Fast Times takes a look at the storied life of Miata Club Philippines president Jeric Mariano
Just what can’t Miata Club Philippines president Jeric Mariano do?
Outside of being at the helm of Mazda Philippines’s flagship car club, Mariano is a host, a photographer and an entertainer. His last “occupation” is particularly noteworthy because he has been a member of the renowned all-male a cappella group Tux since 1982.
“We started the a cappella trend in the Philippines after Ryan Cayabyab,” he said. “We have been on hiatus recently because two of our members passed away. But we are planning to hold shows in smaller, more intimate venues to showcase the vocal acrobatics we are known for, without the choreography needed in concerts.”
Mariano is also a veteran media practitioner, having worked in both the “light” and “dark” sides of the industry (meaning journalism and advertising/public relations, respectively). Starting with an ad agency in 1988, he has been a freelance ad producer since he left the firm in 1990. He said he also did work with ABS-CBN, GMA Films and TV5, as well as served as the soundtrack producer for Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s 1998 biographical film, Jose Rizal.
Mariano said he has always been fond of cars, but is keener now on the technical aspects since becoming more involved with Miatas. “Since you own the car, you have to learn to maintain so that you could enjoy it better,” he said.
Mariano said he bought his first Miata (a locally-sold NA model) in 1998, which he sold the next year later. He said this car is now owned by the club’s founding president, Eddie Salonga. Around a decade later, he said he got hooked into Miatas again when he learned that his boss at the time had a US-made 1990 Miata.
“After I tested it, I put some money down to get it,” he said. “Since my boss was a non-enthusiast, there were a lot of things done to the car that weren’t in keeping with its original form. I had to put it back the way it was.”
Mariano also said upon studying the Miata’s papers, he found out that the original owner imported it from the US in 1990 for P1 million. But when he needs to carry more people and things, he said he also has a Volvo 850 GLE and a Mitsubishi Pajero V6.
Top down, forward on
Mariano said he had joined only one club meeting in 1998 before selling his first Miata. When he got his second Miata, he rejoined in 2001 and was elected president of the club on September 2015, with his term taking effect in December. He said like all presidents, his term will only last a year.
“When I found out that I was nominated, my world really crumbled because I think nobody really wants to be president of the club,” he said. “But I realized that this was my time to give back to the club. Like in a group of friends, you can’t always be the one who gets treated out.”
As president, Mariano said he not only represents the club in various activities, but is also responsible for continuing the club’s traditions and maintaining order in the club’s funds and activities. “Apart from being the one who steers the ship, I also have to be the one who gives the last word in club discussions.”
He said his vision for the club is to continue the tradition of having the owners enjoy their Miatas with the other members. “The most important thing for me is to make sure to keep the club together for as long as we can,” he said.