Rhian Ramos is one of the Philippines’ most exciting young actresses. A modern renaissance woman, she is also a competitor in a sport that is typically male- dominated—racing. Her penchant for motoring is what led her to be
the brand ambassador for the newly launched Phoenix PULSE Technology. We sat down with Rhian to know more about her newest pulse- racing hobby!
What have you learned from being in a male-dominated sport? What are the challenges you have to go through?
Rhian: They are okay to lose to anyone except to me. So, sometimes you would think being a girl in a male-dominated sport means that, are they going to take it easy on you? Are they a little nicer to you? Do they like to overtake? No! Because no one wants to be behind a girl. So, it just makes you a little bit more competitive. But also, racing is a giant mind game. So, sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, if they see my car behind them in the rear view it makes them a little easier to scare but sometimes they can up their game. It depends what kind of driver you’re up against.
What motivated you to start racing competitively?
Rhian: It was actually a media event and I was one of the celebrity racers that they got to try it out in front of everyone and then, when I was done with that promotion, I just started getting the feeling that I missed it. I missed it a lot.
How did you deal with driving at high speeds for the first time? Did you get nervous? How did you cope with that?
Rhian: Well, it was fun immediately. I only remember one time when it wasn’t fun. It was my first accident. I was so scared to get back in the car but the advice that I got was, “get back in the car on the same day.” I mean, after the hospital check up and everything. Get back into a car on the same day because it’s just going to get in your head. Now, I don’t fear the accidents anymore because I totalled that car and I had a bruise in my knee. Safety gear is everything, and if you have that then you have nothing to fear.
What appealed to you about joining the Phoenix family?
Rhian: It started with their Premium 98 which I started using for my Mini Cooper and in our races. It’s a high-octane fuel and it does not cause any damage to the engine.
Because we have six races a year, you want the engine life to be healthy. You don’t want to perform well in one race and then you don’t know what your engine will be like in the next race. So it started when I chose Phoenix Premium 98, and now it’s even better with the launch of Phoenix PULSE technology. I’m really excited to be part of the Phoenix family now because they’re really leveling up their products. It is easily at par and competitive with bigger international products out there, but it’s homegrown and you get more bang for your buck.
Would you say there is some sort of misconception out there in terms of standard of fuel in the Philippines and certain companies?
Rhian: I would say that the Philippines is generally the kind of country that wants to copy whatever the US is doing. So, we started off really not supporting local products, but now, it’s like we’re in this renaissance era where everyone wants to throw their support behind a local product. Personally, I trust a lot of local products more and more, and it’s being proven how we have items that are just as good as imported items; and personally, I would rather be with a local company because all the sources are nearer and they don’t pass through so many people before it gets to you. You don’t know what’s really happening to the product before it gets to you, so I trust more the locally sourced.
What do you hope to achieve moving forward, how do you see yourself competitively involved in racing?
Rhian: Acting is my passion but it’s also my job. The fact that it’s my job, sometimes takes away my passion for it. Now, racing is my passion and I would never make it my job because it would take away my passion from it. So far, my experience is all front-wheel drive racing. So, I would like to do some rear-wheel. I actually only tried karting last night before the launch event, so I’m excited to do this on a more regular basis. It’s nice because there’s a bit of drift to it. In a front wheel-drive, you don’t get that feeling. I would probably just try different kinds of motorsports. I’m not sure about drifting, but I definitely want to try it. My plan is that by next year, I need to know how to ride a motorbike because traffic is driving me nuts lately. I’m enjoying the long drives but not inside the city anymore. So, I will probably try to get on a motorbike.