By JULLIE Y. DAZA
When she walked into the room in her figure-hugging wine-colored dress (with matching lipstick), her hair flowed down to the waist, long and raven-black as the night. She spoke her greetings in Japanese, then switched to English, the English spoken by an English teacher which, as it turned out, was her former profession. Now divorced from her Japanese husband with a 16-year-old Filipino-Japanese son to bring up, she’s into something very different. She sells trucks.
“I love trucks,” she exclaimed, catching her breath after being caught in traffic from Subic to Pasig. Subic is where her company sold 14 three-year-old Japanese “used trucks for export” in one day on opening day. Three hundred more await buyers, with 10 times that number scheduled to arrive within the year.
Although her feet can barely reach the gas pedal of a truck even with her three-inch heels, J.G. Estela N. Ishihara, born in Bacolod, schooled in La Salle and University of Recoletos, thinks big, like her trucks. For one who has never driven a car, compact or SUV, she’s passionate about trucks, especially the ones tagged AAJapan for the PH market. Sourced from 250 auction houses in Japan, they’re priced at P400,000 to P1.8 million each, she said, “reconditioned, checked for roadworthiness, and ready to go.”
Imagine what 3,000 more trucks are going to do to the traffic nightmares torturing our highways!
Estela is not the only one singing a logistician’s load of praises for purpose-driven utility trucks. My friend Leo Lei, Nissan’s first dealer in Manila for the past 40 years before he was given a raw deal, sold 200 brand-new Hino trucks last year, for which he was recently named Hino’s Dealer of the Year. Nissan’s national champion sales rep in 2017, Joebert, is now selling trucks with Leo.
Joebert, like Estela and despite her name, is female and fearless. What is it about trucks and the ladies who sell them?