Saturday, June 20, 2015

Turbo dad's garage

“Turbo dad’s garage
Sun.Star Davao, June 20, 2015

As kids, some of us eagerly collected and traded stickers and stationeries. Others frolicked with their toy guns and prized marbles. For Architect Rafael “Raffy” Tayactac, Matchbox cars were his ultimate childhood passion.

“I remember I would save two pesos everyday from my baon to buy a toy car at the end of the week which cost ten pesos back in the day”, Raffy fondly reminisces. Then, using his mom’s shoeboxes, he would creatively transform them into a cool garage for his growing Matchbox collection.

In 2008, with a successful career as an architect, Raffy began to relive his hobby again. But, this time, he zoomed in on the real deal.

“My first car collection was a vintage Rover Mini Cooper which took me almost a year to restore. The restoration process gave me a different kind of high.  It was like putting back small pieces together until they were complete. And, that’s where my passion in collecting cars took off. It’s like playing with Lego but on a much bigger scale!”, enthuses Raffy.

Raffy divulges that being an architect helped him in restoring cars as it is also very similar to building houses, which he also absolutely loves.

“It takes six months to a year for me to restore a car.  It is always a challenge to me whenever I do it. I put my effort, patience and perseverance on my “babies”. And, at the end of a project, the feeling of fulfillment is priceless. It inspires and energizes me to do another one again. Before I knew it, my collection ballooned to a dozen cars already”, Raffy smiles.

When asked what he considers as among his favorite cars in his collection, Raffy cites his 1993 Porsche Carrera. “It is small yet with powerful air-cooled engine and of course, has excellent body curves”, he describes.

Being a doting dad to young sons Tofi and Ken, Raffy likewise wanted to share his passion with them. So, he decided to build a life-sized Lightning McQueen straight out of the Disney movie “Cars” much to the delight of his kids. This was followed by a miniature military jeep and recently, an impressive miniature village for their playroom at home. “And, my joy doubled because it now involves my family, most especially my kids”, says Raffy proudly.

A few years ago, Raffy became a member of Davao Classic and Sports Car Club which has other dads as co-members. “We share the same hobbies and talk all the time about cars. It’s nice meeting people with the same likes. With them, I learned how to be responsible on the road, and how to preserve and maintain cars. The club definitely expanded my horizons”, the University of Sto. Tomas graduate shares.

From Matchbox toys to real cars, this turbo dad is truly living his childhood dream. And, he wishes to pass on important values to his kids through his passion. “They should dream big and believe in themselves, and if they put their effort, patience and perseverance on their goals, nothing is impossible”, declares Raffy.

Happy Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads!

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