MANILA, JUNE 21, 2011 (STARweek)
By Dana Quinto (PHOTO -  Jeep ni Juan is a tribute to an entrepreneur, traveler, and father.)

Manila, Philippines - Jeeps like old soldiers never die and enthusiasts of vintage military vehicles have Maximino Juan to thank for this.

It was the late Doc Juan who believed that there would always be a market for military vehicles and because of that decision, MD Juan Enterprises today continues to produce spare parts for military jeeps that are sold around the world.

For these military vehicle enthusiasts, MD Juan is synonymous with quality parts, which are products of extensive research and development to ensure that the replacement parts are true to the original specifications, down to the last millimeter.

His youngest daughter Pacita shares his story with the public through “Jeep ni Juan,” a history of the jeep in the Philippines through the eyes of her father, a certified expert on the subject.

“He’s my mentor,” Chit says of her father. Because of his import and export business, travel was a significant part of her father’s job. Chit recalls that even when they were young, their father would take her and her siblings on travels, teaching them life lessons in the process – “Even those as simple as waking up early.”

“He would teach us lessons in a fun kind of way,” Chit adds. From her father, she acquired an interest in languages, and up to now she enjoys learning to say words like “coffee” in different languages.

(Chit Juan at a Bulacan Jeep Meet)

Chit’s father even advised her to take one whole semester off from college to travel around the States, she recalls fondly. “You’ll learn more when you travel,” he told her.

“Jeep ni Juan,” published by Anvil Publishing, contains not just insights into the history of the military jeep as well as the jeepney, the so-called King of the Road, but also thoughts on how to become a successful entrepreneur.

Chit’s book traces the history of the military jeeps from the time they arrived in the country during World War II, to the time when the military jeeps inspired the birth of the jeepney, to today’s market where a new generation of Filipinos are appreciating the qualities of the world’s first four-wheel drive.

It has been more than 60 years since the end of the last world war, but the love for the military jeeps continues. Customers from around the world gave their testimonies to how vital Juan’s business was to their own lifestyle and business. Without MD Juan, it would be very difficult indeed for them to have stayed true to their lifelong passion for vintage vehicles.

Finally, Juan’s book touches on how entrepreneurship has become part of the genetic make-up of the growing Juan family, many members – his children and his grandchildren – with businesses of their own.

The nuggets of wisdom that their father imparted have remained with them, says Chit, adding that they have also passed these lessons on to the next generations.

(Chit with her father, Maximino Juan)

“Entrepreneurship is in our veins,” Chit says. Many of her nieces and nephews now have businesses of their own, ranging from restaurants to laundromats and more.

Though her father, who would have been 100, is no longer here to read Chit’s book, “he’d be proud,” she says of “Jeep ni Juan,” a fitting tribute to Doc Juan as an entrepreneur, a traveler and a father.

“The best tribute you can give a father is to show him what you’ve learned from him,” she adds.

Chit says it is her hope that her father’s lessons will resonate among readers so that they, too, can be inspired to establish a thriving business based on little more than passion and a strong belief that the Filipino can.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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