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The Ins And Outs Of Local Car Meet Culture, According To A Car Photographer
The Scene Media's Koji Cruz shares the wheel deal
by Ash Mahinay | Jun 10, 2018
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Even if you aren't a car guy, you've probably stumbled upon a parking lot car meet at least once, and if you do love things on four wheels, then you've probably thought of joining one that focuses on your ride. It can be a bit intimidating to be surrounded by dudes with nicer cars than you, but as the young photogs from The Scene Media share, just make sure to ask nicely!

When did you start The Scene Media and why did you decide to create an automotive photography page?

The Scene Media started a year ago—we’re actually turning one on June 16—with two founding members: myself, Koji Cruz, and Emman Lopez. We're both college students from San Beda Alabang and Carlo dela Cruz from Malayan Colleges Laguna also joined us later on. I am the one who does pretty much everything from covering meets, preparing page posts, maintaining our Instagram account, and replying to private messages. As for Emman and Carlo, though they sometimes reply to messages and create posts too, they are mainly our photographers.

We started an automotive photography page because we wanted to showcase the beauty of the Filipino car scene to the world through our own stories and photos. We also wanted to show the current trends and outstanding local builds that don’t get much attention on the internet. We also saw a lack of good automotive pages that focused on the local car scene, so we gave it a try.


Photo by The Scene Media 

The phenomenon of FB pages or photographers covering car meets as public events is fairly recent, why do you think this all popped up?

In our opinion, it’s the easiest way to get into the local car scene nowadays. Take good photos of cars, post them on social media, the owners will notice and, before you know it, car clubs/groups will invite you to their events even if you don’t have a car to begin with—like us! Meron yung isa samin pero stock, ha ha! It’s also a nice and trouble-free way of showcasing one’s talent and skill when it comes to photography, videography, visual storytelling, and writing.

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Photo by The Scene Media

What does a good meet require nowadays?
A good meet nowadays requires a great number of interesting rides and an accessible and interesting location. It can be open to all but, to avoid unnecessary guests and gate-crashers, an invite only system can also be implemented to keep the quality high and, most importantly, people and owners who share a deep passion for cars. The invite-only scheme of Legends of the 90's (for example) raises the meet standards. Every time they hold a meet, the number of attendees along with the build quality gets bigger—sobrang solid turnout.

Photo by The Scene Media

Some people don't like the invite system because they feel it's snobby. How true is it that car groups or meets are snobs in general?
Actually, we were very hesitant to ask about the meet details [of Legends of the 90's] before because akala namin bawal ang photog na hindi invited, ha ha! But based on our own experiences, we haven’t had a problem with snobbiness. We think it’s just a matter of how you approach the guys or groups, if you approach them the right way, for sure they’ll be nice to you.


Photo by The Scene Media

And what do our car meets lack to “level up” even more?
We think that more car groups should incorporate themes, like a summer-themed meet in March or a back to school theme for June. We already saw a car group incorporate meet themes and it worked out well. We also think that surprises should be a thing: a surprise guest, awards, etc. that can hype meet goers and draw them to meets. More collaborations between car clubs for a more diverse and exciting outcome is also good and finally, we think that meets need more media attention so that the public can be aware that these things do exist in the country. Media attention, especially from international outfits, is the most important thing.

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Photo by The Scene Media

And what things happen at local car meets that you wish would stop?
Number one is the unnecessary banat after exiting the venue, sure it’s cool to watch but let’s all be disciplined and make sure pedestrians are safe at all times. Number two is the discrimination of “newbies” when it’s their first time attending a meet—especially car owners that are trying to get into cars. Lastly, the spectators that touch( or even lean on) cars as if it were their own. Again, it's a matter of respect and discipline.

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