car registration shoud be easy

kinamulatan ko na may saksakyan kami sa pampanga, a Toyota Tamaraw built in the 70s. and more or less, i’ve known how owning a car meant more responsibilities but at the same time, i’m not sweating it since i thought i knew most about car ownership.

i was wrong.

save for changing tyres, i’ve usually designated the maintenance of the car to the experts. i mean (i think) i know how to do a basic oil change and replacing parts like spark plugs, but because the car is brand new, car troubles are minimal. and after 3 years of hassle-free driving, i encounter the first major hurdle in dealing with the government regarding the car: registration.

i’ve seen my dad do it every year and thought to myself it was going to be a piece of cake. what i didn’t realize is that we’re in a different situation: the car was bought brand new. in Manila.

a few weeks ago, based on the car’s plate number (i know this part! woohoo!), we were due for registration after 3 years. i brought the car to Pampanga since 1.) we always go to Pampanga often anyway, 2.) we get to visit at the same time, 3.) shorter queues! (imagine those cars you see on EDSA and C5 causing traffic trying to register on the same month on the same week. 1/4 of the 1/10 of over 1.74 million cars. no thank you.)

after having it inspected at LTO, we were told to get an emission test as required. and here is where the trouble started.

apparently, the car’s plate hasn’t been entered into the LTO database yet. this puzzled me since we’ve had the car’s plates since 2014! i asked the LTO if they could do it there. the lady said because its original registration is from NCR, it should be entered in a NCR LTO office.

so instead of saving time, i just wasted it. i still had to drive back home.

my father theorized that when they released the plates and stickers, the dealer didn’t update the car’s registration to reflect the new plates. and that was such a disappointing thought. Toyota Bicutan has served us well ever since but this is quite a hassle.

i know car registration should be easy. i mean i’ve seen it done before. but different circumstances have different processes. the only thing i could think of positively about was that this was a lesson learned. and i can now say, “now i know!”

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need to get solar fast!

it’s been going on for some time now in my hometown: “brownouts” as we call them here in the Philippines. within the past week, there have been 2 almost whole-day incidents of having no electricity. in the day, perhaps, it’s more tolerable — you can go to the mall or go outside in the yard to feel the breeze blow in. electronic gadgets actually get to rest because of no wifi and no watching TV. but at night, when everyone needs to stay indoors and try to sleep, that’s when it gets really annoying.

i’ve actually planned for this and tried to build the solar kit by buying from lazada. it was for the rainy season when i know (so well) that brownouts happen. and during storms. unfortunately, the solar panel didn’t arrive — the supplier could not apparently fulfill my order because of they didn’t have stocks of the panel. i now had a solar charge controller without a solar panel. (ummm… still there? hehe. i know it’s kinda nerdy but it’s just really frustrating). it’s like having a car without wheels and fuel in the tank.

i asked my sister what they did during the night and she said she checked in at a motel with her family. they had a DFA passport renewal appointment so she thought they really needed sleep because they had to be there early. i didn’t get to ask how my parents did but knowing my dad, i’m sure they were fine. but wouldn’t it be a convenience to not be inconvenienced by power outages?

a facebook friend had this post about living off-grid was actually living “off-greed” i.e. not power-hungry and not wasteful of resources. i liked that idea a lot.

so now, i’m trying to scramble to put the solar kit together. now currently debating a cheap but short-term solution that’s immediately available vs. expensive but long-term solution that needs to take a while to save for. 😦

*sigh*