Buying an automobile for your personal use and your family's transport needs is something that should never be left to chance. One's safety, especially when it concerns the family's well being is something that should not be compromised. So when buying an automobile the old mantra persists, "You don't buy it not unless you have test driven it."
Starting tomorrow, Thursday, April 20 up to Sunday, April 23, the country's top automobile manufacturers and importers shall gather together in one venue-the concert grounds of the SM Mall of Asia for the 2017 Auto Focus Multi Brand Summer Test Drive Festival or 'Summer Test Fest'.
The much-awaited biannual 'one stop shop' for car buyers and auto enthusiasts is considered as the most convenient way to compare automobile models that may be in one's list of choices. Considering the daily horrendous traffic that hounds the metro, it's the more practical alternative to going around to different car dealerships to see up close the different models that buyers are choosing from.
And how can one effectively have a "hands-on" driving and riding experience on a particular car model in stop and go or in more often than not, standstill traffic? An idea of a vehicle's riding comfort, maneuverability, engine power, stopping power are just some of the things one gets to learn somehow from a test drive-but not in the kind of traffic flow we have in the metro.
At the Summer Multi Brand Test Fest, a test drive course has been put in place right at the venue just for this purpose. However, some car companies also offer an option for a drive outside the course.
Perhaps owing to its very convenient and practical concept, the 4-day test drive weekend is the largest and the only automobile multi brand get together not only in the country but perhaps in the region and has been successfully staged for several years with car buyers always looking forward to the next one.
The latest sedan, SUV, pick up, van and other automobile models from Ford, Honda, Isuzu, Jeep, Mahindra, Mazda, Mitsubishi, SsangYong, Suzuki, Tata, Toyota and Volkswagen shall be available all throughout the event for the public to see up close and test drive.
Here are some of the automobile models that would be available.
There will also be valuable giveaways and special promos from most of the participating auto companies that can only be availed of during the event, which is as always-admission free.
To give those working some lead time against late afternoon after office traffic gridlocks, test drives within the venue shall be allowed up to9 o'clock in the evening, while starting operations at 11am for the early birds.
Remember, "Test drive it, before you buy it."
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.
At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.
From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.
In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).
In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.
After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.
The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.
In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.
In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.
Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.
Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)