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Saturday, May 18, 2024

A paradise for car lovers

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This was the very first time I went to an automobile show. Not only was I dazzled by the latest car models but I was also very surprised that car enthusiasts, after all, are not limited to the moneyed elderly male population but also include everyone of all ages, from all walks of life.

Worldbex Services International recently put up the 18th edition of the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) at the World Trade Center for the benefit of the ABS CBN Foundation Inc.  I was there on opening day and, while walking towards the venue, I could see a long queue of eager beavers that snaked its way along the building’s entrance foyer.  I know that it probably would have taken me close to an hour just to enter, as I placed myself at the end of the line but, good thing, one of our staff pulled me out, gave me a VIP lanyard, and took me to a separate entrance. 

The attractive Ford Territory 2023 model, with the company’s officers

The humongous halls of the World Trade Center appeared small with all the eye-catching latest edition cars scattered all over the place. I don’t really brand myself as a car enthusiast but the beautiful and impressive displays around me won me over. After all, this yearly Manila International Auto Show is the country’s premier and largest automobile expo.

With the program hosted by renowned automotive personality and social media personality James Deakin, the opening ceremonies also had Joe Ferreria, President of the Automobile Association Philippines, Edgardo Rubiano, Pasay City’s First Gentleman, Anneli Lontoc, Department of Transportation Undersecretary, Valenzuela Mayor Wesley Gatchalian, and Senator JV Ejercito.  

The booth of the Automobile Association Philippines displays the vehicle that will be raffled off to its members in their forthcoming General Membership Meeting

In their respective speeches, all of them showed support and acknowledged the importance of MIAS for our country’s transportation sector.

With the theme, “Shaping Mobility,” the event highlighted the importance of creating a more connected country through transportation. As a venue for stakeholders to connect with each other, the MIAS further strengthens its position as a must-visit event for car enthusiasts from all over the country and the world.

I made it a point to go around the cavernous halls of World Trade Center and marvel at the 2023 car models, the grand showcase of trucks, customized cars, and recreational vehicles that would be perfect to use when going around the many attractive destinations in the country. I also discovered exciting deals on the purchase of the name brands of automobiles. Everything in the venue lived up to the event’s main come-on –  a paradise for car lovers. 

The impressive Peugeot 2023 Model E-2008 SUV, presented by the company’s executives

Top ranking officers of the participating car brands also graced the occasion:  Peugeot Philippines Brand Head Maricar Parco; Nissan President and Managing Director Juan Manuel Hoyos; Subaru Deputy Chairman Glenn Tan; MG and SAIC Motor Philippines President Zhu Tao; Hyundai President Dongwok Lee; GWM President Rubben Tan; Geely GM Froilan Dytianquin; GAC Motors Brand Head Jun Calayon; Foton AVP Donabel Santos; Ford Philippines President Mike Breen; Cherry President Eroll Duenas; Changan Motors President Maria Fe Perez Agudo; and Mitsubishi Motors President Takeshi Hara. 

I now look forward to next year’s edition of the MIAS because the organizers have promised an even more impressive show, complete with never-before-seen accessories and gadgets that car enthusiasts always hanker for.

Having seen the hundreds of car lovers who really spent time poring over each and every car display, now I appreciate and understand why they have this motto–“It’s not just a car…it’s someone’s dream!”

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