In the heat of the summer of 2001 a small group of very passionate car enthusiasts were brought together to fulfill a dream. The dream was to create a wholly Filipino automotive magazine that could compete at the very least on par or better even surpass the very best established brands in the world. The mantra of C! was to raise the automotive media industry and create new opportunities/possibilities. C! was supposed to augment and complement Philippine publishing, not remove competition. The magazine had to immediately strive for absolute authority though; we would not be content with driving reviews alone, we had to be methodical and scientific without compromising candor and personality. Before we borrowed our first official test drives, we purchased proper instrumented test equipment to accurately quantify test results. We were the pioneers with such comprehensive dedication in the region. But why, you ask, are impartial test data so important? It’s certainly not just about performance figures for acceleration, top speed, road-holding, skid-pad, and braking distances in both wet and dry, we also test for workmanship, fit and finish, value-for-money, options, standard equipment, consistency of brand and model definitions, the list goes on, but why still such thoroughness?
The simple answer is that we ourselves are consumers; we too want to know exactly how every car performs in comparison to its model evolution and its immediate competition, their comforts, their limitations, their strengths, and then share the results. It is a daily quest for truth that creates 13 whopping C! Magazine issues a year. The responsibility is more profound than one may perceive. A vehicle, whether it is very modest or ultra expensive, is a vital component in our everyday lives, and it is usually the second most expensive object that we would invest in after a home. So we have to do our very best to review each and every vehicle thoroughly so our readers will have the very best tools in hand to help them make proper buying decisions. We do not regurgitate other critics’ opinions and press releases. We do not drive around the block and create reviews from cars that we photograph on the showroom floor. Buying a car/motorcycle is serious business. We intimately know and appreciate the buying process and the intangible satisfaction as a result of pulling out of a dealership in a brand new mechanical wonder. We are here to facilitate dreams, from conception to one’s chosen beaten path.
For more than a decade the adventure and challenge of creating C! content has been more than magical. We created several other new titles and mediums along the way and became a force to be reckoned within the industry. We busted unto the publishing world and helped redefine quality and commitment to the consumer. With hard work and determination we accomplished the unimaginable: world exclusive drives and epic journeys both internationally and domestically. Of course we had our share of deep woe too with the tragic loss of Kookie Ramirez in 2010, a pillar at C! and the automotive world, and our dear photographer Mike Llorin in 2004. We had a plethora of foreign and local talent throughout our pages and helped springboard many to new careers.
Since 2008, we in fact are driving exponentially more now with an average of over 400 kilometers per car tested here and around the world. Would you seek the professional opinion of a Doctor with barely any real experience or expertise, or would you go to a Doctor with years of real hardcore experience and success? We feel the same way hence why we have been relentless in thoroughly testing the majority of cars offered around the world. We are completely dedicated and wired into the domestic as well as international automotive industry. We test practically every single vehicle sold in the Philippines while still providing comprehensive reviews of cars sold internationally. When we claim that C! tested a car, you can be assured that actually at least one of our C! Team members genuinely tested the car with strict rules of engagement.
For 2016, the C! Team once again continues this tireless pursuit of perfection and thoroughness without compromise nor less wit. We brutally challenge one another to the brink of insanity to make every single article in our magazines vibrant, fulfilling, informative, mature, and entertaining. Our magazines will only keep getting more diverse, relevant, thorough, and detailed. As a part of our international growth strategies, C! can also be enjoyed in a unique Digital iTunes Application. Our successful C! iTunes Edition is robust with exclusive material not seen in our paper-bound media combined with even more focus on our international car reviews.
We invite our partners, advertisers and most especially you, our readers, to join us as we continue to celebrate the greatness and excitement of life in all its resonance and glory behind the steering wheel and off it. Our media products are the end result of the collective duty of every employee and editorial contributor in our publishing house. Our testing procedures and level of scrutiny have also been raised yet even further to accommodate the almost miniscule nuances between closely contested products per segment. The growing current fleet of locally and officially available vehicles has absolutely never been as good, as plentiful, as varied, and as relevant as today, so we have also adjusted accordingly to adapt to the higher levels of car/motorcycle production.
With more foreign investments and less restrictions in almost all areas in the financial and business sectors, it’s fairly clear to see that there is going to be an increasingly favorable redistribution of wealth in our country, which for our purposes here translates to more new vehicles on public roads. In fact, we reckon that 2016 will celebrate the most number of first-time car buyers, more than even last year, which is beautiful in its own right! Do you remember the euphoria of owning your very first car? Naturally, the new government and its leaders will be the most critical factors that could either raise or lower our nation’s health across the board.
Now despite our infamous nationwide traffic problems, buying a new vehicle to add to the sea of metal is actually not the primary contributor to all the chaos. Building new roads and public transportation infrastructures are a default solution that actually does not address the fundamental problem that there are way too many vehicles on public roads that are completely UNFIT to be driven. I am not talking about old consumer cars; even a classic 1st generation 1938 Volkswagen Beetle can be used enjoyably, efficiently and safely on public roads as long as it is properly maintained and has all its required safety measures functioning. What I am talking about are vehicles that DO NOT pass actual required safety and emissions measures; they should be swiftly and methodically sanctioned first, and if the issues are not addressed, then these vehicles should be barred from use on any public roads on the second offense.
How often do you witness a vehicle on the road that clearly is a hazard (smoke belching, no lights, wheels barely on with tread if at all, and with dubious license plates if at all?!?) yet is allowed to travel? The answer is too often. Which brings us to the second fundamental problem: enforcement. When I say enforcement, I am not just talking about physical police on the ground; I am stating that the rules and laws are deeply flawed. For example, ONLY SPEED is enforced with actual determined effort, with reaction to an accident as a close second. The real problems are obviously larger and more complex, but I assure you that if these two issues were religiously and consistently acted on, our road conditions would feel an immediate positive impact. The third and most profound problem begins with ourselves: our road discipline and courtesy to others. How can we expect others to do the right thing if we don’t do it ourselves?!
The economic circle is a vital cog in the overall health of our country. With properly settled taxes derived from vehicle sales, manufacturing, and importation, the government would have the means to continue to build and expand infrastructure (road work, schools, police and the military, and hospitals) in order to also spread wealth and livelihood to the growing rural and urban areas outside of the big cities. The general consumer also has way more credible and comprehensive information on hand to make intelligent buying decisions to meet required needs.
Our commitment has always been to the consumer first, whom we also represent since we are the very consumers who do buy these same goods and services in our industry as well. We know how difficult it is to make a living and appreciate the challenges of the daily grind firsthand. Thankfully, we never stop learning and testing, so we can share our experiences with you all whether you are reading our reviews for entertainment, reinforcement, or education. On behalf of the entire C! Team, may I extend our heartfelt gratefulness to you all for trusting us, and for being the very fuel that powers us to continually humbly serve you.
All the very best and Godspeed!