while it was raining. When driving through the rain, my instinct usually compels me to slow down and proceed with caution.

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Dark rain clouds looming in the horizon.

However, the stability of the Ranger Raptor ride did not trigger that instinct to kick in. It was almost the same with the Wildtrak. But I cannot equally compare both because it was raining a little harder and longer when I drove the Raptor. The terrain was also different.

Ford Ranger XLT

It may not be fair to compare the XLT to the other two, but it’s capabilities cannot be underestimated either. When we loaded its cargo bed with pineapples, it still effortlessly went up and down the slopes of Don Salvador Benedicto.

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The Ford Ranger XLT fully loaded with sweet pineapples.

We transported the pineapples for the farmers who gamely gave us a lecture on Pineapple Farming 101.

The Ranger Dashboard

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games on the PC was flight simulators. I got to fly small aircrafts, military jets, to attack helicopters. And it made me wonder if I could fly a real one using only a keyboard for the controls.

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The Ford Ranger dashboard is starting to look and feel like the modern aircraft. From navigation aid, to sound control, to cabin climate (how they call air conditioning) controls and more. Totally high-tech!

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Climate control on the dashboard touchscreen panel.

I was not able to extensively use the XLT dashboard. But the Wildtrak and Raptor definitely had more added features.

Meanwhile, I was only able to observe the Wildtrak dashboard after using it for two days. Yet, I have not fully utilized all of them completely. The available controls and the data about the dashboard are quite overwhelming for a test drive. It will take some time for me to familiarize with them. And the information provided just blew me away.

Accurate Information

Do you know that you can tell how much fuel the Ranger is consuming based on the pressure you apply on the gas pedal? The harder you step on the gas, the dashboard will show the kilometer to liter ratio of your fuel consumption.

This feature teaches drivers how to apply pressure on the gas pedal in order to save on gas. Saving on gas causes less harm to the environment. Plus, we save money, too.

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The Ranger Raptor is a dream.

I mentioned that I wonder if I could fly a plane using a keyboard. Would you want to drive a truck using voice commands? We’re not completely there yet, but there are a lot of controls that you can now do using voice command.

Check out the SYNC® 3 of the Ranger Raptor.

Ranger Raptor Sync 3

The Ranger Raptor comes with the SYNC® 3. It’s a fully integrated, voice activation system that lets the driver use the devices while their hands stay on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Ford’s comprehensive Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is also there to help in difficult cornering and braking situations. The impressive technology suite includes:

  • Trailer Sway Control (TSC)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Hill Descent Control (HDC)
  • Load Adaptive Control (LAC)

Syncing Phone Data with the Truck

One feature I hope to fully utilize is to use a smart phone to add more tools to the car. I needed the data the most for navigation. Knowing it can be done already excites me. I am geeky like that.

But syncing your phone to your car is not just for geeks. These are very helpful tools for the adventurer. The car itself is GPS ready. But since you carry your phone wherever you go, your phone through Google map contains more data. Furthermore, you can sync and enhance these data with the car navigation system.

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GPS. The navigation system can be synced with your smartphone.

Another reason why you’d want your car and phone to work together is so you can make hands-free calls. At voice command, the car can dial a number and then you talk on speaker. I used to just dream of having a phone in my car.

There is so much more to tinker here.

Hill Descent Control

I also read about the Hill Descent Control. It is another feature I hope to be fully familiar with. It is supposed to control the speed of the vehicle while descending down a slope.

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A sloping part of the road.

I was not fully aware of its deployment but it must have been activated when I took the wheels of the Raptor. Crossing my fingers for another test drive for the Raptor.

Other Advanced Features of the Ranger Raptor

I want to highlight these other features of the Ranger Raptor:

  • Active Park Assist – helps find parallel parking spaces and steers itself to a parking spot just by controlling the throttle and brake.
  • Smart Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start (only in the Wildtrak and Raptor)
  • Six Airbags – ensuring maximum convenience and safety.  
  • Reverse Drive Guide – I don’t really know what they call this. As I backed up the car, the video shows where the car will go, just like a guide. This helped me know if I will be hitting any obstacle as I navigated the car backwards.
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Raptors also have the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. It is there to help in difficult cornering and braking situations.

Has This Jury Reached a Verdict?

While you get value for money with all the Ford Ranger trucks, I cannot help but notice that one performs better than the other. Yet, it’s still hard to pick which one. You may be picking up a pickup for different purposes.

The important thing is to determine how you will use your truck. Is it to travel to your farmland? To haul large cargo for your business? To transport the produce of your farm? Or to easily bring heavy equipment that you use for your construction business?

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After driving the three Ford Ranger pickup trucks, this is my review.

I already mentioned my measuring stick in choosing a car: can it be a family car? We homeschool and one principle in our homeschooling is, “The world is our classroom.”

We equate traveling to learning opportunities. That is why in choosing a car, I also think if I can bring my family around in it. Is it capable of bringing us to more places? Will it keep us safe, comfortable, and give us a great time? The Ford Ranger Raptor is able to give all of that to a family of four.

Ford Raptor: My Favorite

By the end of the Ford Media Drive Bacolod, I had my pick. The Ford Raptor was hands down my favorite. It’s my top choice for a family car. What won me over was that, with it, I can keep my family safe and comfortable wherever we go.

I’d like to shout: To infinity and beyond!!!

But for now this is just a pickup truck that can bring us around on family adventures. To choose a spaceship is not yet on the horizon. hehe

For Test Drives

Calling all car dealers: Would you like a vehicle review like this? Contact us for a possible blog collaboration. Send me an e-mail: Dennis – dreamerscape@gmail.com

Travel Insurance

Our family’s travel insurance coverage is provided for by AXA. For more information, contact

  • Ms. Lime Navarra
  • Mobile: (0920) 9008072
  • Email: mnjardinico@axa.net.ph
  • FB page: AXAWealthXpertsBCD
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Ford Negros Showroom, Talisay City.

Contact Information

Ford Negros
Lopue’s Village, Talisay Highway, Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Tel. No. (034) 441-0865


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I am a dreamer. I went into this marriage with so many dreams and aspirations for myself and my family.

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