Apr 27, 2016

Another rare gathering of industry leaders

Sunshine TV (STV) is playing to the hilt its assumed role of being one of the local auto industry’s recognized catalysts by way of the activities it has it its yearly calendar, which involves the getting together of major players in highly competitive yet very friendly scenarios.

Some years back, in 2009 to be precise it was STV that organized the first ‘auto industry forum’ where top industry executives from competing car companies shared the same stage discussing the problems that plagued the sector at that time with no less than a cabinet member present to sort these out and offer some solutions and mitigating measures being initiated by the government. It was an initiative that has so far never been duplicated by anybody from within or outside of the industry.

Then there’s the annual staging of the STV-ARCC (Auto Rally Corporate Challenge), the only motor sports event where corporate teams from contending car companies carrying their brand models openly compete against each other, not only for the fun and the spirit of competition of the event but also in sharing the common concern to promote road safety.

The Auto Focus People’s and Media’s Choice Awards, another STV brainchildis a yearly exercise that determines the year’s most preferred automobile models in each vehicle category of sedans, SUVs, vans, pick ups, etc., and the year’s most popular automobile, distinct for Standard and Luxury car models with the public’s and the media’s choices determined and awarded separately. The awards night, the ‘Oscar’ of the auto industry yearly gets the industry’s movers and shakers breaking bread and sharing liquid spirits together for an evening of camaraderie.

Another get together that STV initiates are the opening day cocktails of the biennial ‘multi-brand test drive event’, the Auto Focus Summer Test Drive Festival (AFSTDF) held during the year’s second quarter and the final quarter’s Auto Focus Pre Christmas Test Drive Festival (AFPCTDF).

Last Thursday, marked the 2016 AFSTDF opening day cocktails held at the VIP Lounge of the test drive venue at the MOA when eight presidents of top automobile manufacturers and importers of the country graciously accepted STV’s invitation for a casual gathering and an evening of camaraderie of the country’s fiercest of competitors in the local auto industry.

Leading the list, which is in no particular order is the president of BMW Philippines, the very lovely Ms. Maricar Parco together with Bobby Rosales, the top honcho for finance of the Alvarez Group, which counts BMW, Peugeot, Kia and Mahindra brands in its stable.

Then there’s Chevrolet Philippines president, Atty. Albert Arcilla who arrived with his marketing protégé, Ms. Lyn Buena.

Volkswagen Philippines came in full force headed by its president, John Paul “JP” Orbeta joined by chief operating adviser, Klaus Schadewald, marketing director, Franz Decloedt and auto industry veteran, Arnel Doria.

The duo of Isuzu Philippines president, Hajime Koso and senior vp Art Balmadrid still managed to squeeze in their presence in the cocktails despite having their own event, the Isuzu 4x4 Action Playground at the MOA.

As dapper as he can always be, Peugeot Philippines president Glen Dasig came with marketing director, Dong Magsajo.

We also had as a distinguished guest, Shuzo Hoshikura, the president of Suzuki Philippines, presently one of the more aggressive car companies that are slugging it out in the local market presently, who was joined by its very charming marketing manager, Ms. Odessa Gan.

Ford Philippines was also aptly represented in the event by its president, Lance Mosley joined by marketing director, Ms. Minnie Valencia and Joseph Ayllon.

Lexus-Manila president, Danny “Sir John” Isla came with heir-apparent Raymond Rodriguez while Toyota Motor Philippines had newly-installed president, Satoru Suzuki ensuring the market leader’s presence and vp for marketing Sherwin Chua Lim.

Although in the midst of facing new challenges Mitsubishi Motors Philippines ad and promo top honcho Arlan Reyes together with his very capable media liaison, Ms. Rosemary Cruz also braved the long travel and traffic just to be present and accounted for.

By far a very much-attended "multi-brand" test drive event, the 2016 Auto Focus Test Drive Festival registered an unprecedented record of close to three thousand test drives, 2,914 to be precise during its 4-day staging.

The opening day had 495 test drives followed with 654 on Friday, which increased to 781 on Saturday and whooping 984 on its last day, Sunday.

For most, if not all of the participating car companies had confirmed sale by the end of each day of the test drive event with many serious inquiries for immediate follow up listed.

With limited participation in the multi brand test drive event dictated by the venue’s limited space, reservations for the 2016 Auto Focus Pre Christmas Test Drive Festival in November are being made by most of the present participants who enjoy the privilege of “first refusal”.

What’s on Auto Focus tomorrow night?

It’ll be another 60 minutes exclusive to the automobile and the auto industry when Auto Focus, the country’s premier auto TV news and features magazine airs tomorrow evening at 10 o’clock on Solar Sports (Channel 70, Sky Cable and Channel 35, Destiny Cable).

The week’s special feature include the highlights of the recently held media test drive of Suzuki Ciaz to Anilao, Batangas plus head-to-head as we pit two vans, the Honda Odyssey versus the Kia Carnival. We’ll also have the spotlight on the 2017 Mazda MX5 RF and 2016 Bentley Continental GT Black Edition as our special features on autos of the world. All these plus all the latest developments and news in the auto industry are our regular fare on Auto Focus, the weekly automobile show.

Now if you miss it or any of its past episodes log on to our website www.autofocus.com.ph anytime of the day.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments (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)