Saturday, November 26, 2016

Disney's Moana

For the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend, Disney introduced viewers of all ages a modern-day take on the Oceanic legend the people behind this latest animated movie spent time detailing a unique blend of mythology, legend, and fun for the whole family. It's also about an odd couple trying to overcome against all odds all in the name of saving the day. Welcome Moana.

Disney's Moana

The folks that brought us Thanksgiving hits like Frozen and Zootopia gave us this year's latest Thanksgiving weekend treat called Moana just to delight everyone who has a heart on all things Disney with spectacular visuals, storyline, and the characters that will become highly recognizable for future generations to come. It's about a young girl named Moana (played by Auli'i Cravalho) who sets off to an unforgettable adventure to save her people. From there, she teams up with a once powerful demigod named Maui (played by action star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and then voyage across the seas right up to the moment where Moana discovers her true self that was carried over by her ancestors. Nothing says its going to be easy but for an odd couple like a young free-spirited girl and a powerful being, anything is possible.

As a lighthearted modern-day take of a Oceanic legend, Moana isn't just all about the main characters travelling through the high seas for their once-in-a-lifetime adventure but by the moment you're watching this film, feels like it's summer again, even if its autumn or winter already because of such oceanic theme was used on the film, which captures the eyes of viewers of all ages. While this film has some bothersome moments that will get some viewers having a rough time while watching the film, having this film sweeping you like a tsunami is a great expression why this latest Thanksgiving offering from Disney is one of the best family films this season and destined to become a future classic just like Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, even Frozen.

Disney's Moana is a welcoming feast for the Disney fans many and pretty soon, it's going to give birth to a whole bunch of fans after seeing that film about a young girl who bravely took on numerous trials all in the name of her destiny. Call it what you may but this film will become an instant classic for many generations to come and the main characters of this story along with it by open arms.

My rating: 4.3 out of 5.

Bubble Gang 21 Gang Salute


GMA's longest-running comedy gag show, Bubble Gang, celebrated its 21st anniversary, and to commemorate their very milestone, the November 25, 2016 episode is a special episode where cast members from the past and present come together and reunited, not to mentioned very special guest appearances, to give their show a "21 gang salute". Ha ha ha ha ha, get it? 21 Gang Salute! In front of the live audience!

By giving Bubble Gang a "21 Gang Salute", members of the past and present are honoring this occasion by doing musical performances, dance numbers, skirmish gags, Istambay Sa Looban, drum and lyre performance, mannequin challenge, Jungle Belles, Antonietta, Buhay Ng Bakla, and a musical performance, not to mention paying tribute to the Philippines' legendary comedians in history.


But the fun never stop there because next week, it's part two of their 21 Gang Salute where there will be more fun and more tribute only on the Philippines' longest running comedy gag show in history, Bubble Gang!

The Grand Tour Episode 2

The Grand Tour Episode 2

In the second episode of Amazon's original car show, The Grand Tour; the trio are becoming like action stars in a cheap action movie by going through a military training complex somewhere in Jordan and see what the action is all about; conducting a training exercise involving rescuing a VIP from a hijacked plane and escort the VIP to safety while being pursued by terrorists. After several attempts later, the boys cleared the exercise...only if they didn't count Jeremy Clarkson as a casualty at the end of the exercise. On the plus note, viewers get to see the Audi S8 plus in action.

Under cover of the boys' military hijinks in Jordan, Jeremy Clarkson tries out Aston Martin's hardcore track-only monster machine called the Vulcan while James May checks out drivers love to spin their cars and do tricks in and out of the spinning car. And of course, another celebrity is added to the list of celebs being "killed" by The Grand Tour's Celebrity Braincrash segment and that involves Charlize Theron being eaten by a lion.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Let's Do The News! (November 25, 2016)


- According to PAGASA, Tropical Storm Marce will make landfall over the Calamian Group of Islands. In its 5PM severe weather bulletin, Marce was last spotted at 55km southeast of Coron, Palawan, with max sustained winds of 65kph near the center and gusts of up to 100kph.
- Nationwide protests against the sudden burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani kicked off in numerous locations across the Philippines. The main event of the "Black Friday" protests held at Rizal Park in Manila attracted lots of protesters from various sectors and universities despite the downpour.

- The Department of Tourism will not change its current tourism slogan "It's More Fun in the Philippines", according to DOT Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro. The decision to remain the current slogan was reached last November 21 after numerous meetings with a certain global advertising agency.

- The government of Colombia and the leader of the nation's biggest opposition group have agreed on a revised peace plan, following the rejection of the original deal in a public vote. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the FARC guerilla organization, Rodrigo Londono, signed the new accord in Bogota on Thursday.

- Amid tightened security, the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York. For its 90th year, the event saw giant balloons depicting animated and film characters as well as marching bands from across the country parade 4 kilometers through central Manhattan on Thursday.

- BBC's hit drama series, Call the Midwife, gets renewed for three more seasons. 

- The 5th DLC Catalog for the PS4-exclusive THE IDOLM@STER Platinum Stars is now available, featuring the Sherry Noel costume, and the return of the Christmas song titled 神さまのBirthday.



- Rika Jougasaki Charisma Chibi Girl version figure from THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls is now open for pre-orders! The figure is priced at 15,800 Japanese Yen plus tax and deliveries will commence this June 2017.



- Comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto was officially married to Trevor Magallanes.

- Till I Met You star Nadine Samonte and her family move into their new home given by her mom-in-law Isabel.

TTFN!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: How the Marcos burial grind my gears...

Ferdinand E. Marcos


As this segment is all about me doing the op-ed about every little thing that bothers me the most, and since there's a big protest going around the Metro, I think it would be the ideal time about how the "sudden" burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos became a bothersome hot issue not just to me but for the rest of Filipinos elsewhere.

So, how did this burial come to this? Yes, we read some issues about how it happened and how Filipinos, even those affected from the infamous Martial Law era that Marcos implemented since 1972, became enraged on those who committed such a sneaky maneuver, but all I want is the real answer to the question on how did they bury the late strongman to the Libingan ng mga Bayani without warning, unless someone who has a field for espionage knows the answer.

One plausible theory suggests that burying Marcos was an act of revenge plotted by his son, the former senator Bongbong Marcos, who lost the bid to vice-presidency to Leni Robredo. When the May 2016 elections favored the former Davao City mayor, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, known as the Philippine equivalent of Donald Trump due to his tortured metaphors that propelled his way to win the elections, which is the same thing goes to Duterte himself, the race to vice-presidency became too close to call for Bongbong Marcos, a running mate for the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Leni Robredo, the widow of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. When the race to the vice-presidency slightly favored Leni Robredo, Marcos became enraged to the results, thinking that then-President Benigno Aquino III's administration rigged the elections and the bad case of voter fraud that prompted him to file a petition to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

For a poppycock like Bongbong Marcos, despite losing his vice-presidential bid to Leni Robredo, he still has the guts to think that he deserved that post and then, following the separate inauguration of Duterte as president and Robredo as vice president, Marcos has flipped his trump card (pun intended) from his sleeves; by announcing the burial of his father to the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani. This is like every scene in a movie where the bad guy, in his dying state, pulled the switch to execute his evil plot as his last resort. Of course, such smart move had some major hindrances because originally, the Marcos burial was meant to be buried by September but a Temporary Restraining Order, following series of petitions filed against this, prevented it to do so. Following the end of the Temporary Restraining Order, the Supreme Court officially declared a 9-5 vote, in favor of the Marcos burial at the LNMB.

Burying a dictator maybe a first to do so in the Philippines but Marcos isn't the only one of the dictators who got themselves buried. Of course, there are some dictators in world history got themselves buried. One of the most infamous example is the Spanish dictator who ruled his country for almost four decades; Francisco Franco. When Franco died in the 20th of November, 1975, his remains was buried at the Valle de los Caidos, which is more of a heroes' cemetery dedicated to soldiers from both sides who fought during the Spanish Civil War, which made him rose to power. The dirty fact about this heroes' cemetery in Spain is that it was built by political prisoners and following Franco's final resting place, some angered Spanish people demanded to exhume his grave and repurpose the memorial into a historical center because it ruins the memory of those who died during the civil war.

If Ferdinand E. Marcos ruined the Philippines with his two-decade leadership, he should be worried because in Indonesia, there is one known to be one of the most infamous dictators in world history, none other than Suharto. During his three-decade rule, he killed millions of people under his rule, including 500,000 Indonesians labeled as communists. Also, Suharto was known to be the most corrupt leaders in history, leaving Marcos 2nd place and Joseph Estrada 10th, for allegedly amassing 15 to 35 billion dollars from his cronies.

Imagine, in the purgatory for dictators, Ferdinand E. Marcos meets up with the other dictators and when he tell them he was buried at a heroes' cemetery, they all think it was a joke and Suharto would probably punch Marcos in the face because he's nothing more than a second-rate, just to steal Suharto's crown as the most infamous dictator in history. Up until now, the Indonesian government are on the hot debate about considering Suharto as a "national hero" and if Suharto gets that title that every Indonesian opposed to it, he will put Ferdinand E. Marcos to shame and he'll become the laughing stock in the purgatory for dictators.

Burying a dictator on a heroes' cemetery maybe the least of our problems but naming a dictator as a "national hero" is the worst.  Naming him a hero after committing series of human rights abuses and corruption not only hurts the nation, it also hurts the very foundation of history that is worth passing on to the next generation and upon learning from the "sudden" burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos, it's a definitive perception why the world affairs is getting louder all of a sudden. 

As history becoming more of a fickle mistress, twists and turns are becoming the new normal and it's becoming a fixed point in time so no time travellers can mess it with disastrous results. What we're facing right now is how the times fiddle us with its twists and turns no one saw it coming, and how we live up to our own ways to keep moving forward until we are past our prime is up to us because no matter how good or bad the times are, entrusting to oneself's future is the way to change the world, the way to change the future.

Anyway, that's everything I said and that's the end of it. If you don't mind, I have some moping up to do with world affairs in my back.

Let's Do The News! (November 24, 2016)


- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte defended last week's sudden burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, upon his return to the Philippines, saying this decision is for the common good. He would allow protesters to stage massive protests against the burial "for as long as they want, with no time limit." On an unrelated note, he onced whispered a curse word against a foreign reporter who asked about the killings in his administration's war on drugs at his press briefing. Also, he approved the scaling up of the Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project for 2018, including a 600 million peso fund under the Philippine Rural Development Plan.

- According to Ronnie Dayan, he claimed that Senator Leila de Lima gave him two million pesos worth of contributions for the construction of his home in Pangasinan. About three months ago, President Duterte claimed Dayan became De Lima's lover. Earlier, Dayan sought for legislative immunity from the House of Representatives.

- China remains mum on the declaration of the Scarborough Shoal as a marine sanctuary, as issued by President Duterte.

- For next year's joint exercises between the US and the Philippine troops, they are now heavily focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster response as well as combined anti-terror training.

- The US has lauded the new information-sharing pact between Japan and South Korea. The agreement will allow Japan, SoKor, and the United States to boost trilateral ties in countering threats from North Korea, according to the National Security Council.

- A handwritten poem by Anne Frank has sold at auction for around 140,000 Euros. Anne Frank is well known for her diary she kept while in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam during the Second World War. The poem was written in Dutch in 1942, when she was 12 years old. It was addressed to a sister of one of her best friends at school.

- Lotus launched the new Exige Sport 380, which dropped 55lbs of weight while producing 375HP of power from its supercharged 3.5 V6 Toyota engine, resulting to a top speed of 178 mph for the manual, 170 for the auto.

Lotus Exige Sport 380


- Anime studio "Studio Fantasia" filed for bankruptcy, according to reports. The studio worked on numerous anime shows such as Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry, Najica Blitz Tactics, Stratos 4, and the Aika franchise.

TTFN!!!

Aikatsu Stars! My Special Appeal

Little girls who love Aikatsu Stars, rejoice because the life and times of your favorite characters from the hit TV series have finally arrived in the 3DS, featuring an original storyline, near-endless ways to personalize your characters, rhythm based action featuring songs heard from the show and the DATA CARDDASS game, and of course, DATA CARDDASS connectivity. It's Aikatsu Stars the way you really want at your own way.

Aikatsu Stars! My Special Appeal

Based from the hit TV series, Aikatsu Stars! My Special Appeal gives the little girls endless possibilities to get into the Aikatsu craze by any means necessary. There are so many ways to play this game as much as they enjoyed the breakthrough successor series from the world of Aikatsu.

Because this is the definitive Aikatsu Stars experience, players can select as ten of their favorite Aikatsu Stars characters; Yume Nijino, Rola Sakuraba, Koharu Nanakura, Ako Saotome, Mahiru Kasumi, Lily Shirogane, as well as S4 members Hime Shiratori, Tsubasa Kisaragi, Yozora Kasumi, and Yuzu Nikaido. Or if you want to be part of the Aikatsu Stars craze, you can create your own character. There are numerous combinations to choose from ranging from hairstyles, hair colors, eye colors, anything you want to customize to your liking. One more thing, if you had progress saved from the free-to-play demo, Aikatsu Stars! First Appeal, you can transfer it to the My Special Appeal game for some extra features to enjoy and for a pre-order bonus, some special customization items are offered, giving you more ways to personalize your own character.

Having satisfied with your character of your choosing, you're free to choose your outfits whatever you like. You can either choose any kind of outfits in-game or use the QR scanner to scan QR codes from your Aikatsu card you got from the DATA CARDDASS arcade game so you can use it on My Special Appeal.

Being a rhythm game, My Special Appeal acts like the DATA CARDDASS arcade game you often enjoyed on the shops. The outfits your characters wore as well as the accessories can truly affect the outcome of the game and the better you perform, you'll score more and you'll have chances to trigger a Fever Mini-Game. There are 11 songs, as heard from the TV show, to master and how you'll perform these songs, regardless of difficulty, is up to you. Don't worry about your performance because if you're happy with how your character performs in the song of your choosing, you can save it and watch it again.

Aikatsu Stars! My Special Appeal features "My Room" where players can customize their own room with decorations they acquired from progressing through the game, which is somewhat reminded you of Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage in so many ways. Decorate your room with your acquired items and watch your characters react. Another way to pass the time after that long struggle.

Thanks to its connectivity with the DATA CARDDASS Aikatsu Stars arcade game, you can access features from both games such as the My Page where you can keep track of your progress, using outfits in both games, and more. There's so much more you can do to enjoy your definitive Aikatsu Stars experience.

As the definitive Aikatsu Stars experience, My Special Appeal, brings the little girls more ways to enjoy Aikatsu Stars the way they like it as well as enjoying connectivity with the DATA CARDDASS game for a dual experience. If they really like watching the Aikatsu Stars TV show, they should better ask their mom and dad to buy this new game for their 3DS because with My Special Appeal, their love for Aikatsu Stars can be fully enjoyed to the comfort of their home, even on weekends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Let's Do The News! (November 23, 2016)


- Seven years have passed since the gruesome Maguindanao massacre and as of now, justice remains elusive for the victims of the horrific incident. According to reports, 114 of the original 197 accused have been arrested, most are detained either at the Quezon City Jail annex at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City or at the Philippine National Police. But due to the large number of suspects, the court handling the multiple murder case has yet to hand down a single judgment.

- According to Senator Leila de Lima, her former driver Ronnie Dayan forced to lie against her, denying her allegations on her involvement in the drug trade. De Lima said that Dayan has been successfully turned into one of her accusers by the administration. Two years ago, Dayan received money from alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and delivered it to De Lima.

- A certain advertising company will be in charge of creating the new tourism campaign of the Philippines, according to the Department of Tourism. Katherine de Castro, the DOT undersecretary for advocacy and public affairs said the 650 million contract with the advertising company that won the bid to be the advertising and promotions partner of the DOT for a year.

- The trial of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and members of his Muslim group has begun in Turkey. They are charged with attempting to overthrow the government. Authorities charge that Gulen and 72 other defendants organized a terrorist group and tried to topple the government.

- The situation is critical in the South Sudan capital city Juba as over 270 people killed in clashes between government troops and rebels in July.

- In an attempt to recover themselves from their diesel scandals, Volkswagen initiated an ambitious "Transform 2025+" plan which lays out big plans for world markets with a focus on electrification and connectivity.

- Following last weekend's pilot episode, Amazon's original motoring show The Grand Tour is one of the most-watched shows in Amazon Video, scoring more views than the other Amazon original TV drama, The Man in the High Castle. It scored 97% in Rotten Tomatoes and became one of the highest-rated shows according to IMDb.

- The first teaser trailer for the upcoming Disney-Pixar's Cars 3 film sees a much dark turn of events where McQueen faces the inevitable and all that's about to change forever...



- The teaser for next year's PriPara film; PriPara Minna de Kagayake! Kirarin☆Star Live is now up. The fourth movie based on the hit TV show hits theaters this 4th of March.



TTFN!!!

Jingle Bell ga Tomoranai

Jingle Bell ga Tomoranai

Because Christmas draws near upon us and while fans are getting their hopes up to Aqours' first live concert next year, there's a special Christmas album made in collaboration with the popular Love Live School Idol Festival app game, making it the perfect tune to your holiday playlist or your next Christmas party before sem breaks hitting you like an endless summer holiday, only cooler.

Titled "Jingle Bell ga Tomoranai", the latest Christmas single from Love Live! Sunshine!! features two Christmas songs performed by Aqours, as heard from the School Idol Festival app game when the Ber months kicked in. Apart from the two Christmas songs offered here, there are four audio drama parts featuring the Aqours getting ready for their Christmas escapades. For a limited time, up until the 5th of December, there's a chance that you might come to a special one day only Christmas event held at a Toyosu PIT this 27th of December.

The Aqours wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Lovelivers!

TRACK LISTINGS:

01.ジングルベルがとまらない
02.聖なる日の祈り
03.ジングルベルがとまらない(Off Vocal)
04.包丁人ルビィ
05.仁義なきデコ
06.戦場なメリークリスマス

Sixth-Generation Hyundai Grandeur (IG)

The first-generation Grandeur came out in South Korea since July 1986 and now, Hyundai celebrates 30 years of Hyundai Grandeur with a brand new sixth-generation Grandeur luxury saloon. With evolution, thirty years in the making, this new Grandeur keeps one of Korea's oldest nameplate strong and alive while demanding the trends of tomorrow's world. So, how will the new model serve as the icing on top of its 30th birthday cake?

2017 Hyundai Grandeur

The Grandeur has been the hallmark of Hyundai Motor Company for three decades and for the new version, it's innovation infused with heritage from its predecessors. Reading through thirty years of the Grandeur will have further understanding why this car was made and by getting to know more about the sixth-generation Grandeur is just the half of the story because there are some things you didn't know about.

Starting with the design. At first glance, it looks vaguely similar to the fourth-generation Grandeur if you squint your view into it but on the back, you will notice that the rear lamps look vaguely similar to the Dodge Charger as well, so it's like East meets West in a culinary kind of way.

2017 Hyundai Grandeur interior

Step inside and the new Grandeur equates is creature comforts to the European luxury saloons. Connoisseurs of all kinds can spend their time getting to know about its interior but for speedo boys, its a complete nightmare because like all cars of today and tomorrow, the sat-nav's now totally irreplaceable, the CD player is now hidden under the armrest, and that's it. You can't replace every bit and bob on the dashboard because the designers are very serious about dashboards getting fiddled by speedo boys so they're taking serious measures to keep the dashboard virtually speedo boy-proof.

Speaking of which, the sat-nav can be integrated with different kinds of smartphones. For iPhone users, they can use its Apple CarPlay connectivity but for Android users, they need to download the new mappyAUTO app on Google Play and then use MirrorLink to get the mappyAUTO app as well. With the mappyAUTO, Android users can keep track with their navigation purposes as well as using Street View before heading through it.

2017 Hyundai Grandeur

What's under the hood is what matters for the customers and for the brand new Grandeur, customers can choose either a 3.0 GDi or 2.4 GDi petrol engines, or a 2.2 diesel engine. The most powerful version is the 3.0L GDi engine producing 266PS of power and 31.4kg-m but the most torquiest is the 2.2 diesel engine with 45kg-m of torque. While the 2.4L petrol only has a 6-speed, both the 3.0L GDi and the 2.2 CRDi-VGT engine are mated with an 8-speed gearbox, a first for the Grandeur.

Although the engines served just another half of the story, there's one thing you will notice. Now, have you ever saw a web movie called "Teuggeun (특근)"? The new Grandeur made is special appearance in the said web movie and some saw the part where the Grandeur chasing down a monster machine in the woods. Sounds cool, right? But the way it behaves is nothing as seen in the web film because in reality, it's just basically a typical normal saloon behaving in a Hyundai Sonata kind of way. It maybe subtle to drive but its sporty character is almost never and it cannot be taken very seriously to do any attempt in any movie stunt behavior, which is very ill-advised.

2017 Hyundai Grandeur

Anyway, skipping to that matter, the sixth-generation Hyundai Grandeur marks the debut of the new suite of safety tech called Hyundai SmartSense. It comprises of Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Detection, Driver Attention Alert, Advanced Smart Cruise Control and Around View Monitor. These features show undeniable proof that the new model combines tradition with innovation for over thirty years.

Should you buy it? The new Hyundai Grandeur starts at 30,550,000 up to 38,700,000 Korean Won, which is less expensive than its compatriot, the latest Kia K7, of course. It's also less expensive to its Korea-only relative, the Aslan, as well. So, for thirty years of progress, has the sixth-generation Grandeur worthy enough to blow its thirty candles? Don't be hasty but it's a good fun finding out. Still, this is more than enough to celebrate 30 years of Hyundai Grandeur and for this new model, it blends its 30-year history with a vision for the future and what you're looking at here is a car that keeps writing down through the pages of history.

Available colors: White Cream, Ion Silver, Luna Grey, Pantera Grey, Midnight Black, Valentine Red, Grand Blue, Suede Bronze, and Khaki Metal.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Second-Generation Toyota Mark X - 2017 Minor Change

The second-generation Toyota Mark X has been around for about seven years when it came out since the autumn of 2009 and while it tries to carry out the predecessor's will to pick up where the legendary Mark II saloon left off by being a cheaper take on the German saloons. In truth, it never tries to take the cut to please the high-ranking salarymen going to the office. With word of the mouth is that the Mark X couldn't last to live within the end of the decade, Toyota tries to improve the Mark X a little further with this latest minor change.

2017 Toyota Mark X

Theoretically, this will be the last time Toyota will improve the second-generation Mark X and some say the second-generation will be the last for Toyota's Mark X, some say. Whatever that is, the 2017 update features a much aggressive exterior design to keep this saloon even more appealing through the very end of its lifespan. From its aggressive front view, the bi-beam LED headlamps, redesigned taillights, and new wheel designs, the new look is about as aggressive and as eccentric as its relative saloon, the Toyota Crown.

2017 Toyota Mark X interior

The interior looks vaguely similar to its previous versions but in terms of interior color choices, there's a new choice of two-color combinations available on the brand new 250RDS/350RDS variants. With a choice of "Black X Red" and "Black X White" interior colors, the new interior two-color combinations really give a sporty appeal on a luxury sports saloon made for those who talk business all the time.

2017 Toyota Mark X
2017 Toyota Mark X


What's under the hood still remains the choice of 2.5L V6 and 3.5L V6 (this time it's exclusive to the RDS variant) engine, both are mated with a 6-speed gearbox. The top-of-the-line 3.5L V6 engine produces 318PS of power output while the 2.5L V6 engine delivers a fuel efficiency of a measly 11.8km/L. Sounds like a schlock by modern standards but apart from the choice of engines, the 2017 Mark X features reworked dynamics to make it handle better than the previous model, slightly of course. For a slight improvement on the handling, this 2017 minor change is trying to give it some fighting chance against the opposition if it has the guts to do it.

Lastly, the 2017 Toyota Mark X now comes with Toyota Safety Sense P consisting of high-tech millimeter wave radar which detects pedestrians and vehicles alike, Radar Cruise Control which detects preceding vehicles and determines their speed, and some other safety tech in store for this one.

The 2017 Toyota Mark X starts from 2,656,800 to 3,850,200 Japanese Yen, which is pricier compared to the last facelift but when word of the mouth comes that it won't last a decade or so, best to buy one right now before anyone else can because if it's right on the money, it will be last time we'll see the Mark X on the roads.

Available colors: White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic, Black, Precious Black Peal, Dark Red Mica Metallic, and True Blue Mica Metallic.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

Let's Do The News! (November 22, 2016)


- The former driver of Senator Leila de Lima, Ronnie Dayan, was arrested in La Union on Tuesday. Police said Dayan was arrested in Urbiztondo, San Juan town in La Union in cooperation with the CIDG and the provincial police office. Initial reports said Dayan hid in the hinterlands of San Gabriel town in La Union prior to his arrest. He was currently sent to the PNP HQ in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

- In the aftermath of the sudden burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos, further education about the infamous Martial Law and its threats to democracy is being pushed on both public and private schools. According to an Ifugao lawmaker, there is a relentless campaign to convince the Filipino people to "move on" and close the chapter of the Marcoses while admitting that he and his colleagues joined in signing a resolution of late Rep. Salvador Escudero five years ago to let the former strongman be buried at the LNMB.

- Meanwhile, former President Fidel V. Ramos debunked claims that Ilocos Sur Representative Imee Marcos was just a little girl during the Martial Law period. Ramos said he can attest to the real age to the late dictator's daughter.

- A 7.4 magnitude quake struck Fukushima early Tuesday morning at 0559 hours local time. Tsunami warnings were also issued immediately in Fukushima and Miyagi, where the coastal areas were evacuated but later lifted. So far, no reports of casualties have been reported.

- The International Olympic Committee has stripped seven athletes of medals from the 2012 London Olympics after they tested positive in a reanalysis of their doping samples. Yulia Zaripova from Russia was stripped of the gold medal she won in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase while the remaining athletes are 2 Russians who got silver medals in weightlifting, as well as four bronze medal winners from Moldova, Belarus, and Armenia.

- US President-Elect Donald Trump announce his intention to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement on his first day of taking office. He posted a video message about his top policy priorities for the first 100 days of his presidency on the website of his transition team, part of his principle of putting America first and stressed creating more jobs at home.

- NextEV uncovered their NIO EP9 electric supercar at an event in London. This electric supercar can produce 1360HP of power from four electric motors while mated with four gearboxes, capable of going 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds and onwards to 200mph. It has a potential to lap the Nurburgring in 7:05.12.

NextEV NIO EP9

- Bandai to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Digimon franchise next year since their toy line that inspired the TV show and other merchandising rights began in 1997.

- Two new figFix figures from LoveLive are now available for pre-orders! First, there's Kotori Minami in her cheergirl outfit and then there's Eli Ayase in her cheergirl outfit. Both are priced at 5,370 Yen plus tax and will be delivered this June. 

figFix Kotor Minami
Cheergirl ver.
figFix Eli Ayase
Cheergirl ver.

- Singer-comedian Blakdyak was found dead in his house in Dapitan Street, Sampaloc, Manila last night. He was 46 years old. According to reports, his body was found with a plastic wrapped in his head.

TTFN!!!

Audi A4 (B9) allroad

Now, let's talk sport utility wagons. Sure, they maybe classified as crossovers just as what compact hatchback-based ones did, but in reality, they're really station wagons with some added claddings on the outside as well as added ground clearance to make it look tough and rugged but in general, they're just part of their daily routine. Even luxury car companies got mixed into them to sell sport utility wagons to those who believe that a normal station wagon just isn't enough to satisfy their everyday lifestyles.

2017 Audi A4 allroad

One such example of how luxury car companies selling such kind of wagons designated as crossovers is this; the brand new Audi A4 allroad. First and foremost, this is basically an Audi A4 B9 Avant, only this time with some added cladding to look tough and rugged as well as the added ground clearance to make it sound adventurous when taken on the great outdoors. With prices start at 41,700 Euros, that's about over ten grand more than its Avant equivalent but that doesn't stop them from having one of these in their garage right now. Although costly to own than the Avant, it's priced for those who couldn't afford the A6 allroad.

2017 Audi A4 allroad interior

For a tougher side of the A4 Avant, the new A4 allroad with its clever stuff lurking underneath its rugged looks really makes it very capable to handle almost any kind of road conditions as long as the mud isn't problematic enough to get the others stuck on the road and the frozen roads isn't slippery enough to turn them into figure skaters. On normal roads, it behaves like a saloon; comfortable but a little less exciting to soothe your brows all the way home, but when taken to a leisurely ride on the great outdoors, it's all business as usual even when it has unfinished business to deal with.

2017 Audi A4 allroad

There are numerous versions available on the new Audi A4 allroad but the most powerful version is obviously the one with the 3.0L TDi engine with the 8-speed gearbox, a first for the A4 allroad. It produces 272PS of power and 600Nm of torque. It can go from 0-100kph in 5.5 seconds and electronically limited to 250kph. Sounds quick for a crossover but it can be somewhat idiotic and irrelevant for a car that has a sweet spot lying in deceit for the kids in the back. Speaking of the sweet spot, rest assured that it wasn't meant to be a family car because if you have three kids and readying the child seats, you might ruin someone's "sweet spot" for the heck of it. Although this five seater wasn't meant to be used for family trips, the A4 allroad is a fitting for the outdoorsman going into the woods and with that spacing on the back, it fits most of the leisurely stuff an outdoorsman would go for such as hiking, biking, fishing, camping, or even hunting wild animals. Whichever floats their kayak, the A4 allroad is a luxury crossover wagon fit for almost anything through the ends of the earth.

Tempting? Well, if you got some extra cash and if you believe that the A4 Avant wasn't enough, best to buy one right now before anyone else would because crossovers are all the rage right now.

Photo: Audi AG

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Cute Wall (Volume Sixteen)

Now, the moment of truth is time because it's now time to do...THE CUTE WALL!



(applause)

Whoa, can't believe that despite all odds, we manage to come back alive just for this! Thank goodness for that. Speaking of which...

Some idiots told me that the stars of Yuri!!! On Ice were cute?

Who?

Yuri!!! On Ice

Yuri!!! On Ice. It's about a Japanese figure skater named Yuri Katsuki, whose life changed forever when a veteran Russian skater Victor Nikiforov became his coach and...um...well, long story short but everyone in the world got hooked on this breakout sports anime show with (ahem) some "boys love" stuff aboard.

Boys Love?!

Uh-huh. Boys Love because that certain love affair between them motivated the Japanese Yuri to overcome all odds to become one of the world's best skaters. At least this is anime stuff but anyone can be like Yuri Katsuki unless if they have a love affair like Victor that can motivate them to success. Sigh, that's what I get from watch the first half of the show myself.

(audience laughing)

So, what are you going to do with it? Evaluate it?

Before the girls mulling about calling this show "cute"...

Someone got you ahead first...

Wha...?

(audience laughing)

SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE!!! One for Yuri Katsuki, one for Victor Nikiforov. Hope you idiots love yaoi stuff...

(audience laughing, then applause)

What else?!

Remember the time when we put The 7D's Dopey, Happy and Bashful on the Cute Wall? We haven't put the remaining here so, what's your take on the remaining dwarves?

Let's see....hmmmm...

 

Oh, I know! Grumpy's SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE and that's okay because this is who he is, Doc and Sleepy's NOT CUTE, and Sneezy's...ummm...CUTE!

(audience laughing)

Oh, I see. That's how you judge how cute are they by how they act. I like you style. Touché. Speaking of which...is it cold outside?

Yeah, it's freezing in here. Did somebody opened the door?!

(murmuring)

What about the AC?!

(murmuring)

I don't think it's the aircon or the door or the windows...

What is it?

Lily Shirogane

It's her! Lily Shirogane from Aikatsu Stars!

So that's how the cold front is flowing on this set! So, she looks new to us and by her attitude, she looks as cold as the polar vortex.

(audience laughing)

Cold as a polar vortex that hit New York?!

Of course she is and by looking at her, she doesn't look as cute as the other Aikatsu Stars characters. In fact, she looks somewhat familiar to me...

Oh come on...

(audience laughing)

Hey, haven't I see you before?!

(audience laughing)

36 MINUTES LATER...

So, how's Lily?

She looks emotionless and cold when I asked her and since she's the Aikatsu Stars character who doesn't feel anything, let's put her to NOT CUTE and they'll be none the wiser.

(audience laughing)

Well, there's a new trio in Pripara right now. It's called NON SUGAR and the members are Non Manaka, Chiri Tsukikawa, and Pepper Taiyou.
Chiri Tsukikawa

Non Manaka
Pepper Taiyou

Speaking of Pepper...

(ahhhh!!!)

Oh no! I think Pepper bit someone. Someone get her off! Hurry!!!

36 MINUTES LATER....

That Pepper, because she came from the Sapanna and raised by lions, she always like to eat those "managers" for lunch, even their own. Hmmm, if anyone wants to get their butts become Pepper's lunch, raise your hands.

(audience laughing, some raise hands)

Wait, looks like someone wants to be Pepper's lunch, huh?

(audience laughing)

You want to be Pepper's lunch? Anyone? Guess what, your butts are safe because I'll put Pepper on the NOT CUTE spot so no one's going to be eaten alive.

(audience laughing)

Chiri? Oh bother. She was just an innocent little girl until her life at Pripara changed her into a serious idol drawing her fountain fan, thinking she's in charge and seriousness is not a cute factor for me so it's a SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE for Chiri. Sorry, ma'am. You have to do better.

What about Non? Isn't she the one behind TRIANGLE?

Yes. Non already did her stint as TRIANGLE's Junon, Pinon, and Kanon, just to draw attention to her sister Laala. Being TRIANGLE is just part of her plan and with Non Manaka finally out in the open, she's ready to be just like her sister by being...Non. With Non Sugar formed, this is one big step to Non to surpass against her sister and we are expecting sibling rivalry here. Ooohhh...

(Ooohhh)

What's your take?

Let's put her to CUTE where it safe.

(audience laughing, then applause)

Oh, boy. Hey, now that Pokemon Sun and Moon is out, have you enjoyed the anime?

Yeah, sure. You?

Superb. In fact, the latest chapter in Pokemon sees Ash and Pikachu goes to school while venturing through the hidden secrets of Alola Region while making new friends and enemies. As I read from the portfolio, Ash is joined by new characters such as (ahem)...

Pokemon cosplayers, pay attention because this is what you're going to be if you're ready for next year's conventions.

Lillie, Mallow, Lana, Kiawe, and Sophocles.

Understand?!

(murmuring)

Well, hope they'll be dressing as those appeared in the show because if I see anyone dressed as those from the games just like what happened since Black and White and XY, I'm gonna...

Whoa there... Anyway, the Pokemon on the new show, what's your thoughts?

You know the Grass-type starter Rowlet? Yep, when the starters are first introduced alongside the Fire-type Litten and the Water-type Popplio, most like Rowlet because it has close resemblance to (ahem) Love Live's Kotori Minami.

(audience laughing)

The Koto-birb, huh? No wonder they took a liking to that one.

I know, but Rowlet's popularity didn't last long when their first evolved forms; Dartrix, Torracat, and Brionne, are announced and as far as I know, most like Brionne because...(ahem)

(♪アイドル活動!)

Aikatsu reference, huh? Because "idol" Pokemon. Ha ha ha ha ha, get it?!

"Idol" Pokemon indeed. And with the final evolved forms; Decidueye, Incineroar, and Primarina, are out, it's everybody's guess right now which one is best. If we focused on Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio for now, I know what to do with those.

Okay, so what?

They're all placed to the CUTE spot. All three of them!

Alola Starters in Pokemon Sun and Moon

(applause)

Yes, these three are the stars of the show, what about the other stars of the new show, huh?

Togedemaru
Togedemaru is the roly-poly Pokemon who joins alongside Sophocles. Because this is Alola, every region deserves a cute electric-type Pokemon and this Togedemaru takes the cake. I mean look at this Togedemaru...

Like a big ball of fluff...and spikes.

(audience laughing)

I know. I watched how Togedemaru can do but no matter what, Togedemaru's in the CUTE spot. Welcome to the club.

Rockruff

Rockruff. Oh bother. This cute little doggy resides with Alola's Prof. Kukui and by the looks of it, it reminded me of Clarence's best friend...from the show Clarence.

(audience laughing)

Like Clarence's best friend, huh?!

Yep, and that's a CUTE for Rockruff.

Bounsweet

What about Bounsweet? The Pokemon tagging alongside Mallow?

Don't ask because I already know where to put Bounsweet. In the CUTE spot. No hard feelings?

Yeah, no hard feelings.

(audience laughing)

Anyway, enough for that now. Speaking of which, I heard you had a new obsession to that new cartoon show related to you.

Did you mean "The Loud House"?!

The Loud House

Yeah. The Loud House! It's about a boy named Lincoln living in a household of 10 sisters. TEN SISTERS! That's a recipe for mayhem!

I know, right? When these girls rumble each other, it's like the Play Rough attack from Pokemon.

(audience laughing)

Girls like to play rough, right?! (Laughing)

(audience laughing)

Get it?!

Yeah! So, those ten sisters messing with Lincoln's life. These are...

Lori, the oldest of the siblings and the boss. Leni, the second-oldest, the ditsiest, and the sweetest sister. Luna, the rocker. Luan, the family clown who loves to make jokes. Lynn, the athlete. Lucy, the poetic emo sister who likes to be in the dark. Lola, the glamorous twin of Lana, who is the grease monkey. Lisa, the little girl genius. And finally, Lily, the baby poopmaker.

(glug, glug, glug)

What are you doing?

I have a little secret. Look at Luna Loud. She reminded me of Aikatsu's Kaede Ichinose with a brown hair color. As for Luan, she reminded me of THE IDOLM@STER's Mami Futami and I know a good joke for her. Hey, are you my Mami?!

(rim shot)

Ha ha ha ha ha! Get it?!

(audience laughing)

Lynn Loud?! She looks like Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

(audience laughing)

As for Lisa, heh. Meddling kids. She reminded me of Wilma from the Scooby-Doo shows. Ha ha...

(audience laughing)

Anyway, enough for that now. Can you decide where the Loud kids positioned at? Hurry up before they'll use "Play Rough" on each other, even us!

Okay. (glug, glug, glug) Lori's SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE. Leni's CUTE, Luna's CUTE, Luan's NAKAKAGIGIL (or should I say, NAKAKA-GIGGLE), Lynn's NOT CUTE, Lincoln's CUTE, Lucy's SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE but she's not bothering it anyway, Lola's SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE, Lana's NOT CUTE, Lisa's CUTE but she knows that this segment we're doing is idiotic and irrelevant anyway, and Lily's CUTE.

Whoa! Lola's SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE?!!! Don't you know what happens when we called Lola SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE?!

(I'm telling dad!)

Uh-oh... Speaking of which...

(Poo-Poo!)

What's that smell?

Lily's diapers!

(audience screaming in panic)

TOXIC GAS! Everybody out!!! Run!!!

(screaming continues)

(Poo-Poo!)

TIME FOR THE RECAP!

SERIOUSLY NOT CUTE:
Raichu
Whisper
Minion
Nico Yazawa
Takane Shijou
Azusa Miura
Makoto Kikuchi
Anzu Futaba
Croagunk
Touma Amagase
Shota Mitarai
Hokuto Ijuin
Teru Tendo
Kaoru Sakuraba
Tsubasa Kashikawa
Kyouji Takajou
Minori Watanabe
Kyosuke Aoi
Yusuke Aoi
Shiki Iseya
Haruna Wakazato
Hayato Akiyama
Jun Fuyumi
Natsuki Sakaki
Rui Maita
Chio Hazama
Jiro Yamashita
Treecko
Jill Valentine
Rebecca Chambers
Claire Redfield
Ada Wong
Ashley Graham
Sheva Alomar
Helena Harper
Sherry Birkin
Moira Burton
Natalia Korda
Osomatsu
Karamatsu
Choromatsu
Ichimatsu
Jyuushimatsu
Todomatsu
Miyabi Fujiwara
Risa Shirakaba
Rin Kurosawa
Mia Fey
Rayfa Padma Khura'in
Buttercup
Yoshiko Tsushima
Sion Todo
Aroma Kurosu
Gaaruru
Hibiki Shikyoin
Ako Saotome
*Yuri Katsuki
*Victor Nikiforov
*Grumpy
*Chiri Tsukikawa
*Lori Loud
*Lucy Loud
*Lola Loud


NOT CUTE:
Dopey
Kwazii
Minion
Amethyst
Rin Hoshizora
Hibiki Ganaha
Minami Nitta
Ranko Kanzaki
Miku Maekawa
Kion
Fuli
Beshte
Bunga
Ono
Pierre
Scraggy
Bulbasaur
Squirtle
Cyndaquil
Turtwig
Sumire Hikami
Juri Kurebayashi
Nono Daichi
Hime Shiratori
Tsubasa Kisaragi
Yuzu Nikaido
Yozora Kasumi
Maya Fey
Pearl Fey
Ema Skye
Trucy Wright
Kay Faraday
Athena Cykes
Blossom
Mirai Kasuga
Shizuka Mogami
Tsubasa Ibuki
Shiho Kitazawa
Umi Kousaka
Julia
Megumi Tokoro
Yuriko Nanao
Serika Hakozaki
Anna Mochizuki
Kana Yabuki
Nao Yokoyama
Riko Sakurauchi
Dia Kurosawa
Mikan Shiratama
Junon
Kanon
Pinon
Mahiru Kasumi
*Doc
*Sleepy
*Lily Shirogane
*Pepper Taiyou
*Lynn Loud
*Lana Loud


CUTE:
Pichu
Plusle
Minun
Pachirisu
Emolga
Dedenne
Mokona
Mog
Catbug
Bashful
Froakie
Fennekin
Harukasan
Stuffy
Tunip the Vegimal
Minccino
Piplup
Sylveon
Queen Delightful
Axew
Jibanyan
Minion
Serena's Pancham
Umi Sonoda
Eli Ayase
Hanayo Koizumi
Maki Nishikino
Nozomi Tojo
Miki Hoshii
Yukiho Hagiwara
Iori Minase
Ritsuko Akizuki
Anastasia
Kanako Mimura
Chieri Ogata
Miria Akagi
Rika Jougasaki
Kirari Moroboshi
Riina Tada
Rin Shibuya
Mio Honda
Komasan
Komajiro
Grizz
Panda
Ice Bear
Clefairy
Jigglypuff
Chansey
Eevee
Tepig
Snivy
Chikorita
Charmander
Totodile
Torchic
Mudkip
Chimchar
Hinaki Shinjo
Madoka Amahana
Kokone Kurisu
Nina Dojima
Yume Njino
Rola Sakuraba
Laala Manaka
Bubbles
You Watanabe
Kanan Matsuura
Ruby Kurosawa
Hanamaru Kunikida
Mari Ohara
Sophy Hojo
Dorothy West
Reona West
Falulu
Fuwari Midorikaze
Koharu Nanakura
*Sneezy
*Non Manaka
*Rowlet
*Litten
*Popplio
*Togedemaru
*Rockruff
*Bounsweet
*Lincoln Loud
*Leni Loud
*Luna Loud
*Lisa Loud
*Lily Loud


NAKAKAGIGIL!!!:
Pikachu
BMO
Bijou
Poof
George
Happy
Chespin
Doc McStuffins
Mabel Pines
Sofia
Cottonee
Minion
Oshawott
Star Butterfly
Honoka Kousaka
Kotori Minami
Haruka Amami
Yayoi Takatsuki
Chihaya Kisaragi
Ami Futami
Mami Futami
Uzuki Shimamura
Noibat
Togepi
Squishy
Ichigo Hoshimiya
Aoi Kiriya
Ran Shibuki
Akari Ozora
Braixen
Chika Takami
Mirei Minami
*Luan Loud

Let's Do The News! (November 21, 2016)



- In last weekend's APEC Summit, President Rodrigo Duterte's comments on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the strongman he admired for, considers themselves as fast friends as they are willing to boost ties between the two countries.

- Vice-President Leni Robredo feared that she received a text message regarding the recount of votes, just to have Bongbong Marcos steal her position by next year, amid the sudden burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos.

- Meanwhile, following last week's burial that shocked the nation, a group of petitioners comprised of Martial Law victims and former detainees filed a contempt of court petition against the heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos and officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense.

- Chinese leader Xi Jinping open to Duterte's plan to turn the Scarborough Shoal into a marine sanctuary, according to reports.

- The World Anti-Doping Agency's Foundation Board has approved a set of recommendations to combat doping. Delegates from governments and the Olympic world took part in a meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, discussing institutional reforms requested by the International Olympic Committee in the wake of the alleged doping scandal in Russia,

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel will run for her fourth term in next year's elections despite criticisms.

- Eight children were killed in Syria when shelling hit their school in the western part of Aleppo. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 200 people were killed in Aleppo and areas around the city over the past 6 days, including 36 children.

- The top eight movies that will be competing in next month's Metro Manila Film Festival are; Ang Babae se Septic Tank 2 #ForeverIsNotEnough, Sunday Beauty Queen, Vince & Kath & James, Kabisera, Oro (Gold), Saving Sally, Die Beautiful, and Seklusyon.

TTFN!!!
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