There should no longer be any debate about whether the Philippine economy is growing or not. Very clearly, it is.
One of the latest signs that the economy is soaring is the coming of Rolls Royce to the country.
As an editor of this paper, I get my fair share of invites to this and that press function. Some I attend, some I do not. But the one that I got a couple of days ago really blew my mind.
The invite said Rolls Royce will very soon have a distributor in the country. And yes, this is a very big deal. It means that the manufacturer of the world’s best car—also one of the most expensive—believes that there is a big enough market in the Philippines to bring in their brand.
Ordinary morals like you and me can only dream of riding a Rolls, much less owning one. Even a third hand Rolls is beyond the means of ordinary Joes.
I presume that the Mannys of the country can easily afford a Rolls, be he a Pacquiao, Pangilinan or Villar. Other natural markets will be the top hotels, resorts and casinos which will have bragging rights over their competitors which own humble Benzes and BMWs if they own a Rolls or two.
I have no idea who the local distributor will be, although I suspect it’s the same group that imports other super luxury brands. The private sector is clearly leading the way in the continued growth of the country.
Soon enough, even the sector that is being left behind may be able to move up the ranks to lower middle, then full middle class status.
The Rolls, however, will only be attainable for the Forbes Park crowd.
As far as I know, anyone who ever buys one becomes a registered owner. The headquarters keeps tabs of its owners, and tries to know where every automobile ever built lands up in.
The Rolls is considered the best car of all because it has an unusually long life. It is not unheard of for a 50, 60, or 70 year old Rolls Royce to still be in good running condition.
No other car comes close where its reputation for longevity is concerned.
Incidentally, there are a few of the babies in the hands of private owners. I know, for example, that the late Pasay City Mayor Pablo Cuneta—father of a certain Sharon Cuneta—had not one but two Rolls Royces. Not bad for a guy who started out as a kalesa driver, if the tales if his past are to be believed.
There are, to be sure, other brands that are faster. The Italian cars like Lamborghini may cost more than a typical Rolls, but then this is like comparing apples and oranges.
It would be interesting to know who the first buyers will be. For sure, the Bureau of Internal Revenue will be keeping a close eye on any Filipino who owns one of them.