Tour de Cebu back with more vintage cars on the road 2
The 1972 MG B car with owner Willie Torres behind the wheels. From the Tour de Cebu official site.

Tour de Cebu back on the road this September, with more vintage cars joining the spectacle

The rally has been attracting international attention before the pandemic, and its success should prove the PH can host major car events
Clint Holton Potestas | Sep 20 2022

After a three-year hiatus, the vintage sports car rally Tour de Cebu (TDC) will be back on the road by end of September. Despite warnings it could be the most grueling tour since its birth in 2014, the event has already gathered over 40 vintage car enthusiasts all over the country. Pepon Marave, TDC technical director and former Asian Formula 3 champ says it’s his job “to mix up the route and make it exciting for the driver—no more ‘spoon-feeding.’” 

TDC 2022 will begin with a mini leg across the newly opened Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway before moving on to Bohol on September 29. The event culminates on Oct. 3 with the announcement of winners. 

The 1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto of Raju and Oscar Medalla. From the Tour de Cebu official site.
The 1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto of Raju and Oscar Medalla. From the Tour de Cebu official site.

Unlike in previous tours, riders this time are expected to drive an average of 300 kilometers a day. Each navigator—the timekeeper of the journey who sits beside every driver—is expected to report accurate time and speed.

Now on its 7th year, TDC is organized by the Performance and Classics Enthusiasts (PACE) of Cebu alongside the Manila Sports Car Club. The tourism event is open to sports cars manufactured before 1972 and each car must cover a total distance of 1,000 kilometers in five days. It is considered a regular rally, requiring the teams to arrive at checkpoints at a determined schedule. Penalties are imposed to those who would arrive later or earlier than the time specified.

Jay Aldeguer, founding member of PACE, might be missing his navigator this year. “My kids take turns in being my navigator every year,” says Aldeguer, CEO of Islands Souvenirs. “But my daughter Andrea is joining on her own now, and she will drive my father’s vintage Benz, which we just recently restored.” 

Jay Aldeguer with son Anton
Jay Aldeguer with son Anton driving the 1959 356A Porsche at the Tubigon Port in Bohol. Photo courtesy of Jay Aldeguer

Jay says this is an exciting development in the family’s involvement in the rally. “Andrea who was not interested in my vintage cars was ‘coerced’ to join me before. In the end, she fell in love with the whole experience. She enjoyed it so much; now she wants to drive her own car.”  

In 2018, Jay and his son Anton drove a 1959 356A Porsche and bagged the Roberto Aboitiz Class top award which is given to the rarest, most prepared, and most valuable sports cars dated 1966 and older.

“It has been more than three years since the last TDC so everyone’s excited,” says Jay. “It was hard for us in Cebu to drive up to the mountains as we normally did in the past since it was congested especially during the pandemic when people started to camp in the mountains. This year’s TDC should be a treat for both the drivers and the vintage cars.”

Andrea Aldeguer
Andrea Aldeguer by the 1968 911S Soft Window Targa Porsche. She will be one of the first women drivers of TDC 2022 after years of being her father’s navigator. Photo courtesy of Jay Aldeguer

How different will the ride be this year? Jay has this to say: “For sports car purists, there’s no fun in driving an automatic car. That’s the lure of the vintage cars—to get that visceral experience where there is no power steering, no power assisted brakes. Sometimes, you wrestle with the shifting; all makes for a fun and engaging experience. But because of the long hiatus, many of our cars were not driven regularly, so we are undergoing a more thorough inspection and restoration to ensure a well-conditioned vehicle for TDC.”

Another first this year is the all-women team from Manila. “We’re excited about it. I don’t think there’s any difference except that they could be a threat,” says Jay. “Women are more diligent and precise with computation and speed. After all, Tour de Cebu is a regularity rally where time and precision are important, not speed. Also, Tour de Cebu feels like a big family, so everyone is welcome to join. The fact that there are so many entries this year is a testament that—maybe because of the pandemic—people now are wanting to live out their dreams.”

Kenneth Cobonpue with son Andre
Kenneth Cobonpue with son Andre on a 1961 Jaguar XKE. From the Tour de Cebu official page.

For next year, PACE is planning on exploring new routes and destinations. The members will also be extending invitations to international sports car owners. TDC has had participants from Spain and Singapore in previous years, but they found it expensive and tedious to ship their cars to the Philippines.

“We need to work with different government agencies to have a provision for events such as Tour de Cebu, especially that this event has garnered a lot of international interest, considering it is the only tropical rally in the region,” Aldeguer shares. PACE chair Michael Lhuillier adds that the objective of the event is to showcase the viability of our country to host international sporting events.