As folks in the automotive industry are aware, Toyota Motor Philippines just celebrated its 30th anniversary in the country. Established in 1988 after a comeback from a brief hiatus due to the financial and political crisis that rocked the country in the early 1980s, the Japanese carmaker had returned and was clearly here to stay. And aftrer 30 colorful years, it has a track record to prove that it is truly a force to reckon with.
At the party held at the posh Grand Hyatt was a unit of the erstwhile Toyota Tamaraw FX. While many may have expected cars like the original 16-valve Corolla that was considered as the coolest car back in its day, the FX was a fitting tribute to what Toyota stands for in the Philippine market. Dubbed as the original Kotse ng Bayan (People’s Car), the FX is as Filipino as it gets.
Consider that this model, which was introduced in the early 1990s, gave Filipino families a viable means of transport. With its 10 seats, it allowed everyone from Mom and Dad, Kuya and Ate, bunso, and even Lolo and Lola to ride in relative comfort. Its tidy size meant that even Mom could drive it. Moreover, the Tamaraw nameplate that gained popularity in the late 1970s and early 80s meant that they had a reliable workhorse fro both the daily commute and weekend getaway.
Speaking of commuting, the FX single-handedly changed the public transport scene as it became a viable alternative to either the jeepney or taxi. Imagine packing nine passengers who could ride in airconditioned comfort on their way to work or school. And with either a no-nonsense gasoline or diesel motor under the hood, this workhorse ran for kilometers on end without a hitch.
In fact, it practically gave new meaning to how we got around. People would often say that they took the FX, which meant they rode an AUV service to their destination. It became synonymous with this type of transport. And while it has been replaced by services like the UV Express, the FX will always have a place in Philippine transport.
Yes, the Tamaraw FX will always have a special spot in the heart of the Filipino. Just as Toyota will always be one of, if not the top choice when it comes to buying a car, the FX represents the transport aspirations we all have—a reliable and no-frills vehicle that could get us around in relative comfort. And although it has evolved into a more modern offering like the Innova, it will always live on as the humble yet ever-capable FX.
Photo by: James H. Deakin