Love at first ride: Get-to-Know Honda Philippines Teenage Champion Jakob Sablaya
For the 16-year old Jakob Sablaya, taking the road less traveled proved to be a journey that was worth the risk. A teenage rider hailing from Antipolo, he developed his love for motorbikes at the age of 6, where most kids of his time would prefer gadgets or simply letting the time go by with an online game. Growing up seeing his father race and compete in motorbike events, it wasn’t surprising that motorsports became a big part of his childhood and now considered as one of the young riders to watch with the country’s leading motorcycle manufacturer, Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI).
ROAD TO DISCOVERY
Sablaya’s first-ever shot at serious racing was in 2018, when he joined the Honda Pilipinas Dream Cup or HPDC. A program designed to discover young riders with exemplary skills for motor racing, it also aims to carefully hand pick vibrant and potential talents who can be trained to become professional riders competing internationally someday. “With Jakob’s outstanding determination, discipline, and grit, it wasn’t surprising that he won for two consecutive years,” said Honda Philippines Inc. MC Planning Department Manager, Hervic Villa. Aside from his stellar performance, Jakob’s passion and love for the sport are two attributes any athlete can’t fake. “While Honda ensures to provide an ideal race bike, rigid training, and supportive team, it’s the rider’s character that will truly stand the test of time. Hard work is always a crucial step in becoming an excellent racer.”
Juggling his time between school and practice is no easy feat, yet Jakob is managing to find a balance for both with the support and inspiration of his parents, especially his father. “Nakikita ko po ang daddy ko na kumakarera nung bata ako at lagi po akong kasama sa lahat ng races nya. Habang tumatagal, napansin po nila na sinusuot ko yung boots, gloves, at helmet nya ‘pag nasa karera na kami,” he recalls. True enough, Jakob’s early exposure in the world of motor biking eventually became one of his most memorable events in life. “Hindi ko talaga makalimutan nung una ako natuto mag bike.”
Sablaya considers 2019 as the beginning of his riding career, as he was able to be part of the Asia Talent Cup Selection and represent the Philippines in Malaysia. But as for him, being a part of the Honda Pilipinas Dream Cup stepped up the plate as an athlete.
“Doon po talaga nahasa ang motorcycle skills ko. Nag ba-bike din po ako ngayon as part of my training kapag wala akong race.”
A rider since he’s 14 years young, Sablaya continues to challenge himself by establishing consistent practice routines, with the guidance and support of his HPI family no less, “I am so thankful to be a part of the HPI Team kasi lagi sila naka suporta sa akin physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. “They help me pursue my dreams sa sports na napili ko, and they give me a lot of motivation too.”
Using two of Honda’s models CBR150R and Supra GTR150 for all his races, Sablaya is quite impressed by their unique built-to-performance qualities. “Yung Supra GTR150, sobrang smooth at lakas ng takbo kahit naka stock lang yung bike, he affirms. As for another model that he uses for racing, the CBR150, he mentions that its newly-released unit is a step up in terms of speed and handling. “Sobrang sarap gamitin dahil naka slipper clutch na sya, at yung shock din nya, walang hassle sa mga likuan.”
However, don’t be fooled as these two champion models sell like hot cakes since they’re both enjoyable for work or play. With CBR150R’s street motorbike elevated design and technology that feels like a racer, it’s guaranteed to set the tone for an inspiring day on the road. Meanwhile, Supra GTR150 is also another model with a racing DNA with sports character. True to its underbone qualities, it’s also lightweight, easy to maintain, and designed to perform at places with twist-and-go throttle.
HPI Motorsports adviser Hitoshi Ito also affirms that this sophisticated breed of models fit the Filipino lifestyle, possesses superbly built all-around character, and highly-powerful to deliver on the road. “Supra GTR150 and CBR150 are two popular bikes of Honda. Customers do love the speed, handling, and reliable performance. As you’d expect from both of these models, they’re also one of the most fuel-efficient road partners, and guaranteed to provide the joy of mobility. With its steadfast handling and impressive features, racers like Jakob can surely expect performance at their best. Moreover, while HPI continuously commits to support and hone more potential talents, consumers can look forward for more products that’s built on quality.”
Honda’s “The Power of Dreams” philosophy is rooted to its core values of creating advance technology products and bring it with excellence to the market. And just like Sablaya and other young hopefuls who dreams of becoming one of the most sought-after racer one day, Honda is also committed to bring to life an experience that will take them there, one ride and journey at a time.
For more details about Honda products and promos, visit our website www.hondaph.com. You can also check Honda products, available nationwide, in Honda 3S Dealerships and Multi-Brand Shops. For other information and queries, follow us on social media: Facebook (Honda Philippines, Inc.) and Instagram (@hondaph_mc) or contact us through our landline number, (02)-8581-6700 to 6799, and mobile number, 0917-884-6632.
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