Four trailblazers show us what it means to be street smart

Four trailblazers show us what it means to be street smart

Richard Juan, Janina Manipol, David Guison, and Melissa Gohing share their tips for surviving in the city.

By Fiel Estrella and Gaby Gloria
Photos by Geric Cruz

Living in Metro Manila means accepting the fact that you’ll be spending a lot of your time in transit. Whether it be along EDSA or other main thoroughways in the city, it’s a sad reality that Metro Manila has the third longest average traffic wait time in the world at 66 minutes.

Visual storyteller Janina Manipol, adventure junkie Richard Juan, fashion trendsetter David Guison, and volleyball star Melissa Gohing know the hustle all too well. With busy schedules that often require them to hop from event to event and shoot to shoot, they’ve mastered the art of multitasking to make the most of their time on the road.

Being street smart has a lot to do with common sense and the Filipino value of diskarte, especially since for them, time is of the essence. Aside from having the wits, they know the importance of having a road companion that is as flexible and adaptable as their lifestyles.

And they sure know how to pick a car that is street smart. The new Ford EcoSport ticks all the boxes of a street smart vehicle, powered by a 1.0L EcoBoost engine with auto start/stop technology that gives it a powerful yet fuel-efficient drive, SYNC3 which gives drivers access to their calls, texts, and location while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, rearview camera with rear parking assist for easier reverse parking, and over 20 storage compartments and bigger storage systems, among many other cool features. The new EcoSport also comes in stylish colors fit for every personality.

We talked to Janina, Richard, David, and Melissa about their craziest traffic stories, how they manage their on-the-go lifestyles, and what it means to be street smart.

Richard Juan

For Richard Juan, every day in Metro Manila can be considered an adventure. Having spent his childhood in Hong Kong, Richard experienced some culture shock when he moved to Manila for college.

The dissonance between the two cultures was hard for him at first. “I grew up in Hong Kong where people from Hong Kong don’t recognize me as someone from there, because I was born in the Philippines,” he says of his experience as a Chinese-native living in our country.

Meanwhile, “ […] here in the Philippines, people really believe in the whole blood thing. A lot of people don’t think I’m a Filipino.” — a factor that’s led him to brand himself as an ‘alien’. I’ve always thought of myself as an alien because I’m not from HK, I’m not from the Philippines — maybe I’m from outer space.

“I had to get through everything by being street smart, by being aware of my surroundings and adapting.”

Living in the Paranaque and Pasay areas is tough given the traffic in the area, and Richard recalls a really bad experience in standstill traffic on the way from one shoot to another. “I got off the car, started walking ’cause I really had to pee. I went to the computer shop and paid for 30 minutes of computer rental fees. I told my driver to tell me when he’s near na. So I was watching videos on YouTube and looking through Facebook for 30 minutes, and he wasn’t even there yet. Imagine, I wasn’t able to walk there and that was 30 minutes and wala pa rin siya.”

For Richard, the first step to adapting to the city was dealing with traffic. “From Hong Kong where things are comfortable, public transport is available — it’s a completely different scenario here in Manila,” he says of the adjustment. “I had to get through everything by being street smart and by being aware of my surroundings and adapting.”

To survive in Manila, he has three tips: 1) Get a car with high ground clearance (“because there are floods here all the time, which is why the new EcoSport would be perfect”), 2) Be a good driver. (“there are a lot of jaywalkers around, so always use signal lights”), and 3) Know all the small roads (“Waze because it tells you where the traffic is and you can avoid all that”).

Melissa Gohing

Creamline Cool Smashers libero Melissa Gohing, 26, was in her first year of college at De La Salle University (where she spent five years playing for the Lady Spikers) when she began to embrace her independence and learn to be more street smart. “I was from Bacolod, my family was in Bacolod,” she recalls. “I had to learn things without my parents around, and I was able to mature.”

Playing volleyball, she says, helps her adjust anywhere and to any situation — which is how she defines being street smart. “You can adapt to anything,” she says. “You can [go through] anything life [throws your way] and you learn things that aren’t by the book.”

Melissa takes pride in her athleticism and strong build, which she shares have helped her during times of distress on the road. “My friend’s car broke down so I helped her push the car,” she shares. She helped her friend change the tires, a task that also came in handy when her boyfriend’s car suffered a similar fate.

Playing volleyball, she says, helps her adjust anywhere and to any situation — which is how she defines being street smart. “You can adapt to anything,” she says. “You can [go through] anything life [throws your way] and you learn things that aren’t by the book.”

When she’s not training, Melissa has a lot of free time to explore and go around the city, seeing new places and collecting new experiences with her boyfriend. “Volleyball is a routine, so my way of going out of it is trying new things every day.” The new EcoSport’s EcoBoost engine is perfect for long trips, giving drivers like Melissa a more powerful and smoother drive minus the frequent visits to the gas station.

She’s particularly fond of Intramuros, where she says she can practice photography, which is one of her passions. Recently, she went to the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, which she calls a “one-day getaway from bustling life,” with resorts and museums overlooking the city.

The most crucial thing, however, is to bring your friends along. “Especially on a road trip,” says Melissa. “You wouldn’t realize the time. Like, ‘Oh we’re here!’”

Melissa passes the time on car rides with games. And since playing for Creamline means she gets tons of ice cream, she and her teammates are all too happy to share. “We have a cooler!” she laughs. “We drive around and we give them to random people.”

One tip she has for surviving traffic and long drives is to always have snacks and water on hand. “I’m always on the go,” she explains, “and it helps when you get hungry.” While a fan of navigation apps, she stresses it also helps to know the back roads since they’re not always reliable.

The most crucial thing, however, is to bring your friends along. “Especially on a road trip,” says Melissa. “You wouldn’t realize the time. Like, ‘Oh we’re here!’”

David Guison

“I have such a fast-paced lifestyle. There was even a time I had to do four outfit changes in one day,” says David Guison. The 27-year-old, who has been keeping a lifestyle blog since 2009 and has since expanded to visual content and videos, stresses the importance of having a car that’s spacious and fits your personality.

“It’s like having your own mini-closet in the car,” he says of the new EcoSport. “I love it when I accomplish a lot of things in one day, and (with this car) you get to do so much because you can just put your whole life in there.” The new EcoSport can handle load of up to 1,178 liters with a trunk that’s spacious enough to accommodate luggages for trips.

Asked how he’s become street smart, he muses, “I think as a content creator., you really need to learn how to adapt.” And while able to absorb so much information available at our fingertips in this day and age has its upsides, David shares that he still learns the most from firsthand experience. “Since I love to travel, I think that made me more aware of how it is to deal with different people and different cultures. Every time I go home I get to learn something, just from being in the city.”

“I make my time productive,” he says. It’s important, he concludes, to be patient (“You’ll get there eventually!”), take a deep breath, and just enjoy the ride.

David’s idea of a good day spent exploring the city includes cafe-hopping, driving around to see the Manila skyline, and capping it off with wine and dinner with friends. One thing he always finds he gravitates back to, though, are the ukay-ukay shops in Anonas, which he has been frequenting since his days in college. “I can spend a whole day in thrift shops,” he says. “I like challenging myself. You never know what you can find.”

For David, who describes himself as a “super patient driver,” being street-smart is all about your diskarte. “I think what’s nice about what I do is that it’s always different every single day,” he says. When he’s on the road, he likes downloading random playlists to discover new music, having mini-concerts, and brainstorming ideas for new videos and content.

“I make my time productive,” he says. It’s important, he concludes, to be patient (“You’ll get there eventually!”), take a deep breath, and just enjoy the ride.

Janina Manipol

Running your own production house is no easy feat, but Janina Manipol takes the duty head-on. Janina co-founded Maldavar Films with her boyfriend, so when she’s not out of the country travelling, she balances her time as her own boss shooting, directing, and editing videos for clients.   

Janina describes herself as a city girl, living right smack in Makati. But since her work also requires her to drive to places, she spends a lot of time in the car. Luckily, the new EcoSport allows her to access her calls and messages via the SYNC3 feature which allows her to run errands while on the road without taking her eyes off the wheel.

So instead of wasting time while on the road, she calls clients and family members (“I don’t live with my mom, so it’s when I catch up with her”) and ensures she spends quality time even while inside the car. Janina is also big on self-help, so she listens to the audiobooks of Jim Kwik along with random documentaries that she’s not able to watch at home.

This means that she’s always ready to go out and keep things going even when they’re on the verge of breaking down. She shares a story about one horror shoot where a cameraman didn’t show up. “The call time was really early and it was just me. I had to be Superman so I had to carry my own lights,” she shares about the experience. “Dapat dalawa kayo, kasi usually when I do my shoots, it’s always two cameras: one close-up and one wide. That time, I was doing it by myself, so I had one strapped on me and the other one I was holding with a stabilizer.”

“Not just buried in books but someone who isn’t afraid to see the world or make mistakes and fail.””

And this perfectly meshes with her concept of being street smart, which she considers as “someone who constantly takes calculated risks – not just buried in books but someone who isn’t afraid to see the world or make mistakes and fail.”

If you’re street smart like Richard, Janina, David or Melissa, then the perfect SUV for you is the new EcoSport. Visit www.ford.com.ph/suvs/ecosport or a Ford dealer nearest you to know more about the new EcoSport.

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#beauty #self #style

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