Oct 26, 2016

A most convenient way

Car buyers will again have a most convenient way to decide what model to purchase with the country's biggest multi-brand test drive event again being staged this November.

With the current state of ultimate disarray the metro's traffic is in the midst of, going from one car dealership to another to compare and choose from two or more competing models that you have in mind to have, can be a nightmare of nightmares. You'd probably spent more time on the road travelling between car dealerships than in their showrooms looking over the choices. And what about the test drive, the "must have" prerequisite before writing the checque? In stop and go traffic? Not a good way to go indeed.

With the Auto Focus Multi Brand Test Drive Festival again lined up for its preChristmas staging, those who are in the market for their first car or their next can heave a sigh of relief.

From November 17 to 20 (Thursday to Sunday), the country's foremost auto manufacturers, importers and distributors shall line up their best vehicles currently available in the market at the Concert Grounds of the SM Mall of Asia for the public to have an up close look with a test drive to boot.

No need to go through all those traffic gridlocks in the metro to compare car models. Just move from one display tent to another and book your test-drives. And you don't have to agonize through stop and go traffic as there's a test drive course right within the venue where you can experience the vehicle's ride or suspension system's performance, its braking capability, maneuverability and other features.

The participating auto companies have also lined up some special offers, freebies, giveaways, free coffee, ice cream, etc., throughout the duration of the 4-day test drive weekend. Not to mention special discounts and promos.

The list of automobile brands participating include, in no particular order,Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Isuzu, BMW, Lexus, Mazda, Suzuki and the maiden appearance of newcomers Mahindra and Ssangyong.

With this line up of remarkable and exciting car bands we again look forward to record numbers of actual test-drives made, which continually increase each time we hold these multi brand events.

We shall update you as to what actual models would be available for test drive as soon as the actual line up from the participating auto companies is confirmed.

Remember, it's best to test-drive it, before you buy it!

The country's best car search is on

The 2016 testing season of Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI) was recently marked with a luncheon at the Manila Polo Club. The objective of the group is to determine the best cars that are available in the country on any given year through a series of tests conducted by its members.

"We are expecting around sixty (60) new or significantly upgraded vehicles to join this year's testing,"said CAGI president Robby Consunji."Eligible for consideration this year are vehicles launched in the Philippine market from October 2015 to November 2016. This time frame is set yearly, to ensure that only the latest vehicles are tested and the buying public is able to make informed decisions when making their purchases" added Atty. Robby.

For the second year in a row, auditing firm KPMG shall be in-charge of all the data handling during the testing process, which shall commenced on October 25, 2016.

Oh yes! We'll always have the yearly ARCC

Without me knowing it, I got all those "on time, all the time" enthusiasts worried all this time since March when we used to hold, for many years, the first of two legs of the STV Auto Rally Corporate Challenge.

Worry not guys, as long as I can, the ARCC, in whatever form, shall run-always run.

After we made a very successful revival of the Sampaguita Rally some years back when we gathered over 60 cars in the starting grid, a feat never seen in the history of this motorsport discipline ever, with no less than AAP's motorsports top honcho, Mandy Eduque attesting, himself a Sampaguita Rally legend in the same mold of the late greats, Pocholo Ramirez, Dodo Ayuyao, Tony Mapa, et al, we said there's no turning back.

With the local auto industry enjoying an all time high in its rapid development, the frenzy of industry activities just goes on and on making it difficult to find a common date when most of the industry players can take a break all together for such a bonding, fun, exciting but fiercely competitive event. And having said that, we thought having the usual yearly two legs can be doubly challenging for us organizers. And considering that this is the only motor sport event where competing auto companies are willingly participate together, we might as well try our best to get them all together. After all, the ARCC is for the exclusive participation of the local auto industry.

And for this year, rally day shall be on November 26, a Saturday with the exciting flag-off once again at the Ayala Harbor Point Mall in Subic, with the dynamic organizational skills of its Marketing Manager, Argee Gomez again on the line, but no worries there as these have always been successfully proven in the numerous previous staging of the ARCC in Subic.

As of this writing the confirmed list of Corporate Rally Teams participating includes; Auto Nation Group (Mercedes Benz/Jeep/Chrysler),Chevrolet Philippines, Honda Cars Philippines, Isuzu Philippines, Lexus-Manila, Mazda Philippines, MINI, PGA Cars, Peugeot Philippines, Ssangyong Philippines, TATA Philippines and Toyota Motor Philippines.

We have scheduled the pre-rally briefing on November 19, Saturday at the STV VIP Lounge during the Auto Focus Multi Brand Test Drive Festival at the SM Mall of Asia.

See you guys and remember to be "on time, all the time".

For the latest info on traffic management, transport, motor sports, all about cars, the auto industry and other related matters check out these websites (www.motoringtoday.ph / www.autofocus.com.ph)

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments and 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)