Born to bike
Rising motorsport superstar Jacquelyn “Jacq” Buncio is making her own name in the male-dominated industry of two-wheel racing as she continues to take home major prizes from various tournaments. With just a few years of experience, the 16-year old prodigy has already recorded a winning streak and earned titles, including IR Cup Championships, Second Ocer-all Champion at the Philippines Scooter Racing 2016, Third Over-all Champion Philippine Underbone Racing 2016, Vice Champion at the Moto IR Championship 2016, and Over-all Championship for the Pirelli Lightweight Superbike Category. She was the first female and the youngest motorcycle racer to win the 2016 Philippine Pirelli Suberbike Championship last October.
“It's easy to join and accomplish the application form, but not everyone in this field can win. Being a 16-year old motorcycle athlete, ‘yung pinaka-goal mo, for example, is to win among the thirteen other countries with my flag, with my name on top,” Jacq proclaimed.
With the passion for motorsport naturally running through her veins, Jacq is determined to follow the footsteps of her elder brother, the late superbikes’ legend Maico Buncio.
“Motorcycle has been part of my everyday life. I was born and raised with it. Unang araw ko sa bahay namin merong motorcycle. Sa birthdays ko, merong motorcycle. Siguro, yung pinaka-curiosity ko, how fast these bikes can go? Kung ang kuya ko kayang gawin ganon kabilis, what if I could do it? But with his death, hindi niya natapos yung pinaka-goal niya. Yung mismong satisfaction. Hindi niya natapos. I was there during his sacrifices, including yung hindi siya umiinom kasama nung mga highschool buddies niya just to stay fit and active. Those things made me decide that I want to be a racer,” she added.
Beginnings and challenges
Reflecting on the 2011 accident that killed Maico in a competition, Jacq’s father and trainer, Gregorio “Yoyong” Buncio, also considered as a legend in the Philippine motorsports, confessed that he himself was quite reluctant in letting his daughter race in tournaments.
“When she was young, I never thought that she would be into this sport. We didn't allow her during those days because she is our youngest, our girl, baby namin siya. Baby rin siya ni Maico. Ayaw namin siyang ma-involve sa racing after what happened to his kuya. Di namin inaasahan na papasok sa isip niya na she will still join racing in spite of what happened to his kuya,” Yoyong admitted.
“So what I did, mapagbigyan lang siya, I bought her a smaller bike. Every time that I have a free time during weekends, we go off-road, climbing up the mountain just to satisfy her. Gusto niyang mag-motor. Then we have a foundation dedicated to Maico for children who have potential in racing. Jacq was always there watching the kids at the training clinic. One day in 2013, she insisted to participate in a competition. Initially, kulelat siya, but she was happy. So I thought okay na. Then she insisted on practicing. So I asked her, ‘why do you have to practice?’ She said, ‘I'm the sister of Maico Buncio, tapos kulelat ako?,’” he added.
Apart from the challenges of the sport that she has chosen, including the intense regimen to keep her body athletic and in good condition as well as the risk of accidents during tournaments, Jacq is also braving the struggles of being a lady in a male-dominated circuit.
“Yun yung pinaka-pet peeve ko. Yung sinasabi nilang babae lang ako. What's the difference? We're all human beings. You're just stronger, kasi male ka, but that doesn't mean that you're better than me. Everything, lahat ng sinasabi nila, I just brush them off. Even the small bikers, sinasabi nila, ‘ah kasi may kaya kaya nakaka-race.’ Well, yes, it's because I have my family. It's a gift from my family. I’m not the type of person who will say na, ‘ayokong kumarera kasi ginaganon ako.’ Who are they? I'm not here to please them. I’m here to please myself, my family, and my sponsors,” she said.
At the second round of the Philippines Superbike Championships 2017 held earlier this month, Jacq successfully brought home the First Place spot in her division. Jacq’s motorcycle was primed with TOTAL Hi-Perf, the leading line of motorcycle and scooter engine oils by Total. Making use of a super strong film technology, TOTAL Hi-Perf ensures optimal engine performance by protecting it against extreme heat, wear and tear, and corrosion.
Seeing parallels between the story of Total in the Philippines and that of Jacq, Total executives never hesitated in choosing and supporting the budding biker as the brand ambassador of the TOTAL Hi-Perf in the country.
“When we first encountered Jacq, we saw her in a way as the best kept secret of two-wheel motor sports. If you were not a big fan, a serious aficionado in this sport, or a racer, you would not know Jacq. So for us, when we finally got to talk to her, we realized that we have a diamond in the rough. Someone whom we know will achieve a lot with her talent. In a way, we are also like that in Total. We're a best kept secret. We're big in Europe. However, if you’re not someone who travels a lot and see our stations in Europe or in France, or for example if you're not an engineer who sees the name of Total in equipment manuals, you wouldn't know Total. Riding on our similarities, we decided to support Jacq because we want to share with her dream and be with her in every step of the way,” Total VP for Lubricants and Specialties Raymond Decena explained.
“I thought that this is exactly what Total is in the Philippines. Even if Total is big in Europe and other parts of the globe, here in the Philippines, we are not that big yet. But we have a vision similar to what Jacq is trying to achieve and hopefully, not just locally, we actually want her to flourish and grow. I'm sure that she is going to get a lot of support. Total has been like that in the Philippines. Total started quite small and is gradually growing. The ambition is there. Total's ambition here in the Philippines is very much alive, not just in lubricants. I would like to take Jacq to this journey with us and I think that she is the perfect ambassador. She is very young, very humble. She is very determined. I have no doubt that she will win championships,” Total President and Managing Director Luisito Poblete concluded.
Lionell Go Macahilig / Group Editor
Building on the learnings that he earned from the academe and his almost three-year professional experience in the outsourcing industry, Lionell joined HardwareZone Philippines in 2007. In his free time, he runs his PC shop and reads various articles online. He also likes cats and jogging.