By Ace Alvarez
Toronto, Ontario — As I sat alone in this dimly-lit living room, my memory took me to the week before Christmas Day back in December 1977, where a co-employee for a company I was working at the time and I took off one evening from our hotel — the venue of our national convention that year.
Between sips of draft beer and bites of pizza on the table at the Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in the heart of downtown Baguio City, I complemented the guy I was talking with on his car — a 1969 Toyota Corona Mark II Hardtop (similar to the photo in this post) and that am saving money to buy a car, too.
1969 Toyota Corona Mark II Coupe (Click to enlarge)
In the Philippines at the time, not too many were privileged to buy decent cars.
He asked what have I a need for another car when the company was providing one for me. I responded that I didn’t want the company car model issued to me; that I wanted a car under my name, regardless that the company car I was using did not bear any limitation on use.
He counseled not to buy a pre-owned 4-door Toyota Corona, as it could be an ex-taxicab.
He continued, “If you really want to buy one, I’ll sell you my Toyota Corona Mark II. Just give me P2,500 in initial payment and pay the rest to complete the P5,000 when you are able.”
My eyes lit in disbelief, knowing that such car model and his car’s condition would easily sell at between P7 to 12-thousand.
Christmas and the New Year came and my dream of owning the sports car seemed to see realization. But around Valentine’s Day of 1978, Cupid struck me. I had to inform my co-employee that I would no longer buy his car. Instead, I used the money to wed Gie after meeting her February 13, 1978 (for emphasis, a day before Valentine’s Day that year), ensuing a whirlwind romance.
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