Top Gear Philippines

A short message: Sometime last month managing editor Barbs came up to me and said the words men are afraid to hear when it comes from a woman: "Dinzo, we need to talk." But since Barbs and I maintain a professional relationship based on mercilessly teasing each other to our officemates, I knew I had nothing to worry about. She wanted to talk to me about this blog, and a possible new direction it would take. We decided I should add more lists to my blog entries. I have to admit the idea wasn't bad at all. I'm a big fan of the book "High Fidelity" written by Nick Hornby, and while I can usually write about my life better than by just listing down my top five deserted island songs, the preset structure of lists does present a more convenient way to lay my thoughts down. This isn't the end of my regular blog entries (er, right Barbs?), it's something new to try for a new year. It's been a good year for our website. There were some growth pains and hiccups, but we're happy with the progress we've made, the new registered members we have, the exclusives we've snatched, and Vernon even won an award for his online column! All of this is part of an effort to keep improving the website, and tweaking those improvements until your online motoring experience is so complete you can smell the gasoline. We can assure you there are better things ahead. I'm out of the country right now, and where I am (I promise to keep you guys posted), it's still Christmas day. So for all of you who have read my blog this far (I appreciate each and every comment you've made), thank you and Merry Christmas! Now for our blog entry: It's unlikely we will forget 2009 any time soon given the roller coaster ride it gave us. But it's time to look forward and see what positive things 2010 holds, here are ten of them: 1. More digital interaction. The record growths of Twitter and Facebook this year point to the increasing influence and strength of the Internet as a medium for communication. There's no doubt an online presence is a must for any media organization to stay relevant and connected to their market. We here in Topgear.com.ph look forward to more comments, posts, and questions from you. 2. Mini's official arrival in our market. You may have seen some already on our roads. The streets of Manila will definitely be cooler when Mini Coopers, Mini Clubmans, and Mini Cooper Ss become more visible. 3. Schumi's return to Formula 1. It's a little ironic how Michael Schumacher's dominance during his first reign made Formula 1 a little... formulaic; now his return is adding vigor to a race already reinvigorated by a colorful 2009 season. 4. More hybrids coming. After the arrival of the Toyota Prius and the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid, we have it on good authority that more hybrid models are coming from other brands. Our market has been slow to adopt hybrids, but we know Filipino consumers will see the light. 5. More subcompact offerings. The arrival of the Mazda 2 is only the beginning. If you're well aware of the corporate relationships Mazda shares, you know what else is on the horizon. And let's cross our fingers in the hope that another Japanese carmaker finds a way to bring their subcompact in. 6. Chevrolet's resurgence. The Chevrolet Cruze was just the opening salvo. If all goes well, Bumblebee will find out if Autobots are tough enough for Philippine roads. 7. A healthier economy. No one's celebrating yet, but there are many indicators that the worst is behind us. The Philippine car industry successfully weathered a tough year while still maintaining minimal growth. 2010 could be the year we rebound. 8. Our right to choose our leaders. We're not fans of politics here (rather, we're not fans of politicians at all, especially the traditional ones), but come May 2010 we should exercise our right to say who can best represent our interests as motorists, and as citizens. I only pray we still have decent choices for those. 9. No more Bayani Fernando in the MMDA. No more Bayani Fernando. Don't you just love the sound of that? Say it, feel it roll off your tongue. It feels good doesn't it? (This actually deserves a post of its own. Hmm.) 10. More road trips and fun runs. Don't forget what our cars are for, they can drive us to school and the office, but they can also bring us to places we've never been, or places that always make us happy. And if the trip is really special, they can even do both. Happy motoring people!

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Dinzo Tabamo
Executive Editor
Dinzo has been fascinated with cars since he was 12 years old, when he picked up a car magazine in his cousin's bedroom. It is a passion that never waned.
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