Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bubble Gang - December 16, 2016 #BGPaskoNa

On the December 16, 2016 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Santa's helpers gags

- A diagnosis with a man with an inner macho dancer problem.

- A protest over a supervillain's burial at a superheroes' cemetery.

- The mannequin challenge at home.

- The sipoleras are still meddling with approaching men.

- Mas Pinabonggang Sumbong Sumbong kay Bonggang Bongbong takes on people posting a change of month, gays taking selfies with actresses, and people demanding more likes, comments, and shares on their posts.

- Today's Patikim ni Kim recipe is Ginisang Pechay with Tokwa.

 - Basa-basa-pik! 

The baptism of AlDub babies and a farewell to Kalyeserye

Photo: Official Eat Bulaga Facebook page
Last week, Alden and Maine gave birth to the twins named Charmaine Nidora and Richard Nidoro. Now, after a few days (or months in Kalyeserye standards) later, the AlDub babies finally getting the baptismal the Richards deserved. Baptismal aside, looks like this could be the end as the lolas and the Richards are going through separate ways.

The main reason why they'll be going through separate ways is because as while the Richards are taking their babies to Russia to go see Lola Babah, the lolas are going to America once again to make amends with their relatives. So, after everything they did on the baptismal, here it is (again). That's how Kalyeserye ended.

It's like a few months ago, just. But still, the baptism of Charmaine Nidora and Richard Nidoro, the AlDub babies, is their way of saying goodbye to Kalyeserye. Thank you for the great moments in Eat Bulaga's Kalyeserye segment. We hope they will come back one day for their antics again.

Rogue One (A Star Wars Story)

Well, that was quite a feast. Star Wars fans like you and I are still reeling from the hangovers we felt from last year's Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, and while we are waiting for the next film, there's a spinoff prequel film that bridges between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, giving fans many reason why they're longing with the Force.

Rogue One

Rogue One is the first of the Star Wars Anthology films uncovering everything we need to know about the Star Wars saga in a whole new point of view. Because this film is set between Episode III and IV, Rogue One is more of a hidden truth behind the legendary war between the Empire and the Rebellion, which became familiar to Star Wars fans many. Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker. this stellar all-star cast gives a fresh flavor on the hidden truth behind the rebellion as we know it. In here, a ragtag group of rebels joined forces on their mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. But it won't be an easy task for our rebels because to uncover the plans to the Death Star, sacrifices are necessary to change the outcome of the battle.

Although not as great as last year's Star Wars film, Rogue One is an inspirational tale of ordinary people becoming part of an extraordinary experience, and no matter how risky the challenge will be, they will be known as the unsung heroes who witnessed the great change in history. Once you finished watching this film, you will know that you're going to be a changed person and you're going to do some great things like the one you saw from the film because from every point of view, Rogue One, despite being a spinoff film, is legendary in its own right and this film will carve its history to the Star Wars franchise for future generations to come and because Rogue One sets the template for all future Star Wars spinoff, fans will get more from one of the greats.

This film will take the spotlight as one of the best films this Christmas season and how long it will be named one of the best films of 2016 is up to the viewers' perspective after seeing the whole film because if it takes the centerstage, it's a definitive point that it's going to be one of the best films in the franchise ever and who to blame?

My rating: 4.4 out of 5.

Yokai Watch Soratobu Kujira to Double Sekai no Daibouken da Nyan!

For the first time in Yokai Watch history, the third film based on the hit TV series sees a mix of anime and live action elements, giving viewers a more intriguing but enjoyable feast for the holiday season while introducing new Yokais on the film. This third film will be the biggest for Keita Amano (Nate Adams), Whisper, Jibanyan, and the rest!

Yokai Watch
Soratobu Kujira to Double Sekai no
Daibouken da Nyan!

So, what's going to be on the third Yokai Watch movie? Well, a mysterious giant whale-like Yokai has emerged from the shadows following series of unexplained events spiraling through the peaceful Sakura New Town (Springdale). With the new Yokai Koalanyan emerged, things get even ugly for Keita (Nate) and the gang and they'll have to team up to save the world before it gets worse.

The live action parts of this latest Yokai Watch film stars Ryouka Minamide as Keita (Nate), Kento Yamazaki as King Enma, Takumi Saito as Nurarihyon, Minami Hamabe as Kanami Minami, Yuina Kuroshima as Emi-chan (Amy), Yuu Sawabe as Kuma (Bear), Kenichi Endo as Jinmenken (Manjimutt) and many others. Almost all of your favorite human characters got live-actionized while your favorite Yokais get CGI animated, giving a more lively appearance for Whisper, Jibanyan, Komasan, Komajirou, USApyon, and your favorite Yokais, especially the brand new Yokai Koalanyan, who can be playable on the new Yokai Watch 3 games, currently on sale for the Nintendo 3DS. A live-action/anime hybrid film. Sounds common but flattering for a long-time Yokai Watch fan.

Because this is labeled as a family film, this latest Yokai Watch film is supposed to be a family friendly movie because it has all the regular Yokai Watch stuff as expected from the anime but when the live-action parts kicked in, the crowd's better start talking because in case of King Enma and Nurarihyon appeared in those live-action segments, it's no longer a family film at all. It's becoming a chick flick because teenage girls and YA women, due to their tendency over good looking men, got their main reason why they love this latest Yokai Watch film not because of the whole of it but because of the men who played King Enma and Nurarihyon in the live-action parts of the film. If you are under ten and if you bring your big teenage sister along on a movie trip, chances are your sister's ruining your Yokai Watch movie-viewing pleasure. Sigh.

If you didn't care about the live-action parts of the film, this film is beyond regular compared to the previous two films based on the hit franchise. It maybe odd, it maybe shabby, it maybe dirty on the jokes, but for a family-friendly anime film fit for the Christmas season, it's not really half-bad as long as no young women and teenage girls ruining the film because of the EnmaNura appearances. Otherwise, heaven forbid, they should get a taste of Jibanyan's Paws of Fury after this. At least it's not as pathetic as a single Manjimutt at both sides. Pun intended.

My rating: 3.4 out of 5

The Grand Tour - Episode 5

The Grand Tour Episode 5

So, roadsters are now the main topic for the fifth episode of Amazon's original car show, The Grand Tour, and in this episode, the comparison between the Mazda Roadster ND, driven by Hammond, and the Zenos E10, driven by May, had gotten from bad to worse with the late arrival of Jeremy Clarkson in the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.

On their Moroccan road trip with their open-top roadsters, the argument has gone from bad to worse to better. From their weighing issue gone belly-up to the discovery of a shooting location used in most films and shows where they can let loose with their roadsters without causing much trouble at the set, well almost.

During the episode, Hammond and May are giving a twist on the classic board game Battleship, using nothing but bangers and G-Wizes to be used as vessels and missiles, just like in the Battleship game. Then, Dutch rock band Golden Earring became the latest celebrity casualty to succumb from the Celebrity Braincrash segment, and then a V8 inflator was demonstrated while trying to inflate a sex toy. Yes, you get that idea.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Let's Do The News! (December 16, 2016)

- The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the immediate release of convicted road rage killer Rolito Go. Go, a construction magnate, was convicted for killing De La Salle University graduate Eldon Maguan in a much publicized road rage incident 25 years ago. The third division of the high court affirmed the decisions of the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court for the release of Go. Ordering the Bureau of Corrections to release Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco agreed Go's sentence has been shortened from 2022 to 2013 due to good conduct.

- According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., the United Nations Special Rapporteur must demand an apology to the Philippines over harsh reports on extrajudicial killings. Yasay said that Agnes Callamard had jumped into conclusions about the extrajudicial killing cases in the Philippines. Yasay added that Callamard's statement has been on of the basis of the United States on refocusing its assistance to the Philippines.

- With reports told that most of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea are ow weaponized, the Chinese government stressed that it is within its sovereignty to build facilities in the area. Ignoring the words of the arbitral tribunal's ruling favoring the Philippines
 claims, the Chinese Foreign Ministry repeated that Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea are China's inherent territories.

- Germany has deported 34 Afghan asylum-seekers following the European country's strict rules on accepting refugees to ease public concern about security. A flight chartered by the German government landed in the Afghan capital Kabul, carrying deportees who had failed to meet requirements for a refugee status.

- A senior White House official has suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the alleged hacking of US Democratic Party servers in the lead-up to the US presidential election. The US Government announced in October that the Russian government was responsible for a cyber-attack in June that led to leaks of party officials' e-mails, accusing them of trying to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

- Syrian rebels have begun withdrawing from the northern city of Aleppo. The evacuation agreement with Russia was reached after President Bashar al-Assad's forces regained control of most of the city.

- Startup luxury electric car company Lucid Motors showcased the Air Concept, a luxury electric saloon that promises 400 miles of electric range. It previews their maiden model of the company, due in 2018.

Lucid Air Concept

- Up-and-coming electric car company Faraday Future got sued for ten million dollars over late payments to supplier.

- The Kia Niro hybrid crossover sets an arbitrary Guinness World Record for fuel mileage with 76.6 miles per gallon.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Yokai Watch 3 Sukiyaki

When the Yokai Watch 3 games, Sushi and Tempura, went on sale for the Nintendo 3DS a few months ago along with the new set of medals to further enhance their gaming pleasure, fans of Level 5's hit monster game continue their search for more troublemaking Yokais in an all new adventure and throughout the course of the game, fans even managed to add new Yokais to their entourage, including new favorites like K. Koma, K. Jirou, Tomnyan, and others. Now, a new and definitive third version, titled Yokai Watch 3 Sukiyaki, turns the latest installment up to eleven, leading it now to the upcoming third Yokai Watch film hitting theaters this Saturday.

Yokai Watch 3 Sukiyaki
Same gameplay as seen from the Sushi and Tempura games but Sukiyaki offers new and exciting features never before seen on the first two versions, delivering a definitive Yokai Watch 3 experience like no other, well the storyline is the same as the first two as Yokai Watch 3 centers on Keita (Nate) and Jibanyan going to America while Inaho and USApyon are staying in Japan in search for more troublemaking Yokais they can encounter. Two worlds, new Yokais, new adventures, what could possibly go wrong?!

Anyway, those who played either Sushi or Tempura know what this is but Sukiyaki has tons of new features. One of the new features is the new Yokai Busters T mode, where four players can team up and fight their way through different dungeon layouts in search for treasure while battling through tons of enemies, including powerful guardians that requires some cooperative strategy. Is your Yokai up enough for this new challenge? This new mode is standard on the Sukiyaki version but Sushi and Tempura users can get this new mode via DLC.

Exclusive on the Sukiyaki version is a brand new storyline inspired from the upcoming "Yokai Watch Soratobu Kujira to Double Sekai no Daibouken da Nyan!" movie. Watch how Koalanyan, one of the stars of the latest Yokai Watch film, switch dimensions and you will see the difference between animated Keita (Nate) and Jibanyan and their other dimensional selves, just like in the movie, while taking on a mysterious whale-like Yokai interfering their dimensions. There are new Yokais exclusive on the Sukiyaki version while promising over 600 Yokais to meet and join in your entourage, and a special Sukiyaki-exclusive quest with a special appearance by Fumi-chan (Katie)!

Download or physical, whichever you bought this game, you will receive one of two special Yokais for use in-game or with the Yokai Watch Dream toy. Those who bought it physical will get a ultra-powerful Kakusei Enma medal while those who bought it via download will add a special USAtofu in-game.

Believe it or not, you can carry over your Sushi or Tempura progress on the new Sukiyaki version of Yokai Watch 3 game but if you have a save data from the Yokai Sangokushi spin-off game, you will get special versions of Jibanyan, Whisper, Komasan, Komajirou, Fuyunyan (Hovernyan) and USApyon based from that spin-off game to the Sukiyaki game. Put these special Yokais to good use! You'll gonna need them (and their corny jokes, too).

So, welcome everyone to the most definitive version of your Yokai Watch 3 experience. With all the same stuff from the Sushi/Tempura versions while adding some Sukiyaki-exclusive content and the new Yokai Busters T mode for four-player fun, what could possibly go wrong?

Let's Do The News! (December 15, 2016)

- According to the Department of Tourism secretary Wanda Corazon Teo wants direct flights from Manila, Philippines to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There are flights to Siem Reap, a resort town in northwestern Cambodia known for the Angkor Wat temple complex, from the Philippines but none to and from the Cambodian capital. In a press briefing in Cambodia, plans for direct flights will bring tourist arrivals of Cambodian people to the Philippines.

- Satellite imagery shows that China appears to have constructed point-defense capabilities at each of its outposts in seven of the Manila-claimed islands of the Spratlys in the South China Sea. A Washington-based think tank reported that China has built large AA guns and CIWS in the Spratlys.

- President Rodrigo Duterte is ranked 70th in the 74 Most Powerful People according to Forbes Magazine. The top spot remains to Russia's Vladimir Putin while second placer goes to US President-Elect and business tycoon Donald Trump, 3rd goes to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 4th for China's Xi Jinping, and 5th for Pope Francis. Japan PM Shinzo Abe is 37th, North Korea's Kim Jong Un is 43rd, US President Barack Obama sank to 48th, Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto is 54th, and Canada's Justin Trudeau is 66th.

- According to a Harvard university law professor, as many as 30 Republican members of the Electoral College are willing to reject US President-Elect Donald Trump when the Electoral College will meet on the 19th of December to decide the next leader. If 37 Republicans managed vote against him, Trump will never get the 270 target needed to become the 45th president. Meanwhile, a bipartisan coalition of Americans wrote an open letter to the electors for the last-ditch effort to stop Trump. The full letter can be read here.

- Meanwhile, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, a key opposition by the fossil fuel giants, was handpicked by US President-elect Donald Trump for advisory committee. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick also joins President's Strategic and Policy Forum.

- Over one billion Yahoo user accounts has been hacked. The announcement follows the IT giant's disclosure in September that hackers had penetrated over 500 million accounts. The combined number makes the thefts one of the biggest data leaks from a company ever. Yahoo officials said on Wednesday that the latest attack took place in August 2013. Hackers stole names, birthdates, email addresses and telephone numbers but passwords and credit card numbers weren't affected.

- Minions, rejoice! Former supervillain Gru, Lucy, his three adopted girls Margo, Edith, and Agnes, and his Minions are back in Despicable Me 3 as the teaser trailer went live before it hits theaters in the summer of 2017. In the latest film, Gru and Lucy takes on a powerful supervillain named Balthazar Bratt, played by South Park creator Trey Parker.

- The first episode of the PokeMon anime series aired on TV Tokyo since 1997. 2017 marks the anime series' 20th anniversary and next year's film will be a retelling of the original saga, which is named after the very first episode of the show, titled "Pokemon, I Choose You!". The retelling film will be shown in theaters this 15th of July.

- Biohazard (Resident Evil) Vendetta, the third 3DCG animated film based from  Capcom's popular survival horror franchise, hits theaters on the 27th of May. The latest film sees Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and Rebecca Chambers race against time to stop a world-renowned terrorist.

Biohazard: Vendetta


Toyota C-HR

2017 Toyota C-HR

Meet the new Toyota C-HR, the newest addition to the ever-growing crossover segment and Toyota's decent opponent to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Honda Vezel, and many others in this category. With crossovers becoming the trending topic of the motoring world, the C-HR wants to appeal customers with its coupe-like styling, eco-car efficiency, and not to mentioned dynamics inspired from the Nurburgring, although theoretical in the eyes of many. So, what's it all about the C-HR?

2017 Toyota C-HR
C-HR stands for Coupe High Rider and because this crossover has a coupe-like styling, some people believe that it's a sportscar with a high ground clearance. For a concept-turned-reality design, the C-HR looks somewhat pleasing for some, although it's five door layout is what made them notice. It maybe a coupe but it's essentially a five door crossover as hinted by those secret rear doors that has been a common mischief by most carmakers to confuse customers into thinking that they are coupes but in reality, they have four (or five) doors because of that common mischief as done on the Nissan Juke, DS 4, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and others. Still, no matter what happens, the design is a clear reminder why Toyota wants to stick to the concept looks, despite the added consequences.

2017 Toyota C-HR interior

The interior is basically futuristic by the looks of it and while it resembles more like the Peugeot 208 if you squint your eyes a little bit, it's basic, simple, and regular by crossover standards. It can seat up to five people, you may ask, the rear seats can be folded for extra cargo carrying versatility on the weekends or errands, various ways to place your stuff, whatever stuff you can do inside the C-HR before you leave.

2017 Toyota C-HR
There is a well known theory that the C-HR's development took place in the Nurburgring to further demonstrate its sportscar-like handling for a compact crossover of that size but in general, this is basically a Prius underneath it because the C-HR uses the same TNGA platform as the latest Prius. Yeah, the TNGA platform is about as earful as a Tenga toy on a night market in Hong Kong but for the C-HR, it's a different experience that is still as earful as the platform it uses. Apart from the platform, the C-HR features brand new MacPherson struts in the front and double wishbones in the back, featuring Toyota's first urethane upper supports on the shock absorbers.. Couple that with the aluminum-cast upper support housing and the way the C-HR handles is not too shabby at all, although it could be better when its Nurburgring-honed dynamics aren't meant to be taken very seriously.

Two variants are offered on the C-HR such as the one with the turbocharged 1.2L petrol engine with four-wheel drive and the other, and obviously the odd one out, a 1.8L hybrid with front-wheel drive. The one with the turbocharged 8NR-FTS engine produces a modest 116PS of power and 185Nm of torque while the one with the same powerplant as the Toyota Prius promises 30.2km/L of fuel efficiency based on JC08 Mode standards. That's a lot more compared to the Kia Niro and the hybrid variant of the Honda Vezel but even though its efficiency is the deciding factor for the C-HR, both the Vezel and the Niro can left the C-HR out in the cold due to its CVT gearbox that upsets the C-HR. Sure, the turbocharged one also has a CVT but it's a Super CVT-i with seven-speed manual mode that makes it even more complicating and noticeable when you try.

No matter which variant, the C-HR comes with Toyota Safety Sense P, which features active safety tech such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function. There are a lot of safety tech offered in the C-HR but there's one feature that will upset anyone looking at your car from their rear view mirror and that's the Sequential Turn Lamp. That's about as hideous as the sequential rear turn lamps on the Ford Mustang, which remains one of the scariest cars to look on the road because of its back and because it's the front that will panic oncoming drivers, there are many reasons why putting sequential turn lamps are downright terrifying.

Now, should you buy one? The C-HR starts from 2,516,400 to 2,905,200 Japanese Yen but even if your're rushing to buy one, you will get hampered by the extremely long waitlist because of the crossover's extreme demand. No wonder the C-HR is a strong seller even in Japan. For a strong-selling newcomer, the C-HR wants to be the center of this category with its efficiency, styling, and tech that will edge out any competitor in the segment, although its Nurburgring-honed dynamics are extremely questionable from the performance it offers.

Available colors: White Pearl Crystal Shine, Metal Stream Metallic, Black Mica, Sensual Red Mica, Dark Brown Mica Metallic, Yellow, Radiant Green Metallic, and Blue Metallic.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

FH3 Blizzard Mountain: FORZA! ON ICE!!

Yes. You heard that right. It's Forza! On Ice!! Because for the first time in Forza history, snow has arrived and with the arrival of the brand new Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain expansion, drivers like you and me can taste snow for the very first time in a decade of Forza-ness while taking on the King of the Mountain event where you can take on several challenges, earn stars, and become the King of the Mountain in the end.

For my first outing in the brand new Blizzard Mountain expansion, I've gone for this. It's the Subaru WRX STi VT15R Rally Car, but this is the #199 car. This rally-spec WRX STi is run under the guise of Vermont SportsCar Racing. Founded by veteran rally car builder and former co-driver Lance Smith, Vermont SportsCar Racing founded the Subaru Rally Team USA ten years ago following its official support with Subaru. Since then, the team racked up nine Rally America championship wins in 2006-2009 and most recently from 2011-2015. This #199 WRX STi rally car that competed in the Open Class races this year was driven by the legendary Travis Pastrana. Even though he enjoyed his fierce rivalry by the rally ace, David Higgins, both Subaru's Rally America aces are very skilled to defend the honor of Subaru Rally Team USA's longstanding reputation in America's premiere rally championship and such reputation brought both Higgins and Pastrana back for the 2017 season of the Rally America National Championship.

Better take serious precautions on this one though because here in Blizzard Mountain, be on the lookout for extreme weather conditions because severe winter storms not only make the road much worse for your driving pleasure but also impairs visibility to near zero so you're going to need some serious skill to survive extreme icy conditions.

Also, to make cars prepare for the snowy conditions, snow tires are offered in almost all cars in your garage. A few cars have snow tires equipped but you are more than welcome to equip your favorite car with snow tires to get yourself ready on this frozen onslaught. Exotics are mostly welcome here as long as the tires are studless (and advisably four-wheel drive because it would be intimidating to drive a rear-wheel drive monster in the snow).

Lastly, the King of the Mountain challenges. Rather than fans, drivers need to earn stars in either bucket list challenges, PR stunts, and races. Races aside, the King of the Mountain challenges is more than just winning a race because to get three stars, you need to do a specific skill before winning a race. Skills involve jumps, drifts, wreckages, anything. So, now that you get the idea,

So, with the Blizzard Mountain basics now onto anyone's heads now, time to get my first dibs on the Blizzard Mountain expansion with this Subie that Pastrana drove in this year's season.

The snow may be as harsh as reality and so is the infamous Game of Thrones dialogue that winter is here but I got my survival instincts up and running to snag my first win and proceed to the next round of the King of the Mountain. With so many challenges going on in Blizzard Mountain, the only way to survive through this extreme icy conditions is to win through different challenges and become King of the Mountain. That's the only way I can survive Blizzard Mountain with a big smile on my face. Now, hurry. With all that snow going on around here, nothing can stop us from clearing those new challenges because (ahem) this is Forza on Ice and together, we are born to make history! Wait, what did I just said?!


Sunshine Rhythm

With the success of past CD ranges inspired from THE IDOLM@STER Million Live mobile game, Lantis brought fans of the popular sub-brand from the legendary IDOLM@STER franchise a brand new LIVE THE@TER FORWARD CD range that promising fans to get some attention to the 765 Million Stars from the Million Live game.

For the first installment of the brand new LIVE THE@TER FORWARD CD range, the star group of this album is Sunshine Rhythm, consisting of Tsubasa Ibuki (CV: Machico), Emily Stewart (CV: Yu Kahara), Hinata Kinoshita (CV: Nao Tamura), Minako Satake (CV: Eri Ozeki), Elena Shimabara (CV: Asuka Kakumoto), Iku Nakatani (CV: Akari Harashima), Noriko Fukuda (CV: Nana Hamasaki), Anna Mochizuki (CV: Shiina Natsukawa), Rio Momose (CV: Rikako Yamaguchi), Kana Yabuki (CV: Ibuki Kido), Nao Yokoyama (CV: Yui Watanabe), and Roco (CV: Atsuki Nakamura). In here, the highlight song of this first album of the range is サンリズム・オーケストラ♪ but before you can listen to this song, you have to listen through the first four songs as well as drama parts of the song highlighting what's what with the Cancer, Leo, Libra, and Capricorn sub-units of the Sunshine Rhythm group.

Hopefully, with the launch for the new LIVE THE@TER FORWARD CD range, fans of THE IDOLM@STER franchise should have some little love to the Million Live sub-franchise as much as the other sub-franchises of Bandai Namco's legendary idol-raising franchise that has been with the fans for over a decade now.


01 ドラマ1「開演のご挨拶」
02 ランニング・ハイッ
03 ドラマ2「MC01~その頃舞台裏では」
04 ゲキテキ!ムテキ!恋したい!
05 ドラマ3「MC02~その頃舞台裏では」
06 Bonnes! Bonnes!! Vacances!!!
07 ドラマ4「MC03~その頃舞台裏では」
09 ドラマ5「MC04~その頃舞台裏では」
10 サンリズム・オーケストラ♪
11 ドラマ5「終演後~その頃舞台裏では」

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Let's Do The News! (December 14, 2016)

- Today marks the 12th death anniversary of the legendary action star Fernando Poe Jr, Senator Grace Poe, the daughter of the late action star and 2004 presidential candidate, reiterated that she is not open to transferring her father's remains to the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City. Poe said there were suggestions to transfer FPJ's remains to the said cemetery due to its national artist status but Grace disagrees with these. FPJ died in December 14, 2004, seven months after he lost the presidential election to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo despite his hard-fought campaign.

- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte left yesterday for state visits to Cambodia and Singapore for further ties between the Philippines and the entire ASEAN member states. Duterte said it is important to gather insights from his neighboring countries in preparation for the Philippines' chairmanship of next year's ASEAN summit.

- December 26, 2016 and January 2, 2017 are declared special non-working holidays in the Philippines, according to a Palace official. Christmas Day and New Year's Day both fall on a Sunday and are regular holidays.

- Senior foreign ministry officials from Japan and South Korea have reaffirmed that they are committed to implementing an agreement on those referred to as wartime comfort women. Japan's Kenji Kanasugi and South Korea's Chung Byung-won held talks in Seoul, agreeing that their leaders have reaffirmed that the deal needs to be carried out steadily.

- The Islamic State militants claimed responsibility from last weekend's explosion at a church in Cairo, Egypt, that killed dozens of people. The blast during Mass at a Coptic Christian cathedral left 25 people killed and 50 hurt. The victims included civilians.

- Russian leader Vladimir Putin will visit Japan starting on Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Putin will arrive in Yamaguchi for a summit meeting with Abe, then in Tokyo on Friday. Putin told Japanese media earlier this month that Russia believes it has no territorial issues.

- The Syrian rebel forces has announced it will withdraw from the northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian government is expected to soon declare that it has seized total control of the city.

- To honor Ferrari Japan's 50th year, a special, limited-to-10, 488 Spider has been made to honor the occasion. Called the J50, this latest creation from the Ferrari Special Projects department brings back the targa body look reminiscent of past Ferraris of the 70's and 80's. 10 will be made for the discerning Japanese clients and it will be tailored specifically to the customer's requirements.

Ferrari J50

- The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe has been officially unveiled, featuring the world's first welcome feature tail lamp, new four-cylinder diesel engine, full smartphone integration, and more.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe


Subaru Chiffon

By surprise, Subaru managed to borrow the current-generation Tanto compact minivan from Daihatsu, which is now under the control of Toyota Motor Corporation, just to sell it from the dealership as the new Chiffon, a sweet named for a borrowed Tanto kei minivan.

2017 Subaru Chiffon
2017 Subaru Chiffon Custom

As you may know, the new Subaru Chiffon borrows the recently facelifted Daihatsu Tanto for this and just like the Tanto, the Chiffon offers two different styles that suit their individualities. There's the standard Chiffon for the basic and then there's the Chiffon Custom for those who want to express themselves anywhere.

2017 Subaru Chiffon interior
2017 Subaru Chiffon Custom interior

Whichever Chiffon they would choose, they would still be welcomed by the tall and wide space for the interior that is tall enough for a basketball player to get in without compromise. There's even the pillarless sliding door on the passenger side just like the Tanto, which allows freedom to get in and out of the car without compromise. With practicality mainly focused on this car, the Chiffon, despite its sizing, can be a decent family car full-stop for those who got recently married and had kids for the very first time, or a car fit for a night out on a town with your mates who want to see some concerts, movies, any nightlife-related stuff they know about.

2017 Subaru Chiffon

Just like the Tanto, the new Subaru Chiffon's 660cc engine comes with the latest e:S Technology from the Pleo+, which is a borrowed Daihatsu Mira e:S, capable of bringing a fuel economy of 28.0km/L based on JC08 Mode standards. As for the Custom models, everyone knows that variants like these are offered with an exclusive turbocharged 660cc engine for 64PS of power output, nippy enough for the people on the go.

And then goes to the safety part of the car and just like the Tanto, the Chiffon is offered with SMART ASSIST 3, which improves the previous SMART ASSIST II features by giving it the world's smallest stereo cameras that can detect moving objects even more accurately without interfering with the driver's view and overhead space. It even comes with a collision warning function, lane departure warning, false start suppression control function, preceding vehicle start notification, and auto high beam. Just so you know.

The new Subaru Chiffon starts at 1,285,200 Yen for the base model while the Chiffon Custom starts at 1,617,840 Yen. Sounds reasonable for a Subaru-badged Daihatsu Tanto sold at most Subaru dealerships.

Photo: Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Forza Horizon 3: All about the Centenario

Hold it. You thought I forgot about this one, do you? Man, since I got all soaked up with all that work in driving the best cars on the Land Down Under, I forgot about the chance to talk about the star car of Forza Horizon 3, although there are two cover cars shown but let's focus on one of the star attractions of this game, which is none other than the Lamborghini Centenario LP 770-4.

So, what's it all about the Lamborghini Centenario and why did they name this car even though Lamborghini was founded almost five and a half decades ago? Well, they name this special car in commemoration of Ferruccio Lamborghini's 100th birthday when the founder was born in 1916. If Ferruccio was with us and celebrated his 100th birthday, this is the car he would let its tailpipes blow his candles awesomely.

Premiered at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, this Aventador-based special machine demonstrates Lamborghini's innovative design and engineering competencies. It uses the same 6.5L V12 engine as the Aventador's, only now it produces 770PS of power, making it capable of going from 0-100kph in 2.8 seconds, .1 less than the normal Aventador, and onwards to 350kph. Because the car weighs 1,520kg, it has a weight-to-power ratio of just 1.97kg/hp.

With Lamborghini's commitment to "form follows function", the Centenario's design makes it one of the most aerodynamic hypercars ever made, and couple that with carbon fiber materials used on its bodywork, this car is a masterpiece that was made to be driven for the desired few. Shortly before the announcement of this car, all 20 coupes and 20 roadster variants are officially sold out, each costing 1.75 million euros plus tax.

It's hard to explain why the Centenario, just like the other special machine called the Veneno, got sold out quickly before unveiling it to the global audience at a major motor show. Whatever that is remains a total mystery how a special machine got sold quickly before its world premiere but with Forza Horizon 3, that question holds no meaning because even though we never have the keys to the Centenario in real life, we still got the chance to drive it in the fantasy roads of the Land Down Under. Whether on the beach or the metropolis or the forests or the outback, every road is a story for the Centenario to tell and how you live it up to the status of the Centenario being the star of the show is up to you.

Believe it or not, because I am so happy that I got my first dibs on Lamborghini's special machine, the Centenario, I even get the chance to see what is like to drive it in-game as I shall now demonstrate it with this clip I made. Roll the tape!

Well, I may have some slight mishaps while driving it but after having my first dibs with this car, it's fair to say that I am glad to have this kind of experience at hand.

The Centenario maybe one of the latest examples of how cars like these sold out before launch but with a game like Forza Horizon 3, you are free to do whatever you like as long as this car is with you, no matter how good or bad you're going to do with it.

Besides, I have something special in store for the Centenario...

Behind closed doors, this Centenario is going to have the sweet spots it deserves as well as its looks just to rise for the occasion. Take a guess, folks. I'm sure the Centenario I'm working for is well-trimmed for a very special occasion. So, what's it going to be for the Centenario? You'll find out really soon right after doing some more work round Down Under.

Let's Do The News! (December 13, 2016)

- President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that seeking presidency was a mistake after almost six months into office. Duterte said it during the awarding of this year's TOYM yesterday at Malacañang’s Rizal Hall and he whispered something to business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan that if he were to go back in time, he would have not committed the same mistake. Regarding the extrajudicial killings issue that involves the death of over 5,600 suspects in his war on drugs, Duterte insisted that his is not the killer his critics portray him to be, as he expressed readiness to "sacrifice" for his mission to rid the nation of drugs. He also admits that he purposely skipped the APEC leaders' gala a few weeks ago because he's not sick but because he wants to avoid US President Barack Obama. Right now, Duterte announced that all agencies must release documents and permits within thirty days.

- Bureau of Immigration deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Mike Robles will be filing a corruption of public official case against the bureau's intelligence chief, Charles Calima, for taking bribe money. Aside from the corruption of public official case, they will also be filing a complaint against him for allegedly violating the Anti-Wiretapping Act.

- House leaders filed a criminal complaint against Senator Leila de Lima, this time at the Department of Justice, for ignoring a summons for her to appear at a congressional inquiry. The leaders filed a complaint against the senator for snubbing a probe into her alleged role in the drug matrix at the New Bilibid Prison while she was Justice secretary.

- In the aftermath of the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, a South Korean official says that despite the historical impeachment, there's no change in their ongoing policy over North Korea. Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, met reporters in Seoul after talks with his Japanese and American counterparts, saying there is no change in his government's position that the North must take clear steps toward denuclearization.

- US President-Elect Donald Trump named ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as a potential candidate for Secretary-of-state, according to reports. Tillerson's been with the energy giant for over four decades and he was named CEO ten years ago. Tillerson is known for his close ties with Russia as he was engaged in oil business in the country and is in good contact with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship by the Russian government.

- UN Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres has pledged to tackle global challenges. Guterres took the oath of office on Monday for his five-year term, which starts next year. He is a former Portuguese PM and has served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

- The European Union has agreed to lift the two-decade restrictions on Cuba. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met in Brussels on Monday as they signed an accord that calls for political dialogue and stronger economic cooperation through trade and investment.

- Amazon's original car show, The Grand Tour, which starred former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, is sadly became the most pirated show in history, worse than HBO's Game of Thrones and Netflix's House of Cards, as well as the new hit TV series Westworld.

- The return of the Little Match Girl song and the addition of the brand new Kiss Me Feather outfit are the star highlights of the sixth DLC catalog on the PS4-exclusive THE IDOLM@STER Platinum Stars game.

- There's a reason why you should return playing to Pokemon Go because Pichu, Togepi, and other Pokemon from the Johto region are here.


Suzuki Landy SGC27

Of course, with the collaboration between Nissan and Suzuki is slowly killing following Nissan's control of Mitsubishi Motors that spurs more than just kei cars, it seems that the last car of the Suzuki-Nissan partnership, the Serena-based Landy, is the only one left. Sure, Suzuki wanted to kill off the Landy from their lineup but with a little spark from their nearly extinct partnership, Suzuki decided to borrow a base-spec Nissan Serena C27 for their all new Landy minivan, just to see if their is little left for their partnership that is about to end soon.

2017 Suzuki Landy
2017 Suzuki Landy

Using a base-spec Nissan Serena C27 as its foundation, the new Suzuki Landy is an MPV that is well-fit for the working-class Japanese families in a multitude of prefectures everywhere and it's hard to tell the difference between the original and the borrowed one, the new Landy is still the same story as what others expected from the latest Nissan Serena.

2017 Suzuki Landy interior
Being an MPV, the new Landy offers anything what an MPV should offer. Dual sliding doors, a choice of six or seven seats, loads of compartments to store your stuff, different seating arrangements, USB ports to attach your gadgets, climate control, plasmacluster, there's even that signature dual back door as seen from the latest Nissan Serena; the one that can open either in half or in whole. Perfect for tailgating parties, camping trips, or anything you want to do on your day off or weekends with your family or friends.

2017 Suzuki Landy

Because the Landy is basically a base-spec Nissan Serena C27 borrowed by Suzuki for their last-ditch effort to preserve their wilting partnership, the new model comes with the improved S-HYBRID powertrain with total energy management that takes charge to the sub-battery unit, eco motor, idling stop, the MR20DD 2.0L petrol engine, and the CVT, capable of delivering just 16.6km/L. That's it.

For safety, because this is just a base-model Serena with no features as well as the ProPILOT tech from the high-end models, the Landy offers a host of driver assist features such as the Emergency Brake feature that halts the car by itself when it spots a moving object upfront at slow speeds as well as Lane Departure Warning, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection,
Parking Assist, Hill Hold Control, and Auto Light System, among many others.

The new Landy starts at 2,500,200 Japanese Yen (around $22,000 or 1,100,000 Pesos) and with a very reasonable pricing for a Serena-based minivan, it's a clear reminder that while it may be the last car that was part of their Nissan-Suzuki partnership that's about to be declared extinct following Nissan's takeover of Mitsubishi Motors, the Landy is an ideal family car that wants to be taken very seriously with care. It may not have most of the sweet spots as the latest Serena but the new Landy's reasonable pricing, fuel efficiency, and family-friendly features will make it yours.

Photo: Suzuki Motor Corporation

Porsche frees from EA exclusivity so other games can feature it

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman

In the world of racing video games, Porsche became synonymous with Electronic Arts (EA) and their driving capabilities are mostly (but not all) limited to street racing in the case of the Need For Speed franchise and Porsche fans had to play every Need For Speed title to drive Porsche's finest sportscars. However, everything's changed when a Porsche official revealed that the Porsche-EA exclusivity has come to a complete end.

Porsche Branded Entertainment Manager Sebastian Hornung told during a special event in collaboration with Kunos Simulazioni, developers of the critically-acclaimed Assetto Corsa simulation racing game, told that with the current situation "not desirable" anymore, Porsche's license with EA runs out this year. 

Outside EA and before Porsche got featured on Assetto Corsa, the Forza franchise jumped into the Porsche bandwagon with earlier installments and later ones via paid DLC. Then, this year, Assetto Corsa made a special partnership with Porsche to feature three separate DLC packs with the final one set to arrive on PC next week (featuring notable motorsport icons like the 908 Long Tail and the legendary 917K for the first time in racing video game history since NFS Porsche Unleashed).

Assetto Corsa aside, Sebastian Gerhart from the German motoring website, SpeedManiac, said that relationship with other game developers will change. In translation, other games may soon feature Porsche anytime "after 10 years of absence from pure simulations."

So, with Porsche freed from EA exclusivity for now, just imagine how many games outside of EA will feature Stuttgart's finest aside from Forza and Assetto Corsa over the next few years?

Porsche Panamera (971)

Much to the purists' disdain, the addition of Porsche's first-ever four-door saloon, called the Panamera is a clear sign that even though Porsche makes the best sportscars since the iconic 911, anything is possible to cater specific customers with different kinds of cars and even though this is a four-door Porsche that disgusts most purists, this four-door saloon has the authority to put luxury saloons to shame with its quickness, despite its weight that upsets the driver apart. With the arrival of the second-generation model, how does the all-new Panamera stand out the rest as a four-door supercar?

2017 Porsche Panamera
First, let's take a look at a rather questionable new design. At first glance, nothing's change from its gorilla-looking exterior. The hints that will tell you that this Panamera is new is the front that looks similar to the 718 while the back looks vaguely similar to the current 911 and the side looks very much unchanged from the previous generation. Underneath to its questionable exterior is a new platform that will be mentioned later but for now, let's look inside.

2017 Porsche Panamera interior
2017 Porsche Panamera interior

The new interior is pretty much NASA stuff meets a robotic vision of the late 21st century. On the driver's side, there are no buttons on it and instead replace with the touch panels on the dashboard, which is great as long as your fingers aren't covered with cheese or garlic or whatever messy you went through. Best to pack up a handkerchief and a hand sanitizer handy because the next time your hands are messy after grabbing some snacks with your hands, touching the new Panamera's dashboard can be very messy.

With the addition of the brand new long-wheelbase Executive variant, the new Panamera is now on the S-Class level of luxuriousness as a premium sedan and with the added rear legroom, there is a fearful regret that you might hire a driver to drive one for you, which is very sad for a Porsche that is meant to drive, not to be driven by a chauffeur of some sorts.

2017 Porsche Panamera
2017 Porsche Panamera
So, the exterior design is still like last time, the interior is not welcomed for those with dirty hands, what to expect on the new Panamera? Oh yeah, time to talk about that new platform underneath it. This new platform, couple it with its new aluminum side body, combines the riding comfort of a luxury car and the performance of a sportscar, giving the new Panamera a new kind of driving experience for a car that is meant to be driven by anyone without compromise. Take it for a drive and you will see how serious the new Panamera can be. It can be mild and grippy but drivers need to stay focused on this because when the fun is on, there's no time to be numb while driving the new Panamera because it maybe a luxury saloon made to cater even wealthiest industrialists but it is a serious sportscar underneath it. Does this car made for the driver who demands more? It maybe new but who knows, it can put its chief rivals, the Aston Martin Rapide S and the Maserati Quattroporte to shame.

Now, we get to see under the hood of the new Panamera. First, there's a 3.0L V6 (single or twin turbo), 4.0L V8 Twin Turbo, 4.0L V8 Diesel, and the E-Hybrid variant with the combination of a 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo engine and an electric motor. All models are mated with an 8-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (Double Clutch Gearbox). The most powerful version, the Panamera Turbo, armed with the Sport Chrono package, produces 550PS of power and 770Nm. of torque. It can go 0-100kph in 3.6 seconds and onwards to 306kph. The E-Hybrid variant, meanwhile, features similar bits and bobs inspired from the Porsche 918 Hybrid, delivering a striking balance of performance and ecology. With 278kph of top speed, 462PS of combined power, and 700Nm of torque, its combined fuel economy promises 40km/L (2.5L/100km). Sounds scientific but it can be flattering if you ask how it works.

2017 Porsche Panamera

And then we get to the safety tech, which is unheard for a Porsche but works well on city streets. One of the coolest features on the new Panamera is the night vision assistant, which uses thermal imaging to detect people and large animals. Not as military grade as those NVGs used by troops but it can be useful while driving on darkest nights. There are other kinds of safety tech offered on the new Panamera but listing most of it can be a total waste when mentioning luxury sports cars that focused solely for driving purposes for the car enthusiasts.

Should you buy one? The new Panamera starts from 88,989 to 166,458 Euros, which sounds like a lot for a luxury saloon of that size. Sounds expensive for a luxury saloon that remains a blasphemy for purists everywhere but when it comes to rubbing the fronts of its rivals like the Rapide and the Quattroporte, the all new Porsche Panamera still wants its authoritarian trait as a Porsche remain and when it comes to making anyone jealous to test drive one, it's anyone's loss's hard to describe when will we have the chance to drive one and that's way too specific for teary-eyed ones wanted to drive a Porsche someday.

Photo: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Monday, December 12, 2016

Let's Do The News! (December 12, 2016)

- Senator Leila de Lima has left the country despite protests staged against her departure. De Lima left for the US to receive an award and will later in fly to speak at the Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Germany. She will return to the country on December 22.

- President Rodrigo Duterte would respect the decision on the electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, according to Malacañang officials, after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV predicted that there will be a new VP by next year. Trillanes warned Robredo not to believe the president's statement that she would finish her term.

- The House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed to pass a joint resolution authorizing the Social Security System to give its pensioners a 1,000 peso monthly pension increase starting this month and another in 2019. Earlier, the SSS board of trustees decided to respond positively to its pensioners' clamor for an adjustment.

- Last weekend, South Korean president Park Geun Hye was suspended after the National Assembly passed the motion to impeach her over a corruption scandal involving her and her long-time friend, Choi Soon-sill. In the aftermath of her impeachment, South Korea's ruling and opposition parties have agreed to work to stabilize the country's political situation. Executives of the ruling Saenuri Party and two of the three opposition parties held a meeting on Monday and agreed to establish a special parliamentary panel to amend the constitution, with an eye toward reviewing the current presidential system. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is now serving as interim president.

- Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni was named as Italy's new prime minister after his predecessor stepped down in the aftermath of the referendum loss. President Sergio Mattarella made the announcement after consulting with political parties. Gentiloni is now set to form a caretaker government and prepare for a parliamentary election.

- Meanwhile in New Zealand, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is now named as the nation's new prime minister. The inauguration took place on Monday after last week's surprise resignation of predecessor John Key for family reasons. English was named as party leader earlier in the day at a caucus meeting of the ruling National Party.

- As you may have aware, numerous intelligence agencies in the US were united following shocking revelations that Russia interfered the November elections just so to let Donald Trump win the presidency. Last week, CIA officials presented lawmakers with a stunning new judgment that Russia intervened with the primary aim to make Trump president.

- There's a new Wake Up, Girls! anime series coming next year. This was announced during a special WUG Festa 2016 Super Live event and with the cast reprising their roles, the new series will have a brand new look and new characters as well. Who's excited?

- The first official trailer for their eighth installment of The Fast and the Furious film, officially titled "The Fate of the Furious" has arrived and car-related carnage has filled in this trailer as well as witnessing a dark turn on Dom. The film will be out this April 14th.

- Our first look for the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas Special episode, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, is here, getting everyone ready before it airs on BBC Two this Christmas Day 2016.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Forza Horizon 3: Falcon Finale

As you may have know, Ford ended their Australian car production after over nine decades of making some of the best cars for Australian people and the last Ford the Australians ever made is, of course, the FGX Falcon. It may be sad to hear about Ford ended their Australian car manufacturing, with GM's Holden following suit next year, but for me, I haven't even got the chance to say goodbye to the last Australian Ford ever made...until now.

Because Forza Horizon 3 is set in the Land Down Under and while this game is honoring the best Australian cars in history before their manufacturing days are well and truly over, it was quite an honor for a game like this to feature the last Australian Ford ever made, which is the FG-X Falcon XR8, the grand finale for Australia's iconic Falcon marque and basically a minor change version of the FG Falcon. Although basically labeled a minor change, the FG-X Falcon is one way of giving their Australian production a proper sendoff they truly deserve. Also for this last Falcon ever made, it brought back the XR8 name, which is powered by a 5.0L V8 engine that produces 450HP of power output, making it the most powerful Falcon ever made.

By putting emphasis on the XR8, Australian car enthusiasts didn't want the Falcon's efforts to go in vain by giving the FG-X Falcon a well-deserved send-off just the way they want and within a couple of generations later, this would become a future classic, where future car enthusiasts will truly remember it for many moments to come as the last Australian Ford ever made and while it sheds us so many tears in our eyes, taking one final spin with the Falcon would be rather touching as I shall be driving the Falcon XR8 on a certain event invited to modern muscle cars and hopefully, this Falcon's efforts will not go unrewarded for me.

Well, it maybe weak on its braking while wet, it maybe difficult to handle on the bends, and it maybe challenging to drive, but in the end, I gave the FG-X Falcon an appropriately grand goodbye to Australia's iconic saloon that was been part of Australia's motoring family for over nine decades. Although the Falcon is heading itself to the great highway in the sky, fans will surely remember that those who own it will carve their own memories for many generations to come and that is why the last Ford Falcon in history was made for one purpose; storing good memories for the drivers who treated it as part of the family.

So, it's an honor to meet with the final Ford Falcon in history and your Aussie V8 power will be surely be missed. Goodbye, mate.
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