Nov 15, 2017

People's & Media's Choice Award winners

A total of 71 awards were given out lastThursday, November 9 at the Grand Ballroom of Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City in the combined Auto Focus People's & Media's Choice Awards for 2017.

The Toyota Fortuner garnered it 3rd Automobile of the Year Award-People's Choice (Standard), so far the only duplication of the 3-peat distinction, which was first achieved last year by stable mate Vios earning them highly distinctive slots in the awards' elite Hall of Fame.

On the other hand, the Lexus RX350 run away with the Automobile of the Year title for the Premium/Luxury category registering back-to-back wins but in a more challenging fashion this year with 3 other models hot on its heels all throughout the polling period that ended midnight of October 31.

A total of 12 models were also given recognition as the year's 'most preferred models' in theStandard category while 10Premium/Luxury models earned their similar 'Models of the Year' (MOY) awards.

Honda brought home the most number of MOY awards with 6 in the Standard category: City (Subcompact), Civic (Compact Sedan),Accord (Midsize Sedan),BR-V (Subcompact SUV/Crossover),CR-V (Compact SUV/Crossover), and Pilot (Large SUV/Crossover).

Toyota snatched 2 wins: Wigo (Mini) andHilux (Pickup), which was matched by Mitsubishi: Adventure (MPV) and Montero Sport (Midsize SUV/Crossover). One award each went to the Subaru WRX (Sports Car) and the Nissan Urvan (Van).

For the Premium/Luxury MOY awards, the RX350 (Midsize SUV/Crossover) led 6 other Lexus models into the winners' circle: IS360 (Compact Sedan),ES350 (Midsize Sedan),LS460 (Large Sedan),RCF (Sports Car),NX200t (Compact SUV/Crossover), and the LX570 (Large SUV/Crossover). One title each was awarded to the BMW 1-Series (Sub-compact),Mercedes Benz B-Class (MPV) and the Honda Odyssey (Van).

The other half of the evening's award-giving ceremonies was set aside for the exacting choices of the motoring media. As this started, excitement mounted among guests from the local auto industry composed of top executives and their associates lead byMs. Maricar Parco, president of Asian Carmakers ( BMW), Noriyuki Takakura , president of Honda Cars Philippines,Frankie Ang, COO of Auto Nation Group (Mercedes-Benz), Glen Dasig, president of Euro Brands Distributor (Peugeot), Atty. Albert Arcilla, president of Car Covenant Company (Chevrolet),Raymond Rodriguez, president ofLexus-Manila,Shojiro Sakoda, EVP (Isuzu Philippines),Dave Macasadia, managing director ofSsangyong Philippines,Froy Dytianquin, first VP (Mitsubishi Philippines),Art Balmadrid, vice president of Taj Auto Group ( Tata) Franz Decloedt, marketing director (Volkswagen Philippines), Christopher Yu, senior marketing mgr. (Volvo Philippines),Dave Asuncion, GM sales & marketing (Mazda Philippines) and marketing executives,Dino Obias and Dax Avenido (Nissan Philippines ).

Due recognition was conferred upon winners of the "2017-2018 Auto Focus Media's Choice Awards" (AFMCA), an equally important component of STV's Automobile Industry Merit Program. The AFMCA's aim is to further recognize the automobile industry's continuing efforts to provide car owners and motorists with the best on-board features, styling, performance and overall value. A select group of recognized motoring media professionals and practitioners comprised the AFMCA Voters' Panel for a special poll that was held at the STV office on Wednesday, October 18 and witnessed by key automobile representatives. The AFMCA awards maintain strict majority criteria. A 'Media's Choice Award' may only be earned via a majority percentage of the total votes cast in a model's specific performance category. There were only 47 winners out of the 88 award categories.

Here are the winners:

Best Design - Standard: 7 Awardees (MPV)

Chevrolet Spark (Mini); Mazda 2 (Subcompact Sedan);Honda Civic (Compact Sedan);Mazda MX-5 (Sports Car);SsangYong Tivoli (Subcompact SUV/Crossover);Ford Explorer (Large SUV/Crossover); Toyota Innova (MPV)

Best Design - Premium/Luxury : 5 Awardees

Lexus IS350 (Compact Sedan); BMW 5-Series (Midsize Sedan);Lexus RX350 (Midsize SUV);Mercedes Benz B-Class (MPV); Toyota Alphard (Van)

Best Engine Performance - Standard : 8 Awardees

Honda Brio (Mini); Mazda 2 (Subcompact Sedan);Honda Civic (Compact Sedan);Ford Mustang (Sports Car);Subaru XV (Subcompact SUV/Crossover);Mitsubishi Montero Sport (Midsize SUV/Crossover);Toyota Innova (MPV); Hyundai Grand Starex (Van)

Best Engine Performance - Premium/Luxury : 7 Awardees

MINI Cooper (Subcompact Sedan); BMW 5-Series (Midsize Sedan);Porsche Panamera (Large Sedan);Porsche Macan (Compact SUV/Crossover);Porsche Cayenne (midsize SUV/Crossover);BMW 2-Series Active Tourer (MPV); Toyota Alphard (Van)

Best Safety Features - Standard : 4 Awardees

Mitsubishi Montero Sport (Midsize SUV); Ford Explorer (Large SUV/Crossover); Ford Ranger (Pick-up); Volkswagen Touran (MPV)

Best Safety Features - Premium/Luxury : 6 Awardees

Mercedes Benz A-Class (Sub-compact Sedan); Volvo S90 (Large Sedan);Volvo V60 Cross Country (Midsize SUV/Crossover);Volvo XC-90 (Large SUV/Crossover);Mercedes Benz B-Class (MPV); Mercedes Benz V-Class (Van)

Best Value-for-Money - Standard : 6 Awardees

Suzuki Celerio (Mini); Toyota 86 (Sports Car);Nissan Juke (Subcompact SUV/Crossover);Isuzu MU-X (Midsize SUV/Crossover); Isuzu DMax (Pickup)

Best Value-for-Money - Premium/Luxury : 5 Awardees

Lexus IS350 (Compact Sedan); ES350 (Midsize Sedan);Toyota Land Cruiser 200 (Large SUV);Peugeot 5008 (MPV); Honda Odyssey (Van)

Congratulations to all the winners!

In a few weeks time we shall have a TV Special featuring the awarding, which will be shown on Auto Focus (Solar Sports, 10PM

Thursday) and online TV Streaming on (

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & inquiries (email)


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)