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Huey and Me

The first time I ever laid my eyes on him in that huge showroom, I knew he was the one for me. Huey and I go a long way back. In fact, we’re celebrating our 8th anniversary this July. It was indeed love at first sight for me–or more accurately– love at first drive.

Huey is my first car—a Suzuki Vitara that was given to me as a gift in 1997. Like all the great loves of our lives, I had to wait a long time for him. I’d long wanted to have a car since college, but I didn’t pester my parents about it. The moment I got my first job though, they decided it was time that I got one.

Sometimes we don’t know what is best for us, so we settle for what we think is good enough. But God has a way of surprising us with gifts that are always beyond what we can hope for ourselves. I call Huey my GPC–not just God’s perfect choice, but God’s perfect car. He was all I ever dreamed of in an SUV –and more!

Photo: Huey in Ortigas Traffic with Lezyl & Me (2-23-05)

Before the trip to the showroom, I told my mom that I wanted a 2-door Feroza, but she insisted on a 4-door Vitara, which she heard was sturdier. I told her a wanted a manual, but she insisted on an automatic, saying it would be more convenient for long driving, since we live in the boondocks. I wanted a black one, but she insisted on a lighter color. We settled on the color green. And what do you know? The only one available at the showroom was a dark green Vitara, exactly what I’d been dreaming about. And so I felt like I’d collided with my destiny that July afternoon. He was the perfect gift for my 22nd birthday.

Since his plate read UUE, I christened him Huey. Huey is one handsome car. There were nights I’d sneak into our garage just to admire his sleek jade green finish. (Who ever said only guys know how to appreciate their cars?) The dark tint of his power windows added to his rugged appeal. They not only enhanced his looks, they also kept me safe when I would drive home late from work. Another thing I most appreciate about this car–aside from it being a 4-wheel drive, saving me time and again from sticky driving situations—-is the alarm system which sounds off every time I leave the lights on after going down the car. Can you imagine running out of batteries in the middle of nowhere just because you left the lights running? God must know how absent-minded I can get so He made sure I get a car with this feature.

Photo: Huey in Tagaytay with Lala, Cookie, Chris & Me (1-7-05)

Yes, Huey is perfect, except for one thing—the spare tire out back didn’t have a cover. The car dealer didn’t give us anything, not even a cheap plastic cover. For months, I was very affected by this. I even thought of buying an aluminum tire container, but decided against it since it would set me back 15 grand. A few months later, after a photo shoot in Malacañang, I discovered why Huey was born with a naked spare tire.

“Cruunncchh. . .” said the White Lancer at the rear as I was backing my car. Oh no! I had just bumped into a new car –and at the Malacañang Palace at that. Panicking, I jumped out to view the damage. Surprise! Surprise! The white Lancer didn’t even suffer a scratch. All because of–you guess it—the naked spare tire which cushioned the blow!

As I was giving Huey a bath under the afternoon sun the other day, I got reminded of all the wonderful memories we’ve had over the years. He went with me to all my interviews as a writer for Lifeline Magazine. Even to that wacky photo shoot at the Mental Hospital. He carried the camera and lights for my first TV shoot for the 700 Club, where we braved a crowded Tondo market for a story on Indians. He waited for me until 3 AM when I interviewed a tired and injured yet accommodating Gary V. after his 16th anniversary concert. And Huey was also right behind me when we staged a car accident in a street in Paco until 4 in the morning for my last feature story for television.

Photo: Huey after his bath (3-14-05)

Huey is my patient companion when I get lost in the side streets of Metro Manila, sometimes picking up strange but friendly characters to help me find directions. He knows that although I would sometimes charm my way out of a ticket, I would never-ever bribe an MMDA officer.

Most of all, Huey is a silent witness to my long talks with God as I head off to yet another destination. He is privy to all our secret conversations. My car is the one place I feel safe to laugh, cry, sing and shout to God-—sometimes all at the same time. And it is also the one place where I most often hear God speak–and even sing to me. Sometimes I think the reason why I live so far away from everything is so that I could have those intimate talks with God. And Huey helps create the atmosphere for us.

As I was driving my father to work this afternoon, he asked if I’d be willing to sell Huey and get a new car. I wasn’t even for a second tempted to buy a new car. No way! How can you replace someone with whom you’ve had so much history?

I know one day I would have to retire Huey from our road trips, but I am praying that before that happens God will allow me to take one final trip with him—a trip that I’ve been dreaming about for 19 years now. One day I know it’ll come true. For now, I’ll make sure he is in tip-top condition for that special journey that we’ll take together.

–Written March 17, 2005


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  1. hi jenny,

    tagal na rin pala ni huey…pero parang bago pa rin sya…? btw, ur last paragraph is hanging a…galing heheheh☼

    Godbless jennyÜ

  2. Hey, Jeff! Youthful-looking lang si Huey, like the owner! Hehehe! The last paragraph is too personal to put in this blog. You’ll know someday. . . . ;D

  3. hi jen,

    you made me decide to buy a vitara 97…. tnx…

  4. No problem! 😉

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