Jul 26, 2017

The jeepney should be an icon—in our history

Coming from humble beginnings I have never been anti-poor. I commiserate with the plight of jeepney drivers, whose ranks may be temporarily reduced, although probably not considerably, by the implementation of the Jeepney Modernization project.

A temporary lessening of their numbers is indeed one side of the coin. But what's the other side?

If, and I say if, the planned modernization would really be implemented by the government as planned, together with the poised scrapping of the decades-old labor malpractice known as 'boundary system', not only would commuters face the prospect of newer, more reliable, safer, more comfortable and environment friendly public carriages, the drivers would themselves benefit from the same attributes plus the added bonus of a more dignified and more profitable employee status-a win, win situation for driver and commuters, except probably for the greedy operators.

There would always be some form of sacrifice in the name of progress or improvement. The problem is less and less are willing to do so for the common good. In this situation the most who would have to bear the initial burden would be the operators. But they number a lot fewer compared to the multitudes of commuters and drivers.

Pwede kaya? Para sa Bansa!

Audi Q2—the “untaggable” gets unveiled

Audi Philippines launched to the motoring media last week, the newest member of the Q family—the new Q2.

Tagged as the most compact crossover of the Ingolstadt -based premium automaker, the Q2's stated impressive credentials include a top speed of 197 km/hr with an acceleration of 10.1 seconds from 0-100 km/hr.

The vaunted sporty performance comes from an inline 1.0 -liter three-cylinder spark-ignition engine that reaches 116 hp and 200 Nm of torque. It is with gasoline direct injection, exhaust turbocharged with indirect intercooler, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft (DOHC).

"Audi is venturing into a new market segment with the new Audi Q2, bringing top technologies into the smallest member of the Q family. Whether it is used for an off-road adventure or for everyday driving in the city, the Q2 is the all-round vehicle, with the youthful and provocative design and high-tech equipment," remarked the young Audi Philippines headBenedicto Coyiuto during the luncheon launch last July 19 at its EDSA showroom.

During the launch, Audi Philippines cited that although the Q2 is the youngest model in the Audi range, it already boasts of a number of awards. Among these is the German Design Award -notching the honor in 'Excellent Production Design-Transportation'. It also captured the 'Best of the Best' award of the Automotive Brand Contest last year as well as the best for 'Compact Vehicle' in the Golden Steering Wheel awards, which is widely regarded as being among the most coveted in the world.

Like other models in the PGA Cars stable and in similar high-end auto establishments, the Q2 is projected not to stay long enough in their showroom with the current mad rush for Premium Luxury cars in anticipation of the projected increase in automobile prices by early next year.

Auto industry CSR projects shine again

The wheels have begun to grind again. The search for this year's outstanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects of the auto industry initiated by a group of motoring journalists (writers, reporters, editors, columnists, etc.) in the broadcast, print and online media collectively known as theSociety of Philippine Motoring Journalists ( SPMJ) has recently been started.

SPMJ continues its initiative to recognize the laudable yet previously unheralded efforts of the local auto industry to uplift the lives of people and communities, to help protect and conserve our natural resources, encourage further education and promote road safety through the 'Driven to Serve CSR Awards'.

In its maiden staging last year, the recognition awards were given in an elegant formal dinner attended by the auto industry's top executives and associates, invited members of the motoring media, business leaders and the distinguished members of the awards' Board of Judges at theCeremonial Hall of the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Resorts World Manila complex.

The awards were categorized into Community Development, Environment Protection and Conservation, Training and Education and Road Safety.

In the Community Development category, SPMJ gave the 'Platinum Driven to Serve Award' toToyota Motor Philippines for itsToyota - City of Santa Rosa - Gawad Kalinga Village. The Silver went to Ford Philippines and Nissan Philippines, Inc. Ford's CSR endeavor; "Operation Better World" provided clean running water, medical services and assistance to build houses inOrmoc and Tanauan.Nissan Philippines partnered withHabitat for Humanity to help more than 100 families rebuilt their homes in the areas hit by typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

In the Road Safety category,Ford Philippines took thePlatinum award with its 'Driving Skills for Life' (DSFL) program, which started in 2008. The Gold awardees wereVolkswagen Philippines, for itsChild Safety Initiative; andHonda Cars Philippines for itsI'M Blue Eco Safe Driving project.

In the Education and Training category,Toyota Motor Philippines was the recipient of thePlatinum award for its TMP School of Technology, which offers a two-year Toyota General Job Automotive Servicing Course and a two-year specialized automotive training program. The Gold award was presented to Isuzu Philippines Corporation for its Isuzu-Tesda Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban, Leyte . PGA Cars, distributor ofPorsche cars, was given theSilver award for its Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia, which opened in December 2008.

Toyota Motor Philippines was awarded the Gold citation in the Environment category with its Philippine Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation project. Silver awards were given toIsuzu Philippines Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation. IPC was recognized for its decade-long projects that brought awareness to various environments needing protection -lakes, forests, mangroves, public parks, and even the national highway. Mitsubishi was cited for its Batad Restoration Project, which not only brought volunteers to help restore the Batad rice terraces, but also fanned spirit of "Bayanihan".

As this year's search continues, I shall be updating you of its latest developments, especially on new CSR initiatives from the local auto industry players.

Cast your vote and take home giveaways

This coming Saturday and Sunday,July 29-30, shoppers who go to Robinson's Otis can go home with giveaways like t-shirts, wall clocks, coffee mugs, etc. when they cast their votes for their favorite automobile models in theAuto Focus Automobile of the Year-People's Choice Awards.

The 'on site' voting booth shall be conveniently located at the Level 2 near Handyman.

Online voters also have the chance to win valuable giveaways. Just log on to the voting website www.autofocus.com.ph and click on the voting button. Anyone can vote once daily and stand the chance to win through daily electronic draws.

Vote and let's hear what the public feels should be the year's preferred models in each vehicle category and the most popular, the 2017-2018'Automobile of the Year-People's Choice' forStandard and Premium Luxury models.

TV streaming ‘on demand’

The best of both worlds for all motoring and car enthusiasts with any of these two websites:www.motoringtoday.ph or www.autofocus.com.ph

You can watch the 'streaming' of all the weekly past and present episodes of the TV shows Motoring Today and Auto Focus in their entirety. Or if you don't have that much time you can just feast on all the latest news items about traffic management and the auto industry or the latest car reviews and head-to-head comparisons of the latest models and other motoring or auto features selectively.

All those news and features-only a click away.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & 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)