Words by Niky Tamayo | Photos courtesy of www.ejeepney.org
 
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It may seem hard to believe, considering the state of the economy, but there are now nearly seven million motor vehicles registered in the Philippines. While the sheer numbers should make for greater mobility and productivity for our workforce, there is the little issue of all those vehicles being on the road at the exact same time, causing massive traffic jams. As they still burn fuel when sitting still in traffic, this situation costs us billions of Pesos every year in oil imports, as well as cause massive air pollution. And that's where the E-Jeepney comes in.
Words by Jose Carlo R. Sapera
 
chinese car doppelganger
After the Spanish, Japanese, and Americans invaded the Philippines over the past centuries, it's now the Chinese who are keen on invading our country, not to claim new territories, but rather to dominate the local automotive industry. These new Chinese car manufacturers have been around for a few years now and have been making waves in their own different ways. But because they're still relatively in an infancy stage as compared to the Koreans and long-established Japanese, some have yet to rid themselves of their bad habit of coming up with tongue-twisting names and very peculiar designs. And to tickle your thoughts, here are some of the most intriguing look-a-likes we've found.
03 February 2012

Car names defined

Words by Christopher Kho and Jade Lu
 
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Car makers across the globe name their latest models after elaborate words from the English dictionary (except for the Europeans who use a labyrinth of letters and numbers) to somehow reflect its prominent characteristics and dazzle their patrons over its obscure moniker. But after a multitude of brochures, advertisements, test drives, and car reviews, have we really given some thought what some of these nameplates really mean? Thankfully, the internet - and notably the guys at Dictionary.com - has put together a list of definitions for some of the most prominent and memorable car models ever to grace this planet.
Words by Leslie Sy
 
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Don't you just hate it when you finally find a parking slot on the street or in a mall, you discover that you can't fit your car in because the car beside it is parked badly? What's more frustrating is that you can't teach its driver how to park properly without potentially getting into a heated argument and then some. Well, you should be glad to know that there are now websites out there so that you could teach these bad parkers a lesson or two.
 
In the online-dependent world we live in today, the internet once again comes to the rescue with websites such as www.youparklikeanasshole.com. The site offers downloadable notice forms or stickers for you to place on the offending cars’ windshields to teach their drivers a lesson. You can even specify the violation, whether it's parked over the painted lines, parked over two spots, or fraudulently parked in spaces reserved for handicaps, so that the parking delinquent can look up the site, find out what he or she has done wrong, and learn how to properly park their cars.
Words and photos by Kris C. Lim
 
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I considering it such a blessing that my profession indulges my passion to travel. From fuel-economy runs to out-of-town road trips, we motoring journalists have the privilege to test out the latest on four wheels from different car manufacturers and drive them to places we've never been to. Quite frankly, it takes something really special to impress your average motoring hack, but to our delight, Isuzu Philippines gave us just that in our recent excursion to down south.
 
A few weeks ago, I received an invite from Isuzu PR Supervisor Ronald “Isuzu Joe” Baladad to join their last leg of Isuzu Road Trip event. Dubbed “For the Journey that Matters,” we took the plunge at the last leg of the Isuzu Road Trip event - a trek that would involve driving down the beautiful and historical province of Quezon in the Isuzu Alterra Urban Cruiser. 
 
After a sumptuous breakfast and casual media briefing to jumpstart the day, we took off from the Alabang Town Center and headed out for the long day ahead. But to prep us for the trip, we made a quick pitstop at the Caltex service station in Mampalasan, Laguna, where we grabbed snacks and refreshments courtesy of Isuzu. Our destination: Villa Sariaya, a 130-kilometer drive  south of Manila. 
Words and photos by Jose Carlo R. Sapera
 
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Perched quietly in the province of Pampanga is a humble little Chinese dealership that goes by the name of Haima. Unknown to most, they've been in the Philippines since January 2010 and operates under the management of the multi-car brand network of the Laus Auto Group. But last October 7, 2011, Haima Philippines finally stepped up its game as they unveiled several new models that will surely knock your socks off.
 
The moniker Haima is a result of a fifteen-year partnership with Mazda. The manufacturing plant of the Japanese automaker was situated in the city of Haikou in Hainan, China, thus the Hainan-Mazda relationship bore the name “Haima.” The cars they build are anything but cheap knock-offs. Instead, follow the same stringent quality assessment utilized by Mazda. And to our surprise, their engines are all Euro IV compliant and can even be upgraded to Euro V standards.
Words and photos by Christopher Kho
 
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We have finally reached the last episode of this year's Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) qualitative tests. The weekend's roster included a Foton MPX 12-seater, Volvo S60 T4 and T5, and a diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze. Having a short list of four contenders for the day of testing wasn’t half bad considering the impending traffic we expected from the nearby malls’ three-day sales.  
 
As one might remember, the Cruze still is the reigning Car of the Year, so it would be quite interesting how it fairs with a new engine. But that's not the only car that stood out during last Sunday's test. The Foton MPX, for the record, was also a category winner in last year's COTY race in the Van and MPV category. Unfortunately, as a lone entry in the category this year, it might not take home any accolades. Nevertheless, we were quite impressed how much it has improved in just a year's time. The Volvo S60 too makes its come back in COTY. This time around, the S60 is armed with smaller 1.6L turbo and 2.0L turbo engines. As it missed out on a category win by a whisker last year, we're all hoping that the sexy S60 finally gets some recognition.
Words and photos by Christopher Kho
 
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Rain or shine, the tireless members of the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) once again assembled at 7 o' clock in the morning at the All Terra Cyclery in Ortigas Home Depot, Pasig last October 9, 2011 for the fifth test fest day of the 2011 - 2012 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). While the previous weekend's roster saw six titans slug it out for the midsize SUV title, this week's line up had a more utilitarian flair to it.
 
Six of the toughest pickup trucks the market had to offer were up for wrangling that day. As Toyota recently recovered the No. 1 spot in the industry, they had their heads held up high when they rolled in with their newly-launched Hilux 4x2 G diesel M/T and 4x4 G diesel A/T. The boys from Mitsubishi though were not letting their guards down. Arriving bright and early to let Toyota know that they're ready to take on the title, they came with three Strada's in tow - the top of the line GLS Sport V 4x4 in both M/T and A/T variants, and a GLX V 4x2 A/T. But, as the day unfolded, Mitsubishi's base model L200 GX single cab pickup, despite being bare to the basics, soon emerged as everyone's favorite truck.
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