Saturday, December 26, 2015

Doctor Who 2015 Christmas special

The Husbands of River Song

The recently returned River Song, played by Alex Kingston, sparked excitement and shivers in the 2015 Christmas special episode of BBC's Doctor Who, titled The Husbands of River Song. This episode maybe all about the hunt for the diamond inside King Hydroflax's head but this episode triggers chains of events involving who is The Doctor and who is River Song. It was one heck of a ride until it reached the climax of this episode where everything Whovians are wondering about have been revealed. From the singing towers of Darillium to the part where The Doctor gave River Song a sonic screwdriver as a Christmas present for her (which explains a lot to some veteran Whovians), all the truth between these two has left us quite a shock to the very end.

Well, I guess that's all the time and space left in the world of Doctor Who. The story's finished but The Doctor will return in the foreseeable future. Until then, happy holidays.

BMW X1 F48 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

2016 BMW X1

As the crossover craze keeps on lingering since the dawn of civilization, BMW's range of crossovers are never far behind when it comes to update their lineup in various ways to keep them prepared for the competition ahead. One of it is the X1, now on its newly regenerated form, and while this crossover looks nearly identical to the previous model, what lies underneath is worth a tale to tell.

For this new generation, it now utilizes the UKL1 platform used on the sacrilegious BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer, resulting to a front-wheel drive crossover that some Bimmer enthusiasts wouldn't agree on but because this is just a crossover, who cares about it. What this car is is like an oversized Mini Countryman but with some refined dynamics and a bigger space for five people and stuff at the back, so it's good but question is, does its front-wheel drivetrain worth it being a commoner's Bimmer? To show you the idea of what would the front-wheel drive BMW X1 feel like, you have to take a look at its chief rival for some inspiration and I found one...

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

This ain't your auntie's GLK because the GLK is dead and in replacement, the brand new Mercedes GLC-Class is born. Of course, the GLC is basically front wheel drive at first (only in a base model, that is) and when you experience it first hand, driving one of these is broadly similar to the new X1. However, when you gave these two crossovers a four-wheel drive setup, no weather will keep these two feeling moody, not even on a wet asphalt or at a sandy beach but dynamics can get a bit moody because of the mild driving feel that will impact its fun and usability. In other words, too much grip.

Although a little moody to drive, the four-wheel drive in the new X1 and the GLC really fits its cruising status as a family getaway vehicle, suitable on your next getaway to a faraway place or at the beach or at grandma's house. Anyway, let's not keep it too long because time to check out under the hood.

Sure, both the X1 and the GLC have different petrol and diesel engines available but let's narrow to something powerful and something economical. In the new X1, the most powerful version is the xDrive25i with its 2.0L Valvetronic turbo engine producing 231PS of power and 350Nm of torque, going from 0-100kph in 6.5 seconds and onwards to 235kph. The most economical in the range (and not always the wisest) is the sDrive18d with its 2.0L turbodiesel engine that promises fuel consumption of 4.1L/100km and CO2 emissions of less than 109g/km. Onto the GLC, the most powerful is the GLC 250 4MATIC with its 2.0L turbo engine producing 211PS of power and 350Nm of torque. 0-100kph takes 7.3 seconds and onwards to 222kph. Economical in the range? For now, it's the GLC 220 d 4MATC with its 2.1L diesel engine that promises combined fuel consumption of 5.0l/100km and CO2 emissions of less than 129g/km/

In comparison, looks like the new X1 bags it but the battle goes on for the GLC because pretty soon, it will unveil a more powerful AMG version as well as a more economical PHEV variant next year.

2016 BMW X1
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

In terms of pricing, these two German luxury crossovers are giving customers the stiff neck because the new X1 starts at 29,950 Euros while the new GLC starts at 44,506 Euros, meaning the X1 is a lot cheaper to own than the GLC but the question is, why would you want to have one? At either way, in its front-wheel drive state, both of these crossovers aren't what you call good but with four-wheel drive implemented, these crossovers synched to their lifestyles. Whether if its in tarmac, gravel, or snow, you would knew nothing would go wrong with them until its moody dynamics get the better of you. Try both and you decide.


On the December 25, 2015 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Flight delay gags

- Santa's got different excuses to make...

- This bar messed up with the wrong guy...

- Dos takes on TSUGI O CHORVA!

- The Biyenan Kong Mamaw is back and this time, she's messing up the bedtime.

- Expectation Vs. Reality situations

- This family loves to eat at the dinner table improperly...

- A game show with explanations as answers.

- A scientist showcased the modern ways of old-school stuff

Friday, December 25, 2015

Let's Do The News (December 25, 2015)

- The Malacanang Palace expressed hope that Filipinos' optimism will prevail during the Christmas season and the year ahead. According to the recent Social Weather Station survay, 72% of Filipinos expect happy Christmas, the highest in 12 years.

- According to COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista, Senator Grace Poe should be allowed to run in the May 2016 presidential elections. The COMELEC Chairman expressed his dissenting opinion over the two resolutions of the full session of the poll body have the First and Second Divisions disqualify Poe.

- People from around the globe gathered at a Christmas mass in the Palestinian West Bank city of Bethlehem for annual festivities, including a midnight mass held at the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Jesus Christ was born and it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors prayed for peace amid months of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

- Russia's new space center, the Vostochny Cosmodrome, is expected to be finished early next year and the first rocket launch is scheduled to begin at the end of April. The Russian government began construction in the Amur Region since 2011.

- 14 people died in a rare series of winter tornadoes in the United States. Harsh weather conditions have spawned 24 tornadoes in seven states, including Illinois, since Wednesday.

- Last November's Paris attacks sees a surge in young people volunteering to join the military, according to France's defense ministry. By early December, about 170,000 inquires about enrollment have reached, 50,000 more than last year.

- Daihatsu will display specially-made Copen concepts for the 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon from the 15th to the 17th of January, 2016. Concepts include a hardtop coupe concept and a three door hatchback concept. Apart from that, specially tuned Cast range will be featured as well.

- Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled their first teaser trailer for the upcoming new animated film Storks. CHECK IT OUT.

- All entries for the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival are now showing in theaters across the Philippines. Entries include love stories such as My Bebe Love, #WalangForever, and All You Need Is Love, horror movies such as Haunted Mansion, and Buy Now, Die Later, the action flick Nilalang, crime drama Honor Thy Father, and the cop buddy flick Beauty and the Bestie.


Ferrari 488 GTB vs. McLaren 570S

Meet the two new prime specimens in the supercar league; first up, there's Ferrari's brand new replacement to the already perfect 458 Italia, the 488 GTB. Then, in the McLaren side, the much accessible but soon to be a classic 570S. With two new cars already arrived at the hearts of many car enthusiasts, everyone's going to be extra jealous, wishing they want to have a go in one of these.

2016 McLaren 570S
2016 Ferrari 488 GTB

First, let's take a look at the Ferrari 488 GTB, the latest replacement to the 458 Italia. At first glance, it looks nearly identical to the old 458 but with the LaFerrari-inspired nose, you can't really tell the difference between them. On the inside, it remains the same old Ferrari lunacy because there are buttons hidden in the back of the steering wheel, which makes the driver harder to memorize where the windscreen wipers or the headlights or any other stuff are. 

The inside job wasn't the least of the problem here because under the hood lies a newly developed 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 engine and before you can say sacrilege, this powertrain makes the 488 the first turbocharged mid-engined Ferrari since the legendary F40, which means it's got form. When you get the car running, you will notice how weak the exhaust note is unlike the sound from the 458. Despite all the turbocharging involved that resulted to its 670PS of power output (more than what you get from the Lamborghini Huracan and the McLaren 650S), you will still notice a faint hearing of the exhaust notes. Sounds good but there's no hint of snarling like most supercars do.

While you're still moaning about the noise of the 488's V8 twin turbo engine makes, you should know that with all that power and the Formula One-inspired 7-speed double clutch gearbox, the new 488 goes from 0-100kph in less than three seconds and onwards to over 330kph. This is a definite point why Ferrari still is the king of the supercar realm and whoever tries to dethrone it, will dethrone its rivals in retaliation.

With all that retaliation against McLaren's 650S and Lamborghini's Huracan, its Formula One-inspired dynamics really employed in the 488, delivering a racecar-like feel when used on the track and as a result, this is probably one of the best V8-powered Ferraris to drive if you're not complaining how weak the new V8's noise is.

Now what about McLaren's new baby supercar, the 570S? Well, this is the baby McLaren everyone's talking about and it slots below the 650S in the lineup. It still has McLaren's 3.8L V8 Twin Turbo engine but it produces a titular 570PS of power and 600Nm of torque. It will do 0-100kph in 3.2 seconds and onwards to 328kph, two less than the 488, but let's remember that the 570S weighs 57kg less than the 488,

When you pit these two in a drag race, you will see that it's going to be a close one between the McLaren and the Ferrari. And if by close one, I mean of course, an exciting one presumably.

What about dynamics? Well, with all the race-inspired tech that embraced most McLarens for decades, the 570S is no-brainer. It sure loves to slice through corners like a sharp scalpel with surgical precision and when it comes to fun, well, it's not half bad to have one a go. It maybe not as sharp as its big brother, the 650S, but for a baby McLaren, the 570S loves to rise from the challenges set by the track gods. Despite looking shoddy in terms of design, the 570S is a serious performer on the road and on the track. With all that tech implied, this feels like it's set from the futuristic world.

So, do you have a choice between those two? Well, for a recap, both the 488 and the 570S are well honed on the track thanks to its motorsports roots implied but because decisions can be as complicated as your social status quo, it's up to the drivers to decide which one is the best but under Ferrari's right, best to aware that the 488 holds no substitutes because Ferrari knows there's no turning back now when it comes to retaliate against the supercar oppositions.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Omoide Ijou ni Naritakute

Omoide Ijou ni Naritakute

After players managed to master Printemps' WAO-WAO Powerful Day in Love Live! School Idol Festival app game from EASY to HARD, looks like our Lovelivers are up to a new challenge because the latest single from lily white, titled Omoide Ijou ni Naritakute, has arrived not just at the School Idol Festival game but in stores now. Be prepared on this one though, Lovelivers...

The latest single features two songs, 思い出以上になりたくて and 春情ロマンティック, as heard on the School Idol Festival game and for a limited time only, there's a serial code that can unlock a Super Rare μ's idol for use in the School Idol Festival game.

3)思い出以上になりたくて(Off Vocal)
4)春情ロマンティック(Off Vocal)

Suzuki Alto Works (HA36S)

Last March, Suzuki brought back the magic of a hot kei hatch in the form of the Alto Turbo RS. It was a fun kei car to drive but with the lack of a more enjoyable manual gearbox, the new Alto Turbo RS doesn't feel like the Works of yesteryears...until now...

2016 Suzuki Alto Works

Yes, the legendary Suzuki Alto Works is finally back and this time, this is the real deal. It's the rebirth of a hot kei car that shows that no matter how small the power output this car is, the new Alto Works shows its strengths in the handling department and with a sport-tuned suspension and shock absorbers courtesy of KYB, this hot kei hatch is a well-proven track toy in its own right and because this is so good to handle, even rookies can master it during a track day. Sounds like Suzuki has finally brought back the legend in its modern form.

2016 Suzuki Alto Works interior

The interior of the new Works is more like the normal Alto but it's been peppered in a much darker shade to see how sleek and sporty the interior is. It even comes with a specially-made speedometer as well as RECARO seats, which is unheard for sporty kei cars. Even though this is a hot hatch, it's got room in the back and practical as well thanks to being a four-door hot kei sedan with seating for four. You would imagine taking one on a joyride at the mall or at the nightclub or whatever points of interests you come up with but don't get to jumpy just yet, folks.

2016 Suzuki Alto Works

The engine, like the Turbo RS, is an turbocharged R06A petrol engine complete with the breakthrough Suzuki Green Technology for fuel-efficiency measures. This engine produces 64PS of power and 100Nm of torque. That's the highest torque ever recorded in kei car history and this car knows a few tricks in its sleeves. Having learned their lesson with the mild but tangy Turbo RS, the new Alto Works is fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox, which means it's back! Of course, there's an optional 5AGS gearbox available if you wouldn't mind one but either way, you'd be salivating this hot kei car right now.

In terms of fuel consumption, well, thanks to the SUZUKI GREEN Technology, the new Alto Works is expected to have a fuel consumption of 23kmpl for manual models and 23.6kmpl for the 5AGS models.

Although this is a much enjoyable hot hatch to drive on a track day, the new Alto Works still has some safety equipment as any other cars in the world would have such as the Radar Brake Support that stops automatically when detected an object nearby, a false start suppression system that prevents collision when the driver hits the pedal and gearbox by mistake when a car crawls, and an Emergency Stop Signal to warn drivers at the back.

2016 Suzuki Alto Works

Should you buy one? The new Alto Works starts from 1,509,840 to 1,639,440 Japanese Yen, which is more costly than the mild but tangy Turbo RS, but no matter how expensive this hot Alto is, it's a great thing the legendary Works is back and looks like it would give the big hot hatches a run for its money if this kei car knows whats its doing on a track day. Besides, you can afford one of these if you can't afford to buy a European hot hatch for a change.

Available colors: Steel Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Pure Red, and Bluish Black Pearl 3.

Photo: Suzuki Motor Corporation

Let's Do The News (December 24, 2015)

- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front claimed that the delays in the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law passage would only benefit terrorists and extremists.

- Senator Grace Poe insists that she's still in the presidential race for the May 2016 elections and is undaunted as the decision of COMELEC to disqualify her is still appealable before the Supreme Court.

- The Food and Drug Administration granted marketing approval for the first vaccine for the prevention of dengue to be licensed in Asia. According to the president and CEO of pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, Dengvaxia is a tetravalent dengue vaccine that can prevent the disease caused by all four dengue types in individuals from nine to 45 years old living in endemic areas. He states that the approval in the Philippines, following closely the first approval in Mexico, is further evidence of the pharmaceutical company's commitment to introduce this new vaccine first in dengue prone countries.

- The new pool that will be used for the canoe slalom events for next year's Rio Olympics has been opened for the general public.

- Iraqi forces are close to regain the central city of Ramadi from the Islamic State militants, according to officials. Iraq launched an all-out offensive with the support of US-led coalition air strikes on Tuesday.

- South Korea officially declared itself freed from the MERS outbreak following the guidelines set by the World Health Organization that state 28 days must go by without a newly reported case. Last May, about 186 people infected by the virus with 38 of them died. The last infected patient in the country died on the 25th of November.

- So far, over 70 people remained missing in last Sunday's Guangdong landslide and Chinese rescue workers are continuing the search for the missing bodies. On Wednesday, they've rescued a 19-year-old man from the rubble in an industrial zone in Shenzhen. Local officials say that as of Wednesday, about four people are confirmed dead.

- In case you missed the recent Eat Bulaga kalyeserye, the De Explorer sisters and Yaya Dub have performed at the Christmas Caroling Competition...and they lost. Humiliated with their lost, Tito Sotto offered the girls an invitation to the Broadway Centrum tomorrow for a Christmas party and, of course, the launch party for My Bebe Love. Keep watching Eat Bulaga tomorrow and find out.

- Despite his announcement fiasco that spiralled the public, especially Miss Colombia and the recently won Miss Philippines, Steve Harvey is most likely to host next year's Miss Universe pageant and in the foreseeable future thanks to a multi-year contract.

- Celebrity couple Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes posted fresh batch of photos of their baby girl  Maria Letizia.


Audi A4 B9

The newly regenerated Audi A4 is now bigger than its predecessor and it's now more technologically advanced than ever because of its plethora of gadgetry installed to this new model. Let's take a gander on one of the most technologically advanced luxury midsize saloons ever made, shall we?

2016 Audi A4 and 2016 Audi A4 Avant

Like the previous model, the all-new Audi A4 comes with two different variations; the saloon version and the spacious Avant version for those who are in a mood for lifestyle checks. Under the hood, the new A4 comes with a revamped choice of engines such as a 1.4 TFSi, the 2.0 TFSi, 2.0 TDi, and a 3.0 TDi. The most powerful version of the A4 for now is the one with the 2.0L TFSi engine that produces 252PS of power and 370Nm of torque. 0-100kph takes under 5.8 seconds and onwards to an electronically-limited top speed of 250kph. In most models, a 6-speed manual is standard but an optional 7-speed S tronic gearbox is offered.

2016 Audi A4

Despite its added size, the all-new A4, thanks to VW's MQB platform that has been around in major models since the VW Golf VII in 2012, is surprisingly lighter than the previous model so in partial terms of dynamics, it's well improved over the previous model but not as dynamically sharp as the 3-Series and the C-Class. Of course, the A4 still offered with a choice of either front-wheel drive or allroad permanent all-wheel drive, which has been the hallmark of all Audis since the dawn of civilization. Having a quattro on this new A4 is good if you're feeling on the weather but in dynamic terms, it feels tad mild. Easy to drive but a little less exciting, if you know what I mean?

2016 Audi A4 interior
2016 Audi A4 interior

Although, the new A4 is not as exciting as its rivals because while this is purely a luxury saloon with a mild driving feel that most Audis had, it's surprisingly roomier, more comfortable, and very high-tech indeed. From the MMI, voice recognition, HUD, Audi connect, and the new Virtual Cockpit display as seen on the new TT, the new A4 feels like the future really is now thanks to science and technology but what's even more bizarre is the host of safety tech that will make you notice this car a little further. Of course, with Audi has been well-known for being one of the most technologically-advanced luxury carmaker in the world, the new A4 is one heck of a tech overload. Hard to master each tech but the more the driver is familiar with the features, the more he or she will take advantage in various situations.

So, should you buy one? The new Audi starts at 30,650 EUR for the saloon while the Avant version starts at 36,900 EUR. Sounds reasonably priced for a luxury car but they're much costly to own than a BMW 3-Series, which is more engaging and more dynamic to drive than this. Still, with the new A4, Audi has a lot of stepping stones to tackle because this is probably one of the most important models to deal with.

Photo: Audi AG

FIA Formula E 2015-2016: Punta Del Este

So, on the third round of the 2015-2016 season of the FIA Formula E, it seems that Sebastian Buemi from Renault e.Dams has emerged from a practice crash that sent him starting fifth at the starting grid to the winning position that made every racing driver fell victim of his luck, even Lucas Di Grassi from ABT Schaeffler who placed 2nd and Dragon Racing's Jerome D'Ambrosio who placed third.


Now, onto the driver standings. The recent winner, Buemi, is 1st overall with 62 points, Di Grassi's in 2nd place with 61 points, and D'Ambrosio's in 3rd place with 28 points. The next race will start at Buenos Aires on the 6th of February.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Let's Do The News (December 23, 2015)

- The Commission on Elections has unveiled the initial list of Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for the May 2016 elections. There are 23 entries in the list but COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista insists that the list will be revised due to the petitions for some nuisance candidates have yet to be served because they reside in remote areas.

- Yesterday, COMELEC in full session voted to uphold the rulings of its First and Second Divisions to remove Senator Grace Poe from running as president in the May 2016 elections. Despite the ruling en banc to disqualify her, Poe insists that she remains a candidate for president until the high tribunal's final ruling is out.
- The United Nations has designated the 5th of November as World Tsunami Awareness Day. The resolution, unanimously passed by the General Assembly, was submitted by Japan and co-sponsored by over 140 nations prone to tsunamis. Starting on the 5th of November of 2016, Japan will lead international efforts to educate people about tsunami.

- Ongoing clashes between the Israelis and the Palestinians are causing the Christian holy city of Bethlehem to deter tourists this year. Since October, over 130 people have been killed in series of violent confrontations. This holy city was well known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ and The Church of the Nativity, built on His purported birthplace, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A Christmas mass will be held at the said church on Christmas Day.

- According to prosecutors, the suspect behind the November 23rd Yasukuni Shrine blast was carrying a bag of gunpowder with him when he re-entered Japan earlier this month. The Korean male, Jeon Chang-han, was arrested on suspicion of entering the shrine for unlawful intent when he returned to Japan on the 9th of December. He had about 1.8kg of black gunpowder in his backpack when he returned to Japan, according to prosecutors.

- Ten people are killed on a plane crash just outside New Delhi, India.

- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that the old 1985 banknotes can still be used until the end of 2015. According to the spokesman of the BSP, the old banknote series will be fully demonetized without value, resulting to the newer 2010 banknotes to circulate as a single currency series in the Philippines. It will come with a more secured features to protect against counterfeiting.

- Nissan officially axed the GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 racing program following their poor performance at Le Mans last June.

nismo (2)

- In case you missed the recent Eat Bulaga kalyeserye, the Christmas Caroling Competition's tomorrow and the lolas and Yaya Dub are busy rehearsing for the big day. Alden, on the other hand, busy looking for costumes just for them. Moments later, Doktora Dora De Explorer arrived to give some kind of medicine for better vocals for Yaya Dub. Can't believe they're going to face tougher competition on the CCC! Will they win? Tune in tomorrow and find out!


Honda Civic Type R FK2

After five years of absence in the Japanese market, speedo boys car finally rest easily because the Civic has returned in Japan but specifically, the ultimate version of the Civic sourced from Great Britain, the all-new Civic Type R. Speedo boys, rejoice.

2016 Honda Civic Type R

It is weird that this ultimate version is the only ninth-generation Civic available on the Japanese market but no matter what, this Britain-sourced hot hatch marks the return of speedo boy-favorite Type R nomenclature that has been known for their white color, red H badge, unique aerodynamics, and a VTEC engine proud to say "VTEC just kicked in, yo!"

Speaking of "VTEC just kicked in", yes, this VTEC really kick in because for the first time in Type R history, the all-new Civic Type R is powered by the first-ever K20C 2.0L VTEC Turbo engine. This turbocharged VTEC engine produces a massive 310PS of power output and 400Nm of torque, while mated exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox. 

That sounds good news to speedo boys too many but it's not just all about big power in a Honda hot hatchback because deep down, the new Civic Type R incorporates some of Honda's racing knowhow learned from its touring car championship experience. From its race-inspired suspension system, Active Damper System, Dual Pinion Assist EPS, and the most advanced aerodynamics developed for this car, it's no wonder the new Civic Type R lapped the Nurburgring in 07:51.42, the fastest lap time for front-wheel drive cars.

2016 Honda Civic Type R

Which means, with that kind of witchcraft involved in this hot hatch, the new Civic Type R is a potent track weapon in its own rights and even though this is suitable for track use, it's also suitable to use on the road and because this is a five-door, it's surprisingly convenient to bring your friends on a joyride. But don't count on being a weekend car just yet because while this suspension is track-honed, you may find it to be very stressful on city streets and you might expect some slight bumpiness when you approach the potholes.

But it doesn't really matter how uncomfortable this car is on city streets because once you pull out at a parking space at a shopping mall or a bar or a cafe, it's a head turner so when people looked on the new Type R, everyone know that you're onto something. Hey, at least most Hondas have a reputation of being every speedo boy's best friend and for the new Civic Type R, this hot hatch is more than enough to start causing trouble on the streets.

2016 Honda Civic Type R interior
2016 Honda Civic Type R speedometer

Should you buy one? The new Civic Type R starts at 4,280,000 Japanese Yen so it maybe sound that much for a Euro-import hot hatch but no matter though because despite the high price, it's money well spent on the new Type R but best to have one while you can because the new Civic Type R is limited to 750 units and once they're gone, they're gone. Good luck with that.

Available colors: Championship White and Crystal Black Pearl

Photo: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Let's Do The News (December 22, 2015)

- PAGASA said that the less number of typhoons entered the Philippines this year is due to the presence of El Nino, which affected the track of tropical cyclones. Every year, an average of 19 to 20 typhoons affect the country but for 2015, only 15 entered the Philippines. The names of the more powerful typhoons entered the nation such as Lando (where it reached 9.8 billion pesos of damages and killed 47 people) and Nona (which killed 41 people and cost 4.9 billion pesos of damages) will be decommissioned.

- The Malacanang officials stressed that the Islamic State militants didn't set up training camps in the Philippines. One officials said that what the militant-linked personalities done is to try to link-up with local jihadist/terrorist groups. Reports circulated that the ISIS once set up a camp in the Philippines and as evidenced by a video showing new recruits in the Philippines exercising.

- Japanese researchers warned that if global warming hasn't resolved, the harshest weather conditions will happen more frequently. According to the Meteorological Research Institute, University of Tokyo's Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, Kyoto University's Disaster Prevention Research Institute, and many others; the Earth's average temperature will rise by over four degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels by the end of this century.

- FIFA banned its President Sepp Blatter and Vice President Michel Platini for eight years over alleged misappropriation of funds. Swiss authorities launched an investigation against Blatter over an illegal payment of over two million dollars, by FIFA to Platini four years ago. Blatter said he will appeal his ban from soccer imposed by FIFA.

- Six American soldiers were killed by a suicide attack near an American air base in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

- With Star Wars: The Force Awakens became a box-office hit, there has been a slew of merchandise in store for fans too many. One bizarre report, however, is the toys when news about a Target-exclusive six toy pack features Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, a First Order Stormtrooper, and a First Order pilot. One character missing in the pack is the movie's heroine, Rey. Gets worse, when shoppers observed the Millennium Falcon set featuring BB-8, Finn, and Chewbacca, no sign of Rey in the toy set. Bizarre. Perhaps that's the problem with today's Disney-related toys these days. One time, the Avengers toy line since the Age of Ultron last summer had Black Widow missing and so is Guardians of the Galaxy's femme fatale Gamora. Does it make it more interesting or less interesting?

- The Nendoroids of Triad Primus from THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls are now complete with the unveiling of a Nendoroid of Karen Hojo. Now available for pre-orders, she'll be arriving to you this June with a starting price of 3,611 Yen plus tax. This Nendoroid is best paired with the currently available Rin Shibuya and the upcoming Nao Kamiya.

Nendoroid Karen Hojo

- From concept to reality: The Toyota 86 GRMN is now a living thing with a limited run of 100 units available exclusively to the Japanese market and priced to 6.48 million yen. Preorders are open next month at the official Toyota website and at select Toyota dealerships in February. The special 86 GRMN comes with upgraded intake and exhaust systems, GRMN-tuned suspension, special ventilated disc brakes, six-speed close ratio manual gearbox, reduction of weight courtesy of carbon fiber roof, hood, and trunk lid, resin-made rear window, special aero parts for added aerodynamics, reduction of rear seats, and available only in White Pearl Crystal Shine color. As a result, the 2.0L boxer-4 engine produces 219PS of power and 217Nm of torque. Remember, this special model is available only in Japan with 100 units available so good luck with that.

2016 Toyota 86 GRMN

- In case you missed the recent Eat Bulaga kalyeserye, with the arrival of Geleen Eugenio, the dance choreographer and a good friend of Lola Nidora's rehearsals for their Christmas Caroling Competition are underway, although looks like Tinidora has some identity crisis to deal with amiga Geleen. So, keep watching Eat Bulaga for more Kalyeserye antics and see if the De Explorer sisters stand a chance to win a new home.


Mitsubishi New Delica D:2 (MB36S)

The latest-generation Suzuki Solio, in normal and Bandit models, are rebadged by Mitsubishi as the all-new Delica D:2, in normal and Custom guise. Let's check out the latest model and we thought Mitsubishi had enough of rebadging Suzuki cars ever since the NMKV.

2016 Mitsubishi Delica D:2
2016 Mitsubishi Delica D:2 Custom

Yes, this is broadly similar to the current Suzuki Solio a few months ago and while the badges are the main difference between the two models, it's now taller than the old model, more roomier, and now, a lot more fuel-efficient.

In partial terms of safety, the new D:2 comes with the available dual camera brake support system which detects incoming pedestrians and vehicles and it can even engage an auto brake in an event of a pre-collision scenario. There are other safety features such as Lane Departure Warning, Stagger Alarm Function, Preceding Vehicle Start Alert, Emergency Stop Signal that warns drivers at the back, ESP, and 4-wheel ABS.

The new D:2 is now a mild-hybrid small minivan fitted with a brand new K12C Dual Jet engine producing 91PS of power and 118Nm of torque while coupled with an Integrated Starter Generator, Lithium-ion Battery, an updated idling stop system, and CVT, which is rather unsurprising for an average driver. With these, the fuel economy is now 27.8kmpl based on Japan's JC08 Mode standards.

The normal Delica D:2 starts at 1,787,400 to 2,187,000 Japanese Yen while the more stylish Delica D:2 Custom starts at 1,963,440 to 2,089,800 Japanese Yen. They're both available to buy at your nearest Mitsubishi dealerships across Japan.

Photo: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

Monday, December 21, 2015

Let's Do The News (December 21, 2015)

- Government agencies across the Philippines are coordinating to deliver relief goods and work on the early recovery of areas hit by the two typhoons Nona and Onyok the past week. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, an estimated 59.9 million pesos worth of relief assistance was provided to affected areas as of Friday. The Department of Social and Welfare Development provided 51.3 million pesos while LGUs and NGOs gave 8.1 million pesos and 463,050 pesos respectively.

- The Commission of Elections will release the provisional lists of candidates for the May 2016 elections this Wednesday.

- US Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton stressed her determination to rid the world of Islamic State militants while criticizing Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. At the third televised Democratic presidential debate last Saturday, Clinton states that the most important job of being the leader is to keep Americans safe. She said that Trump might end up being the ISIL's best recruiter due to his outrageous bluster and bigotry to inflame people.

- Indonesian authorities have arrested nine people on suspicion of plotting bomb attacks in the country. About five of the suspects are supporters of the Islamic State militants while the remaing are members of a domestic Islamist group. The suspects plotted attacks on the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Kalimantan this month.

- Drone flights will be banned by the Mie Prefectural assembly over or near the venues of next year's G7 summit. The order that passed the assembly prohibits the flying of UAVs over Kashiko-jima ISland in Shima, where the summit takes places as well as anywhere within 1.5km of the island.

- GT3 race cars racing at the Nurburgring will have their power reduced by 10%, for safety purposes at next year's race following the killing of a spectator this year.

- A second screening for the 2020 Tokyo Games emblems are underway and over ten members of an expert panel of the events' organizing committee began the two-day screening on Monday. About 311 out of the 10,666 entries that qualified for consideration passed last week's 1st round.

- Michael Bay's take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back with their upcoming Summer 2016 sequel; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Check out the trailer!

- We all heard the news that Philippines' Pia Wurtzbach was named this year's Miss Universe after an error that caused Miss Colombia stripped off her titled. It was an honest mistake because everyone makes mistakes but there's one candidate who weren't happy with the fiasco. Miss Germany Sarah-Lorraine Reik was dismayed over the controversial result and why she didn't approach Pia Wurtzbach to congratulate her because she said none of them voted for Philippines.

- In case you missed the recent Eat Bulaga kalyeserye, looks like hope's at hand for the De Explorer sisters and Yaya Dub because they'll be joining a Christmas caroling competition where the winner will get a brand new house and lot. Looks like our favorite golden girls and the yaya will start practicing in the hopes for a new home but then, a phone call rang on Lola Nidora. There's someone going to help her but who's going to help? Tune in next time and find out!


A crowning mistake led Philippines won Miss Universe 2015

In a rather bizarre turn of events in the recent Miss Universe 2015, looks like there has been a mistake of crowning a beauty queen that led someone garnered the crown and the coveted title. At first, Steve Harvey, the host of this year's beauty pageant, announced that Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez named as the winner, but something's wrong. He must have said it by mistake and he should have called Miss Columbia first runner-up, meaning that the winner of this year's Miss Universe is, and for the first time, Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach.

It was one heck of a sudden unintended announcement but feels like Miss Philippines got lucky, knowing that she won the title that could have been at the hands of Miss Colombia until slight announcement errors that turned the tables between beauty queens.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Scion iA

Scion's first ever compact sedan, the iA, starts the shake-up of Toyota's youth-oriented brand that sees its reputation lagging by x-named hatchbacks (except for the FR-S), but even though this is an all-new model, there's something underneath this new compact saloon for the youngsters of America.

2016 Scion iA

When I said "something underneath", I really do mean it because the Scion iA is basically a Mazda Demio, making it the first model under Toyota and Mazda's collaboration. The main reason why we got this is because Mazda couldn't sell the latest Demio to the US soil due to poor sales so we got this instead but despite being different to the Demio we knew it, it still behaves just like a Mazda Demio, well almost.

2016 Scion iA

Despite being a Mazda Demio under the influence of Toyota, the iA is powered by a 1.5L petrol engine that generates 106HP of power and 103lb-ft of torque. It can be mated with either a sensual 6-speed automatic or a more enjoyable 6-speed manual gearbox. How great this compact car comes with. Of course, with a MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, the iA feels very nimble at the bends but in terms of comfort, it's a bit tad old fashioned. When you turn the steering wheel, you will notice that it feels somewhat soft and skimpy and that's because it comes with electric power steering. Not quite an ideal setup for a steering of that size but whatever, those ideal stuff makes the iA truly a first-timer's car to buy if he or she already got a driving license on their first try.

2016 Scion iA
2016 Scion iA

So in partial terms of driving, the iA isn't half bad for a city car and as for a perfect city car to drive with your mates, the interior feels somewhat sociable, although some eagle-eyed viewers will notice that it looks broadly similar to the Demio's. It comes with a seven-inch display, six-speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio, and many other high tech stuff that makes this car feel like an iPhone on wheels. Well, don't get this car wrong, though, because while this is a small car, it still accommodates up to five people and the boot space isn't so bad.

Needless to say, the new Scion iA is a sedan that brings the entry-level market to a surprising surge and while this is the start of reinventing the Scion lineup in America, expect first-time drivers to start something small with the iA because even though it is broadly similar to the Demio, the new iA truly is the ideal starting point for newcomers everywhere. This car starts at a very reasonably 16,495 US Dollars plus the added extras and the insurance needed. Is it a great value for money? The jury's out. Is it worth enjoyable to drive? Well, so and so...

Available colors: Frost, Sterling, Graphite, Stealth, Abyss, Sapphire, and Pulse.

Photo: Toyota Motor Sales USA

Migo and Klea named as Starstruck's ultimate survivors

Over the past few weeks, the sixth season of Starstruck pushed the aspiring hopefuls to the limit, overcoming their weaknesses, uncover their strengths, and showcasing their full potential when it comes to acting. In The Final Judgment of this season, one male and one female are named as the Ultimate Survivors of this season.

Klea Pineda is named as the ultimate female survivor while Migo Adecer is named as the ultimate male survivor. Both of them earned one million pesos, a new house and lot courtesy of Camelia, and a management contract by GMA Network. They even got a chance to be part of an upcoming remake of one of GMA's TV drama classics.

Congratulations to the ultimate survivors and the avengers for dreaming, believing, and surviving till the very end.
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