Dec 13, 2017

The long wait is finally over

The country's rapidly expanding motorcycling community is now basking in excitement with the recent launch of the much-awaited big bikes bearing the Honda logo.

Last Saturday afternoon, December 9, at the Grand Ballroom of the Shangri-La at the Fort in BGC, Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI), the country's recognized dominant market leader in motorcycle sales gathered select members of the motoring media to witness the unveiling of six of the eight motorcycle models that would form part of maiden lineup ofHonda Big Bikes in the Philippines.

"It has always been my dream to bring Honda Big Bikes here since I came to Honda Philippines in 2015," were the opening words of Mr. Daiki Mihara, president of Honda Philippines during our on-camera TV interview right after the unveiling. "Honda Big Bikes have seen action in many different countries. Now is the time for the Philippines to enjoy the power and innovation of these motorcycles," the young and friendly top HPI Japanese executive added.

In a statement HPI shares that in relation to the high growth rate of the Philippine economy, the motorcycle market experiences a similar development that leads to the diversification of customer demand. It added that this could be seen through the market growth of bikes used for leisure aside from commuting. To serve such demand, HPI decided to introduce Honda Big Bikes.

The eight Big Bike models that HPI brings to the country are categorized in four distinctions:Traveler, Sport/Racer, Roadster and New Adventure. The four models that are presently available include the CB500X, CRF1000L Africa Twin, X-ADV, CBR500R, Rebel 500 and CB650F, while the CB1100EX and CBR1000RR FIREBLADE SP will be available in 2018.

"This newest line up of Honda Big Bikes will be available in our newest flagship shop in Manila, the Honda Prestige Traders, Inc. located along EDSA corner Harvard," announced Ms. Beth Alejandro, AVP for Finance of HPI. "The shop is made to be an accessible hub for Honda's growing community. The Honda Big Bikes will also be launched in Cebu and Davao in January 2018," she added.

The inauguration of Honda Prestige Traders flagship shop was held right after the unveiling of the Honda Big Bikes.

Industry Thanksgiving Parties

There's been a series of Thanksgiving Parties hosted by various industry players and we have a collage of some of the most recent ones.

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc . (HCPI) celebrated their annual mediaThanksgiving andChristmas party at the Brick & Mortar bar and grill at the Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City. On the same night,Honda introduced the new and refreshed 2018 Honda Odyssey, which is now available in two variants.

With a successful 2017 campaign, HCPI announced a significant growth in the market wherein they sold a total of 23,687 units.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines (MMPI) celebrated a successful 2017 by treating their motoring media friends to a Christmas andThanksgiving party held at the Chaos Bar, City of Dreams Casino.

According to MMPI, Mirage and Montero have remained their top-selling models. For 2018 and through the following years, Mitsubishi is optimistic that the said models will continue to increase in sales along with the other models.

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) held its Christmas and Thanksgiving party at Okada Manila.

During the event, IPC extended their gratitude to their motoring media friends for their continuous support. According to the company, 2017 has been a good year for Isuzu and they're looking forward to the next coming years.

SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation ( Formerly Asian Carmakers Corp.), the official distributor of BMW vehicles in the country held its annual media Thanksgiving party at theBuffalo Wild Wings in Capitol Commons, Pasig City. This is the company's way of saying thank you to motoring journalists for their unending support for the BMW brand. It was a night filled of good food, unlimited drinks, games and prizes.

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc . (HARI) held a Christmas and Thanksgiving party for their motoring media together with their dealers and friends at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.

HARI took the opportunity to look back at their fruitful 2017 along with the past years. According to Hyundai, they are positive that 2018 as well as the next years will be as successful with regards to the company's increase in sales.

More yearend parties and get-togethers are still lined up this week. Indeed the busiest days of the year for the motoring media.

Happy Motoring!!!

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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)