Your clean, well-lighted place

I apologize to Ernest Hemingway, but I really believe that you’ll find ours to be a clean, well-lighted place where you’re wont to spend oodles of time in.

I apologize to Ernest Hemingway, but I really believe that you’ll find ours to be a clean, well-lighted place where you’re wont to spend oodles of time in.

As an online automotive portal, comes rather late to the party, but we’d like to think that the wait should prove worth it.

But first I beg your indulgence to share a little bit about me – one of the people who serve you as you pass time (hopefully productively) here. I joined The STAR as a full-time employee in 1998, first as a staff writer, then sub-editor for the Life section under its editor Millet Mananquil. I sort of dipped my toes in the, well, motor pool in 2002 when I wrote a bit for then Motoring editor Junep Ocampo, and found it to be a fascinating beat full of fascinating people (some are not so fascinating, but that’s for another column).

I continued to write sporadically as I ventured into the corporate realm for about a decade after my full-time stint at the paper – always keeping one foot in media and always writing for The STAR. I’d pen movie reviews, the occasional profile, car review, tech article, or some other piece that needed to be written. Yes, I just love to write.

By then, the editorship had changed hands as Dong Magsajo took over. The motoring beat was always there; always a welcome place to exercise my writing muscles while laying my hands on the newest vehicles.

I’ve never been a car geek, and that’s okay. I surmise many of you are the same. Math is tough, engineering is tough, but we just know it in our hearts if a car moves us in both the literal and figurative sense. A number of my friends and acquaintances over the years have asked me for my opinion about certain vehicles they were looking at buying, and not one obsessed about mechanicals. The questions would basically be: Is it any good? Is it worth my money? Can I do better at that price point?

I give them choices similar to the original car they’d ask me about just to allow them to comfortably choose. I try not to push my biases on them because I believe that’s not how it should be. I mean, I’ll speak up if I believe something is simply awful, but I’ll let people calmly and freely make their choice. We should only suggest – and maybe gently nudge. As with life in general, give people enough correct information, and they’ll make intelligent decisions.

That’s how we see It’s a portal for everything that should interest motorists, commuters, and even the general public. You don’t need to be an auto nerd to like the stuff within. We speak your language, although we can speak a little geek every now and then. I hope that’s fine with you. But, trust me, we got you – and we get you.

Now tasked to head the overall ecosystem of the Wheels franchise is Manny de los Reyes who took over the Motoring steering wheel in 2012, if memory serves. And, wow, what a brand Wheels is today.

This ecosystem is now the most complete in the local scene. We have the newspaper section, five seasons of the Wheels TV franchise (easily accessed through a tab here in the website), and now an online presence through We also have our Facebook account ( and fledgling Instagram account (@philstar_wheels). And because we are powered by The Philippine STAR, we are able to leverage an established network of news reporters and other affiliate organizations to give you the latest, most credible information.

So, have a seat, look around, and stay. You’re always welcome here.

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