26 Nov2013

Displayed on a back wall of a car showroom in Fort Bonifacio…

“Take the best that exist
and make it better”

Sir Henry Royce

We were stuck in absurdly bad traffic the other night, and as we crawled by the new Rolls-Royce showroom, I noticed this quotation prominently displayed. My command of the english language isn’t that good at all, and I VERY OFTEN make spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, but even I could tell there was something wrong… Surely Sir Henry is squirming in his resting place. Or as I like to say about my mom, churning in her urn.

Mrs. MM (much more the linguist in the family) was with me in the car, and we both agreed that an “s” was missing after the word “exist”… perhaps it had even fallen off the wall and hadn’t been glued back on. But even then, it didn’t sound like a complete quote or a very eloquent one from a man who created and sold some of the world’s most luxurious motor vehicles. So back at home, Mrs. MM googled the quotation, and this is the original version apparently:

“Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”

It’s a really nice quote in its entireity, and I would like to say I try to emulate it, except I would replace the word “design” with “cook”… :)

But really… if you are hoping to sell PHP40+ million peso automobiles (in a country where amount would purchase 80 relatively sturdy homes for victims of Typhoon Yolanda), couldn’t the managers at Rolls-Royce Philippines at least “strive for some perfection” in their showroom? Would corporate marketing gurus at Rolls Royce headquarters be amused or appalled? Yipes and double yipes. If I were in the showroom and looking to buy one of the cars, the sloppiness of that visual would kind of turn me off. But then again, I would probably never be in a RR showroom with real intent to purchase…


…without real intent, however, is another story. :) It doesn’t cost anything to take a closer look or sit in a vehicle more common in garages of royalty, petrodollar sheikhs, captains of industry and probably more than a few crooks. Photo above, MM cropped out, beside a Rolls-Royce Ghost, list price say US$300-350K without bells and whistles, in the U.S. Double that price at least to PHP25-30million in the Philippines. Photo taken in Bangkok, not Manila.


Or stare dreamily at the Rolls-Royce Phantom, list price US$400-450K without bells and whistles, in the U.S. More than double that to say roughly PHP40+ million in Manila. Photo taken in Bangkok as well.


The Teen thought the R-R’s were too fuddy-duddy, and said if Santa Claus was feeling generous or magnanimous this year, she would choose this snazzy Lotus instead. I told her she would scrape the bottom of the car on speed bumps or better known as “humps” in Manila. :)

Shout out to Rolls Royce Philippines, fix your quotation pronto! Sir Henry isn’t amused. :)

P.S. In a closer to home, incredibly bad example of tenses, the parent company of Zubuchon is named Zubufoods, Inc. We submitted draft papers to the SEC with the name typed “Zubufood,Inc.” but for some reason, when the final registration papers emerged, we were officially called Zubufoods, Inc. ARRRGHHH. Literally a typographical error uncorrected by human eyes?! And to officially change our corporate name is a fairly involved process. So you see, I understand that errors occur, but hope they will be corrected with a minimum of cost and effort…



  1. ami says:

    Nowadays, I tend to associate RRs with rappers, Kardashians and Peninsula HK. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two of these rolling down our streets.

    Nov 26, 2013 | 12:11 pm


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  3. millet says:


    Nov 26, 2013 | 1:28 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    ami, at least two were purchased in the first month, according to press releases… One for MVP and one for Willie. Both connected with the same TV station at the time, and now appear to have parted ways… :)

    Nov 26, 2013 | 3:15 pm

  5. Ken_L says:

    Sir Henry’s annoyance at the dreadful grammar would pale into insignificance compared to his outrage that his company is now owned by a bunch of Germans :D

    Nov 26, 2013 | 4:56 pm

  6. natie says:

    I’d take a Toyota or Honda any day.. the parts of that RR would be the price of a car I can afford… “exist” hehehe..that’s what many just try to do these days…

    Of course, Willie would have one… even though his show got cancelled..

    Nov 26, 2013 | 11:39 pm

  7. Helen says:

    “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”

    This was taught to us back in grade school to help us remember the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective “good.” GOOD > BETTER > BEST. That’s how it goes.

    Applying this to that quote from Henry Royce, why would you take something that is already the BEST and turn it into something that is just better? Nag-downgrade?

    Nov 27, 2013 | 11:33 am

  8. steve says:

    @ami…..bentleys not RRs.

    Nov 28, 2013 | 10:00 am

  9. Tracy says:

    Regarding famous quotations, there was a whole article on NYTimes about how inspirational mugs/journals/etc aren’t actually quoting the famous people they allege to, not even quite paraphrasing them. They’re more like garbling up the original words, or at worst even putting words in these figures’ mouths.

    “Gandhi’s words have been tweaked a little too in recent years. Perhaps you’ve noticed a bumper sticker that purports to quote him: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

    The closest verifiable remark we have from Gandhi is this: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.””


    Dec 2, 2013 | 8:11 pm


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