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The annual year-ender take 5. 

It’s been almost 5 years since I had the privilege on writing about what Manila has to offer. A dream come true, gathering and sharing thoughts have no limits as it demonstrates lifestyle as a whole.  As social media channels compliment the blog, here behind the lens, the Crew remains true to its roots.

Sneakers, cars, travel, food, fashion and style? Fatlace. Off to my favorite blog post for the year – the finale.

OK, how do we start?

Exactly 12 months ago, we had the go signal to set-up Slammed Society Manila/OK MNL 2017. A Fatlace collaborative meet with Stance Pilipinas / Manila Fitted, this was one of the most memorable gatherings I’ve been too.  One word to describe it all? Challenging.

Unity in community. 

Numerous friends from different parts of the local community welcomed Mark, Vince, Brian, Tim and Max. Held during a weekday at the busiest part of Metro Manila made it an instant classic. What’s heartwarming about the local “scene” is that self ego comes in at zero. Being non-dependent on personal automotive approach, appreciating cars and uplifting the community has always been the top priority for everyone.

This made it a channel to connect several purposely built cars throughout the year. Meets were at a peak for the year, not only for Stance Pilipinas, but also for several other car groups such as the Legends of the 90s.

OK, time for take II. 

Still on a high from the January meet, we went back to the drawing board for Hellaflush Manila by Fatlace, Stance Pilipinas and The Rail. Being an event with a proper program flow, we needed to secure a parking lot to host the highly anticipated meet. The choice was Vista Mall in Sta Rosa as we had automotive games, food, and an attendance of more than 150 purposely-built cars. Up to this date, this meet has to be my favorite among all – which may be very hard to top. But who knows?

New year, new place.

For 2017, I explored a different country – Guam. Being a guest judge for Slammed Society 2017 was an eye-opener for me. Guam is like an extended home for Filipinos, the vibe of the island mixes traditional and modern life. Stay tuned for more automotive coverage in the next few weeks.

Taking more than a thousand shots per trip, preparing and spreading out coverage has always been the challenging part. This 2017, I had less posts compared to 2016 due to my schedule. But I will certainly be making more time to write this coming year.

Car life from Monday to Sunday. On repeat for 12 months.

Being physically present on different meets was something I tried and wanted to do. Different communities define a whole new perspective, but reflect a similar learning process. As I relocated to the southern part of Metro Manila, early Sunday morning car gatherings has been very accessible to me – extending my “car days” to “car months” and eventually becoming a full “automotive year“.

Learning never stops. 

“An update on Car Porn Racing’s builds is a must. Who knows which car? Only time will tell. Hats off to the whole CPR team for an amazing 2016.  Also, expect me to touch base on more local builds this upcoming year.”

Looking back at my 2016 year ender, Car Porn Racing played a vital part in raising Manila’s bar in terms of automotive builds.  I never expected that I was ready to take on my biggest responsibility which started last June 2017. Being a part of the CPR Team is a dream for every car enthusiast, not only being bounded in building cars, being at the shop 6 times a week has been the ultimate tool in learning something new each day.

Not only getting to work on your dream vehicles, CPR’s goal is to boost the local community as a whole through mild and out-of-this-world projects. This year we developed and unveiled a full carbon fiber McLaren MP4-12C converted into Long Tail at the Manila Auto Salon.

Here’s a glimpse of our first project for 2018 – a 997 Turbo with an Old & New Kit. As you can see several panels have been modified to make way for more air ventilation. 2018 has already several projects in the pipeline and this may be just a teaser of the things to come..

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” As cliche as it may sound, I can now say that this is appropriate.

Stance Pilipinas / Manila Fitted.

9 meets in 12 months (including 3 with FTLC and 1 3-way meet with Super Street) makes it SPMF’s busiest year. As the community grew stronger, setting up these meets, designing merchandise, meeting expectations and managing the group was never an easy task…  this makes me appreciate what we’ve built for 8 years.

SPMF wouldn’t be here without some of them. Support from the “elders” has always been my foundation throughout the 6 years in organizing these meets. (Fact: Founded in 2009 but it took 2 years to have a meet)

When things go according to plan.

After 2 years of visualizing and executing, Project R34 (Vader, Sharskfin, I really don’t know) is complete.. almost. Acquiring the car in non-running condition back in 2015 was a huge challenge. To start off, DMF Drift re-worked the engine. A few months after (photo above), I sent the car to Atoy Customs for them to execute my aero kit which I rendered via pen before manually drawing on the car.

Inspiration comes from a lot of ideas, organic leaves, a 993 Porsche Carrera S and a Z-Tune R34. Completely looking at the car now after being painted by DC Garage, and despite all the challenges, I feel pleased not giving up on the project. What’s next for the car? For keeps for now, for sure. Modifications? Maybe I can reserve that for a future feature.

Knocking on 2018.

I can finally say that “Project Mary” is finally a go. In a few weeks time, I will be taking on possibly my most challenging automotive project – a 1976 Nissan Skyline C110 “Yonmeri”. This project may not be finished next year, but its building stage should be interesting.

For 2018 expect features from Guam, Manila and Japan. Overwhelmed by the acceptance on my take about Guam as a travel destination, please do look out for more lifestyle features from me in the next few months.

Japan 2018. 

Skipping Japan for the first time in 4 years gave me several withdrawals. Missing my go-to place wasn’t bad after all as I will be in Japan in two weeks time for the Tokyo Auto Salon. Looking at the first of two – three trips for next year, traveling to Tokyo for the show, an RWB meet, a Daikoku PA run should serve as an appetizer to an exciting year ahead.

Stance Pilipinas / Manila Fitted 2018. 

Who knows what’s next? Fulfilled on delivering its goals for 2017, we are looking at 5-6 meets, including a special one mid-2018. Another Fatlace X SPMF collaborative meet can be under the talks as several friends from the Fatlace HQ are expected to fly out soon. For guests coming in from abroad, we are always open to show you what Manila has to offer through intimate gatherings.

As we close out another meaningful year, I would like to thank each one of who YOU who continuously support in reading my features or by joining us in our meets. Your support means so much.

Special shout out to the people behind everything I do for 24/7/365: Mark, Tim, Von and the rest of the Fatlace/Hellaflush/Stay Fresh Crew family, Stance Pilipinas as a community and Manila Fitted’s core group, my new found family in Car Porn Racing – thank you for the warm welcome.

To DMF Drift, Atoy Customs, Tomato Garage, DC Garage for building the R34. To Tom & the Upshift Ent, Drive Hard Crew, Shareholders, RWB, Flush Style Thailand, Sushi Factory, Pumpkin Pudding, Work Wheels Japan, Hectopascal, Static Crew, Buzz Hype, Ever Since, Classical Works, Van Kulture, Takashi Mori, Eightdecals + Ish, SA Faithful, Legends of the 90s, Classical Works, Lance of Super Street, The Rail and Illest Philippines. Thank you again to each photographer/videographer within the SPMF community,  (Dawgproductions, Instancegram, Keanu Oneil, Kiel See, Jakob Go, Justin Young, Otosthetics, Paolo Batallones, The Scene Media plus a wholeeeee lot more), Iori the man.

I said this exactly the same last year, but there are no other words to replace it…

“Last but not the least.. The man up there for continuously giving me all the energy and drive to fulfill my passion and responsibilities.”

This wraps up my year in review for 2017. May God bless us next year.

Cheers to 2018. Mamba Out.

Kevin Carlos,

Fatlace | Stance Pilipinas / Manila Fitted | Car Porn Racing Manila

Filipino Pride All Day, Everyday. 

Tags : Car Porn RacingFatlacehellaflushManila FittedStance Pilipinasstay fresh crew
Kevin Carlos

The author Kevin Carlos

From the Philippines. Manila Fitted Instagram: @kevcarlos