Every car enthusiast starts somewhere. For some, it's riding next to their dad for a drive. For others, maybe it's seeing cars on TV or on the road. But for a few of us -particularly those that grew up in the eighties and nineties- it's heading over to the nearest hobby store to buy a scale model kit, a Mini 4WD, or a 1/10 scale RC.
For those that have been fans of plastic models and R/C cars in the Philippines, we have some sad news: Lily “Lil's” Libi, the founder of Lil's Hobby Center, has passed away. What makes the news even sadder is that it has happened just over a month since the departure of her husband: Shakespeare Chan.
Far left: Shakespeare Chan - Lil's Hobby Center founder
Lil's Hobby Center has been a haven for scale model hobbyists and R/C enthusiasts in Metro Manila, and it still is. Lil's is where we visit to shop for model kits of all types from major Japanese and European model brands, and where kids would spend their allowances on weekends.
The two founders of Lil's were very instrumental in the popularity of Tamiya in the Philippines and the growth of the hobby. As the distributor of Tamiya in the Philippines, they always made sure that their shelves were stocked with the latest kits and were often at the stores to welcome new clients, young and old alike.
From the 1970's up to the present day, the hobby shop that bears her name brought the scale model hobby to enthusiasts in the NCR; a difficult undertaking considering many similar shops such as Nova Fontana and Boyel have all closed.
Many of the young hobbyists eventually also became car enthusiasts; many in my team -including me- have personally been into scale models, Mini 4WD, and radio-controlled cars
Rest in peace, Ma'am Lily and Sir Shakes. We'll pass on the hobby to the next generation.