Jibby Tinio’s life has revolved around cars ever since he can remember.
Like most young boys, he was into all sorts of toy automobiles, with a special fascination for Matchbox, Tonka, Bburago, and engines with trailers. Their home’s living and dining rooms served as his racetracks.
Come teenage years, the adventurous Jibby was introduced to Go-Kart. One weekend in 1996, he got invited by his dad’s colleague to Carmona Racing Circuit in Cavite, and there he first tried his hand at racing. “After that [racetrack experience], hindi na ako makatulog,” he recalls to ANCX. It fired up not only his passion for cars but for racing.
“The smell of oil and gas was so addictive to me, and also the adrenaline rush,” he says, remembering his 18-year-old self. He raced in different parts of the country and at one point was named Rookie of the Year in the Caltex Havoline National Kart Series. Even while studying Business Administration with Computer Applications at the De La Salle University, he found time to be on the racetrack thrice a week.
Jibby’s racing career may have only lasted five years but his love affair with cars continued. He got married, and with his wife built a photo and video business called Nice Print, which was a hit among movie stars. Now Jibby and Charisse have three children.
As a family man, Jibby got interested in sports utility vehicles (SUV). Driving a Toyota Hilux or a Land Cruiser, he would go off-roading with his kids in the mountains. “I had our Hilux upgraded para equipped sya for off-roading,” he says.
He also has an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and a Polaris utility terrain vehicle (UTV). “[The UTV] is like a buggy—it can go on a rough terrain, it can cross rivers,” he says. He and the kids—who love the outdoors—would usually drive up to the mountains with friends and cousins. They would collect rocks and swim in the river. By dusk, they would bring out their camping gear and have a barbecue.
In 2019, Jibby had to upgrade his Polaris two-seater to become a four-seater. “Before kasi nag-aaway ang mga anak ko kasi isa lang ang pwede ko isakay. Now, I can bring the two kids and a houseboy to help me set up a grill for us,” he says.
“There’s no electricity up in the mountains, so talagang pure, raw camping. It was fun,” he says. He would usually spend his birthdays in Mount Pinatubo, and would also explore other trails in Bulacan and Rizal. “We did that for almost eight years. We only stopped during the lockdowns, because the health protocols needed to be observed,” he says.
Jibby says that while going on road trips is allowed in many areas, it’s still quite a hassle to get all the permits and travel passes from the LGUs and undergo the swab and antigen tests. “So we thought we’ll just do it again once restrictions have eased up.”
As the kids love the waters, he added a jet ski to his collection of vehicles. They usually bring it when the family spends beach weekends in their home in Zambales. “I bring them all—the ATV, the UTV, and the jet ski, naka-trailer sila,” he says smiling, noting that he has never outgrown his fascination for trailers.
For city wide trips, he usually drives his Land Cruiser 76 Rebirth. “Ang gusto ko kasi mga working cars—yung tipong I can use it every day, if I like. Hindi ako masyadong mahilig sa mga vintage cars,” he says. Unlike European cars, which are not used to tropical climates and is “like a baby who’s very needy,” a Land Cruiser, which is made in Japan, is very reliable, according to Jibby.
He does have a European car, though, a Posche Cayenne, which he only drives around Metro Manila. If he wants to go on a quick trip with friends—say, have breakfast in Tanay, Rizal—he rides his Vespa.
Most of his vehicles have been with him for many years, and one of the reasons they last is because he’s “very OC” when it comes to their care and maintenance. “Before I leave the house gusto ko they’re clean, in tiptop condition. I even touch the fender, yung under the wheels, to check kung may dumi. I always check the oil, mga liquids sa engine,” he says.
Jibby says it’s the same kind of attention he gives his clients’ cars. He owns five branches of Rapide Auto Service in Metro Manila. “Passion ko din kasi ang tinkering with cars so I started Rapide—yun ang aking baby ngayon,” he says.
He and his wife Charisse started the franchise in 2005, opening their first shop in Commonwealth, Quezon City. They have since opened four more branches—in Pioneer St., Pasig; Metrowalk, Pasig; Molino, Cavite; and Alabang, Las Piñas.
“When I see a car, I check the tires, sometimes I get the key at inii-start ko pa. Check ko if it’s running good. Pag love ko ang relative or friend na yun, I’ll open the engine and check everything,” he offers. He’s also very particular when it comes to the expiry date of tires. “Tires are only good for five years, so kahit makapal pa, I really recommend changing it na if five years old na sya.”
His wife noted their cars have never bogged down in any of their trips, and he thinks it’s because they’re well-maintained. “Any small sound, I bring it right away to the shop for checking,” he says.
Covid has made the Tinios extra meticulous when it comes to cleanliness, so last year the couple decided to start a disinfectant line. It started out with Speedster, a disinfectant designed for car interiors. “Pag sumasakay tayo sa car, gusto natin mag-disinfect, so we use alcohol. But the problem with alcohol is pag ini-spray mo sa leather and plastics namumuti,” he says. So they had a chemist formulate a product that can kill viruses but doesn’t corrode or damage the surfaces it disinfects. One of its key ingredients is the quaternary ammonium compound (Quats) is known to be effective in killing bacteria and viruses.
They have since expanded their line of disinfectants. Pro Gear is specifically made to disinfect and deodorize riding gear like helmets, gloves, face shields, and riding jackets. Spritz & Go is for leather bags; Shoo Away is made to disinfect and deodorize shoes; and Clean Tech is formulated to safely disinfect surfaces of high-contact gadgets like phones, iPads, and remote controls.
Jibby has evolved through the years, and so did his love for cars. What’s the takeaway from all these? If you nurture your passion enough, it will keep giving back the love.
Photos courtesy of Jibby Tinio