May 04, 2016

A day set aside for friends

It was in 2012 when we were celebrating the 25th anniversary of our TV show, Motoring Today by way of a golf tournament with friends and supporters from within and outside of the auto industry when I realized that playing golf is a much better and healthier way to get us all together for fellowship, bonding and camaraderie than perhaps a whole night of drinking and dinning. That was when I made a covenant to make it a yearly affair—a small gesture to say thank you. A day of golfing fun is our own little way of giving back to our friends and supporters in the industry for their continuing support for our TV shows and industry-oriented events. And it is now turning out to be an institutional get together being looked forward to and much eagerly awaited especially by the golf-playing executives of the country’s auto industry.

Last Thursday, April 28, marked the 5th staging of the STV Golf Cup Invitational right where it all started half a decade ago at the Riviera Golf and Country Club in Silang, Cavite.

The STV Golf Cup Invitational is the only golf tournament where top executives of the major players in the auto industry play together all in the spirit of fun and camaraderie. No fancy raffle prizes to look forward to, just plain wholesome fun and get together. And we at STV feel so honored and privileged to have them year after year.

As they always say, “A bad day at the golf course is a lot better than a good day in the office.”

We’ll see you again next year for another day of golfing fun at the STV Golf Cup Invitational.

Ending in a sad note

As I write this article, my long-time good friend, Felix Ang of Auto Nation Group (Cats Motors) informs me of the untimely demise of one of the “fixtures” and one-time Champion of the STV Invitational Golf Cup, another long-time friend, Emy Arcilla.

Emy and I have gone a long way since the pre-Martial Law days at ABS-CBN as radio DJs and anchors covering the stock exchange proceedings and various racing and golf events. He has always been the “life of the party” during the STV Golf Cup awarding ceremonies. He will be missed.

Emy has always been known as a jolly person. As such and as I knew him, he wouldn’t want us, his close friends to be saddened by his sudden exit.

So as you join our other friends who have gone ahead, to you my friend I say, Happy Motoring and Happy Golfing!!!

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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)