After finishing the 5 days of travel we were given a day to polish all of our entries, then comes the voting (waiting period). I did not campaign for myself anymore, I felt that I will just leave it up to the people on wether or not they think I deserve to win. Also I was going through some financial problems that needed my attention more than the competition. So in a way I just completely ignored it.
After a couple of weeks I was second to the last of the 10 finalists in terms of votes. The first one was around 2000+ votes while the second one was around 1,700 at the back of mind I thought “Man people must really like what they did”. Then I got an e-mail from the organizers inviting me for an evening of drinks, food and the awarding of the winner.
Due to traffic I got to the place quite late. Most of the finalists were already there having fun. After a couple of drinks and some beer, the big boss of Magnifico Jeans told us it’s time to announce the winner. There were a lot of TV screens and one of those was showing an MMA fight, being an avid follower I was fixated at that screen. So I was not paying attention to what she was saying, then she said a quote from the winner. I was so engrossed in watching the MMA fight on the screen, that I was not able to hear it properly. It was until she said my name that I realised that I was the winner. I had to put down my beer and slap my face to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
Then they gave me the keys and the gift cheques that they promised and we proceeded down to the motorcycle to have a photo. I had a photo with all of the finalists, then after it a photo with the organisers. Since I had the key, I started the engine and began revving it inside the bar, people started wondering what was happening. Then I was asked to take a video of myself with the bike, after that an interview, it all happened very fast. Then they asked me if I want to take it home, I said no. By this time I was already on my fourth beer and I did not bring any helmet or jacket with me, I just told them that I will just drop by their office to get it tomorrow.
At around 12:30 I bid them farewell, going home I asked myself if this is a dream. Apparently it wasn’t, come morning I got the details where to pick up the bike. Excited, I got a cab and went directly to their office. After signing some papers I was allowed to take it home, I felt like a total noob the first time I rode it. It’s been more than a year since I used something above my 125. I noticed early on that it was really torque-y and the power is very abrupt. But it was extremely light and agile for something on the 400cc range.
There were some frequently asked questions after winning the KTM Duke 390. Which I try to answer as honestly as I possibly can.
Did you join the Wrangler True Wanderer to get the KTM Duke 390?
No, the KTM Duke 390 is not really a bike that I dream of, or my bike of choice for what I do.
Why did you join the competition then?
I joined the competition because I wanted to know what it feels like writing and documenting a travel for someone else. The only real audience that I aimed to please with my project was myself, so this competition was sort of a challenge for me.
Where will you take the KTM Duke 390?
To be honest the KTM Duke 390 is not the bike for what I do. It is a street bike and it’s quite expensive, so it wont probably travel far just the occasional rides in Marilaque but nothing farther than that. I do have to go back to the Dumagat’s as I have to keep my promise to them, I might use the KTM but to get to them I might just have to park it somewhere and hike the rest of the way.
What will happen after Winning Wrangler True Wanderer?
I have a couple of projects lined up and I also want to tell the detailed story of my “Travel by Heart” Philippine tour. Those things will keep me busy for a while. No long distance travel in the near future as I want to focus on the creating the content and sharing it. Feel free to stick around to know more about them.
Thanks and keep on chasing the horizon.