The L300 as ‘part of PH history’

By Tessa R. Salazar Philippine Daily Inquirer September 18,2019

When we talk of Philippine history, topics usually revolve around people, places, and events. For the Mitsubishi L300 to be considered part of Philippine history, this vehicle must have had a role in shaping what we are as Filipinos today.


For members of the 7,000-strong Mitsubishi L300 Club Philippines, this uniquely Fillipino utility vehicle has repeatedly proven its worthiness.


“The L300 is part of Philippine history. This workhorse of our modern era has, time and again, been relied upon by families and businesses in their day-to-day lives. The versatile nature of this underrated machine gives it that determined aura of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’, and is symbolic of the modern Filipino’s never-give-up attitude.”


That was how Mitsubishi L300 Club Philippine president Benjamin Liao described the vehicle’s continuing legacy.


In the Philippines, the L300 has been the primary choice of micro, small and medium enterprises. From water deliveries to school shuttles, catering, hardware supplies, and various other transport logistics needs, the L300 offers that “can-do” attitude and performance, with variants that showcased versatility: The Versa Van (1987 to 2009); the Deluxe (1987 to 2017), and; the Exceed (2009 to 2018).


“The L300 has been backed by the high manufacturing standards of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp, which speaks of its durability,” Benjamin said. He added that MMPC partnered with local body builders  for cab and chassis models “in the spirit of Filipino ingenuity and craftsmanship.”


MMPC is set to continue the L300’s continuing rendezvous with local history and partnership with the local economy with the introduction of a new, Euro4-compliant L300 later this month.


Such good news has brought about a fresh wave of nostalgia from the club’s members. Benjamin, 34, a businessman, and the owner of a 1995 L300 FB, recounted how his L300 took him and his brother Ben through all the hardships in life.


“Its sturdiness and endurance has been demonstrated in thousands of units delivered to families, enterprises of any size and all branches of the government. Their years of ownership show proof of many more profitable years to come.”


Benjamin’s older brother Ben, 40, stressed: “The L300 is reliable no matter what road it’s on—whether wet, muddy or on uphill. Most people think that the L300 is just for one purpose. But if you’re imaginative enough, it can be used for several purposes.”


You know that history on a nationwide scale has been made when personal stories weaving around a common subject matter have reached sufficient numbers.


The personal stories about the L300 is one such example. For the Mitsubishi L300 Club Philippines alone, more than 7,000 stories give testament to the L300’s iconic status. The following is just a small sample:


For club vice president and resident mechanic Ernest Yu, 28, his family’s 1991 L300 FB has been used to haul steel for the family’s hardware business, and for people transport. He also drives a 1994 L300 Versa Van configured into an ambulance. Yu is also a fire volunteer and is part of the Emergency Medical Services.


Ian RJ Reyes, 40, has so many fun and fond memories of his family’s L300, he says he can’t wait to make more new memories with the new L300.


Dentist Ronald Anthony Fernandez, 50, said that the Versa Van worked perfectly for working class people like him who needed a van but also needed the function of a pickup. The original parts, he observed, remain affordable.


Car enthusiast “Jimmy Jazz” Virador, who owns a gas-powered 1997 L300 Versa Van, said that “the Versa Van is perfect for personal and for family use because you can seat 12 there.”


Daryl Pagsisihan, 28, who owns a 2001 L300 Exceed, said, “That van was perfect for us since we have a big family. It can fit up to 12, so we use it every time we go home to Gumaca, Quezon. The 4D56 2.5-liter diesel engine is very durable, and popular. It’s spacious, and the aircon still works fine.”


Mark Anthony Atienza, 29, uses his 2011 L300 FB to regularly haul staff and crew of an advertising agency and a crew that produces TV commercials and teleserye. “The vehicle can really carry a lot of passengers, as many as 13,” said Atienza. He said his brother also drives an L300 FB.

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