Jul 05, 2017

Back to the grind

For the past several weeks I had a much-needed break and a "must have" reunion for us remaining senior siblings. A Scandinavian cruise brought my brother and fellow Star columnist, Rey, his wife Evelyn and daughter Ina, my wife Babes, her US-based sister Linda, my daughter Kristine (DJ Suzy to her friends and radio fans) and myself together with our retired computer programming expert and US-based brother Ed, his wife Raquel and daughters Michelle and Pamy and family. There is a certain stage in one's life when you value and take every opportunity to get together and bond with your love ones. This is especially true when you begin to liken yourself to a roll of toilet paper that's almost at its end, which somehow begins to roll a lot faster than when it was still thick and full.

As you may know, going on a cruise doesn't mean that you stay afloat in the ocean all the time. There are land excursions to give you a chance to see quite a few of the sights of the country you visit along the way. In these excursions during our trip I was able to see and observe a lot of things related to motoring, which I shall be mentioning in my future articles in this column. Suffice to say, we still have a long, long way to go to even go near to what the other countries have done. And judging by the way things are going presently-sadly not in this generation. Of course, I hope I would be proven wrong.

Hyundai and the country's mass transport

A week before I left for my European trip I was part of the motoring media group invited by Hyundai Philippines to Korea mainly to see the Hyundai Truck & Bus Mega Fair where Hyundai Motors displayed a full range of commercial vehicles, presented their roadmap for future commercial vehicles including advanced intelligent safety features and eco-friendly technology and unveiled the Elec City, Hyundai's first mass-produced electric bus before its official launch in 2018.

Judging by the on-cam interview I had with Ms. Fe Agudo, the lady president of Hyundai Philippines, the motor company's commercial vehicle line is hell-bent on making a dent if not aspiring to be the leader in our local trucks and buses industry. There was special interest in bringing in buses to help alleviate the metro's traffic problems by enhancing the mass transport system with Hyundai buses that could transport commuters to their destinations not only comfortably and reliably but most important of all safely and eco-friendly to boot.

The Elec City, Hyundai Motors' first mass produced electric bus caught the eye of most of the local motoring journalists as a most ideal offering for the rapidly-developing P2P or Point-to-Point bus lines.

It appears that HARI or Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. has the serious mindset to bring in various models of buses for mass transport and a slew of trucks for heavy-duty purposes to keep in pace with the country's economic development.

Ford EcoBoost wins another award

This revolutionary engine developed by Ford is like that battery that keeps on going - going on winning more awards.

In a recent release it was announced that Ford's 1.0 EcoBoost engine has been voted 2017 International Engine of the Year "Best Engine Under 1.0-litre" for the sixth (6th) year in a row -meaning the compact and powerful three-cylinder petrol engine remains undefeated in its category since its launch in 2012.

The Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is offered with 100 PS, 125 PS and 140 PS. Ford EcoBoost petrol engines in capacities up to 3.5-litres deliver power and fuel-efficiency to Ford vehicles around the world, from compact all-new Ford Fiesta to Transit vans, pick-up trucks, and Ford Performance models including the Focus RS and the Ford GT supercar.

Congratulations to Ford!

People's Choice voting for Models of the Year Update

As more votes are tallied from ONLINE (autofocus.com.ph) and ONSITE (Robinson's Malls), the ranking of the public's choices for this year's "Models of the Year" awards gets more interesting. Here's an update:

Mini Luxury Subcompact
1. Toyota Wigo 1. MINI Cooper
2. Honda Brio Amaze 2. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
3. Honda Brio 3. BMW 1-Series
Subcompact Luxury Compact
1. Hyundai Accent 1. Lexus IS350
2. Honda City 2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
3. Mitsubishi Mirage G4 3. BMW 3-Series
Compact Luxury Midsize Sedan
1. Honda Civic 1. Lexus ES350
2. Toyota Corolla Altis 2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
3. Mazda 3 3. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Midsize Sedan Luxury Large Sedan
1. Honda Accord 1. Lexus LS460
2. Toyota Camry 2. Porsche Panamera
3. Volkswagen Passat 3. BMW 7-Series
Sports Car Luxury Sports Car
1. Ford Mustang 1. Lexus RCF
2. Mazda MX-5 2. Audi R8
3. Subaru WRX 3. Dodge Challenger SRT
MPV Luxury MPV
1. Toyota Innova 1. Mercedes-Benz B-Class
2. Mitsubishi Adventure 2. BMW 2-Series Active Tourer
3. Honda Mobilio 3. Peugeot 5008
Subcompact SUV/Crossover Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover
1. Honda BR-V 1. Lexus NX200t
2. Ford Ecosport 2. BMW X1
3. Honda HR-V 3. Mercedes-Benz GLC
Compact SUV/Crossover Luxury Midsize SUV/Crossover
1. Honda CR-V 1. Lexus RX350
2. Hyundai Tucson 2. Lexus GX460
3. Kia Sportage 3. Mercedes-Benz GLE
Midsize SUV/Crossover Luxury Large SUV/Crossover
1. Toyota Fortuner 1. Lexus LX570
2. Isuzu MU-X 2. Toyota Land Cruiser 200
3. Mitsubishi Montero Sport 3. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Large SUV Luxury Van
1. Honda Pilot 1. Honda Odyssey
2. Ford Explorer 2. Toyota Alphard
3. Mitsubishi Pajero 3. Mercedes-Benz V-Class
1. Toyota Hiace
2. Nissan Urvan
3. Hyundai Grand Starex
1. Toyota Hilux
2. Ford Ranger
3. Tata Xenon

Some of you may have noticed some changes or shifts in the categories of some models. These changes were implemented after due consultation and deliberation with a carefully selected group of motoring journalists composed of Vernon Sarne of Business World, Iñigo Roces of Manila Bulletin, Vince Pornelos of Auto Industriya and C! Magazine and Ulysses Ang of Philippine Star and Carguide.ph forming AFPCA (Auto Focus People's Choice Awards) Media Classification Board.

ONSITE voting resumes next weekend, July 15 to 16 at the Robinson's Mall Metro East where free drinks would be given to everyone who votes and a chance to win other giveaways on lucky draws after voting.

Watch Motoring Today and Auto Focus ONLINE anytime

If you are a regular viewer of Motoring Today and Auto Focus, you don't have to miss watching them for any reason.

All full and unedited weekly editions of these electronic magazines that cater to motoring enthusiasts and car buffs are streamed on their respective websites: www.motoringtoday.ph / www.autofocus.com.ph and they include past episodes in their archives.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments and inquiries (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com


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)