Falling in love with the Mazda3

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E3---SkyACTIV-920160329Ritz Marcelino said he’s not really a car nut because he has only one reason for buying a car.

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While most car enthusiasts would go through new-car brochures with the attention to detail of a government auditor, even going so far as to compare the peak torque rpm (revolutions per minute) ranges and the number of speakers in the sound system, Marcelino said he will only get a car that looks so good, people can’t help but turn their heads in admiration. Indeed, he said only two cars have satisfied this criterion: his 2010 Honda Jazz 1.5 (which he still owns) and his 2014 Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv hatchback.

“It was love at first sight,” Marcelino said of his Mazda3. “Right now, it’s stock because I want to respect Berjaya Auto Philippines’ [the company that handles Mazda Philippines]request to keep it original. I’ll probably change the rims after the warranty expires.”

Marcelino, a senior software engineer by profession, said he has been president of the Mazda3 Skyactiv PH club since its inception in 2014. He was re-elected to a second term in December 2015.

He said he hopes to keep the club going as a tight-knit group of buddies in the years to come since he has heard horror stories of other clubs falling out with one another. As such, he said he is working to make more members of the 270-strong group more active in club activities.

“Among the car clubs in the country, I really idolize the Miata Club,” he said. “They are so close to one another and so organized in their activities. I hope I could take this club to that level someday.”

Marcelino also said he hopes to one day remove the P1,000 one-time membership fee that funds the club’s activities and merchandise by finding sponsors and doing other income-generating projects. He said the group also plans to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission to make it an official entity.

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