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After I wrote a story about why cars are great sidekicks recently, my colleague Alvin Uy mentioned something that inspired me to compose this article about Father’s first loves.
First loves are sometimes not your #Mayforever. But they are an essential part of your lives and well etched in your memories, either sweet or bitter. First loves are there to teach you an important life lesson, inspire you to be better, and push you to succeed.
We’ve heard stories of how individuals would take care of their first ride like a dream girl. And we can’t blame them.
In celebration of Father’s Day, we asked some friends to share with us the story behind their first loves or for some, first cars.

Felix Ang
CATS Group founder and Auto Nation Group president
 “I have always been fascinated with cars. I remember growing up with a dream car in mind, the Mercedes Pagoda, the one I used to see in the streets when I was a kid. Since then, my passion for automotive has grown over the years and became a big part of my life. It was a leap of faith when I started my automotive business, and it took me decades of hard work, determination, and perseverance to get me to where I am now. It was surreal when I finally bought my childhood dream car – the Pagoda, in my 50s. And it is something I want my children to remember. If I can achieve my dreams, they too can.”

GP Reyes
Businessman and PR practitioner
“My first car was a 1995 Mercedes Benz C280 Lorinser. It was special because when I left the family home and the family money, I stuck it out on my own. My mom selflessly gave me this car which she bought to help me out as I started from the bottom with nothing to my name. With little tweaks and mods, it became what was the ultimate sedan during its time for me. I was 25 years old, and this car helped me close a lot of deals as a struggling advertising, events, and PR man”
Raymond Ronquillo

Supercar Enthusiast
“The Ferrari F12 was my first love! I’ve owned many cars since I was 14 years old, but when I saw the Ferrari F12 it became an obsession. Owning one became a big dream come true for me because of the V12 engine, and it’s a naturally-aspirated car. Nowadays, cars with this kind of engine are very rare.”

JP Tuason
CEO Tuason Racing/
 Champion Racecar Driver

“My first car was given to me by my dad (the late Arthur Tuason) when I got to my senior year in high school. It was a 2-door Toyota Corolla SR5, my Dad’s ex-racecar. Because it was challenging to convert a racecar back into a streetcar, my Dad and I spent a lot of time looking for surplus parts and fixing them.  We painted it red, and it turned out to be a real head turner!  It didn’t matter that there were bits of carpet missing or that the smell of fuel came into the car, but I was always grateful that it was mine.”

Dingdong Dantes
I can clearly remember that day in the late 90’s when I got a call from my Tita saying that she had access to a car that had been won in a raffle. It was just about a year into my acting career when this opportunity came and I immediately took the chance of owning a new car at the age of 18. The car came in white– the one usually used for taxicabs– and I wanted to customize it to a certain look. A month later, I got into an accident and this prompted me to scrape the car and convert it into that “Batmobile” feel that I have always dreamed about.  My dream car then was a Toyota Supra (in black, of course). But I never had that. What I got was a Toyota Corolla XL (the entry model).
The original owner of that Corolla may have been the raffle winner, but, for me, I was the real victor not only because of its super discounted price, but also because of the roads and memories that my car had taken me during those very exciting years. It was with me in conquering my many ”firsts” so to speak.

Paul Daza
Civil Servant
At 16, my father Raul gave me my first car. I wanted a new Toyota, but he opted to buy his friend’s used 1976 Pontiac Firebird as he wanted to help him. Little did my Dad, who was not a car guy, know that the Firebird was an American Muscle car that was fast and furious! Within six months, I got three traffic tickets, so my Dad returned the car to his friend and ended up buying me a brand new Toyota Celica. Thank you to Dad Raul for the fantastic car memories.”

Jun Sunga
Businessman/ Photographer
The first car that I loved was my limited edition VW Golf 20th-anniversary GTI rabbit. I worked hard to get it, and so when I finally got it, I took care of it like a baby. I kept it pure and pristine until I had to sell it, which was very difficult to do. So many great memories with cars and I wish I still have them.”

James Deakin

Multimedia Influencer

“So what was my first car? It was a Fiat 128 1970 model which I bought in Perth, Western Australia, with the first tax return that I ever had in my life, and the car cost me $750. I bought it in the garage sale, and I remember it was so special that I drove it to a tire center to put over a thousand dollars worth of tires.  Doing this got me interested in cars and doing modifications.  I love that it gave me the freedom to move around.  Sadly this car got stolen, making my first car experience a bit heartbreaking.” 

Happy Fathers Day to all the great Dads out there!

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