“WE WERE pressured because we were bringing the name Philippines, and we in Castrol, we thought we could settle for third place, but we instead ended up the Champion. We’re even prouder because we’re from Cebu.”
This was what John Luke Ceniza, part owner of Drake’s Motorcycle Parts, thought after bagging the championship title during the Castrol Asia Pacific (Apac) Bikes Super Mechanic Contest held in Bangkok, Thailand last Nov. 15.
For the past two years, the Philippines has never landed a place on Apac, having Thailand and Vietnam in dominance, but that was before the three Cebuanos represented the country.
Georekey Cantabaco, Gabriel Hidalgo Jr., and Julius Maranga of Cebu’s Drake’s Motorcycle Parts represented the country and bested around 120,000 mechanics from five other participating countries, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Castrol Asia Pacific Bikes Super Mechanic Contest started in 2016, and is a pioneering platform for motorcycle mechanics all over Asia Pacific to hone and showcase their skills in troubleshooting problems on the different motorcycle parts.
Richard Manila, Castrol Market Development & Technical Service Officer, said that while many are not familiar with the competition, it actually made the three (Cantabaco, Hidalgo, and Mananga) exhaust all their knowledge in terms of motorcycle repairing.
“At first, they were answering questions in Station 1, on timed theoretical quiz, more on the technical side about (Castrol) oil. Station 2 was about bike maintenance, and in Station 3 they had to diagnose the issue and fix the faulty parts of a Yamaha Fino scooter, on who could first start the motor,” said Manila.
Aside from showcasing his prowess in his field, Maranga said that this competition gave him the opportunity to explore and has given him a lot of experience to cherish.
Consequently, this success has not only brought pride to their families, friends, the Cebuanos, and the Filipinos in general,` but has also helped Drake’s Motorcycle Parts in their day-to-day business.
Ceniza said that since their victory, the number of clients in their shop had gone up.
“Nisamot og kadaghan ang magpaayo. Bisa’g dili ayuhunon ang motor mangadto na noon (More are coming to the shop for repair, even if some of them didn’t really need any repair),” Maranga jokingly added.
Prior to the Apac competition, a two-module training program for motorcycle mechanics was first held in Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan from June to September to scout for the best mechanics to represent the country in a regionally held Castrol bike mechanics contest. (Wenilyn Sabalo/USJ-R intern)