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There has never been a more empowering time for women in Philippine sports, and currently, a huge spotlight is on them for raising the entire nation to a victorious high. Our country’s pride in golf, Yuka Saso, started our global winning streak this year for bagging the championship at the 2021 US Women’s Open just last month- a first for Filipinos. And by now, the world knows of the glory brought in by Hidilyn Diaz, who clinched the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold medal last July 26. While our national team for taekwondo has yet to bring home Olympic medals, let’s focus on one of its brilliant members who’s been winning precious metals in the sport internationally for flag and country since 2015.

Pauline Louise Lopez, one of Philippine taekwondo’s most prominent personalities, valiantly brought home the gold medal from the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore. Manila, 2016, she was the first ever Filipina to win a gold medal in the Asian Games in taekwondo. In 2018, Pauline won the bronze medal at the Asian Games that was held in Jakarta. And at the Southeast Asian Games of 2019 held in Manila, winning a spectacular match against Cambodia’s bet made her garner her second SEA Games gold medal. To Pauline, it was her most significant and defining fight, as it was the first time both of her parents were present to cheer her on in an international tournament.

Penchant for fighting champions

Mitsubishi Philippines honors Pauline Lopez’s stellar accomplishments in taekwondo by making her their latest brand ambassador for their winning nameplate, the Mitsubishi Xpander. The Xpander happens to be the top selling MPV in the country, with 794 units sold last June. A versatile 7-seater MPV, the Mitsubishi XPander Cross is a sportier version of the Xpander, which already has won several local awards since its introduction. Mitsubishi Philippines is very pleased with partnering up with Pauline Lopez, who has already gained celebrity stature for her outstanding achievements in taekwondo, and her positively inspiring personality, on top of her movie-star looks.  Not long ago this author has been able to interview for Mobility PH another Mitsubishi brand ambassador, Mixed-Martial Arts star and One Championship champion, Brandon Vera. Vera absolutely identifies with and adores his Mitsubishi Strada Athlete, a fitting ride for an MMA powerhouse like him.

Perfect match
Pauline is simply ecstatic, as the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross snugly fits her lifestyle like her taekwondo armor. Her long-time ride here in Manila was a sub-compact sedan, and her regular routine of going to taekwondo training and gym sessions on or off season requires her to lug around bulky gear almost daily. Having an xpanded (pun intended) and flexible cargo space rewards her with the extra convenience of getting access to her bags without having to get out of the vehicle. She also covers some serious mileage, as her training bubble is located in Clark in Angeles- and though she spent a lot of time training there for her Olympic bid, she’s had to shuttle between Manila and Clark several times in the last couple of weeks for meetings and photo/video shoots, as her popularity for endorsements has gained traction. And by faithfully following safety protocols, she’s depending on the Xpander Cross as her mobile safety bubble.

Driving the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross also makes her feel a lot safer on the road, according to Pauline. The added ride height and better visibility from the driver’s seat are added advantages to her driving, whether she’s negotiating some rough roads out of town or jostling through Metro Manila traffic. She also loves how easy it is to drive it, especially after her gruelling training sessions. Pauline says the Xpander Cross is so easy to steer, and despite its slightly larger dimensions, she doesn’t break a sweat parking it due to the vivid backing camera and reliable parking sensors. Her most favorite feature she says, is the infotainment system’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as her music playlists are her constant driving and training companions.

Typically seen in training garb, Pauline Lopez muses about how the Xpander Cross’ sporty look matches hers pretty well. The wrap-around body cladding of the Xpander Cross seems to be keeping up with her full-contact gear in Taekwondo, she adds. She’s particularly happy about how snazzy its orange color is, too. Just as she was talking about how amply powered its engine is when accelerating to overtake and cruise comfortably, I just had to inject that the Xpander Cross’ power and beauty complementing hers is no coincidence- bashfully flattered, she just laughed heartily. 
Associating one’s brand and products with popular celebrities isn’t anything out of the ordinary as everyone seems to be doing it, but Mitsubishi’s partnering up with admirable personalities who inspire many Filipinos to be the best versions of themselves is laudable. Also, it’s looking like Mitsubishi’s match-making game is spot on. Bravo, MitsuPH- this ride will surely Xpander horizons.

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