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MOTORING TODAY - Ray Butch Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Another proudly Pinoy feat was what business tycoon Cesar Lee achieved when he put up the huge, humongous and expansive Toyota Alabang Service Center — the largest in Asia  — located along Alabang-Zapote Road in Las Piñas not far from his similarly but not quite as big Toyota Alabang, Inc. (TAI) dealership and showroom.         

When I went to attend its late Saturday afternoon rain-drenched inauguration (a Chinese good luck omen) last August 4, I was welcomed by the mild-mannered and soft-spoken business magnate himself who immediately offered a tour of the place, motioning me to choose between a Toyota van and a golf cart.

Unknowing of the building’s expanse I jokingly asked, “Cesar, I need a ride just to look around?”

His witty retort floored me, “Butch, I suggest you take the ride. Baka masira yung sapatos mo (You might ruin your shoes).”

I was just half way the tour when I realized my host wasn’t joking. This service facility was indeed vast in all its five-story glory with a total floor area of more than 14,000 sqm capable of servicing 150 vehicles a day.

Lee, the very unassuming chairman of TAI, proudly explained that the Toyota Alabang Service Center offers a complete range of maintenance and repair services all in one world-class facility. Equipped with the most advanced technology, the center checks roadworthiness of each vehicle with special test lanes that assess vehicle brakes and suspension as well as top-of-the-line frame aligners that assess vehicle chassis with utmost precision.

In her welcoming remarks during the inauguration, which was attended by top officials of Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan) and Toyota Motor Philippines, together with a slew of luminaries from the government, business sector and media, Jhoanna Lee-See, the lady president of TAI said, “The opening of the Toyota Alabang Service Center in Las Piñas is like a homecoming for us. It is our way of reconnecting with our roots and giving back to the very same people who have brought us to where we are today.”

Congratulations to the men and women of Toyota Alabang, Inc.

Happy Motoring!!!

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