The Bug is back
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -People from all walks of life always have a sentimental bond with something valuable, something prized for the memories and emotions it evokes. That nostalgia was prevalent during last Friday’s Volkswagen brand launch at the Ayala Triangle.

Mallgoers experienced that nostalgic moment once more as the Beetle Cabriolet made its way to center stage. The sight of the new Volkswagen Beetle transported the crowd back through time to a place they remember well.

The iconic Beetle or kotseng kuba (hunchbacked car), has its own legacy among Filipino families, and it is being reintroduced by one of the curators of Filipino heritage, the Ayala Group through its Ayala Automotive Holdings, Corp (AAHC). Volkswagen’s return in the Philippine automotive scene is one of the most highly anticipated events in the industry. VIPs from the country’s top companies, government, diplomats and the media attended this homecoming, of sorts, for one of the most well-loved auto brands.

The question was, “How do you improve and reintroduce an icon or a long-lost special someone?”

The brand launch answered that with a remarkable introduction of the Volkswagen marque and showcased the latest Volkswagen vehicles — Jetta TDI, Touareg V6 TDI, Touran TDI and Tiguan TDI and of course, the 21st-century Beetle.

And it did turn out to be a “People’s Car” celebration with the Beetle, bubble-shaped body and all, definitely becoming the star of the night, as it brought back memories and anecdotes among the attendees involving the familiar Beetle curves. The Beetle beats all other cars in shared memories alone. Maybe it reminds you of your dad, your brother or sister, even your favorite uncle or that next door neighbor, polishing their “legendary Beetle” every morning and popping up the front hood to remark, “Oh no, the engine got stolen!” — only to smile with relief and say, “Good thing this car has a spare.”

Guests were also treated to a night of fun, music and cars right in the heart of the Makati central business district: the Ayala Greenbelt Park. There was an exhibit on the Beetle at the Ayala Museum: The People’s Car — old photos, cherished print ads, among others that trigger hearty conversations, remembering friends and creating new ones. Just outside the museum are the Beetle’s other stable mates that are fast gaining a cult following of their own. These are the global models such as the Scirocco R, Golf MK7, Touareg, Jetta, and the Beetle Cabriolet, alongside other Volkswagen vehicles. This celebration will certainly become part of that archive of Beetle nostalgia, documenting a car that returned to the awareness of Filipinos, yet never truly left their lives.

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