Through social media, finding people with the same interest as you do is as easy as searching for groups in Facebook; click ‘Join Group’, and viola! You are included in the loop! This seems to be popular even among car enthusiasts when joining car clubs.
But there’s a community of car enthusiasts that prefer the not-so-old ways. We’re referring about the early 2000’s, the pre-social media era when online forum sites are where people discuss their common interests. This group is none other than JDMUnderground.
JDMUnderground (JDMU) is a “community of car enthusiasts who are passionate in tuning cars using Japan-spec parts usually seen only in famous tuning bibles like HyperRev and Option2 among other magazines and catalogs”. Driven by the purpose of making street cars great again, JDMU strives to maintain a helpful community by guiding members with their builds.
“We always try to help each other’s projects by letting know which works and which doesn’t; what is a good buy and what would be a waste of money. We’re straightforward when it comes to giving insights to our members’ rides. No BS. The group stands against mediocrity which we believe is destroying this hobby that we love.” said Pow Anticamara, JDMU, co-founder.
Tracing its roots back in 2008, the founders of JDMU decided to organize a secret meet of people with the same passion for Japanese tuning at the renowned Shell gas station Marcos Highway.
Anticamara shared “we intend have a close knit group of people who wish a haven for car enthusiasts that enjoy modifying and restoring their rides using various Japan Domestic Market (JDM) parts.”
The JDMUnderground.ph forum site was created and people who helped organizing the first meet were the first ones to be invited to the forum. With over 30 cars parked and everyone knowing each other, it became a “fun and overwhelming meet”.
Generally pleased with the outcome of the first meet, the JDMUnderground.ph official site was launched to the public months after the successful meet.
“JDMUnderground Philippines is not a car club or affiliated to any car clubs. JDMU is a community made by JDM enthusiasts for JDM fanatics” clarification made by the JDMU administrators and site moderators.
Last December 17, 2017, Autocar Philippines was lucky enough to experience the group’s Yabangan Noons (YN). Members lived up to the meet’s name with their beloved projects parked hard and breaking necks at Mandala Park, Mandaluyong City.
On display were stunning Evos, Imprezas, S2000s, Integras, 4×4 rigs, and of course, Civics and Corollas. This YN also served as JDMU’s Christmas party, reason for the more festive vibe than the usual YNs. Raffle prizes were given out to lucky winners but what got me is when the admins and moderators awarded JDMU stickers to deserving members.
Unlike other car clubs where newbies are required to attend a certain number of meets or whatnot to acquire the club stickers, JDMU only awards stickers to members who actively update their project’s progress via the forum boards.
“The way we do things is not for everyone to fathom, some may be offended and see us as jerks but at the end of the day we will still hold the same passion we had ever since we first organized JDMUnderground.ph. If you don’t get what we’re doing, it’s OK. One’s very much welcome to leave the group” said Joel Zapanta, co-founder, JDMUnderground.
Though the group has a Facebook fan page which got quite a following, maintaining the JDMU forum boards has always been the aim of Anticamara and Zapanta along with the hardworking site moderators of JDMU. With today’s influx of information, one wouldn’t know in an instant which info is credible and which is not. One of the reasons why the forum board is maintained is for the archive of threads to serve as guide for newbies who are just starting in the world of money pits also known as project cars.
Here are more snaps from JDMU’s Christmas YN. Enjoy! (photos by Louie Camacho)