One way or the other, you've all heard it before: "It's not about what you know, it's all about who you know." In my case that saying is true for everything that's gotten me where I'm at today. For those who don't know, my name is Ernie Manansala--but there's more to me than meets the eye. It's my drive, hard work, determination and passion are what got me my status of recognition.
All I have to say is that in this industry, there is no university that can teach you "the way." I was a washed up 21-year-old that had no passion or ambition for anything but cars. One day I saw all the people working the booths of major manufacturers and it hit me: "I WANNA DO THIS!" So, I went to the shows and my curiosity and perseverance paid off. I worked for a handful of companies--like NASA, USDRIFT and Konig--so I could learn the ins and outs of the game. Ultimately, it was my time at NOS Energy Drink that really put my career into full swing.
I then started building cars for manufacturers due to my newfound friends in the industry. It was like a blind obsession that helped me visualize new concepts for builds. It's funny when I look back; I think to myself, "How did I do that?" My progression is fueled by all the OGs in the game that help me push my limits forward. When I pick up all the old magazines and see some of the things that these people built for us to be part of, it makes me feel good knowing that I, too, am doing the same things.
This industry is growing more everyday, and there a lot of hard-working people who should be given the honor and respect that they deserve. If you really are a part of this, do your thing, stand out. If you're doing it just for yourself, get out of the game! Marketing geniuses have tied in numerous companies from outside industries, which makes me realize that they better be a part of the life we live. Can you believe that car culture has become one of the most respected industries? I do!
Respect the people, the legends of our time, of our industry. I know my story is not the only one out there and I know there are others who have worked just as hard. This one goes out to the OGs: I won't let you down!
Ernie B. Manansala