In conjunction with the media launch of the refreshed 2020 Mazda 2, Bermaz Auto Philippines also hosted a grand eyeball (or EB) to all of its certified Mazda car clubs at their new Center of Excellence logistics and customer service center. The event was not just in celebration of the new Mazda 2 and the newly-built Center of Excellence, though. It’s a simple celebration that’s all about the passion for driving that’s shared between both the company and its loyal customers.
Car clubs are no rare thing in the Philippines. With the advent of low downpayment promos and other financing schemes, car ownership has never been easier. This inevitably has led to the formation of clubs or organizations filled with people brought together by their common interests.
Car clubs, however, do come and go. Not everyone carries the same ideology that car clubs are mainly formed for the sake of one’s passion for their four-wheeled dream machines, often leading to a certain level of politics and toxicity that ultimately does not promote camaraderie. Trust me, I’ve been there.
But that’s all different now when finally, months after I bought my own Mazda 6 Wagon, I decided to attend this massive gathering of Mazda car clubs from various walks of life and interests. The only thing in common with these people are their love and interest for anything Mazda, may it be the MX-5, Mazda 2, heck even the Mazda MPV, 929, and Astina.
As mentioned, various Mazda car clubs were invited, such as the Mazda 2Ners, Mazdatech (of which I belong to), Miata Club, just to name a few. And yet, even though these people come from various Mazda car clubs, they all warmly welcome one another as if there were no logos on their t-shirts indicating the club they are part of. It’s like a version of the United Nations, the only difference being is that they’ve all been united because of Mazda.
And then, of course, there’s the gathering itself. It’s nothing extravagant to begin with, but it’s something that’s quite different, at least from what I’ve experienced. Back when I still had my older car from another car manufacturer, the car clubs I’ve been to were mostly about the drinking and the booze. It’s as if those gatherings all revolved around alcohol and other activities that will only attract a certain niche. This is why Mazda’s simple, family-friendly and humble boodle fight was such a welcome change for me.
As the celebration went by, the folks from Bermaz Auto Philippines began raffling off various gift items and car parts. Yes, car parts! I am not kidding. No, I did not win any car parts, but I did win quite a number of friends that have given me a warm welcome in a way that I’ve never felt from a car club for quite a long time.
Lastly, these Mazda car clubs have the heartfelt support of Bermaz Auto Philippines themselves. Remember last year’s gathering of Mazda RX-7 owners? Even Bermaz themselves say that if they need help sourcing a part for their lovely steed, they’d be more than happy to search it for them. No wonder that these Mazda car club members will travel far and wide just to have a simple boodle fight, a lovely chat with their mates, and to be a lucky winner of a set of car parts for their lovely steed. If that isn’t manufacturer support, then I don’t know what is.
All in all, what sets apart these Mazda car clubs from the rest is the level of camaraderie not just within each Mazda club, but among other members as well. There’s none of the toxicity and the politics plaguing many car clubs across the country.
It’s not just a reflection of what local Mazda owners are, but it’s also a reflection of how much Mazda in global terms intimately treats its customers and loyal owners.
Various photos by Mark Jesalva