Car nut ties the knotBy Tessa R. Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Fondly called “the darling of the motoring press” for his cute, cuddly demeanor (at least in motoring journalist-cum-wedding reception host Ardie Lopez’s mind), our robust Inquirer Motoring columnist Botchi Santos will not be riding solo anymore.
The 33-year-old erstwhile “most edible bachelor” Botchi exchanged vows with 30-year-old Erica Tan on a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon (which didn’t stop the bride from wearing a Vera Wang gown) at the Christ the King Church. The reception took place at the ritzy Makati Shangri-La Rizal Ballroom.
At the reception, an amusing video presentation aptly titled “How I met my husband” showed how Erica and Botchi met at a blind date set up by their common friend Jasper Tago. As narrated by Jasper, Botchi, Erica and their friends using funny dialogue balloons, the video chronicled the four-month courtship, starting with the funny beginning scene where Jasper asks Botchi and Erica the question “Can I set you up on a date?” not just once. In these exchanges, among Botchi’s replies is “I’m busy fixing my Supra,” and Erica’s subsequent assessment of the first meeting, “He’s not my type” and “He’s mayabang.” Of course, the video ends on a happily-ever-after note, with one of the dialogue balloons saying: “After $$$ Globe bills later, the two hit it off well.”
The groom’s proud father, lawyer Ferdinand Santos, CEO of Global Estate Resort Inc., described his son as “passionate,” who would pursue what he really wanted, even if that meant “breaking tradition.” He added that both families were hoping that the creativity of Filipinos and the discipline of the Chinese would get them by as a couple and as a family. At the elder Santos’ side was his beaming wife Evelyn Santos, while the bride’s equally happy parents, Samson and Elizabeth Tan, wished the newlyweds a joyful, productive life as a couple.
Hints of Botchi’s passion for anything on wheels was present at the reception. A caricature of Botchi and Erica riding a red Porsche 911, obviously Botchi’s favorite sports car, was posted in the souvenir notebook, on the wine bottles, and invitations. Top Gear art director Jaykee Evangelista created the caricature.
The entourage was transported by a virtual motorcade of Audi lip-smackers: Two A8s (one used by the bride and groom, the other by the groom’s parents) and two A6s used by the bride and groom’s families.
Why Audi? “They’re currently my favorite luxury cars,” Botchi said. Need he say more?
The wedding was practically a motoring event in itself, with approximately 40 members of the motoring media present, and about 30 VIPs of car manufacturers and after-market parts suppliers. Those who attended include: Felix Ang, president of CATS Motors (Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge) with lovely wife Grace; Robert Coyiuto Jr., chair of the PGA Group (Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley); Robert Coyiuto III, president of Lamborghini Philippines; Maricar Parco, Asian Carmakers Corp. president (BMW Philippines); Glen Dasig, ACC vice president; Daniel Isla, president of Lexus Manila Inc.; and Andros Villaraza, brand manager of Mercedes-Benz marketing communications.
Also present were: Menchie Ramirez, PGA Cars Motorsports program manager; Ginia Domingo, Columbian Autocar
Corp. president (Kia Philippines); Raymond Rodriguez, Toyota Motor Philippines first vice president; Arlan Reyes, Ad and PR manager of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines; Timmy Naval de Leon, head of Isuzu Motors Philippines corporate communication; Dax Avenido, TMP marketing services department manager; Carlo Chungunco of Lexus Manila with lovely girlfriend Grace Enriquez; Kristoff Arcega of Mazda Philippines; Rich Manalad of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.; Kevin Buenaseda of Motor Image (Subaru); and Pauline Gonzales of ACC (BMW).
Botchi is also Top Gear Philippines Magazine’s consumer editor, who skillfully guides buyers in his column “Wrong Car, Right Car.”
And now, dear newlyweds, wherever you are right now, cozying up on the first few days of your honeymoon, allow this writer to humbly send Botchi a warm message—from one motoring colleague to another: You now have someone to feed you more heartily, Botchi, so better watch your weight more than your wife. Marriage has been proven to deepen pockets, enlarge hearts, lengthen the patience, widen bellies and horizons. Remember, you won’t be riding solo anymore; you will be riding in tandem. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Oh, well. Better start assembling the little Botchis and Erikas as soon as you can. And may you both find more love and happiness, wherever your roads will take you. (Editor’s note: To Botchi, who’s now on his honeymoon, you better bring us lots of stories when you come back.)
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