While the C! Team wrapped up their monumental 7-model pick-up truck comparison group test for the March 2019 print issue cover story using the prescribed top-range models in our market, Ford Philippines sent the single-turbo version of the heavily updated Ranger Wildtrak to Isabel and I for a curious recommended excursion to the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm at the end of California Street, Pandi-Angat Road, Angat, Bulacan.
Having first experienced exploring the new potent 2.0-liter powerplant and 10-speed automatic gearbox on the fantastic Ford Ranger Raptor last year in Darwin, Australia, I was very curious how they would perform when they are applied to the standard pick-up truck platform. Once all the old Duratorq TDCi 2.2-liter and 3.2-liter turbodiesel engines are exhausted in the region, this new versatile powerplant will most probably take over their duties with variable tuning for both the Ranger series and Everest series beyond their application at the moment to only the Wildtrak and Raptor models. It is a very clever and efficient strategy that yields a wide variety of benefits symbiotically to both the manufacturer and the consumer. Ultimately, the new engine and drivetrain are not just more powerful and more efficient, but they are also lighter. These improvements by themselves are already quite a profound improvement from the model that they replace but thankfully, Ford knew they had to do more for their consumers. Together with these mechanical upgrades are exponentially better standard HID headlights with LED front fog lamps, multiple (however subtle) aesthetic and equipment improvements, a quieter and better put together cabin and more.
As soon as I grabbed the door handle of the new Ford Ranger and entered the cabin, a big grin came over my face. Much of my former criticisms of its predecessor have been addressed. The updated cabin is a lot nicer and the fit-finish has improved further. NVH has also improved. I am so happy that the ignition is now a push-button unit like the competition as well. Though our test unit was a 4×2, I would like to note that in the 4×4 versions of the Ranger, which includes the extremely desirable Raptor, the 4×4 systems use a combination of electronically adjustable drive modes controlled by the steering wheel toggle switches and guided by the central driver information screen in the instrument panel together with the lingering small rotary “Shift-On-The-Fly” selector for 2WD, 4H and 4L. I point this out because Ford does use a simpler and more elegant solution in their all-new versions of the Ranger for the North American market, similar to the system used in the Explorer, which I prefer and what I hope will eventually find their way into our regional market along with the other nice equipment nuances like the full rear LED light assemblies. The North American engines produce more horsepower at 270 bhp as they use the 2.3-liter gasoline EcoBoost engines used in the Mustang, Explorer, Focus, Edge, and the Lincoln MKC but the torque, which is more important for our market, matches our single-turbo 2.0-liter diesel at 310 lb-ft.
You can get the same EcoBlue 211 bhp / 369 lb-ft Ranger Raptor twin-turbo engine in the top-spec Wildtrak 4×4 variant along with a more comprehensive suite of driver aides for P240,000.00 more and require the extra pulling power as well as the extra front wheel traction of the 4×4 drivetrain. Our Cool White Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 test unit may be powered by a detuned single turbo version of that great new 2.0-liter turbodiesel. With a healthy 178 bhp / 310 lb-ft on tap channeled through the 10-speed gearbox with 4-more gear ratios to work with, it is not only quicker and more efficient than the old 2.2-liter, it even bests the old 3.2-liter Wildtrak by two-tenths of a second from 0-100 km/h while being more agile and more fuel efficient! And even if it uses a single turbo, the new powerplant still has a more characterful engine sound compared to both the old Duratorq engines. Of course, with the sequential twin-turbos the sound is even better without being obnoxious.
The journey to the 43-hectare Enchanted Farm from the Muntinlupa area in the South took an hour more than the expected 2.3-hour travel time. Thankfully, the Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 is comfortable and fairly insulated from the outside world. Getting there is fairly straightforward with the expected Philippine driving conditions. Once you do get there though you are reminded once again how great and how beautiful our country can be. We took a very pleasant 1.5-hour tour of the grounds which also shows all the functioning enterprises and farming that helps the community followed by an organic farm-to-table lunch before heading back to the city.
The Enchanted Farm is yet another outstanding project of Gawad Kalinga. We encourage our readers to visit and participate in as many of the Gawad Kalinga operations as possible. You will not only help others but you will also help yourselves. Often in our own personal pursuits and goals, we might overlook the people and the communities around us, but in helping others we actually help ourselves by building a stronger and more self-sufficient nation that is good for everyone. We give the Gawad Kalinga group the highest praise for their selfless and compassionate pursuit to help our countrymen through empowerment, enlightenment, education, and experience.
“Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) was formally established in 2003, but the work began as early as 1994 in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City: the biggest squatter’s relocation site in Metro Manila. Since then it has expanded its work to over 2,000 organized communities and has been adopted in other developing nations like Cambodia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is also in the forefront of peace-building work in conflict areas in Mindanao and reconstruction work in post-disaster communities.”
In their own words, Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) is a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024 by first restoring the dignity of the poor. The road to ending poverty for 5 million families is guided by a Development Roadmap composed of three stages:
2003 to 2010: Social Justice
We begin to challenge and inspire everyone to go beyond charity and become their brother’s keeper in order to heal the wounds of injustice in our country. This has opened the door to major streams of generosity through donations of land and resources to build homes for the homeless, a dream realized through the heroic response of volunteers from all sectors of society.
2011 to 2017: Social Artistry
We move forward to the designer phase we call “Social Artistry” where we invite greater expertise, science and technology to grow our holistic model for development. Through stronger collaboration with credible and distinguished institutions and individuals and by engaging them to use our GK communities as convergence points and social laboratories, we hope to pursue major innovations that will concretely and permanently improve the quality of life for the poorest of the poor, allowing them to attain their fullest potentials.
2018 to 2024: Social Progress
We envision a new standard of living to take a permanent foothold in the life of a nation. This will only be achieved by working on scale and sustainability of what have been established earlier – the spirit, the science and the structure. By this time, a new generation of empowered, productive citizens would have emerged, who lived through an exciting time of change – moving from poverty to prosperity, from shame to honor, from third-world to first-world and from second-class to first-class citizen of the world.
In 2013, we celebrated Gawad Kalinga’s first 10 years and took stock of the learnings along the way. This has also prepared us for the next phase of the work. What We Have Learned So Far:
- We learned that poverty is a behavioral problem with economic consequences.
At its very root is the loss of dignity of the human person which robs them of their capacity to dream and the opportunities to achieve those dreams. Through consistent presence and hand-holding, we are able to restore the poor’s confidence, provide their basic needs to be able to live dignified lives, and open the doors of opportunity to become productive citizens in society.
- We learned that poverty is man-made and hence can be un-made.
We have ENDED poverty in some communities and we have proven that the template works. Now we just need more partners to help us scale up and reach more. Because poverty is massive, our response cannot be small, and we need everyone to do their part. GK is one working model for private-public partnership, leveraging resources to expand reach and impact further.
- We learned that there are many generous people who are just looking for ways to help.
When we asked land donors to donate idle land for disaster victims, we also discovered a win-win solution for everyone. The poor finally have a piece of land to call their own after generations of landlessness, idle land is developed, new centers for productivity are built, and for the landowners, the value of the rest of their property increases.
- We learned that it is important to match passion and spirit with science and systems.
We encountered many challenges as the work grew rapidly, but we have taken stock of our learnings and instituted policies and processes to improve efficiency in program delivery and financial transparency. We thank our partners for their patience and understanding and we renew our commitment to become a world-class organization.
- We learned that the poor are not just beneficiaries – they are our partners!
A beautiful example we see throughout the country is our experience with disaster relief and reconstruction. Although we cannot prevent disasters from happening, we can relocate vulnerable families to safe havens. We are proud to report that in our 10 years, there have been no deaths so far in our communities due to natural calamities. This is because they are in safer areas and have an organized community that knows how to prepare for and respond to disasters. More than that, they become evacuation centers and hubs for relief distribution. They also help identify affected areas and join our teams as we conduct relief operations.
- We learned that lasting and sustainable peace is possible.
Gawad Kalinga enters some of the most troubled areas that have become havens for gang members and crime syndicates, but as regular volunteers come in to conduct community organizing and values formation, we see a sharp decline in crime, gang wars and petty thievery. In war-torn areas, GK communities are known to be zones of peace, and we have successfully transformed slums into peaceful and productive communities.
- We learned that caring and sharing is universal, and people are willing to give the best for the least.
Housing standards for the poor have improved since GK introduced its brightly colored and sturdy homes. Institutions are beginning to look at the poor families in their employ and find ways to provide dignified living, and government services and policies are improving, influenced and inspired by the GK way.
|Cylinder Head||dohc 16V|
|Fuel Injector||Direct Injection Intercooled Turbodiesel|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||178 bhp @ 3500 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||310 lb-ft @ 1750-2500 rpm|
|Top Speed||184 km/h (115 mph) Governed|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||10.1 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||25 mpg (10.9 l/100 kms.) City / 33 mpg (8.6 l/100 kms.) Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||PhP 1,455,000.00|
|What's Great||Massive upgrades from its predecessor, significantly more refined and more efficient|
|What's Not So||I’m nitpicking again but I wish that the rear light assembly was LED, that we get the B&O audio option, drum rear brakes, and there are still no rear passenger a/c vents.|
|C! Editors Rating||9/10|