Monday, July 25, 2016

Fan Girl Moment : Mr. Toni "Half Breeds" Arakaki

Filipino-Japanese Professional Drifter, Mr. Toni "Half Breeds" Arakaki
Source: Half Breeds Facebook Page
  • First Filipino drifter to ever go Pro in Japan
  • First Filipino drifter to ever go Pro in Europe
  • First Filipino to obtain a Drift Muscle license 
  • First Filipino to compete at Drift Muscle Super Muscle class
  • First Filipino to obtain a Super Class license at MSC
  • First Filipino to ever obtain a license at King of Asia and King of Europe Pro drift series
           ...to name a few.

A Filipino racer this accomplished should be a household name.

Drift Muscle Philippines 2013 - the event that brought Keiichi Tsuchiya to the Philippines for the first time. A fantastic event. But at the back of my mind, why in the hell would The Drift King come here? The drifting scene here at the time was so raw, his presence felt premature. At the event, I found out the man who made it all possible was Filipino-Japanese drifter, Mr. Toni "Half Breeds" Arakaki. I could not believe we had a Pinoy drifter in Japan, but what's more unbelievable is the fact that it was the first time I have ever heard of him.



Drift Muscle Philippines 2013 (L-R): Toni Arakaki and Drift Muscle founders Keiichi Tsuchiya and Daijiro Inada
Source: custompinoyrides.com
So far, Toni has helped organize two drifting events (that I am aware of) in the Philippines and is cooking up another huge one as we speak. In all these events, he has assembled drivers from all over the world to judge, mentor and even qualify our local drivers for international competition. Imagine being one of those drifters and having an experience and learning opportunity like that handed out to you. Not a lot of drivers have that advantage. Heck, not a lot of countries have it either.

Just seeing the Philippine flag up there is an honor.
Source: http://www.kingofnations.net/
Meanwhile, Toni is maintaining and building his own career in Japan. He has been drifting for around 15 years now and he's finally at the level of competing against the likes of Daigo-freaking-Saito. I don't know Toni personally but I know racers. It takes blood, sweat and tears to move forward. I can imagine how hard he worked his butt off to get to where he is now. Definitely well-deserved. But the most inspiring part of his story for me, is the fact that he does all this while silently bringing recognition to our country by carrying the Philippine flag on his belt. Literally.

Source: Half Breeds Facebook Page
It is baffling why I don't hear enough about him. It would be nice to see the Philippine side give him more support. I'm not saying we should erect a statue in his honor and worship him. It just seems as though not enough credit is being given where credit is obviously due.

Yes, I'm going all fan girl over Toni Arakaki.. and rightfully so.

In a country where Drfiting is still a budding motor sport, we're very fortunate to have someone like Toni Arakaki acting as an emissary that connects us to the global scene. Not only is he doing this by representing our country all over the world, he's making sure that our local drivers are not far behind and are with him in his journey. A man sticking to one's roots is an understatement.

For what its worth.. THANK YOU, Mr. Toni Arakaki. On behalf of your pinoy fans, we're all here cheering you on.
CLICK HERE to know more about Toni and get updates on his upcoming races!








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