Tour de Cebu finally resumed its historic car rally in the Visayan islands on Sept. 29.

The car rally commenced after the car show that was held in NUSTAR Resort & Casino the day prior. The rest of the motoring event took place in Bohol wherein the 40 participants were accommodated by BE Grand Resort in Panglao.

Each participant and their respective companion were assigned rooms in the resort’s grand and luxurious villas wherein they stayed for the rest of the 1,000-kilometer car rally.

On the first day of the car rally, succeeding the participants’ arrival, cocktails and scrumptious treats were served at the beachfront of the resort.

The epic road rally has been a long-standing tradition of car enthusiasts all over the country as a form of celebration of a decade of friendship formed and shaped by the open road. It has been on the run for seven years and halted unfortunately during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the first-of-its-kind in the entirety of Southeast Asia, Tour de Cebu brings emphasis on the scenic spots of the Visayan region which now includes the new Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX). Before docking in Bohol, the participants had a convoy on the expressway.

This year, it has returned in clamorous fashion with brand new faces. Among the many antiquated yet sleek classic sport cars, two of its frontliners are owned by BE Grand Resort’s very own. Grand Benedicto, chief executive officer and president of BE Group, owns two of the elegant vintage sports cars that were a part of the Tour de Cebu 2022 lineup: a yellow Porsche 550 Spyder and a red Jaguar Kougar, both from the roaring ‘50s.

Benedicto shared that he, with the help of a trusted employee, has maintained two of the many other vintage cars he collected, for more than 10 years. It is evident in the cars’ pristine condition that it is well taken care of and maintained.

When asked if he liked the attention he got while riding his vintage cars, Benedicto answered honestly, “No, not really. I don’t like being seen driving it actually. Some people make such a ruckus about it. I’m more passionate about collecting these cars than flaunting them.”

True enough to Benedicto’s words, he graciously bowed out on participating in the rally. In his stead, two others drove the vintage cars.

The red Jaguar Kougar was driven by Filipino-British automotive journalist, James Deakin. He expressed the joy of being warmly welcomed by BE Grand Resort in Bohol in one of his Instagram posts. The motoring journalist has been an active participant of the car rally years prior.

Another one of BE Grand Resort’s own that participated in the rally, is Chef Jenzel Fontilla, the head chef and founder of The Monkey Bar. He drove the Porsche 550 Spyder. He expressed his interest in vintage sports cars, which stemmed from his childhood. He also shared that he raced before.

He said, “I offered Sir Grand to cater the three-day rally. I really just wanted to watch the rally as an avid fan of vintage cars. But Sir Grand, being Sir Grand, offered something better. He wanted me to drive the Porsche 550 Spyder. I was over the moon when I heard the news. His trust means a lot.”

Fontilla said that he was equal parts exhilarated and nervous when handling the Porsche 550 Spyder. “It’s exhilarating driving it, of course. However, after the drive, you could feel its aftermath. Driving an antiquated car needs a certain type of precision.”

Tour de Cebu culminated on Oct. 2. Now that everything is slowly returning to normal, the town is anticipating the next installation of the historic car rally as it further promotes tourism and the rich scenic spots of the Visayan islands.