If there are several things the Isuzu brand is famously known for, it's their (well deserved) reputation for durability, robustness, efficiency, and ease of use. With these kinds of traits, it's no wonder that Isuzu owners tend to hold on to their vehicles for hundreds and thousands of kilometers. Some even pass it on to the next generation as a way of keeping it in the family.
Then there are those that swear by the Isuzu name. So much so that they band together to form a gathering, showing their support, passion, and dedication to these machines. One such group that shows it with such enthusiasm is the mu-X Owners of the Philippines (mu-X OP). They even show that pride on the windshields of the mu-Xs.
Founded on April 21, 2016, mu-X OP consists of a group of individuals that share their love and passion for the seven-seater SUV. From simple get-togethers to weekend meet-ups, and exciting out-of-town-drives, mu-X OP wants to have fun, as well as keep the family-centered and neighborly spirit of the club through their many activities.
Recently, the club decided to hold one of their longest drives yet. With help from Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), mu-X OP decided that instead of a typical road trip where you just go from point A to point B then head back home, why not go for a 3-day, 1300 km caravan drive up north? For them, there's no better way to spend quality time with other club members (as well as with their families) than an epic road trip through Central and Northern Luzon.
More than 100 mu-X OP members, along with their families, joined the 3-day northern Luzon loop drive, all while riding their personal mu-X SUVs. Members from Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, La Union, Ilocos, Kalinga, Apayao, and even Benguet joined the caravan and visited some of the most picturesque destinations in northern Luzon.
On the first day of the drive, mu-X OP members drove to the majestic Poro Point in San Juan, La Union, the cobblestone streets of Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and the beautiful Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte. On the second day, they went to the breathtaking Burgos and Bangui wind farms in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, as well as the rolling hills in Kalinga and Apayao provinces. Finally, on the last day, members of mu-X OP were able to marvel at Magat Dam in Isabela before making the journey back home. With that, mu-X OP showed that no matter the distance, the Isuzu mu-X can deliver a fun-filled and fuel-efficient drive wherever it goes.
One of the club's key members, Dennis Magbitang, joined the three-day caravan in his own mu-X which he first bought way back in 2014. He and his personal steed have already covered plenty of kilometers but he is still satisfied with its performance after so many years.
“I got the unit back in November 2014, which makes it a part of one of the first batches that arrived in the Philippines. Up until now, I'm still satisfied with its performance and I have yet to experience any major issues with my mu-X. It may already be nearing five-years-old but there is no change in its performance whatsoever. I've traveled as far as Pagudpud before and made the trip back home to Makati in one day without a hitch,” said Magbitang.
But why the mu-X? Why not something else? I asked this question not only to Mr. Magbitang but to the other members as well. And what did they have to say about the SUV? Almost all described the mu-X as being dependable, reliable, powerful, and comfortable.
From climbing the steep roads in Cagayan, Kalinga, and Apayao, to navigating the windy roads of Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija, the mu-X remained cool, calm, and collected, just like its drivers and passengers. In addition, not a single mu-X broke down throughout the entire journey. And if something did go wrong, all of the members were ready to help at a moment's notice. Now that's camaraderie!
“The perfect blend of fuel efficiency and power of Isuzu mu-X provides our club members a worry-free drive and lets them focus more on enjoying the trip,” said Jomar Lianko, mu-X OP Board of Trustee.
Also, since its ride was comfortable, the drivers, as well as the passengers (including myself) were able to thoroughly enjoy and relax while inside the mu-X despite the long hours on the road. Did I mention that the mu-X's air-conditioning is by far one of the best? I actually regretted not bringing a jacket especially when we had to take 3 to 5-hour drives non-stop to get to our next destinations.
Besides sharing everything they love about the mu-X, members of the club also love dressing up their SUVs. From installing lift kits to bigger wheels and tires to putting skid plates and adding bullbars and giving them new paint jobs, there's nothing too much or too little they could do to enhance each of their mu-Xs. And should members want to buy or sell parts with one another, the club also has a dedicated Facebook page that caters to buying and selling of mu-X components.
mu-X OP hopes that they will get to continue holding these types of drives as it's their way of enjoying each other's company, as well as reaching out to other regions that have the same level of enthusiasm for the seven-seater family SUV.
“Like all our other trips in the past, this latest caravan has been very successful. Our Metro Manila members were joined along the way by other club members based in central and northern Luzon. And as you can see, every member of the family enjoyed the tour, despite the length of the trip and the fact that we were constantly on the road,” said Lianko.
From the very first 2014 model year batch, all the way to the latest 2018 facelift, the mu-X largely stuck to its roots. Sure it received some changes here and there like more powerful engines, better technology, and more standard equipment. But underneath all that, the mu-X remains a robust SUV that can carry the family as well as precious cargo. Perhaps that's one of the other reasons as to why members of mu-X OP adore it so much.
With already over 3,000 members nationwide, mu-X OP envisions a large chunk of mu-X owners in the Philippines to join them. By showing that they're active in various activities, tours, and community outreach programs, it's their way of enticing new members to join their growing numbers.
Whether you have one of the earlier models, a 4x2 or 4x4, stock or heavily customized mu-X, they all want to share the passion they have for the mu-X with as many people as possible.
Interested in joining mu-X OP? You can find them through their Facebook page (mu-X Owners Philippines). If you join, you too can be part of a family that has road trips on their minds.