Saturday, December 31, 2016

Remembering 2016: Best of Anime

There has been a strewth of new and returning anime shows throughout the year 2016. From ice skating, to idols, to the edge of tomorrow, to video game-based animes, you name it, you tell them how good  (or bad) this year's anime offerings are and regardless on which way you're watching those shows, you are glad that you are a fan on those anime shows offered in 2016.

In this final part of this yearender, time to jot down the best 16 anime shows of 2016.

1) KONOSUBA - The hilarious adventures of teenager Kazuma Sato and would-be goddess Aqua are highlighted in this anime series where the unlikely duo embarked on a quest to a mysterious world overrun by the powerful demon king.

2) Bakuon! - Targeting bike enthusiasts who love to hit the open road with their fast bikes, this anime centers on the life and times of Sakura Hane, a schoolgirl who became part of her school's bike club and then set off on an epic road trip across Japan with their motorcycles.

3) Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara - This bizarrely fun anime series is about an average girl named Yuzuka Hanami who encountered a mysterious creature named Miton and told Yuzuka that she has the makings of a magical girl. Sadly, when Yuzuka transforms, her costume's only a swimsuit.

4) Aikatsu Stars - Served as the successor of the Aikatsu franchise, this new series ventures on the life and times of Yume Nijino, a young girl whose dream is to follow the footsteps of her idol, Hime Shiratori, who was part of the Four Star Academy's elite group of students known as the S4.

5) High School Fleet - A certain someone believe that the main reason why she likes this anime so much is because TrySail did the songs on this naval anime series about a young girls named Akeno on her journey to become one with the Blue Mermaids. This anime is set in a near future when tectonic plates shifted, causing Japan to lost almost all of its land due to submergence, prompting the rise of coastal and marine cities.

6) Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World - This hit anime series of 2016 is about an average schoolboy named Subaru, who ended up on another world and encountered a mysterious girl he rescued. To repay the debt, Subaru is on an adventure to help the mysterious girl find something she's looking for, and that meant he's pushing himself to the edge of tomorrow.

7) Love Live! Sunshine!! - The Love Live Sunshine TV show aired from July to September of 2016 and it centers on the origins of Uranohoshi Girls High's school idol group, Aqours, comprising of Chika Takami, You Watanabe, Riko Sakurauchi, Ruby Kurosawa, Yoshiko Tsushima, Hanamaru Kunikida, Dia Kurosawa, Kanan Matsuura, and Mari Ohara, and how this school idol unit was formed in the hopes of picking up where the famed school idol unit μ's left. There has been some joy, sadness, disgust, anger, and fear felt throughout the show and regardless of the emotions, fans worldwide finally understand who the Aqours really are.

8) New Game! - This slice-of-life anime series centers on the life and times of Aoba Suzukaze, a high-school graduate who enters her life as part of the game company that created her favorite game and working for their upcoming sequel.

9) Mob Psycho 100 - From the creator of One Punch Man, this explosive anime series is about a young man who didn't realize that he has psychic powers and tries to hide his powers from the world until chaos ensues and made him the marked man because of his psychic powers.

10) 91 Days - This suspenseful crime drama anime centers on an town made infamous for the black market sales of illicitly brewed liquor and highlights on the 91-day chronology of the two ill-fated men named Avilio and Nero.

11) Girlish Number - This anime is about Chitose Karasuma, who begins her life anew as a seiyuu filled with dreams, hope, and ambition, although unaware of the harsh reality awaits her voice acting career. With friends and rivals, Chitose's seiyuu life is one heck of a ride for her and this anime is very relative for the voice actors and voice actresses of today.

12) Magical Girl Raising Project - The anime series centers on the life and times of Koyuki Himekawa, a huge fan of magical girls, who was chosen to become the new Magical Girl Snow White of the popular social game until the game has turned into a deathmatch where 16 magical girls are battling themselves until the winner is named.

13) Sound! Euphonium 2 - Sequel to last year's anime series, this anime continues the life and times of Kumiko and her brass band colleagues continue their journey following their win at a certain band competition in Kyoto, facing old pasts and new challenges Kumiko may come across.

14) Pokemon Sun & Moon - A day before the launch of the Sun and Moon games, an anime adaptation of the newest installments was aired on TV Tokyo. In this new series, Ash and his longtime Pokemon Pikachu are venturing through the Alola Region as...yes, a student of the Pokemon School. Throughout this journey, Ash must take on a new kind of challenges throughout the Alola Region while meeting new friends, enemies, and Pokemon.

15) Touken Ranbu Hanamaru - The first of the anime projects based on the popular browser game franchise, this series is about the stories of the Hanamaru days of a certain group of Sword Warriors in a certain citadel. Set in a distant future, it centers on the life and times of men who are forged from swords doing their usual stuff before dispatched through history to stop the History Retrograde Army from altering history. You heard that?

16) Yuri!!! On Ice - Considered as one of the best animes of 2016, this inspirational sports anime is about a Japanese figure skater named Yuri Katsuki, whose life changed forever when a veteran Russian skater Victor Nikiforov became his coach, long story short but everyone in the world got hooked on this breakout sports anime show with some "boys love" stuff aboard.

...and there you have it. After all, with so many stuff happened in the year 2016, good or bad, I'm very glad that this year has finally came to an end and turning the page to the year 2017 with new hopes, new challenges, new troubles, new crises, and endless possibilities that will keep the world loud enough to be heard. After all, it's a loud, loud, loud, loud world after all. Everything is possible but if you believe in your faith, your destiny, your luck, and yourselves, here's hoping we can survive the year 2017 unscathed and overcome all our fears here, now, and for many years to come.

Until then...HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!!

Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC (W213)

2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC Estate
2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC

Car enthusiasts can't hardly wait to get their hands on AMG versions of the latest W213 E-Class but hold it right there. Before you can get your hands on the more powerful E63 AMG, which now comes with the similar 4.0L V8 BiTurbo engine as seen on the more powerful AMG GT R, you need to get to know about the AMG version of the new E-Class in the form of the first-ever E43 4MATIC.

Since the SLC43, AMG threw a curve to the world by introducing the 43 moniker, which is a sacrilegious part of their all-out war to ensure that all AMG models are turbocharged, which is a positive and negative thing for the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz. The truth is those cars bearing the 43 moniker are consider to be half-blown AMGs, an entry point for performance car enthusiasts to enter the world of AMG without the hassle of risking their tootie-booties on the road and track. The new E43 is considered as Stage 1 of an AMG-powered E-Class before the more powerful E63 AMG arrives later on. Available in both saloon and estate variants, the E43 is powered by the 3.0L V6 twin turbo engine producing 367PS of power and 520Nm of torque while mated to a 9G-TRONIC gearbox. It can get through 0 to 100kph in 4.6 seconds and electronically limited to 250kph.

As an AMG, the E43 comes with a dedicated sports suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL for better dynamics as well as the AMG Performance 4Matic system, resulting to a much milder dynamics that won't cause a scorched earth policy on your tootie-booties, although its your arms that feeling the policy because of its grippy characteristics. It can be fun to drive on the track but it's very mild and menacing to throw through the curve and yes, you get some understeering. What this car needs is some patience and with enough patience, you can be sure that you'll be able to uncover the hidden potential of these cars before you can graduate yourselves to the more powerful E63, which is available sadly on a saloon basis. Sorry.

Anyway, the new Mercedes-AMG E43 starts at 75,089 Euros for the saloon and 77,856 Euros for the estate. Sounds very expensive but they are the starting points to understand an AMG-fied W213 E-Class before graduating to the E63. Enjoy your maiden voyage on those!

Photo: Daimler AG

New Mini JCW Clubman (F54)

2017 Mini JCW Clubman

Following the arrival of MINI's brand new and even larger than life Clubman, the one that doesn't even care even when parked alongside the five-door Mini except it has longer wheelbase and the signature doors at the rear apart from the loss of the previous model's club door from the previous model is gone, nothing says taking winter by storm by giving the Clubman a much hotter John Cooper Works model to spruce things up for the new Clubman.

Like any other John Cooper Works models, the new JCW Clubman is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L petrol engine generating 231PS of power and 320Nm of torque as well as race-derived dynamics but unlike today's JCW Minis, the new JCW Clubman comes with the ALL4 control system, which adapts to the road with the ideal blend of power distribution between the front and rear wheels. With its all-weather capabilities and when mated with either a 6-speed manual or an optional 8-speed Steptronic gearbox, it can get through 0 to 100kph in 6.3 seconds, making this a quick small wagon built to tackle just about anyone who's feeling under the weather.

While this is a quick Clubman full-stop, it still feels as bulky and mild as today's Mini and even when given with a sports suspension, Brembo sports brake system, Servotronic, and any other features fit under its body, it feels very easy to drive on track days but not good enough to squeeze through tight gaps on cities with tight spots that are deemed to difficult to squeeze through and takes a lot of reversing to squeeze it without damaging it.

If you're consider using it as a car fit for your next night out with your mates, it's still the same Clubman trait fit for you and your friends and because the rear space is slightly more than a normal three-door Mini hatchback, you can fit most of your shopping mall hauls while keeping your pals happy before going to the next point of interest after another, as long as they're not bothered by its sport-tuned suspension that gives them the jitters when you get through the bumps.

The JCW Clubman starts at 37,750 Euros and while this slightly too much for a hotter version of the Clubman, it doesn't hurt to have one in your garage if you want to take a break from driving fast cars on the open roads because if you got some social life with your pals, it doesn't hurt having a hot Clubman until one of yours got bothered by its race-inspired dynamics that will mistake you for a go-kart driver by any day.

Photo: Mini

Remembering 2016: Best of Video Games

You are right and I was wrong. I once believe that the year 2016 would be a great year ever for video games and it can't possibly get better than this but then it did. From a remake of a classic horror shooter, a futuristic battle of the heroes, a band of brotherhood tagging along on an epic road trip of a lifetime, an interstellar warfare of infinite proportions, and new ways to catch and befriend monsters on the go, this year brought us the best and worst in gaming.

So, let's jot down the 16 best games of 2016.

1)  Biohazard 0 HD Remaster - Remastered version of the 2002 prequel chapter of the Biohazard (Resident Evil) saga, fans of the hit survival horror franchise return to the untold chapter that is set before the first one as players take the role of STARS Bravo Team member Rebecca Chambers and escaped convict Billy Coen, taking advantage of their abilities while surviving through the nightmare that uncovers the hidden truth behind the beginning.

2) Quantum Break - By the creators of Alan Wake, Quantum Break offers a unique blend of third-person shooting, decision making, and a live-action drama that pushes the boundaries of time and space for storytelling games available for Windows PC and XBOX One,

3) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - The long-awaited fourth installment of the ever-popular Uncharted action games developed by the same folks that brought you the popular Crash Bandicoot games sees a much darker turn for treasure hunter Nathan Drake. Sam, his brother, re-emerges and asked Drake to save his life and offer him a quest he wouldn't resist. That meant he's on the search for the long lost treasure of Captain Henry Avery and with his brother, they'll venture through different parts of the globe to search for the legendary treasure.

4) DOOM - The first-person shooter legend is back and for 2016, the legendary FPS game Doom gets a whole new modern twist to this one helluva shooter game that caused a stir on millions of gamers since the original Doom went out on the PC in the mid-90's. Now made for PC and new-generation gaming consoles such as the PS4 and XBOX One, the new Doom is going to be the bloodiest offerings in the summer. Apart from the new storyline as well as multiplayer madness, the new Doom is now more fun than ever thanks to the brand new DOOM SnapMap feature, where players can create maps and objectives, and then share it to the world for them.

5) Overwatch - Blizzard's latest offering is a first-person multiplayer game that is becoming one the most popular games ever launched. In this game, players can choose as one of the heroes while teaming up with other players in series of multiplayer missions that will test their skills and their cooperation against rival teams.

6) THE IDOLM@STER Platinum Stars - While this is mainly a sacrilege for purists everywhere, this PS4-exclusive game marks the new beginning for Bandai Namco's decade-long franchise about raising idols to become superstars. Platinum Stars sees a bold new turn for the 765PRO ALL-STARS as they're undergoing a training camp and you're in charge of nurturing all 13 idols to its true potential. Just like One For All two years ago, Platinum Stars allows players to raise their favorite idols such as Haruka Amami, Yayoi Takatsuki, Makoto Kikuchi, Chihaya Kisaragi, Ritsuko Akizuki, Azusa Miura, Yukiho Hagiwara, Iori Minase, Ami and Mami Futami, Miki Hoshii, Takane Shijou, and Hibiki Ganaha. How you'll live it up to your favorites' expectations is all up to you.

7) Tales of Berseria - The latest mothership title of the two-decade-long Namco Tales franchise, Tales of Berseria, breaks the tradition of past Tales titles because for the first time in Tales history, a heroine will be the star of the new game, under the name of Velvet, a young woman who has a thirst for vengeance following a string of tragic events. Exclusively for the Playstation consoles, PS4 and PS3, this new installment is a Tales game unlike any other, giving a fresh new spin to the two-decade-old franchise that wowed millions of fans, new and veterans alike.

8) Pokemon Go - Since its announcement last year, Pokemon GO is one of the most anticipated smartphone app games the world has ever faced and even though this is one of the many ways to honor Pokemon's 20th anniversary, Pokemon GO gives millions of Pokemon fans from across the globe the chance they've been waiting for; capture Pokemon in the real world just as what they did on video games. As of right now, Pokemon GO offers over a hundred Pokemon as seen on the Red/Green/Blue/Yellow games or as I like to call it, Pokemon that came from the Kanto region. You start off with one of the three starter Pokemons; Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle, and then set off to catch and train Pokemon. As you catch more and more Pokemon, you can level up your trainer and as your trainer level goes high, you can gain access to more powerful items that will be a great use on your journey. Because of such popularity and criticism, we can expect more to come in the Pokemon Go app and in due course, more Pokemon to catch in the real world.

9) Forza Horizon 3 - The Horizon Festival goes Down Under in this latest installment of the Forza Horizon series and unlike any other Horizon Festivals you've been through since the first one, Forza Horizon 3 puts you in charge of Horizon Australia as your goal is to make this Horizon Festival a success while driving a roster of fast cars on Australian roads, a dream come true for the discerning petrolheads living the life of the location ubiquitous for shooting promo videos and commercials on new cars.

10) Assetto Corsa - Following the success of the PC version, Kunos Simulazioni were pleased to bring the popular racing simulator game to PS4 and XBOX One consoles. Following the release of the console versions, the developers behind it announced that they will be bringing Porsches in-game via DLC. Of course, all versions will get these DLC packs based on Stuttgart's finest but the PC versions get them first, followed by PS4, and then (uncertainly) for the XBOX One.

11) Titanfall 2 - Sequel to the 2014 hit game, the latest chapter is offered not just on the XBOX One, but for the first time (and to the annoyance of many Titanfall fans) on the PlayStation4. From its dramatic solo-player storyline and its high-octane multiplayer gameplay, it takes guts to master their pilot and titan skills to overcome this new kind of battlefield.

12) Battlefield 1 - Not to be confused to the original Battlefield Bad Company game, Battlefield 1 aims players a shot through time to relive the First World War in many ways to enjoy this game while blending historic fact and surreal fiction in the most spectacular way while delivering the same Battlefield thrills as the other installments.

13) Call of Duty Infinite Warfare - The classic Call of Duty action as experienced in most games boldly goes where no warfare has gone before as Infinite Warfare brings the surreal warfare action into the solar system. With the intense solo-player campaign, enjoyable multiplayer, and the Zombies game most fans loved, this franchise has already evolved to the maximum level.

14) Pokemon Sun & Moon - This is the biggest birthday gift to honor 20 years of Pokemon. In this new installment, players emerge through the tropical Alola region where they can catch, trade, and battle new Pokémon around the region, pass through trials, avert a major threat, and become the island challenge champion.

15) FINAL FANTASY XV - The long-awaited installment from the hit JRPG franchise gives a new start for new and returning fans many. Because of the extensive advertising used to promote this game, it even features two prologues to up the ante such as the KINGSGLAIVE FINAL FANTASY XV film and the BROTHERHOOD FINAL FANTASY XV anime series. As Prince Noctis and his friends, he's on an epic grand tour in the world of Eos in search of many secrets while racing against time to save the Kingdom of Lucis from the uprising that marked him dead alongside his father, King Regis.

16) Yokai Watch 3 Sushi/Tempura/Sukiyaki - The latest installment of Level 5's hit video game franchise marks the game's debut of new American Yokais such as USAPyon, Tomnyan, K. Koma, K. Jiro, and many other new Yokais, including King Enma and Nurarihyon. In these new installments, Keita Amano (Nate Adams) and Jibanyan are going to the USA while Inaho and USAPyon stay in Japan in search for more yokais doing annoying habits. With two worlds, two heroes, new yokais, one story, what could possibly go wrong?

There are many good games ever launched in 2016, but let's leave it here.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso

About five years ago, Ferrari rattled the supercar world with the FF, featuring Ferrari's very own four-wheel drive system which the power is distributed between the left and right sides of the rear and front axle for superior grip unlike other 4WD sports cars. In terms, it's not like the Nissan GT-R you're familiar with. Now, Ferrari's first 4WD sportscar has been given a fresh new look and a new name. Meet the new GTC4Lusso.

2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso

This new Ferrari GTC4Lusso looks almost nearly identical to the old FFit replaces but there's one major difference you should know about. Like the LaFerrari, the 488 GTB, and the F12tdf, the new GTC4 Lusso joins to the new batch of Ferraris that are no longer Pininfarina-designed and they are designed in-house by the Ferrari Styling Centre, thus resulting to a new front face and the new taillight design that really differentiates it from the old FF, which is Pininfarina-designed.

The biggest change ever happened on the GTC4Lusso is that it now comes with two different variants types for the first time. First, there's the one with the 6.3 L F140 V12 engine that produces 690PS of power 697Nm of torque, resulting to its 3.4 seconds of 0-100kph time and 345kph of top speed. Apart from the engine upgrade, Ferrari's four-wheel drive system has been revised, promising better handling even on low-grip surfaces and superb stability and responsiveness in all conditions, making it a multirole full stop. The second one, and this is the obvious bunch, there's now a rear-wheel drive GTC4 Lusso with the same 3.9 L F154 V8 twin turbo as the 488 GTB, producing 610PS of power and 760Nm of torque, that's more torque than its V12 equivalent but it's close because of its 3.5 seconds of 0-100kph time and 320kph of top speed.

So, a choice of either a four-wheel drive V12 model or a new rear-wheel drive turbocharged model sounds more of a hunch by some but if anyone can drive both of these variants, it's easy to feel the difference between the two. On the one with the four-wheel drive system and V12, you can see that all that added power from its V12 engine and its brand new 4RM-S really shows that it has gained a lot after five years but better get yourself focused because while this new four-wheel drive system keeps the car within reach on any road surfaces, your numbness while driving is not relevant because it takes guts to wrestle this kind of machine on the snow and on the beach. On the one with the rear-wheel drive and V8 turbo engine on it, the multirole has became a fighter because while it lost its ability to get through slippery road conditions, its weight loss results for some added challenge for the driver who demands more. Best to stay focus while driving this one though because if things get rough, start praying because on the scale of easy to extreme, this is way higher than extreme because being rear-wheel drive, wheelspin starts and oversteering is very likely and you need to have a decent strategy to master this new kind of GTC4Lusso.

Well, if you got three hundred grand in your bank account, now's the perfect time to get yourself interested with the GTC4Lusso, regardless of which variant you'll choose. If you want some all-weather driving, go for the one with the 4WD and V12 on it, but if you are a driver who demands more, try the lesser one with the V8 and rear-wheel drive. Yes, the one with the V8 and rear-wheel drive can be considered the lesser one but to those who experienced it and braved through its torture, they believe that the one with the V8 engine and rear-wheel drive is more enjoyable and yes, you can turn it into a smoke grenade for the fun of it as long as you don't live in the Oceania where turning cars into smoke grenades is against the law.

Photo: Ferrari

Remembering 2016: Best of Sports

Last minute failures, last minute successes, historic wins, historic firsts, scandals, retirements, returns those are the many things that changed sports in the year 2016 and it has been one heck of a ride for athletes from all corners of the world.

So, what are the 16 best of sports in the year 2016?

1) The 50th Super Bowl match is by no means the most historic of all the past Super Bowl matches since the first Super Bowl occurred in the 60's and with the match between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, this was one heck of a match that, of course, will be written in the American football history books. At the score of 24-10, the Denver Broncos won the historic match against the Carolina Panthers, all thanks to their questionable but rough offensive and defensive strategies pulled by the Broncos' finest players. The Panthers did well but they were lacking much effort, even for the star player Cam Newton himself.

2) Having returning from the 0-3 deadlock against the Alaska Aces, the San Miguel Beermen shows that it ain't over until they snagged the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup title. At the seventh and the final game, the San Miguel Beermen made a historic comeback from a 0-3 hole to win the best-of-seven title series. Thanks to the efforts of the team's finest including Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, and June Mar Fajardo, their latest win marks the 22nd in the franchise history. The team now scored three of the last four championships in the PBA.

3) After a 13 year drought, the England Rugby team won the Grand Slam title at the 2016 RBS 6 Nations championship.

4) In what was supposed to be his final battle before he supposedly retire from position to pursue his senatorial status, Manny Pacquiao's third and final match against Tim Bradley truly is his final battle before his inevitable retirement from his career. The two boxing adversaries faced each other twice and they did it for the last time as these primed fighters thrown everything they got to ensure that this trilogy reached its climax. At the end of this 12-round battle to what is known to be Pacquiao's last fight of his career, the fighting pride of the Philippines won the match against Bradley...twice via unanimous decision.

5) The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters triumphed the PBA Commissioner's Cup championship after Game 6 victory against the Alaska Aces at the score of 109-92 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Apart from the team's unorthodox win, Elasto Painters' Paul Lee was named as MVP for his four 3-point shots and finished with 20 points scored.

6) Farewell to The Greatest. Muhammad Ali, an Black American boxer who was legendary for his unbiased fighting style that defeated some of the most mightiest boxers in his career, passed away at the age of 74. Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay in January 17, 1942, Ali is a native in Louisville, Kentucky and he began his boxing career at the age of 12. The reason why he changed his name to Muhammad Ali is because he joined the Black Muslims. Ali became a legend ever since he defeated some of the most mightiest boxers in his career such as Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman, but all the endless fights he endured cost him his life and suffered some head injuries. Because of his "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" fighting style, his career record consists of 56 wins, five losses, and 37 knockouts.

7) The rematch between the two teams at the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, became one heck of a catch up to the seven-game fight for the title. We all thought that it would be the Warriors' time to shine to score another win but following the 3-1 deficit, looks like the Cavaliers are fighting back to score enough wins to take on the seventh and the final game of the 2016 NBA Finals. Had Lebron James, the Cavs' ace in the hole, didn't sacrifice himself by slight injuries to trigger a foul, the Warriors would have given the edge to prevent them from scoring its historic win. Well, because of LeBron James, the Cavs scored their first major championship for the city of Cleveland since the Browns in 1964.

8) The doping scandal has been the main topic on the year 2016 and it hit the Russian athletes very hard, thanks to the World Anti-Doping Agency's revelations that state-run doping in Russia is the main reason why Russian athletes kept winning so many games than any other countries.  Despite the lack of evidence, the publication led on the ban on Russian athletes from taking part in international competitions including the Rio 2016 Olympics and a ban on all Russian Paralympic Team from participating in the major sports event of 2016.

9) While the Rio 2016 Olympics is floured in an endless wave of controversies, it became one of the biggest events occurred in the South American country. After two weeks of all the joy, sadness, disgust, anger, and fear everyone around the world felt upon witnessing the Rio 2016 Olympics, Team USA scored the most medals than China, UK, and controversially, Russia, therefore they are the proud winners of the Rio 2016 Olympics. Believe it or not, Hidilyn Diaz from the Philippines won the silver medal on weightlifting.

10) For the first time since 1908, the Chicago Cubs scored their very first World Series win against the Cleveland Indians despite the opponents' 3-to-1 lead. At the score of 8-7, the Cubs made history.

11) "Prince" Albert Pagara faced his first career loss after being KO-ed by Mexican Cesar Juarez at the eighth round of the "Fists of the Future" match

12) Six out of seven games, more than enough to put the epic close battle between the two PBA teams; the Barangay Ginebra and the Meralco Bolts, to a conclusion and with a very close score of 91 to 88, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team made a saved-by-the-bell victory to clinch the Governor's Cup title. One of the most epic parts in the final moments of this game is when the clock is nearing zero while both of the teams scored 88 points each, a miraculous last-second three-point shot from BGSM's number 32, import player Justin Brownlee, made the final seconds of the game into a historic achievement for BGSM after a close match against the Bolts.

13) Everyone thought that after defeating Timothy Bradley a couple of months ago for the third and final time, we might imagine that this is really the end for Manny Pacquiao's boxing career now that he's spending his life as a politician in the Philippine Senate, but seeing him defeating Jessie Vargas, a world welterweight champion, proved us wrong. Very wrong.  Pacquiao tries to prove that the legend still lives in a 12-round fight held at the Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada, and by winning via unanimous decision, this is a definite proof that the legendary Manny Pacquiao still lives, even though he's on a very different position for himself.

14) It was the 13th of April, 2016, when LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant played his last game against the Utah Jazz with them until his retirement. Fans of the legendary Black Mamba are savoring the best for last and Kobe's 60-point finale, that propelled the Lakers to a win against the Jazz, made his name consigned to the basketball history books. He will be remembered by fans as one of the all-time legends in the history of NBA.

15) The 79th season of the UAAP sees the La Salle Green Archers' rise to dominance from their first loss in 17 games. With the powerhouse of Ben Mbala, Aljun Melecio, and MVP Jeron Teng, the Archers' win against the long-time rival Ateneo Blue Eagles shows that they're still the kings of the UAAP.

16) Following last year's loss, the San Beda Red Lions are roaring back in the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship and after their victory against the Arellano University Chiefs via an 83-73 win in Game 2 at the MOA Arena, the Red Lions achieved the redemption they truly deserved to get back the NCAA crown.

Of course, there are many great sports stuff ever happened in the 2016, but let's leave it here.

Aston Martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11

Served as the replacement to the DB9, Aston Martin's brand new grand tourer, the DB11, marks the new chapter of the British sportscar maker's centennial history by peppering in some new and familiar elements an Aston would offer.

2017 Aston Martin DB11

Starting with the way it performs and for the first time in Aston's centennial history, the first ever DB11's V12 has now been miniaturized and turbocharged so this brand new 5.2L V12 Twin Turbo engine produces 608PS of power and 700Nm of torque, capable of getting through 60mph in less than four seconds and onwards to over 200mph, while mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox that doesn't behave like the jerkier double clutch gearboxes of today's sportscars. Although the turbocharged engine sounds too artificial but the power output is smooth for a grand tourer. Take it on the open roads and you can see that the new DB11 behaves in a serene grace with a sunnier disposition. You can really tell why this car is mainly focused for this kind of job because while this is a serene grand tourer full-stop, breaking its limits on the track is the harshest thing to do.

Yes, the DB11 maybe a luxury grand tourer but as a sportscar, it's about as shameless as slashing the Neo-Victorian dress into the shortest skirt possible. Because this car comes with Electric Power Steering and Torque Vectoring, breaking the DB11 beyond limits is something you are daring to accomplish at, no matter which racetrack you're going at. While this car is not designed to break lap times in a jiffy, it's still an enjoyable experience to understand what the new DB11 can do for you.

2017 Aston Martin DB11 interior
2017 Aston Martin DB11

So far as styling, the DB11's design balances the things that are right with the things that are wrong. Sure, the design is rather an improvement compared to the DB9, there's still wrong about how it looks. The rear view isn't the least of the problem but the interior is what puzzles anyone because it looks like a normal car interior with a sat-nav sourced from Mercedes-Benz due to its newly-found partnership. While this maybe called a sportscar, the interior doesn't look sporty for some and it feels as common as compacts on the city center.

The biggest problem with the DB11 is its pricing and with prices start at 154,900 Pounds, that sounds very costly to own but on the upside, you can afford one if your budget couldn't afford those ultra-expensive Italian exotics, especially Ferrari's F12berlinetta. Despite its high price, the DB11 marks a smooth renaissance for Aston Martin and it signal the start of something new for the British carmaker but it's going to be a risky challenge now that UK is no longer with the European Union by majority. Let's see how far can this new Aston can go to this new world order.

Photo: Aston Martin 

Friday, December 30, 2016

New Audi R8 Spyder vs. Ferrari 488 Spider vs. Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

You're a rich man, you spend a lot of time doing stuff at the CEO's desk and then going out gambling your luck at the casino on your day-off. You have a lot of money to spend on those super-fast cars but your probability of your choosing would be open-top supercars because you want to look cool driving on those things. There are three choices, which one would you go for?

2017 Audi R8 Spyder

Let's take a look at your first choice of the latest open-top supercars on the market today, the brand new Audi R8 V10 Spyder. You may have noticed that while it maybe slightly heavier than its hardtop equivalent, it still comes with its new Audi Space Frame as well as its 5.2 V10 engine developing 540PS of power and 540Nm of torque, while mated to a 7-speed double clutch gearbox which shifts like magic bur that doesn't stop you from spoiling your day out with this open-top supercar, especially that it can get from 0 to 100kph in 3.6 seconds and onwards to 318kph. Because it's priced less than two hundred grand, this new Audi R8 Spyder is a supercar bargain.

2017 Ferrari 488 Spider

Then, let's take a look on the new Ferrari 488 Spider, which is an updated version of the old 458 Spider, the car that will make everyone agree that it's the best mid-engined supercar ever made. It may have the same V8 as the old 458 but it's been miniaturized and turbocharged so this 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 engine produces 670PS of power output while mated to its F1 7-speed double clutch gearbox, resulting to its 0 to 100 km/h time in 3 seconds. While it may slightly more than the coupe version, its dynamics remain just as fun as the normal one and with the roof up, the upside of having one on the track day meet is that while you can enjoy its F1-inspired dynamics, you can really hear the noise of its V8 engine very clearly but since this is turbocharged, you can't hold your case for a little while longer, knowing this this Ferrari's too matured for its own good.

2017 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

Or if you're unhappy with those two, you can have the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder instead. Like the new Audi R8, it has a 5.2L V10 engine but it produces 610PS of power output while mated to the same 7-speed double-clutch gearbox as the R8. The age of V10 engines maybe soon endangered but with the Huracan Spyder, you can assure that this modern open-top supercar still has that old-school charm that car enthusiasts really love to listen like the sounds of good old 80's rock and roll from their old CD collections. Because this is a Lamborghini, you can be very addictive while driving this open-top Huracan on the road and on the track, despite the added weight on it.

With these open-top supercars currently available on the market, it's hard to decide which one is the best. The Audi R8 Spyder has the most value for money, the Ferrari 488 Spider for its power that beats them in their own little game of top trumps, and the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder for its old-school charm that wouldn't settle for anything else. How you live it up and sum it up with those three is up to you, my dear bachelor and bachelorette.

Let's Do The News! (December 30, 2016)

- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited Leyte and gave additional cash assistance to victims of the December 28 town plaza explosion.Duterte talked to six blast victims still confined at the the state-run health facility. All the patients already discharged form the hospital also came for a 40-minute meeting with the president.

- December 30, 2016 marks the 120th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal and during his commemoration at the Rizal Park in Manila City, President Duterte said the Philippines is still fighting for independence 120 years after Rizal's death.

- The Department of Social Welfare and Development needs 614 million pesos to help victims affected from Typhoon Nina.

- Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will replace Perfecto Yasay Jr. as the new Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary starting in mid-2017. Duterte said he would give the post to his former running mate after Yasay steps down and returns to United States to fulfill his obligations.

- The White House has announced sanctions against Russian entities in response to cyber activity in the United States and harassment of US personnel. Russia, meanwhile. said it is set to respond in the recent sanctions and the expulsion of Russian officials. Then, US President-Elect Donald Trump says the US must move on to bigger things than imposing sanctions against Russia.

- The Syrian government and rebels have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire, which began at midnight on Thursday, local time. The government of President Bashar al-Assad, its ally Russia, and opposition supporting Turkey announced the agreement almost at the same time on Thursday. A leading opposition group says it supports the ceasefire.

- Volvo adds Skype to its infotainment systems, allowing drivers to make video calls while on the go.

- Over 170,000 visitors attended Comiket 91 in the first day.


Remembering 2016: Best Movies?

From superhero rivalries, love stories, sci-fi stories, real-world stories, any story you've been through, the year 2016 has been a great year for movies, no matter how good or bad they are, as long as they catered to specific kind of audiences, be it fantasy, drama, horror, comedy, kids, or any other genre they know.

So, let's list down the best movies of 2016...

1) Deadpool - Deadpool told me that his dream of having his own movie just like any other superheroes he know has came true, all courtesy of his new best friends, Ryan Reynolds, who played as Deadpool in this film, and director Tim Miller. Life couldn't get even more exciting than this action comedy flick that packs more chimichangas than any other superhero flick Deadpool hates, except his own. 

2) Zootopia - In the world of Zootopia, animals are behaving just like us, doing their hectic lifestyles, and enjoy whatever on their hearts' content. In this mammal metropolis, everything is possible. The film centers on two protagonists; Nick Wilde, your basic city fox (who turns out to be a scam artist, by the way), and Officer Judy Hoops, a female cadet police officer who strives to fit in with her larger colleagues, and together, they can get through all sorts of Zootopia, knowing what is like to be wild in the urban jungle they're stepping on.

3) Batman v. Superman - The Dark Knight clashes against the Man of Steel in one of the most anticipated films of 2016 and with the surprise appearance of Wonder Woman, this epic showdown never felt so alive until the very end.

4) Captain America: CIVIL WAR - Another movie about superhero rivalry, this time from the world of Marvel superheroes. In this film, following the most tragic incident that spiraled the fate of the Marvel Superheroes, the US Congress passed a bill that require all superheroes to unmask their true identities before the public. Iron Man supports the idea but for Captain America, he condemns this ideology. Because of such disagreements, they will decide that they will battle against each other in order to decide the fate of the heroes. However, for each side, they're not alone.

5) Train to Busan - Even South Koreans are not safe in the zombie apocalypse and one of the most frightening films ever made by the Koreans is the latest example of why this kind of genre remained popular among horror fans. It all started as a quiet train ride to the city of Busan until a zombie pandemic turned it into an inescapable death trap and only a handful of survivors trying to get them out of the zombie train alive.

6) Finding Dory - Sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo, it brings the aquatic tale we all love when you and I are young to a new direction and promises the same comic dialogue we all love. Of course, TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres reprises her role as, hers truly, Dory as well as Albert Brooks as Marlin from the first flick. Unknown to her bittersweet past, Dory sets on an adventure to reunite with her parents after a terrible incident separated them years ago, and that meant she ends up on another side of the ocean. With the help of old pals Marlin and Nemo as well as new allies such as the octopus Hank, whale shark Destiny, and beluga whale Bailey, Dory will have to keep swimming to reunite with her long lost family, no matter the odds.

7) Imagine You and Me - Becuase 2016 marks the 1st anniversary of AlDub, the love team that made famous for their Kalyeserye antics, all their hard work from their TV appearances finally got what they deserved; their own movie titled Imagine You and Me. This film is considered to be the perfect present for AlDub's 1st Anniversary. In fact, because this film is so romantic for the AlDub nations too many, this film was shot entirely from Italy.

8) Pokemon The Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel - 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Pokemon franchise and to honor such a glorious occasion, the third and final film based on the Pokemon XYZ saga features two brand new Pokemon that can be obtainable on their games. In this 19th Pokemon film, Ash, Pikachu, and friends, made a fateful encounter with Volcanion, a mythical Pokemon who has strong disdain on human beings, and then the unlikely alliance puts them on a quest to save the Artificial Pokemon Magearna from a corrupt minister trying to take advantage of its Soul-Heart for a hostile takeover.

9) your name. - Makoto Shinkai's masterpiece has became the talk of the town and became one of the best movies in Japan. It was named as one of the highest grossing film of 2016 in Japan, earning over 21.3 billion yen and sold 16.4 million tickets. It centers on the theme of miracles and love and it centers on the love story of Mitsuha, a high school girl from a rural village, and Taki, a schoolboy from Tokyo.

10) Star Trek Beyond - The Star Trek franchise reaches its 50th anniversary this year and over the past five decades, Trekkies have been part of the 24th-century space exploration and heroism that dates back from the original, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. From the Federation, Vulcan, KCA, Augments, the infamous Klingons, the Romulans, and many other factions fans encountered, the 50-year timeline of the Star Trek franchise never felt so unique, so unique, fans live up to Spock's "Live Long and Prosper" tagline. As Trekkies live long and prosper to the next five decades, the big 50th anniversary birthday present has arrived and it's none other than the third installment of the Star Trek movie series. Star Trek Beyond features the most dramatic storyline ever told in the history of Star Trek and in this third installment, disaster struck at the USS Enterprise crew on an unknown planet, spiraling them out of control and survival is at stake for the whole crew. This film brings back and introduces a vivid cast of characters from Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock, Karl Urban as Dr. Bones McCoy, Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, including Zoe Saldana as Uhura, John Cho as the fan-favorite Mr. Sulu, Simon Pegg as Scotty, and many others, especially the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov. (Rest in Peace, Yelchin)

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

12) Enteng Kabisote 10 and the Abangers - Comedian and TV presenter Vic Sotto reprises his role as the loveable yet wisecracking warrior who comes out from his retirement and save the day once again in this latest installment of the Enteng Kabisote films based from the classic Okay Ka Fairy Ko sitcom. This is the first time this film couldn't make it to the list of film festival entries of this year alongside Mano Po, which sounds sacrilegious by some but no matter what, it still delivers some jokes, some drama, and some family values this latest installment is.

13) Yokai Watch Soratobu Kujira to Double Sekai no Daibouken da Nyan! - The third Yokai Watch 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, including the brand new Koalanyan, which is playable on the Yokai Watch 3 games. 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.

14) Rogue One - While Star Wars fans got some hangovers from 2015's The Force Awakens and waiting for the sequel to arrive in the end of 2017, this spin-off prequel film, Rogue One, which is the first of the Star Wars anthology films, awakes fans into the hidden truth behind the war between the rebels and the empire. It centers on the unsung band of rebels trying to steal the plans of the Death Star, making it the turning point of the legendary warfare throughout the galaxy far far away.

15) Die Beautiful - Both this film and Eat Bulaga presenter Paolo Ballesteros, who starred on it, won the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival for best film and best actor. In this film, Paolo plays the role of a transgender who dies in a beauty pageant and her final wish is to "die beautiful" and become a celebrity for every evening of her wake.

16) Sunday Beauty Queen - Shown at this year's Busan International Film Festival, it was the only documentary flick that made it to the top eight of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival. It highlights the life and times of Filipina OFWs doing everyday jobs and then became free to do whatever they like on Sundays, mostly taking on a beauty pageant or something.

There are so many great films shown this year but let's leave it there and keep going with this yearender before 2016 ends and 2017 begins with more and exciting movies in store for the moviegoers.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Not to be confused with the Volt with the V (as in Victory) on it which is essentially a plug-in hybrid, the new Chevrolet Bolt EV, B as in Boy by the way, is a full-fledged zero-emission electric car that envisions General Motors' commitment to reduce carbon emissions for many generations to come. So, what's it all about it, you may ask?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV interior

First, let's take a look on the Bolt EV's futuristic design and while it looks appealing for a future-ready hatchback, the Bolt EV really fits for the city roads of today due to its well-sculpted exterior and its high-tech interior that brings owners' perspectives into action and apart from its high-tech stuff loaded inside, it's generous spacing at the back means that it can accommodate just about your shopping mall hauls in a jiffy. Sure, you can toy the interior all you want but best not to waste its power on some nincompoops because while this is an electric car, it runs solely on electricity and electricity has became the future for automotive business. Nothing says business is booming.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

As an electric car, the Bolt EV promises an EPA-estimated 238 miles per charge, meaning that with so much mileage, you can go up to three or four days or more without needing to plug in, Which means, you can drive this car while going to work and then charge it on Sundays, that's incredible but there's more to it than that because the Bolt EV comes with other features that manages its energy very well such as the Regen on Demand, which allows the driver to slow it down without using the actual brake pedal with just a shift of a paddle, and a One-Pedal Driving feature that helps the driver transfer energy to the battery in many ways. Oh and did you know that despite being an electric car, the Bolt EV has 200HP of power output and 266lb-ft of torque, meaning that it can get from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds, as fast as what hot hatches do. And like all electric cars, it can get a quick getaway without the wheelspin dilemma. Sneaky, huh? And there are many ways to charge the Bolt EV either at home or at the nearest charging station, as long as your right on schedule.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Because the Bolt EV is built for the future, it's got numerous safety tech in store for the impressive little electric car such as Lane Departure Warning, Rear Camera Mirror, Surround Vision, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Forward Collision Alert, among many other features that promises a peace of mind for the occupants.

The Bolt EV starts at 37,495 US Dollars but with federal tax credit applied in some states, it can be offered for less than 29,995 US Dollars. However, it's not easy to get the Bolt EV for your own because as of right now, Oregon and California are the only states selling the Bolt EV and by next year, more will be added soon but I'm not sure if those Bolt EVs can worth profitable now that the upcoming American leader is a big fan of coal, gas, and oil, which is the cornerstones of civilization now and forever. Whatever the political condition is, General Motors is on a risky gamble with these electric compacts.

Available colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Arctic Blue Metallic, Kinetic Blue Metallic, Orange Burst Metallic, Cajun Red Tintcoat, Nightfall Gray Metallic, and Mosaic Black Metallic.

Photo: General Motors

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Let's Do The News! (December 29, 2016)

- President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he is indebted to Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos. In his first live interview on Philippine television after assuming the presidency, Duterte said that he has a debt of gratitude to at least three persons, including the Ilocos Norte governor. The president earlier claimed that the eldest child of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos was among the politicians who funded his presidential campaign.

- PNP Director General Roland "Bato" Dela Rosa added two new commandments to the "Decalogue" of the police's campaign against indiscriminate firing especially during the New Year. Dela Rosa appealed to the public and to fellow PNP personnel not use their firearms to welcome the New Year as these threaten life and property.

- Members of the House of Representatives file complaint against Ronnie Dayan, the former driver and lover of Senator Leila de Lima, for failing to appear before the congressional body that summoned him. In a complaint filed at the Department of Justice on Thursday, Dayan violated Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code sanctioning "disobedience to summons."

- US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Israel's refusal to stop building Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory is undermining any attempt to achieve a lasting peace int he region. In his 70-minute plus speech, Kerry said the two-state solution that President Obama and his predecessors have been pushing for is "now in jeopardy" and the continued settlement building by the Israelis is cementing "a one-state reality that nobody really wants."

- The US government has reportedly decided to take retaliatory measures against Russia for an alleged cyber attack to interfere with the US presidential election. Reports told that the actions to be taken by the Obama administration are expected to include economic sanctions and diplomatic measures. They say the administration will likely announce the measures as early as this week.

- Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has paid a visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine. Thursday visit to the shrine was her first since assuming the defense portfolio. The shrine not just honors Japan's war dead but also those convicted of war crimes after the Second World War. Inada said US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima earlier this year, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid tribute to the war dead in Hawaii's Pearl Harbor, noted that the two countries, which waged the harshest battles during the war, are now the strongest allies.

- Another criticism has drawn on Amazon's The Grand Tour, this time on last week episode's Conversation Street segment where Richard Hammond thinks that eating ice cream is for homosexuals. That comment drawn flak from the LGBT community as well as the company behind the popular ice cream bar in question.

- According to reports, Takata is preparing a deal with federal prosecutors that could lead to a billion dollar settlement that could be reached sometime in early 2017. Takata would have to plead guilty to criminal misconduct as well.

- A day after the death of Star Wars veteran Carrie Fisher, another veteran actress died, this time it's Debbie Reynolds at the age of 84. Reynolds was well-known for her 1952 musical film Singin' In The Rain alongside Gene Kelly. According to her son Todd, she was rushed to the hospital due to stroke.


Remembering 2016: 16 motoring bits

Continuing on this 2016 year in review, focus is now drawn in the world of cars. Throughout the course of this year, the world of motoring continues to change; from new models, concepts, tech, laws, even motoring shows on TV as well. Some have changed, some have left, and some stayed the same.

Time to jot down the 16 motoring-related tidbits that changed the world in 2016...

1) Bugatti unveiled the much-awaited successor of the legendary Veyron hypercar, called the Chiron at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The newest Bugatti comes with an all-new W16 engine producing over 1,500HP of power and 1,180lb-ft of torque. Equipped with the most modern technology made for this new car as well as the improved 7-speed gearbox from the Veyron, the top speed is limited to around 261mph. Apart from that, the Chiron comes with a new bodywork that delivers a drag coefficient of just 0.35 in Top Speed mode.

2) The 2016 Formula 1 season has been one heck of a battle between the two Mercedes-AMG drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. From Melbourne to Abu Dhabi, every moment has been one heck of a battle between them and in the end, Hamilton's title as the world champion has been snagged by Rosberg but following his championship win, Nico Rosberg made a shocking announcement that he will be retiring from Formula 1 racing.

3) Tesla made some headlines with their high-tech Autopilot feature that features autonomous driving tech following strings of accidents involving Tesla drivers engaging this feature. Following the flawed tech, Tesla worked so hard to improve the Autopilot feature until they're ready for primetime on newer Tesla models like the upcoming Model 3 saloon and the facelifted Model S, now with the more powerful P100D variant with 762HP of power and 0-60mph time is two and a half seconds.

4) Lamborghini honors the 100th birthday of its founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, by launching a special machine called the Centenario. Sold out before its announcement at the Geneva Motor Show, the Centenario is the most powerful Lamborghini ever made with 760HP of power and 349kph of top speed. It got featured in the Forza Horizon 3 game as well.

5) The 2016 Super GT season has faced a new turn in events following the Kumamoto quakes in April that cancelled their third round that supposed to held at the Autopolis. Therefore, the final round, which was held at the Twin Ring Motegi, is a two-parter, but still, the champions of the Autobacs Super GT 2016 Series go to the #39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD RC F, driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate, for the GT500 class and the #25 VivaC 86 MC, driven by Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui, for the GT300 class.

6) It all started as a motoring show run by former Top Gear presenters Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson, among many others, that was aired on Channel 5 from 2002 and transferred to Discovery Channel UK from 2012 to 2014, and History Channel UK since last year, but now, according to Tiff's twitter message, Fifth Gear is officially finished after its 14-year run.

7) Top Gear has returned in BBC Two last May 2016...with disastrous results all thanks to radio DJ Chris Evans doing his first and only job as the new presenter of BBC's hit TV series alongside Friends actor Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, motoring journalist Chris Harris, racing driver Sabine Schmitz, and Eddie Jordan. After the show's unsuccessful revamp, Evans decided to quit his presenter job and let LeBlanc, Reid, and Harris, among many others to continue this show without him.

8) The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans has became one of the most desperate motorsport events of 2016 and just as we thought that Toyota's going to win the match, mechanical failures ruined their chances of winning, giving Porsche a chance to win this year's premier endurance match in France.

9) By winning the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, Jimmie Johnson scored his 7th championship win, joining the ranks of other veterans like Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

10) Mitsubishi got embroiled in a fuel consumption scandal when Nissan found out the dirty secret behind the kei cars they made for both of them, therefore forcing them to suspend sales of these affected kei cars. Soon after, Mitsubishi has been hit hard from the scandal and therefore sealed its fate with the Renault-Nissan alliance.

11) The 2016 DTM Championship has been one heck of a ride for German's finest. With Marco Wittman and his BMW won the driver's championship this season, Eduardo Mortara and his Audi propelled their way to manufacturer title win.

12)  The two-part London finale at the 2015-2016 season of the FIA Formula E Championship really ends this season with a major twist unheard of in the world of motorsports as Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi ended up not finishing the last race but thanks to the "fastest lap" tiebreaker, Buemi wins and he is named as the FIA Formula E 2015-2016 champion. For the 2016-2017 season, big changes have occured.

13) Following the ongoing dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen announced that it will withdraw from its successful World Rally Championship career while Audi, after their long successful career, has ended their Le Mans journey as well as its World Endurance Championship activities.

14) As the countdown to the end of Australian car production looms, Ford Australia ended their Australian car production as the last Ford Falcon rolled off the assembly line. The Falcon in question is a blue XR6 saloon, which rolled off the line at its Broadmeadows plant in Melbourne since early October, three months after the last Falcon Ute rolled off the line, signalling the end of its 9-decade history of Australian production for Ford.

15) The first Ford GT has finally rolled of the production line in the Markham plant in Ontario, signalling the start of its new chapter. Following its historic class win at Le Mans, the production of the new Ford GT is more than just a Christmas miracle for the Blue Oval fans worldwide.

16) Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May finally returned on the airwaves on Amazon's original car show, The Grand Tour. Although the new show may have the same Top Gear chemistry like the good old days, The Grand Tour puts more emphasis on the hosts themselves aside from driving fast cars, crude humor, and celebrity casualties aside.

There are many motoring-related tidbits that changed the world in 2016 but let's leave it here and move on to the next topic later on.

Suzuki Spacia Custom Z

2017 Suzuki Spacia Custom Z

Let's introduce to the new Suzuki Spacia Custom Z, the latest addition to the Spacia lineup that features a different kind of front face that is even more unique than the regular Spacia Custom model and no matter which customers will be targeted by it, the Spacia Custom Z offers the same features from most of the Spacia range.

While the exterior looks as highly questionable as a youth wearing three noserings on his right side, the interior still retains its class-leading dimensions that fits just about anyone or anything. Apart from that, the Spacial Custom Z still comes with the revolutionary S-ENE-CHARGE system that assists the 660cc R06A engine's acceleration with a motor by adopting the Integrated Starter Generator and a Li-ion battery that specifically made for this system. With that, fuel economy is expected to be around 30.6km/L. 26.8 if you opt for the turbocharged variant, of course.

The Spacia Custom Z also comes with a dual camera brake support system, which detects the vehicle and pedestrians from about 5kph in the speed range of about 100kph and to avoid collisions, the automatic braking feature triggers with the alarm and then it stops. Other features in this new system include a lane departure warning function, and a stagger alarm function, among many others.

The Spacia Custom Z starts at 1,490,400 Japanese Yen, which is somewhat slightly more costly than a normal Spacia Custom, but it still undercuts against rivals like the Daihatsu Tanto Custom or the Mitsubishi eK Space Custom. With this new model, you now have different kinds of Spacia to choose from,

Photo: Suzuki Motor Corporation

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Let's Do The News! (December 28, 2016)

- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to visit the Philippines on January 12 and 13, the first head of state to visit the country under the Duterte administration, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. Yasay states that Abe's visit reciprocates Duterte's own successful trip to Japan last October.

- The National Bureau of Investigation has now the custody of high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian due to death threats. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confirmed that Sebastian was transferred to NBI custody from New Bilibid Prison on Tuesday night.

- Former senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. requested anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to grant him furlough to visit his father for the second time this month. His father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., was admitted to St. Luke's Medical Center - Global in Taguig City last December 22 due to kidney inflammation.

- Republican Arizona Senator John McCain said that despite rhetorics from US President-elect Donald Trump, the United States will remain committed to NATO and Baltic security. McCain told reporters that he and Estonian leaders discussed the outcome of the American election.

- House Republicans have proposed punishing representatives who shoot video or take photos on the floor of the chamber following a dramatic sit-in in June by House Democrats demanding a vote on gun control legislation that was streamed live online.

- French police are investigating the possibility that a text message sent from a missing Japanese student was sent by someone else in an attempt to delay the search. A 21-year-old Japanese student went missing after having dinner with another foreign student in his 20s on December 4th in the eastern city of Besancon. The head of her language school says a classmate received a text message from her at about 1130 hours on December 5th after she was absent from class in the morning.

- Veteran actress Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60. Fisher was famed for being Princess Leia from the Star Wars franchise and later endured drug addiction and stormy romances with veteran actors, including Harrison Ford. Her last appearance was from 2015's Star Wars The Force Awakens and filming on her next appearance in 2017's Star Wars sequel film has finished.


Remembering 2016: Best of TV

2016 has been a great year for TV shows from across the globe. From dramas, actions, fantasies, cartoons, anything you mention about TV show is what made 2016 a great year. Packed with joy, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear, couch potatoes from all corners of the world express their feelings every time they talk about their favorite TV shows, especially their new favorites.

So, as we are nearing the year's end to give way to the year 2017, what are the 16 best bits from TV that made this year great, I presume?! Oh, and I do have to warn you that there are spoilers everywhere so READ AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE!!!

1) While they were waiting for the next season of BBC's Sherlock to arrive until January 1st, 2017, fans got themselves an even better treat during the waiting game; a TV special titled The Abominable Bride. In this special, the story they all new are reverted straight to its roots and while it has the proper, historical, setting that most Sherlock Holmes know-alls know about, the recipe remains the same and actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman really do adapt to their roles of Holmes and Watson in the old age London, England.

2) The first half of the On The Wings of Love finale sees Leah (Nadine Lustre) and Clark (James Reid) getting married...finally, while on the second half of the finale sees the newlyweds performed live onstage! This is the first time a TV drama like this pulled off the best sendoff to one of the Philippines' hit love teams like JaDine.

3) In the finale of GMA's rather controversial, yet compelling, drama series about a transgender named Destiny Rose, moments after Destiny (Ken Chan) was pushed by Jasmine and suffered from a comatose, he survived and now he's reunited with his mother Daisy and sister April. However, Jasmine still has other plans now that Destiny's returned. Jasmine plots to kill Destiny until Destiny's dad, Lito, popped up to stop Jasmine and save Destiny, despite his hatred to his transgender son. Now that the threat to Destiny's life is finally over, the family finally reconcile with peace, although his father Lito is still unknown after he saved his life. Minutes later, Gabriel (Fabio Ide), the love of Destiny's life, admitted his true feelings to Destiny and he loves Destiny for who he is.

4) The 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls on Cartoon Network shows that the return of a childhood classic isn't just more stylish than ever, it's just been refined, recharged, and reloaded to the highest POW factor. With new adventures, new and returning villains, and a new school life, this new PPG never felt so alive.

5) The Weirdmageddon finale of Disney's hit TV show Gravity Falls sees the end of the Pines twins' paranormal adventures through this mysterious town in Oregon where stranger things happening every day. It was very sad to see the end of the Pines' hilarious but thrilling adventures but fans will have this show a longing place to their hearts forever. Nothing says that this is already an instant classic 'till the very end.

6) The fourth season of Orphan Black sees Sarah Manning and the Clone Club uncover the Neolution conspiracy, even with disastrous results. From unlikely alliances, betrayals, suspense, every episode in the fourth season is explosive in every way and we can expect how it ends when the fifth and final season is coming next year. Get ready to say farewell with the Clone Club, ladies, and gents.

7) Nickelodeon's new cartoon show, The Loud House, centers on the hilarious misfits of Lincoln Loud, who lives in a household packed with ten sisters, four pets, and an endless mess of chaos one after another. Be it a power outage, Luan's pranks, sneaking on a live concert, a ride on a limo, having a crush on a tutor, or even saving Christmas, every moment is a mess out there but for Lincoln, how hard can it be?!

8) There are 100 Disney Channel Original Movies aired on TV and the 100th DCOM is Adventures of Babysitting, starring Descendants' Sofia Carson and Girl Meets World's Sabrina Carpenter in a hilarious adventure round the city, causing one heck of a ruckus with the kids until it gets sorted out without having the parents knowing it.

9) There's a new addition to the long line of Disney princesses and I'm referring to Elena of Avalor. As a spin-off from the hit TV series Sofia the First, the Crown Princess of Avalor, that is Elena, embarks on an adventure to meet new friends, explore hidden worlds, and restore the glory of her home kingdom. There's even a special episode where two iconic Disney princesses on TV, Sofia and Elena, come together as well.

10) One year has passed since AlDub became a household name in every Filipinos around the world and even though they've celebrated their very milestone with their "Imagine You and Me" film, there's still more unfinished businesses with their Kalyeserye segment on Eat Bulaga until the great moment arrived where they got married and gave birth to their twins Charmaine Nidora and Richard Nidoro.

11) The 2016 rebirth of GMA's hit fantaserye, Encantadia, is more than just a rebirth, it's the continuation that picks up where the original saga left. By witnessing the longstanding battle of the four kingdoms and the sangres that guard the four elemental jewels, the 2016 Encantadia has became one of the must-watched shows not just in the Philippines but also worldwide via GMA Pinoy TV.

12) Who says men make the most fun on their late night shows? For Samantha Bee, she broke barriers by hosting her new late night show titled Full Frontal, showing that even women can make the most fun on it.

13) The new Netflix original series Stranger Things is one heck of a scarefest for bingewatchers as bizarre-looking children became the center of this new series when people in a small town of Hawkins went missing.

14) From the world of Doctor Who comes a new spin-off show called Class. It's about the life and times of Coal Hill students trying to deal with their daily lives until they can take care with series of catastrophes they can brace themselves. War, fear, invasion, it's just another day at Coal Hill in a new Doctor Who spin-off that has more sex appeal than the other spin-off series, Torchwood.

15) The Heroes vs. Aliens crossover event of four DC comics shows is one on the many ways they can't get enough of craving with Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. On this four-day epic crossover event, heroes from different sides of the universe band together to stop an imminent alien threat one after another until it was averted.

16) While Whovians are waiting for the new season of Doctor Who, the 2016 Christmas special, titled The Return of Doctor Mysterio, is a definitive proof that The Doctor is back. With special guests Justin Chatwin from Orphan Black, Matt Lucas, and Charity Wakefield, The Doctor made a fateful encounter with a masked superhero while dealing with a earth-threatening conspiracy.

There are so many great TV stuff happened in 2016 but let's leave it here and move on to the next topic on this yearender.
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