Top Gear Philippines

You may have noticed a general absence of blog posts from me these past weeks. I won’t make excuses, the main reason is inefficiency and improper time management on my part, and I apologize to those who have followed and enjoyed my blog so far. Another, more minor, reason is the calamity that befell us last month—Typhoon Ondoy. As my blog title states, I write about our love for the automobile; the coolest and meanest rides that pop out of the automotive ether. Not long after my last blog post, the Ondoy catastrophe hit. My family and I were one of the fortunate ones who were spared, but Ondoy gave a very personal facet to a calamity by affecting someone we knew, someone we cared about. After seeing all the photos and videos of homes submerged, cars washed away, and people hanging on to anything they can for dear life—and in some instances, failing to do so—it felt wrong for me to keep blogging about sports cars as if nothing happened. I feel guilty saying it, but I cringed every time I saw a vehicle swallowed by water or a car slowly sinking into a muddy abyss. I know they’re just machines that can, and will, be replaced—unlike people (unless we’re talking about our elected officials who did an amazingly inept job in handling this disaster). Then again, if I were unaffected by all the automotive carnage, I shouldn’t be writing for a car magazine and motoring website that celebrates the fun and passion of the automobile. I know that plenty of the cars lost were labors of love for their owners. Cars they saved up for, placing themselves in debt to a bank for up to six years just to be able to park the car they want in their garage, and saved for even more to add audio and aesthetic accessories. I don’t think it’s being materialistic to feel pain at seeing what you worked hard for being washed away and covered with mud. We’re all fortunate to be alive and well after what happened, and this teaches us to be better prepared in case it happens again. But we’re not powerless to prevent this from happening again. Despite all the insurance talk about this being an act of God, it didn’t rain for forty days and forty nights. It rained a lot, but the flooding was terribly exacerbated by the lack of forests to absorb the water (we were being told about this in grade school) and the negligent city planning, and that includes irrigation. It’s hard not to see how what happened was significantly man-made. Some argue that cars themselves are the cause of these heightened meteorological occurences, but I’ll stay out of that argument for now. What I do know is that we can do our share of prevention in little ways. How we dispose of our garbage is one. We all know what trash does to irrigation. What about proper city planning and forest protection? This is the responsibility of government officials who should have created laws for proper zoning and regulating the lumber industry (if they haven’t already), and making sure those laws are followed. But none of that was evident the weekend of Sept. 26-27. If I remember de Quiros correctly, what’s the point of having a government if you don’t feel like you’re being governed? The government doesn’t even care about the motoring industry. So much tax revenue from the cars we buy flows to government coffers, but while Obama’s administration offered a “Cash for Clunkers” program to stimulate their car industry and replace the ageing cars on the road, ours did nothing. We can do something about this in May next year. This is not an election plea, we’re a democracy, you can vote for who you want. Just remember what the current crop of officials were able to do for us and the people we know before and after the waters rose last month. And in our own way, let’s think the next time we dispose of a candy wrapper or a soda can. Usually it’s the little things that count. Thanks for reading guys. Regular programming resumes tomorrow. The Tokyo Motor Show is this week, and we should see a lot of new metal coming in.

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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