Bulacan drivers win awards from Shell

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    Singing jeepney drivers.
    Singing jeepney drivers.

    JEEPNEY driver-balladeer, Carlito Vergara from Bulacan, bagged the “Tsuperstar” grand champion title at the Shell Rimula Tsuperstar Grand Finals held recently at the Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall.

    His heartfelt rendition of Wency Cornejo’s “Hanggang” bested nine other finalists from different parts of the country at the grand finals, winning a P500,000 cash prize and three years supply of Shell Rimula heavy-duty diesel engine oils. He also received the “People’s Choice Award,” which Vergara won through an online voting contest.

    Vergara revealed that he was praying to win the competition for he needed tuition for his daughter, a nursing student. In the end, Vergara’s prayer was not only answered but it was more than what he asked for.

    “I’ll keep this prize to secure our children’s education. I don’t want them to be like me that unless I ply my route or accept singing gigs, I won’t have any money,” Vergara said in Tagalog/

    Vergara has been driving his brother-in-law’s passenger jeep for 16 years, but admits this isn’t enough for his family of five. He then used his singing talent to help his family by performing in KBLs (kasal, binyag, libing), fiestas, and barangay singing contests. Vergara has even worked as an entertainer in Japan.

    “Ang pagiging Shell Rimula Tsuperstar ang siyang magpapabago sa buhay ng aming pamilya. Kaya hindi ako matatapos sa pagpapasalamat sa Shell para sa biyayang ito,” Vergara adds. [“Being a Shell Rimula ‘Tsuperstar’ is going to change my family’s life. That’s why I can never thank Shell enough for this blessing,” Veragara adds.]

    Aside from Vergara, the other “Tsuperstars” who competed in last Saturday’s packed event were Pablito Bambao from Batangas, Ben Mendoza from Laguna, Rober Pagaling of Tarlac, Raynaldo Bandola from Valenzuela City, Roberto Nuñez from Pasay City, Roland Salazar and Rodrigo Belarmino from Davao; and Renerio Sumabong and Jerlan Lobranes, both from Cebu.

    Mindanao “Tsuperstar” Belarmino won 1st runner-up and was the recipient of the “Ka-JODA Choice Award”, while Salazar, from Davao, brought home 2nd runner-up honors.

    And if the brilliant singing voices of the jeepney driver contestants were not enough, Shell Rimula ambassador Coco Martin, who himself is a proud son of a jeepney driver, also rocked the house with his performance and special number with rappers Smugglaz and Bassilyo.

    “I have huge respect for jeepney drivers, as I am a jeepney driver’s son myself. Even before, Shell Rimula has always been a huge help to our family in taking care of our passenger jeepney. When I started making money from indie films, the first business I invested in was three tricycles and a passenger jeep because I grew around jeepneys and tricycle when I was a kid. So, I was very happy when Shell Rimula invited me to be a part of their family, because this is what we’ve always used in our engines.” Coco said in Tagalog.

    Shell Rimula Brand Manager Recca Menchavez echoed Coco’s statement and reiterated that it is really the intent of their oil brand to support Filipino drivers everywhere, whether it be providing the best oil for their engines or celebrating or honoring their other talents such as singing which they showcased in the “Tsuperstar” competition.

    “Our jeepney drivers and their countless journeys have helped so many of our commuters get to work, school, home and other destinations safely. And to be able to do so, they need to take care of their jeepneys by making sure that they use the best engine oil. That’s what Shell Rimula does best—providing them with products that best fits their engine needs,” Menchavez adds.

    In its 105 years of helping build the nation and providing energy that makes the future, Shell has become a market leader in engine lubricants not only here in the Philippines but in over 100 countries. Shell Lubricants offers a wide variety of oil products for light- and heavy-duty vehicles, cars, and motorcycles. –