There was a time when every gearhead college kid’s dream was to be part of the “scene”. I was one of them. It’s been about 19 years since I first met STiK. I didn’t know where to start, but with the help of fellow gearhead friends, I was fortunate enough to get in. Friends called him Pow and at that time he was already well-loved by the Honda Club community. And with good reason.
He was a hardcore Honda fan (as evidenced by the many transformations of Cory/Goldfish, his trusty EG sedan), a fierce friend, an all-around gentle “giant” and just a plain and simple good guy. A mainstay in HCP eyeballs, random BAS (Big A$$ Shell) tambay nights, and events with friends and families, his presence always brought laughs and tears because of all the aforementioned laughs.
We lost Pow STiK two days ago, and the local car community from HCP, JDMU, Legends of the 90s, and a lot of others still can’t believe it. Today, allow me to tell you something about the one and only Pow Lo(w) Yellow.
STiK: Pow, Powikan, Pow Lo, stalwart, friend, brother
I was in a Lancer Gti, and all the people I hung out with at BAS were driving Hondas. I was a hardcore Mitsubishi boy and everyone else loved VTEC. But not once was I made to feel out of place. The first time I met Pow was at a random “tambay”; he was introduced to me by a common friend and from then on, without bashing other brands, Pow explained to me why he drives what he does.
Long story short I learned a lot from him from how [H] engines worked, how to properly dress up a Civic, how to be critical and at the same time constructive, and how to simply love cars regardless of make and model.
STiK was a stickler for tastefully built cars of the JDM kind, and his ideas and ideals were things he passed on to the younger generation of tuners and enthusiasts. A few years down the line he and his close friends founded JDM Underground or JDMU. For any car guy, every JDMU meet was absolute eye candy. But beyond the cars, it was STiK’s commanding and at the same time lighthearted presence that made those times a lot more enjoyable.
A simple forum grew into a community and a full-blown club that was “N4E” but that didn’t stop Pow from being the same nice guy that anyone could approach and ask about anything and everything related to cars. Even beyond that, STiK became an icon, a guide, a teacher, and a brother to many. This brought about countless and memorable Yabangan Nights, Yabangan Noons, Pan De Sal runs, and a whole lot more.
Those are among his greatest contributions to the local car scene, and I’m sure there are so much more that I can’t simply list here. But I’d like to touch on some fond memories I have shared with STiK.
It’s already been mentioned time and again, but seeing as our bunch was one of, if not the very first people to hang out at BAS (Shell Julia Vargas-C5), this is one of the earlier memories I have. If memory serves me right, it was within that group that the name “Big A$$ Shell” first came to be. We all used to have a good chuckle at “Shell BAS”, but hey, to each his or her own. STiK and I would still chuckle.
And then there was this time that we had a track day at Subic International Raceway. After Cory, his EG, returned to the pits after being driven by our friend and with STiK riding shotgun, the door flew open to a lot of expletives. The story: Pow had his feet on the dashboard because it got just a bit too wild. Another good laugh ensued, expletives still flying. It was all good fun, though!
There were also a couple of Starbucks nights and Saturday Silver Brothers tambays that STiK graced with his larger-than-life presence. Oh, and that old restaurant in Home Depot that’s a building now (I think it was Dencio’s or Gerry’s) had a lot of plates and beer bottles to our names. How the list goes on and on.
A few years ago, I had the honor of being on stage to give thanks for your recovery. It was a long and fun and funny night, and seeing you just being yourself and telling all your jokes and stories was proof of how resilient and beautiful your being, your heart, and your soul truly are.
From basketball nights, club hangouts, JDMU Yabangan Nights, kain, and inuman, he was the life of the party with all his stories and antics, all of which we all already miss terribly. The world has the Stig, but all of us in the local car community have THE STiK.
Forgive me for rambling on, but writing this for a fallen brother is proving to be rather difficult.
So, I will end with this:
Pow, mami-miss ka namin. Miss ka na namin. Salamat sa lahat ng tinuro mo sa akin, sa aming lahat. Salamat sa lahat ng tawanan, iyakan, mga aral, at lahat ng magaganda at masasayang ala-ala na binigay mo sa aming lahat. Maraming nagmamahal sa iyo. Mahal ka naming lahat. Hanggang sa muli nating pagkikita. Paalam, kapatid, kaibigan.