Telum Talks To: Milo Rivera, Motoring Editor at Manila Standard

Telum Talks To: Milo Rivera, Motoring Editor at Manila Standard

By Nico Regino

Manila Standard's Milo Rivera shares how he juggles the daily demands of his editorial role covering motoring.

Telum Media caught up with Milo Rivera, Motoring Editor at Manila Standard. He shared how he started as a journalist and how he juggles the daily demands of his editorial role. Milo also shared thoughts on how to pitch to the publication and his role as a professional race car driver.

First, we're very interested to know how you started your career in journalism?
It all started with a hosting gig in the middle of the pandemic (2020 Q3)... I was pretty much just fresh off graduating from college and the world was ‘at a pause’ when I got a call from Manila Standard, asking me to be their guest for the kick-off episode of their weekly Motoring online show, “Manila Standard On The Road”. I guess it’s safe to say that the guesting was a success - at least - as I got a call from them again just a few days after. This time, it was to be a co-host of the show. Then a few episodes went by and I became its main host. 
The show ran for about 8 months before it went on a ‘season break’. Then came another call from Manila Standard, but this time, asking me to report to their head office in Makati. Little did I know it was going to be the day they would offer me the position of Motoring Editor - with the main task of reviving, and eventually, expanding a section that has been dormant for years. The learning process of the job as a whole had to be abrupt, but I can say it was never too overwhelming. After smoothening things out, the rest - they say - is history. 
To be honest, it never really crossed my mind growing up that I would end up as a journalist one day, especially that I graduated from a degree (engineering) far from my current profession. Although there was a point wherein I was writing press releases on my personal race wins and updates - I guess that was already a sign, looking back.

Can you share a bit of your day to day in your current role?
Although the Motoring print page of Manila Standard comes out only every Sunday, I continue to stay updated with what’s new and what’s trending in the industry - that includes product launches and current affairs, among others. Not to mention that with the complementary shift to online means of delivering the news, our frequency of publishing stories, even just within our section’s scope, has increased significantly. 
In addition, I could say my job for Manila Standard is mostly done mobile with all the media events constantly happening around, even just around the metro. All whilst trying to stay up-to-date through external online platforms and subscriptions. On the other hand, I could say that my job as an editor has never really sucked all of my time away, as it still leaves room for me to contribute to our family businesses, as well as my Motorsport obligations - both as a race car driver, and as a team owner and head coach. This, to me, is personally a blessing I’m very thankful for. 

How does your experience as a Professional Race Car Driver help in your role?
I guess it’s very fitting to be able to utilise my expertise, craft, and experience as a race car driver, and translate it to producing credible insights or content for my motoring page. Although the sport and mobility sectors of the industry are somehow two separate entities, a lot of the new things we see in this continuously innovating mobility sector were initially introduced and put to the test at the race tracks - before they are made available to the general public. 
Furthermore, I can say that my experience and craft as a Professional Race Car Driver has given me a huge help when it comes to thoroughly reviewing and testing out numerous vehicle models. Not that I drive them to their limits, but the help comes with deciphering the driving characteristics of each vehicle in order to see how capable, comfortable, and safe they can be - among others. I started my racing career when I was 12 years old and I’ve never left the sport since. So I guess it’s also quite poetic how I ended up in this journalistic role that I’m in.

What are some challenges or achievements you wish to highlight in your journey at Manila Standard thus far?
When I took the role as Motoring Editor, the biggest challenge I had to take on from the get go was to revive the section all by myself. For more than a year, I would consider myself as a ‘one man show’ - I was the editor, the marketer, the sole representative, and even the writer at times, among others. Three years have passed since I took the job and looking back, I can definitely say where we are now is an achievement in itself. Not only were we able to successfully revive the section, but we’ve now expanded to a team of five, also making us the newspaper company’s fourth highest income-generating department/section. And with a good number of propositions and collaborations coming our way, to say that I am excited for all of them is an understatement. 

What are some exciting things or key trends you are on the lookout for, for the rest of 2024?
As far as motoring is concerned, a lot is to look forward to. With new car and technology launches happening left and right, there’s so much to be eager for. More specifically, with the industry continuously moving closer to 100% ‘electrification’, we’re already starting to see more innovative steps towards cleaner and more sustainable vehicles, among others. This also includes the country’s infrastructure development towards this new day and age of motoring. Although we are definitely behind compared to other countries, we see that there are steps to catch up and fully integrate with the sector’s state worldwide. And this eagerness towards what’s to come goes beyond what this year can bring.

Do you have any advice for PRs wanting to pitch content to your publications and what are three things you appreciate in a pitch?
Personally, it would be really a huge plus if pitches with a personal take to understand what we're all about and what matters to us. Maybe mention or follow up from a recent article from us or something that resonated with you. Also, an emphasis on why your content is a perfect fit or is relevant for our audience would be a huge aid. What makes it valuable? How does it align with our readers' interests or concerns? Finally, I personally recommend pitches to be concise and focused - highlighting the most important aspects of your content without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

Telum Media gives journalists a platform to share their experiences in the newsroom and out in the field. If you would like to share your story or nominate someone to be featured, email us at

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Milo Rivera

Motoring Editor

Manila Standard

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