Exclusive Content: A trip to the Philippines…

If you’re here looking for coverage of the annual Norm Reeves Honda Meet, then you might want to come back tomorrow…I’m still busy going through the photos from that day and I also have some work I need to finish up for some magazines. While I’m going over all that stuff, today, we are going to take a very special look at some photos that Patrick Lauder shot while he was in the Philippines. Patrick, for those unfamiliar with the name, is a part of Quickworks Photo. The guys from Quickworks are freelancers like me and shoot for various magazines in the aftermarket automotive industry. They are up in Northern California so if you see a magazine feature pop-up from Norcal, more than likely, it was shot by either Joshua Works or Patrick Lauder. Anyways, Patrick was recently overseas in the Philippines visiting family and while he didn’t plan on it, ended up finding quite a bit of work over there. I have no idea what the tuning scene is like over there. I probably know about as much as you guys. I’ve seen photos and the Philippines is probably most well known for Rota, a company that has spent it’s entire existence stealing the hard work and designs of some of your favorite authentic Japanese wheel companies. While that may leave a bad taste in the collective mouths of the entire industry, we shouldn’t forget that there are guys over there just like us, who enjoy cars, building cars, and are a part of a tuning community. From what Patrick has told me, there are actually some very, very well-built vehicles over there with some quality parts on them. He saved a majority of his best work for magazines like Honda Tuning, but there were some photos leftover that weren’t used and that he shot just for the hell of it, and we are going to take a look at those photos today…

These aren’t in any particular order and I can honestly say that I can’t provide you with any vital information in regards to what is going on in the photos. These were the handy work of Patrick Lauder and he basically shot whatever was in front of him at the moment. While he was over there, he also had a chance to stop by the Manila Auto Salon, which is a small car show that was taking place. Whether you like the content of the photos or not, I remind you to just sit back and take it for what it is. It’s not everyday that you get to see some new cars you’ve never seen before, in a country that you may or may not have ever been to or plan to go to in the future. Thanks go out to Mr. Lauder for these great photos and for allowing me to share them with all of you guys and gals today. Enjoy…

5th generation Honda City…this chassis fits right in the middle of the line-up of Honda vehicles offered in Asian markets between the Honda Jazz (Fit) and Honda Civic…You won’t see these here in the states because honestly, they’re  a little unnecessary for the U.S. market and we like big ass cars that don’t fit into normal parking spots…

Rotas were apparently of course, with examples like this where guys are rocking them with their authentic counterpart’s decals…

Another vehicle that you won’t see here in the states…Suzuki Celerior/Alto/Mazda Carol/Nissan Pixo…

Old school Mitsubishi Lancer in pretty remarkable condition for it’s age…

A yellow EG Civic parked along the side of the road on some “TE37s”…I use that last term loosely, haha…

If you are Asian or knew someone who was Asian, then their family at one time probably had a crappy van like this or something similar to it… In the U.S., it was the Toyota Van in 80s, throughout other parts of Asia, Mitsubishi Delicas like the one above served as family haulers or supply haulers…At least the Mitsubishis actually had a name and not like Toyota, that just came up with the creative name “Van”…You can also tell that there wasn’t much time invested in the design of these things….

One car that was available in all markets throughout the world that you hardly ever see anyone modify are these mid 80s-early 90s Ford Festivas…I don’t want to say they were underrated because they were probably one of the crappiest cars of that time and terribly unsafe to drive. You see a “KIA DOHC” banner on the windshield because these cars were sold in some markets as the “Kia Pride”…We know them as Fords here in the states but they were actually developed by Mazda and in some parts, were known as a Mazda 121….There wasn’t anything even remotely Ford about them other than the badging…I’m just filled with useless information…

Modified Honda Jazz passing through the streets…we of course, know this as a Honda Fit…

Another EG, this one more beat-up than the yellow one earlier…

Patrick informed me that Mugen Civic RR conversions/replicas are all the rage in the Philippines right now….Makes sense though because the conversion doesn’t require as much work there seeing as how they already have the Japanese front and rear-ends…

Though it isn’t the genuine article, this Mugen RR replica is about as close as you can get aesthetically…

Here’s a little collage of images Patrick put together…clicky here for a larger version (1400×933)….

Smog and emissions obviously isn’t a real concern over in the PI…here you can see a bus just spewing black smoke…

Next up, we have some photos from the Manila Auto Salon…there were some pretty oddball cars here so I just selected a few to show you guys…The EK above is probably the more visually-appealing example of Hondas at this event…

Purple 4-door on some Carving Head/DAMD Lover Soul wheels…

Clean, restored 1969 VW Beetle…

White R34 Skyline on some bronze Volk TE37s…

1979 Porsche 911 with a Martini Racing livery…

Another Mugen Civic RR replica, this one in a very bright highlighter-like yellow…

Mugen-themed Honda Jazz…

This orange 4-door Civic had a clean, tucked engine bay…also had some legit Volk CE28s with caps and all…

Just from what I’ve seen in photos, it seems as if HKS is quite popular over in the Philippines. You see the logo represented a lot on many cars there…

1st gen. Toyota MR-2 in mint condition…you can see HKS Super Oil represented once again in this photo…

Vorsteiner Porsche 911 on BBS CK wheels…

R35 GT-R representing “Glade Sport”…Glade as in, Glade the air freshener/fragrance company…odd…but not as odd as the random air filter sticking out of the GT-R’s bumper…

While the Mugen Civic RR recreations are on point, the R35 replicas could use a bit of help…

Another modified Honda Jazz…

Neat little trunk set-up…

EVO X…

8th gen. Civic with a JDM Civic Type R conversion…not really understanding why the owner chose to go with a headlight with red housing though…

J’s Racing-themed Honda Jazz…

Another Mugen RR replica, this one with a K20…

…this one on the other hand, does not, and has the stock R18 1.8L motor…

A restoration shop in the Philippines, displaying the type of extensive work they are capable of with a worn-down 1937 Plymouth P3 and a completely restored 1953 Cadillac Limousine…

So that was what the Manila Auto Salon had to offer…. As you can tell, the 8th generation Civic is the most popular platform to build in the Philippines right now. The Mugen RR Civic is the “look” that most are striving but many continue to stick with the stock R18 motors in them. They have the K20a over there as an option but they are different internally and make only about 155bhp. Manual transmission isn’t an option either and the 2.0L models come with a 5-speed automatic with paddle shift. With that said, this 8th generation Civic you’re about to see is probably one of the more “built” 8th gen. Civics over in the Philippines. I posted up a preview shot of it last week but for those that missed it, you are in for a treat…

According to Patrick, he didn’t get to do a full shoot of this car for a magazine because for whatever reason, the owner was upset by the fact that he wasn’t getting full attention and didn’t get a solo-photo shoot. While in most cases I would understand the owner being mildly urked, we all have to understand that Mr. Lauder was only there for a short amount of time so if he was shooting for a feature, chances are there would be other cars lined-up there to shoot. Anyways, the owner cut the shoot short and just took off without allowing Patrick to finish. The good thing about the whole ordeal was that we now get to see the car today here on The Chronicles…

This Civic, according to Patrick, had all kinds of shit done to it but here are the more notable items…

-Custom “RE Amemiya green” paint
-Legit/real deal Volk Racing CE28Ns (Patrick got  a good look at them up close and authenticated them)
-AP Racing big brake kit
-J’s Racing front bumper, rear bumper, rear wing
-FD2 Civic Type R sideskirts
-Bride seats
-K20A from a DC5 Integra/RSX
-HKS turbo that was dyno’d and made 400HP on pump gas

Click here for a LARGER VERSION (1400×933)… or click here for a DESKTOP VERSION (1920×1080)…

Click here for a LARGER VERSION (1400×933)…

Pretty wild right? It’s a shame that he had to take off before Patrick could get some more shots of it…

I hope you guys had a entertaining time looking through the photos. Obviously a majority of their cars aren’t comparable to the sheer number of quality builds out here, but it’s always cool to take a look at what’s going on in other countries. It’s good to expand your horizons every now and then…

That’s all for today. Thanks to Patrick Lauder for providing the great pics…

11 thoughts

  1. Great pics! I was in Manila and Dipolog earlier this year, and the amount of tuner shops near Manila is actually surprising. That place Emperor had several R35s, an older Evo shell (a V or VI I think) completely stitch welded and bathed in white, a few Z33s, an old Lancer, and an NSX. There’s another shop, called DMF Drift there, across the street, that had an INSANE amount of R34s, R33s, R32s, S15s, and other stuff we can’t get. The owner is a Formula Drift Asia driver, David Feliciano, super nice guy. Wide body FDs, S13s, Chasers, an insanely clean AE86 there, etc. There’s also some other place right next door, AutoVogue Car Exchange, with a huge warehouse that had all the doors open, and they let me inside, full of M5s, 911s, R33s, a DC2 type R w/ Mugen kit, etc. They had 2 Evo X’s in there, one with full Voltex aero, and the other even more nuts with Varis and Esprit goods. The weird thing that you’ll notice if you look hard for a second, is that every car in the Philippines, is LHD, even the R34s, and S15s. It’s illegal to have RHD there, so they’re all converted, (the ones that are RHD only anyway) for an unbelievably expensive rate. And parts there aren’t any cheaper due to the proximity to Japan, if anything they’re the same if not more than the US due to taxing. One crazy thing too, is the shop right in front of DMF Drift, there was this little shop making body kits from scratch, and I actually took a pic of this guy, making a knock off Rocket Bunny kit for an S13, out of raw fiberglass. He even had an 8.5×11″ picture of the Rocket Bunny car from Super Street sitting on the back window to use as his “guide.”

  2. some nice cars definitely. awesome coverage as always. so many fd2 conversions!

    on a side note, when i was living in japan… my gf’s dad had lifted white mitsu delica with advans to haul his diving zodiac. good times.

  3. Having been a fan of this site for years now its great to see a coverage of my country from where I am right now!Very good topic!I agree with Hanzel that blue R35 was based on a R33 skyline made by Atoy Bodykits who do nasty conversions of different cars 🙂

  4. This year i was in the Philipines to visit my family and I also noticed a lot of tuned Honda’s. Lots on Rota’s ofcourse…
    But it is nice to see that they also do have some real nice builds over there, without all the fake stuff.
    It’s always great to check out what they are doing in a different countries.
    You should do a coverage of Holland! we got some awsome builds over here. XD

  5. nice write up! Im from the Philippines and I just stumbled here by clicking a friend’s link in Facebook. Anyway, there’s still a lot of tuned cars here sleeping in their garages, tuner shops, warehouses, etc.. and not on rota’s. hehe. They’re usually the weekend cars or weekend warriors. You might also want to check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icviYYRf854

  6. Having been born here int the Philippines it’s really easy to say that Filipinos as car builders are amazing.. I mean the majority of vehicles that roam the streets here are built from scratch. The first picture shows a couple of jeepneys which are used as the main public transportation here, the design heavily resembles the US’s Jeep.. I strongly recommend you guys google “Iloilo jeepney design”.. It’s much more modern and more tuner like than the ones you see above which is from the capital, Manila City. You’ll notice how the only thing these builders go off on are headlights and grills the rest are handmade.

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