Mechanic produces cars ‘made in Deremany’ | Inquirer News

Mechanic produces cars ‘made in Deremany’

By: - Correspondent / @edison_dyab
/ 09:41 PM September 24, 2011

CEBU CITY—Made in Deremany.

No, it’s not a strangely named country but a label on a Buggy that was proudly assembled in Cebu City.


The Buggy was put together by Antonio Tolorio in his shop in Sitio Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, in Cebu City using old Volkswagen parts.

A man with a sense of humor, Tolorio wrote on both sides of the vehicle: Made in Deremany, Banawa, Cebu City.


He coined the word “Deremany” to merge the Cebuano words, “diri man ni,” which means here and Germany, where Volkswagen vehicles originated from during the Nazi regime.

Tolorio, 61, has sold his Buggy for P130,000 to a businessman in Carbon, the biggest public market in Cebu, three months ago.

He is now building another Deremany vehicle, a 1972 Volkswagen Combi, a van that was also produced by German automaker Volkswagen which also manufactured the famous Beetle and Buggy, an offroad vehicle.

“I enjoy putting together the parts because I feel happy once I see the finished product,” said Tolorio.

Prized possession

Tolorio said he would have wanted to keep a black Buggy that he had put together for three years but he needed the money.

But he kept a brown Buggy with a wolf’s face on the hood, which he also had assembled. Someone offered to buy it for P200,000 but he didn’t want to sell it yet.


Volkswagen enthusiasts have been going to Tolorio’s shop despite its location—a hilly place accessible through a narrow portion of the Good Shepherd Road in Banawa. He specializes in Volkswagen vehicles, which he has been doing for 44 years.

But this son of a farmer never dreamed of even becoming a mechanic.

He was 18 with a few pesos in his pocket when he left his hometown in Merida, Leyte to try his luck in Cebu in the 1960s because he didn’t want to be a farmer like the rest of the members of his family.

“I wanted to try my luck in Cebu because if I stayed in Merida, I would end up being a farmer,” he said.

He stayed with a friend’s relative in Barangay Tejero, Cebu City and later worked as an apprentice mechanic for Safari Motors in Banawa because job offers for elementary graduates were hard to come by.

Mechanic days

“I never dreamed of becoming a mechanic but I had nowhere else to go,” he said.

After six years, he moved to Big Ben motor shop in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City in 1973 since the pay there was bigger. After a year, he was recruited to work in BG Gamboa Motors in Manila, a dealer of Volkswagen vehicles where he stayed for four years.

In 1976, he and five Cebuano coworkers went back to Cebu and put up their own shop called Alta Motors.

The partnership didn’t last and Tolorio returned to Safari Motors in 1979, this time as an expert mechanic. He got married in the same year to Marcelina.

With a family of his own, Tolorio wanted to earn  more. In 1980, he put up his own auto shop on a vacant lot in Banawa, owned by a friend, Ben Melejor. He borrowed some pieces of welding equipment and a compressor from another friend, Apolonio Reyes, who owned a machine shop.

“He told me to use it until I could buy equipment of my own,” said Tolorio.

He bought his own equipment a year after and returned those that he borrowed from Reyes.

Since he didn’t have the money, Tolorio asked for 60 percent downpayments from his clients to buy needed parts before accepting orders.

His business picked up. Satisfied clients referred him to friends until he decided to transfer to a bigger area to accommodate more orders for vehicles.

He moved to a 1,000 square-meter lot, just 50 meters from his old shop. Tolorio also hired two mechanics and two car painters.

His passion for Volkswagen vehicles started three years ago as a hobby. He assembled Volkswagen Buggy units using discarded parts. He would buy dilapidated Volkswagens and salvage parts that he could still use. His first Deremany product was completed in 2009.

And he had no plans of stopping. “If I stop, I would have to go back to my hometown and be a farmer,” he said.

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TAGS: Buggy, car, Cebu City, Volkswagen
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