Promise made — promise kept
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2019 - 12:00am

Men with good intentions make promises - Men with good character keep them” – Ronald Oliver

In a country where politicians and businessmen make promises a dime a dozen and break them, a promise made and a promise kept will get people’s attention. I’m sure that this week, that will be part of the conversations for thousands of drivers who will be passing through the Alabang Viaduct and SLEX. If our readers will recall, no less than SMC president Ramon Ang made a promise about a month and a half ago that their company will complete the necessary work on SLEX and will open up the area on December 1. He even went on to say that driving through Alabang would be less congested and faster.

I had completely forgotten about the whole thing and as part of my adjustment on commuting from Lipa City to Metro Manila, I’ve opted to leave Lipa around 5 am on Sundays just to avoid the traffic jams at Alabang. That adjustment certainly worked because I usually make the trip in 1 hour and 20 minutes, the only draw back is that I give up a day at the farm. Yesterday, December 1 I did the same drive but 30 minutes later. I expected to get caught in the regular Sunday volume but I was not. Instead I started to see signs on the SLEX saying: “Skyway stay left”. This was new to me since cars going to the Skyway have always been told to take the right outermost lane. But this time the signs said stay left way ahead of the viaduct, so stay left I did. That’s when I realized that I was about to drive on the alternative lanes that SMC had built so cars could get on the Skyway without causing traffic at the ground level. I was even impressed at the number of motorcycle traffic enforcers along the route. What I did not know was that the alternate route was going to be officially opened in an hour or so! I got to drive on it before they even “officially” opened it.

Because I accessed the Skyway ahead and drove through, my travel time was cut short by at least 10 minutes! While I was so appreciative of the experience, it dawned upon me that Ramon Ang’s proposal to build a Skyway extension above EDSA is not crazy nor is it impossible. The Skyway ON TOP of the SLEX is “Proof of Concept” that such a project makes sense. The fact that Ramon Ang’s December 1 promise was kept is also proof that he and his teams are engineering professionals who can accomplish things as promised and on time. In any case congratulations to Ramon Ang for “A Promise Made – A Promise Kept.”

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When my good friend Rommel Sytin, who heads United Asia Auto Group Inc. first told me that he was planning to add the Chinese auto brand Cherry Auto to their line-up along with FOTON trucks, he must have seen my puzzled look and disbelief. Given how hard the Sytin family worked at building up and establishing FOTON as a highly competitive brand, I questioned why they would pick up a brand that had floundered in the Philippine market before. But unlike other businessmen, Rommel did not even try to convince or win me over. He simply smiled.

Last November 27, 2019 Rommel Sytin led the official “Re-launching” of the Cherry Auto brand in the Philippines and they did it the same way the “big boys” or big brands do it; they rolled out 4 different models and when I saw them, I understood why Rommel Sytin and the UAAGI group was so confident about what they were doing. Instead of rolling out 4 cars, they rolled out 4 SUVs that started from the basic mini SUV TIGGO 2 selling at P695,000 – TIGGO 5X a slightly bigger and better stocked unit selling at P881,000. Then the full size SUVs TIGGO 7 P1,195,000 and the full compliment TIGGO 8 at P1,280,000. In terms of looks, all cars are quite stylish and look similar to certain German SUV designs. I quite liked the TIGGO 2 because it would be a practical go-around the Metro sort of vehicle or a mini SUV that’s good looking enough but affordable enough to give to your son or daughter who just graduated from high school and has started to drive.

By launching all four SUV models, UAAGI clearly wants to compete head on with the new brands that have entered the Philippines in the last year. Just so you know, many of today’s SUVs are now built out of China subject to original manufacturers’ specifications, so if you happen to be concerned about the “made in China” stigma, most things we use are “made in China” because that also means they are more affordable especially after the Philippines and China entered into trade agreements. To emphasize their confidence in the vehicles, Cherry Auto Philippines is offering an industry-leading 10-year/1 million-Km Power Train Warranty on top of a 5-year General Vehicle Warranty. To sweeten the purchase, Cherry Auto Philippines is offering a 3-year FREE Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) to all buyers of any TIGGO model. These warranty and Service perks are all clearly designed to assure potential buyers that the company will back their products. So if you’re in the market for an SUV that won’t take your child’s college tuition or compete with a home mortgage, try out the TIGGOs. If you do buy one, Remember: take advantage of the service and warranty offerings because that’s why it’s there, to make sure you get a lot of miles from the TIGGO.

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