Saturday, February 18, 2017

Forza Horizon 3 - Grandma's out in the bag

Look's like Grandma's finally out in the bag today because the legendary Lola T70 in Penske Sunoco colors has arrived and I managed to score one in this weekend's Forzathon event. It wasn't complicated to win one of those this weekend only, right?

As the successor to the 1965 Lola T70, the T70 MKIIIB was designed by Eric Broadley during his four-decade tenure at Lola. Powering the T70 is a 5.0L Traco Chevrolet V8 with wet sump lubrication while mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Did you know that this car used as the basis of the legendary Gulf Porsche 917 for the 1970 racing flick Le Mans that starred Bullitt's Steve McQueen? Quite a kicker, isn't it? And that's not all, some of the T70s were dressed like a Ferrari 512 in the film as well. Now, how didn't they saw it coming that the ones used in the Le Mans flick wasn't really the real ones but rather Lola machines dressed as either a Ferrari or a Porsche?

Well, quite a secret I didn't know about but since I managed to keep this weekend's Forzathon prize car, it's time for a celebratory drive!

See? Granny knows best, especially when it comes to racing against rivals on and off the road!

Bubble Gang - February 17, 2017 #BubbleGangJSProm

In the February 17, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- JS Prom gags

- Conscience gets the better of you being viral

- A gay-bust operation

- Istambay, Istambay Sa Looban, Istoryang Nangyari Sa Looban, Sumama Ang Mga Kalooban, Dahil Mga Tao'y...NILOOBAN?!

- Another Buhay Ng Bakla session

- Life in a no-cellphone policy

- A friendly conversation at a restaurant goes ugly

- Meet a new kind of law enforcement on the beach.

- Basa-basa pik!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Forza Horizon 3 - Type ARRGH

As the world brace themselves for the next Civic Type R, let's take a little gander on the FK2 Civic Type R, which is now part of Forza Horizon 3's Playseat Car Pack, and see what to learn so much from the hot hatch inspired by the Euro-spec ninth-generation Civic Type R. I know, it's a little late on schedule to feature this hot Civic here in this game but better late than never, am I right?

Ah, the speedo boy's best friend on the road. The Civic Type R. The FK2 Civic Type R is the first ever Honda sportscar to use a turbocharged VTEC engine, which brings "VTEC just kicked in, yo!" to a whole new meaning. The first-ever K20C 2.0L VTEC Turbo engine produces a massive 310PS of power output and 400Nm of torque, while mated exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Performance aside, Honda draws inspiration from its touring car championship success to create the Civic Type R and by utilizing all of its track-honed characteristics, it's no wonder that its lapped the Nurburgring in 07:51.42, the fastest lap time for front-wheel drive cars until it was smashed by a hotter VW GTi.

You don't need to ask but the FK2 Civic Type R is the only ninth-generation Civic sold in the Japanese market when it was launched in late 2015 and limited to 750 units, each costing 4,280,000 Japanese Yen, which isn't too pricey for a hot hatch imported from Great Britain.

Although its too little, too late to show up on the after hours, I am very pleased to try out the FK2 Civic Type R as long as I like before the arrival of the next model based on the tenth-generation Civic Hatchback. In fact, the next model will have so much to learn from the previous FK2 that I'm driving right now in the Land Down Under. Sampling the FK2 Type R's VTEC Turbo sounds more like it came from the current WRX STi and you can really feel just how potent this turbocharged engine is at any speed at any place.

While the FK2 Civic Type R is proven to be a potent track weapon, I find that its handling is very much mild and menacing. Go too fast and you're in for some catastrophic understeer as this car is too grippy on the corners. No matter how hard you turn the steering wheel on, it just grips and grips and grips and while this is very easy to drive for beginners, it doesn't feel as enjoyable as its chief rival, the Ford Focus RS.

I've tried different kinds of hot hatchbacks in this game for a long time and let me tell you, I've never been in a hot hatch which is very unique and very challenging in every plausible way and looks like the next Type R will be a struggle to shook off the problems the previous FK2 Civic Type R had. Perhaps they should rework on the handling to make it more enjoyable for a front-wheel drive hot hatchback but I think that's enough for that chit chat because now that I've seen everything about the FK2 Civic Type R, time to call in the makeup department to do something special for the outgoing model.

I've been planning to do this up to the moment this Type R arrived and here it is, all dressed in its Ruby Kurosawa-inspired look. Looks like I'm going to give the FK2 Civic Type R a proper sendoff by calling the best of Honda Type R models ever assembled and looks like this is the part where I'll get my trusty filming equipment ready to roll.

And now, the party is on!

This has got to be the best sendoff party ever done for the FK2 Civic Type R and while it got confused upon getting to know its opponents even when they don the red H badge on their faces, the FK2 Civic Type R showed its confidence to kick its VTEC Turbo engine to the top of the pops and shines its way towards victory!

The Civic Type R has been a speedo boys' favorite since the EK9 but for the FK2 model, it doesn't get the same aesthetics as the original. In fact, it slowly loses it charm now that it's becoming more European rather than being a Japanese sportscar that has won the hearts of many speedo boys from around the globe but all hope is not lost as Honda is back at the drawing board to perfect the next Type R the world awaits and when it does, it's going to be worth the one we promised.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Japan, US, S.Korea discuss N.Korean missile launch

Japanese, US, and South Korean foreign ministers issued a joint statement on North Korea's ballistic missile launch on Sunday. They pledged closer cooperation and strongly demanded that Pyongyang refrain from provocative acts.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met in Bonn, Germany, on Thursday. They met for the first time since Donald Trump took office at the White House.

The 3 countries strongly urged North Korea to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions that ban nuclear and missile development. They agreed to step up cooperation on security issues involving the North. They also discussed the murder in Malaysia of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Source: NHK World

Let's Do The News! (February 17, 2017)

- The BRP Tarlac, the largest ship of the Philippine Navy, is on standby in case of humanitarian and disaster relief operations for the victims of the Surigao Quake last weekend. However, the Philippine Navy said that for now, there's no need for the newest vessel of the Navy as they have four ships deployed, conducting mercy missions after the 6.7 magnitude quake last Sunday.

- The Department of Justice formally pressed charges against Senator Leila de Lima on her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison. The DOJ filed three criminal cases against De Lima at the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court early afternoon. Cases include sale, trade and protection of the illegal drug trade inside the NBP; based on the accusations of some high-profile inmates against De Lima during the Senate hearings on the said matter.

- The National Bureau of Investigation is reluctant to give up on the Jee Ick Joo murder case. According to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III, the NBI has an important lead regarding the said case. Due to this, the agency won’t stop its investigation.

- US President Donald Trump held his first solo news conference since taking office. He stressed that the management of his administration is going smoothly, while continuing to criticize the media.

- Despite President Trump not sticking to the "two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says the United States will support that kind of solution as it would be an error for anyone to say that the United States does not support the two-state solution.

- As the nuclear ban treaty negotiations draw near, preparations at the United Nations has begun. Last December, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to start negotiations on the treaty in March. At the first preparatory meeting at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, Costa Rican disarmament envoy Elayne Whyte was elected as the chair of the talks. Whyte said she hopes the participants will engage in a productive dialogue to obtain acceptable results.

- Ferrari launched the most powerful V12 Super GT ever made, the 812 Superfast. Helmed as the successor to the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast's V12 engine produces 800PS of power, making it the most powerful V12 engine ever made, albeit the last in the history. It became the first Ferrari to adopt Electric Power Steering as well.

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast

- GENCO and Happy Elements announced that they are postponing the anime adaptation of the Ensemble Stars app game. The anime was originally planned for this year's released but the staff said the anime is now postponed due to "various circumstances."

- Activision announced that the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy game, which is a reboot of the first three Crash Bandicoot games, on the PS4 will be out this June 30. Whoa!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Malaysian govt. confirms Kim Jong Nam's death

The Malaysian government confirmed that the man allegedly killed in Kuala Lumpur this week has been identified as Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made the announcement at a news conference, saying that they will hand over the body to relatives through the North Korean embassy after police autopsy and all other procedures are completed.

The man, who was carrying a North Korean passport fell ill at the capital's international airport on Monday and he died while being rushed at the hospital.

It is believed that North Korean agents killed him with nerve gas and suspicions are raised that the Korean Peninsula is responsible for Kim Jong Nam's death.

Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities detained a second suspect behind the murder of Kim Hong Nam. Malaysian police announced that a a second woman had been detained in connection with the apparent murder. They say the woman had an Indonesian passport identifying her as a 25-year old. On Wednesday, they've detained a woman holding a Vietnamese passport. Police say both women had been captured on security camera footage in the airport, but they have not said what they have to do with the case. The woman detained told authorities that she and the other woman and four men were also involved.

In other news, North Korean athletes arrived in Japan to take part in the Asian Winter Games, which open in Hokkaido on Sunday. 5 male speed skaters accompanied by officials were seen in transit at an airport in Beijing on Thursday. All were wearing identical black coats and ties. They are expected to arrive in Sapporo on Friday after receiving their visas at the Japanese Embassy in the Chinese capital.

Source: NHK World

Let's Do The News! (February 16, 2017)

- The Department of Public Works and Highways started inspections of different in Metro Manila as part of preparations for the expected big earthquake that will hit Metro Manila due to the movements in the West Valley Fault.

- The Supreme Court rejected VP Leni Robredo's motion to junk the poll protest filed against her by former Senator Bongbong Marcos. Based on the resolution issued by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Robredo’s appeal was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction and for being insufficient in form and substance.

- Former Immigration Deputy Commissioner Al Argosino defended himself during the recent Senate hearing regarding the alleged Immigration Bribery Scandal. Argosino denied allegations that he is involved in extortion. Retired Police General Wally Sombero accused the former BI official of demanding Php 100 million from gambling tycoon Jack Lam.

- US President Donald Trump insisted that his administration will not necessarily stick to the "two-state solution" between the Israelis and Palestinians. The president met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday. After the meeting, Trump said at a joint news conference that he can live with either two states or one state if both parties like that. Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he will still seek a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has joined in a project to recycle used cellphones and other electronic devices to make Olympic and Paralympic medals out of medals extracted from the devices. Tokyo officials set up a recycling box inside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building on Thursday. To protect personal information stored on phones, equipment to punch holes through them is available.

- Lamborghini issued a recall for certain units of the Aventador and the limited-edition Veneno for fire risk.

- Game developer Milestone will announce their new racing intellectual property at this year's Games Developers Conference in San Francisco.

- The Pokemon Go app game has been expanded with over 80 additional Pokemon from the Gold and Silver games. Ready to come back and play Pokemon Go?

- Zura? Hanamaru Kunikida's joining the Love Live Sunshine Nendoroid lineup, zura. You can now order her starting at 3,241 Yen plus tax and will be delivered this August, zura.

Nendoroid Hanamaru Kunikida


All New Toyota Prius PHV

Because the world radically changes due to the economy, problems in the Middle East, the politics, and the relentless war on...well, whatever that is, people are switching to fuel-efficient cars to adapt themselves to the times. Toyota responded to the times by creating this new-generation Prius PHV, which sets the standards in the market for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

2017 Toyota Prius PHV

Well, this is basically a Toyota Prius with extended range courtesy of its plug-in hybrid powertrain that reminds you of the great Chevrolet Volt. So, what's it all about? Following the success of the previous Prius PHV, which is based on the previous third-generation model, this new Prius PHV, based on the current fourth-generation model is a commitment for Toyota's goal of reducing whole fleet CO2 emissions by 90% in the next four decades through the salves of hybrids, electric, PHEVs, and fuel cells.

2017 Toyota Prius PHV
2017 Toyota Prius PHV interior

To help differentiate the Prius PHV from a normal Toyota Prius, the new model features a different exterior design that promises to look more futuristic in the eyes of the masses while drawing inspiration from the exterior design from the MIRAI fuel-cell vehicle. On the utmost side, it looks more sophisticated to look at than a normal Toyota Prius. On the interior, it's been given a Tesla-esque dashboard that sticks to its futuristic theme of the new model. See anyone who drives the new Toyota Prius and chances are that the kinds of people you met are either environmental activists, Scientologists, Democrats, Tories, Socialists, college professors, IT experts, or maybe the Happy Science people that you once had a chat with them on the dinner table. Hmmm...

2017 Toyota Prius PHV

Although as revolting as the ones you had a chat last night, the drivetrain is somewhat a revolution in every way. Thanks to its new TNGA platform, the new Prius PHV promises to be very promising to drive courtesy of its clever aerodynamics, low ground clearance, better handling, less body roll, and better rigidity compared to the previous Prius PHV. It even has a signature MacPherson strut front and new double wishbone rear suspension that promises a sporty driving feel which is not bad for an eco car for the masses. Believe it or not, it was the first mass-produced car in the world to use a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic tailgate to reduce weight for better fuel efficiency.

The new PHV's Dual Motor Drive System allows the driver to take advantage of its 1.8L 2ZR-FXE petrol engine and a heavily improved electric motor that allows this car to travel by about 10.54km/kWh. Which means, with the improved system, fuel efficiency is expected at 37.2km/L and 68.2km of electric range.

Apart from the performance, the new Prius PHV offers another revolutionary features that sets the PHEVs apart and in addition to its Gas-Injection Heat Pump Air-Conditioning and Battery Warming System, the first ever solar panel exclusive on the PHV is applied on the roof which generates electricity to charge the hybrid system battery even when left stationary. Sounds ideal in case of heavy traffic as long as sunlight is visible in the skies. Depending on weather conditions, solar charging can increase the V driving range by up to five kilometers per day. That's about a thousand kilometers of all-electric driving per annum. This is great if you're driving on the hot summer months in Manila, Dubai, Los Angeles, Delhi, or any other hottest cities of the world. However, if you're living in places that rain such as Seattle, Louisiana, Whitby, or the rest of the Scotland Yard, that seems less likely and you're going to resort charging it at home or at a charging station nearest you. Using a Type II mode III Mennekes connector, it takes less than two hours to fully charge the Prius PHV or over three hours with a normal household plug socket.  Here's one for you; what happens when you use it as an alternate power source for your home in case of a blackout? That's a science project you're going to take on very soon.

But in the meantime, the Prius PHV features Toyota Safety Sense P with active safety tech such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function. These features are also a step ahead to the future for the new Toyota Prius PHV.

The new Prius PHV starts at 3,261,600 Japanese Yen plus delivery charges and while this is more expensive than a normal Toyota Prius, it's the cheapest PHEV in Japan and you can afford one over the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

When the first Toyota Prius was launched in late 1997, the term hybrid has been introduced in the world of motoring and thanks to the Toyota Prius, more and more cars have gone under the hybrid green route. Now, 20 years on, and the Prius continues to evolve in new and almost exciting ways while becoming as influential as Japanese pop culture some petrolheads are disgusted by it. The new Prius PHV pushes the Prius to greater heights with its efficient powertrain that takes them further while enduring today's trends. 2017 maybe the year of the Prius, because this is the year the Prius celebrates its 20th anniversary, but for those eco-minded people, it's becoming a celebration we are unfazed by it and the new Prius PHV is just the start of something new for the history of the Toyota Prius.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Ex and Whys

My Ex and Whys

If you liked the success of LizQuen that dates back from being Xander and Agnes from Forevermore, Tenten and Serena from Dolce Amore, and their movie appearance in Just the Way You Are, you're in for a sweet post-Valentines treat because even though Valentine's Day is way over now, there's still more time for the month of love because their long-awaited return on the cinematic scale will keep you craving for more on LizQuen.

Titled My Ex and Whys, Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano plays the role of a blogger named Cali and his ex-girlfriend named Glo. After a heartbroken moment from a distant past that changed their lives forever, the two met each other again for a certain commitment and as the film progresses, how will the two deal with the bitter pain from their pasts and find the answers to the biggest questions of their lives.

Cathy Garcia-Molina returns to direct the latest LizQuen love story for the big screen and with some scenes shot in South Korea, every single LizQuen moment has never felt so exciting and so alive when they've been placed to another country to see how much fun their chemistry will work just like what they did back in Italy in the Dolce Amore TV show. Although this isn't like what they did on their past exposures to TV shows and movies, it isn't half bad at all to see the two getting their act together. From their fateful encounters, their bonding moments, their sudden revelations that changed them forever, all the way to the reconciliation that will heal the wounds of their past, every moment is a gift for LizQuen and this film deserves all the love fans deserved.

Is this film worth the wait for LizQuen fans worldwide? Don't be hasty but it's a good fun finding out.

My rating: 3.9 out of 5.

Let's Do The News! (February 15, 2017)

- The Freedom of Information Bill has successfully passed through the House Committee on Public Information. In the consolidated version of the FOI bill, all government offices are required to release information that includes their contracts and the Statements of Assessments, Liabilities, and Net Worth of their officials.

- In the Jee Ick Joo murder case, the Philippine National Police recently met with South Korean police officials to present the recent developments on their ongoing investigation of the kidnap and slay of the Korean businessman. According to PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, the letter sent by Jee's wife states the slain businessman's family's desire for the PNP investigate the case.

- Employees of PAGASA-DOST broke silence about Project Noah, which is set to end at the end of February. In a press conference, officials and employees expressed displeasure over allegedly offensive posts of Save Project Noah Movement in social media. Ramon Agustin, President of PWEA, said that there are some people who call into question the capability of forecasters and employees of the weather agency.

- A White House official said that US President Donald Trump asked for National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation following concerns that Flynn misled VP Mike Pence. Yesterday, Michael Flynn quit his post because he had inadvertently briefed then vice president-elect Pence and others with incomplete information regarding his phone calls last December with the Russian ambassador.

- As torrential rains continue in Northern California, there's a risk of a possibly spillway at the Oroville Dam. About 180,000 people were ordered to evacuate due to the possible dam spillway.

- The new Pagani Huayra Roadster has been unveiled prior to next month's Geneva Motor Show world premiere. Despite being an open-top equivalent, the Mercedes-AMG V12 BiTurbo engine now produces 764HP of power and 1000Nm of torque. Because it uses some of its components from the BC, the Roadster weighs 80kg less than the hardtop Huayra. It is limited to 100 units, each costing 2.4 million dollars, but before its announcement, all 100 units has officially sold out.

2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster

- General Motors is in talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen for possible takeover of Opel and Vauxhall.

- Top Gear returns on BBC Two and BBC Two HD for its new season this 5th of March.

- The Forza racing franchise now scored over a billion dollars of worldwide sales for six Motorsport titles and three Horizon spinoffs, making it one of the most successful video game franchises from Microsoft.

- Everyone's favorite time-jumping adventurer Tracer spearheads the Overwatch Nendoroid lineup, modeled after characters from Blizzard's hit first-person multiplayer shooter game! You can now place orders on the star of the hit online multiplayer games elsewhere and will be delivered this August!

Nendoroid Tracer
(Classic Skin Edition)
- In case you missed it, the official trailer for the upcoming TV drama Destined To Be Yours, starring Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, has gone live! Check it out before it airs this February 27th!



Starlight Melody

This is it. The final installment of THE IDOLM@STER LIVE THE@TER FORWARD CD trilogy has arrived and will this be thorough enough to convince yourselves to get hooked to the 765 Millionstars from THE IDOLM@STER Million Live app game once and for all? Don't get daft though but our folks from Lantis will keep making some more Million Live CDs just for the persuasion of IDOLM@STER aficionados everywhere to support Million Live, which sees some minimal effect to the franchise aficionados who are still stuck with their love for Cinderella Girls and Side M boys rather than the whole 765 PRO ALL-STARS and their 765 Millionstars.

For this final installment, the spotlight is now on Starlight Melody consisting of Tamaki Ogami (CV: Eri Inagawa), Mirai Kasuga (CV: Haruka Yamazaki), Shiho Kitazawa (CV: Sora Amamiya), Umi Kousaka (CV: Reina Ueda), Keiko Watanabe, Matsuri Tokugawa (CV: Ayaka Suwa), Fuka Toyokawa (CV: Rie Suegara), Akane Nonohara (CV: Saki Ogasawara), Serika Hakozaki (CV: Momo Asakura), Konomi Baba (CV: Minami Takahashi), Arisa Matsuda (CV: Rie Murakawa), and Miya Miyao (CV: Choucho Kiritani). As always, expect five new songs and six new drama parts to get to know more with the Scorpio, Aries, Taurus, and the Gemini batch of the Starlight Melody cast.

Sound so much in so little listings but let's hope that with this installment as well as Sunshine Rhythm and BlueMoon Harmony, rest assured that they're convinced to stay with the ever-growing 765 PRODUCTION family because if not, the world of THE IDOLM@STER Million Live will keep on growing and so is the long range of CDs in their arsenal. Better said than done but even though the LIVE THE@TER FORWARD trilogy is complete, expect more to come from the 765 Millionstars from Million Live.


01 ドラマ1「開演のご挨拶」
02 リフレインキス
03 ドラマ2「MC01~その頃舞台裏では」
04 Sweet Sweet Soul
05 ドラマ3「MC02~その頃舞台裏では」
06 メメント?モメント♪ルルルルル☆
07 ドラマ4「MC03~その頃舞台裏では」
08 永遠の花
09 ドラマ5「MC04~その頃舞台裏では」
10 Starry Melody
11 ドラマ6「終演後~その頃舞台裏では」

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Remembering James Cameron's Titanic 20 years on...

It's Valentine's Day and if you and your date are spending the rest of the day doing a movie marathon at home, there's one date movie that will definitely end all date movies once and for all this Valentines Day and that particular film is the legendary Titanic, which is written and directed by James Cameron and starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. This film came out since 1997 and it's time to honor the film's 20th anniversary. So what's so special about this legendary film?


As anyone would know, this love story is more of a fictional take on the RMS Titanic incident, a tragedy that struck in the 15th of April, 1912 when it collided with an iceberg and then catastrophically split into two, marking it one of the worst maritime disasters in world history, with only 306 people dead according to reports. Because of the Titanic incident, it inspired numerous documentaries and TV shows, including the one with Philip Seymour Hoffman on it, but nothing is more so than James Cameron's take on the Titanic incident that scored him and this film 11 Oscars and earned over two billion US dollars in the box office.

Ask anyone what is the best take on the RMS Titanic incident of 1912 and the answer is going to be the film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in it because THIS is what they think about Titanic and because of Titanic's success, it became a pop culture phenomenon across the globe. It even got spoofed by numerous TV shows worldwide as well. Do you know any TV show that has a Titanic reference on it, I dare say?

What's the secret to this film's success? Well, given the fact that this film is about three hours and 14 minutes, which is one of the longest films to date in cinematic history, the real secret lies to the main characters of the film, Jack (played by DiCaprio) and Rose (played by Winslet). From their first encounter to the heartbreaking moment following the catastrophic sinking of the Titanic, every moment has became a treasure for the movie watchers everywhere and who can forget the iconic lines in this film such as "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!" or "paint me like one of your girls" that makes it relevant even as of today? 

Between you and me, there's so much we can really relate on this legendary late 90's film because how the love story between Jack and Rose developed can be very relevant to all the real-world and fictional love stories of today. Feels like they're the originators of modern-day love stories, if you know what I mean and apart from the legendary love story that will be remembered forever in the history of movie love stories, Titanic delivers a powerful blend of suspense and plot twists that really grips the viewers with questions and answers this film can deliver and it's hard to fathom every gut-wrenching moment you've encountered while watching this film.

Me and my family watched this film and we loved it. We loved the storyline, we loved the chemistry, we love the suspense, we even love the film's theme song "My Heart Will Go On" performed by Celine Dion as well.

With twenty years passed since the film shown in cinemas last 1997 and as all great movies come and go, rest assured that James Cameron's Titanic will be forever marked as one of the all-time greats in cinematic history and a legend in its own right. That is why this Titanic film is a date movie to end all date movies and we all have to give Sir James Cameron our heartfelt thanks for creating this legendary masterpiece in cinematic history.

Forza Horizon 3: Love, Poetry, and Coffee

Now, in a certain episode of The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson and James May are having a nice Italian road trip with their grand tourers, the new Aston Martin DB11 and the Rolls Royce Dawn. Trouble is, their Italian road trip got ruined by Richard Hammond and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Italy is so like two years ago for me but now that all the cars are here in the Land Down Under, there's no perfect time than settling the scores between love, poetry, and coffee somewhere Down Under.

If you can get to decide which method will you woo a dream lady for Valentines Day, it would be like a choice of love, poetry, and coffee. The DB11 is all about the love that you can do everything for her by any means necessary to win the heart of a woman. The Dawn is all about the poetry that shows how much of a knowledgeable person you really are to please a lady. The Hellcat, meanwhile, is all about the coffee that burns the hearts of lovers sipping a cup of joe in a cafe while having a chat.

Love, poetry, and coffee. These are the choices and by comparison regulations, anything fancy should be kept to a safe place such as their upgrades and their designs. These cars can have them back after this comparison but for now, the fight between opera, art, and donuts will be settled to the Grand Tour Sprint, so specially called because it has the words "Grand Tour" on it as if they're having their Australian stopover for the show or this is what I think it is.

Two grand tourers from Britain and an uninvited guest from America. This will be a very interesting comparison because these three got featured in The Grand Tour and now, I got the chance to compare these three to see which method will I woo a lady for Valentines will be the best. It's either love, poetry, or coffee. It's everyone's game now and now, the battle begins!

After their run at the Grand Tour Sprint, it's time for the results!

2017 Aston Martin DB11 (608HP/516ft-lb/4,134lb/51%/5,204cc/S1 805)- 2:37.057
2015 Rolls Royce Dawn (563HP/575ft-lb/5,644lb/51%/6,593cc/A 715)- 2:45.666
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (707HP/650ft-lb/4,438lb/57%/6,166cc/A 766)- 2:36.957

By a shocking result, the 707 horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is a clear winner in this comparison by a second quicker than the DB11!

Which means, if I go for love, I might go for broke to get the girl I want but I could get flunked easily like getting thrown by an Master-level song I'm playing on an certain idol girl app game. If I go for poetry, meanwhile, then my knowledge might bore her for the rest of her life. So, the choice is clear. It's a cup of coffee best served hot for the lovers everywhere. Don't get too much on a cup of joe, okay?

Let's Do The News! (February 14, 2017)

- Retired General Wally Sombero has returned to the Philippines. Sombero was coined as the "bagman" of gambling tycoon Jack Lam in the bribery scandal of two Bureau of Immigration officials. Sombero returned home from Vancouver, Canada, amid the Senate warning to arrest and detain him if he failed to appear in the investigation of the 50 million peso alleged bribe to two BI officials.

- The Senate said they could not stop the warrant of arrest against Senator Leila De Lima in case it is issued. Senate President Frank Drilon and Majority Leader Tito Sotto said the assembly has not to do if De Lima is ordered to be arrested but they assured the Senate will react if the warrant of arrest will be served inside the session hall.

- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) warned the public to be prepared in case of possible movement in the West Valley Fault. PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum, said it cannot be denied that the said active fault system is in the stage of moving that caused the last major earthquake in 1958. Based on that research, the West Valley fault usually moves every 4 centennials.

- The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Sandiganbayan to confiscate the jewelry collection of former first lady and Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos. In a resolution of the 1st Division of the highest court last month, it supports the Sandiganbayan Special Division's decision to forfeit her jewelry collection costing up to 153,089 US Dollars.

- The new king of Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, is putting an assertive stamp on his rule and made sure to the generals running the country that he will not just sit in the background as a constitutional figurehead since taking the throne in December from a father treated by Thais as semi-divine.

- Washington's state attorney general has promised to investigate what caused US President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration that could prompt a rare public examination of how a U.S. president makes national security decisions. Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit left the judge's ruling in place without deciding the ultimate merits of either side’s arguments. The Trump administration stressed that the ban is necessary to prevent terrorists from entering the country and is not discriminatory because the text of the order does not mention any particular region.

- Chevrolet's new diesel variant for the latest-generation Cruze has an EPA-estimated mileage of 52 MPG highway when mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, meaning it is 2 miles more than the Toyota Prius and it can theoretically go over 700 miles on a full tank of diesel.

- The Netherlands is joining the flying car boom as PAL-V launches the PAL-V Liberty flying car.


Forza Horizon 3: A Design Evolution

This marks the next chapter of Aston Martin because as they ride on the winds of change, they are prepared to be extra prepared for it and for the company that has the power, beauty, and soul to create beautiful grand tourers for the road and track, they've introduced the brand new V12 5.2L Twin Turbo engine.

While this is smaller compared to the outgoing 6.0L V12 engine that has been around for decades, it performs like the outgoing engine and promises improved fuel economy. Sounds practical but flattering, if you insist. Anyway, this new engine can be found on Aston Martin's latest grand tourer...

The brand new Aston Martin DB11, which is part of Forza Horizon 3's Playseat Car Pack. With the latest FH3 car pack now on sale, now's your chance to try out this latest V12 masterpiece which is an evolution to Aston Martin's long line of grand tourers.

So, what's it all about the DB11? Having premiered at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, this new grand tourer marks a bold new chapter in Aston Martin's centennial history and while it was carved by the winds of change, the DB11 marks a design evolution to the Aston Martin grand tourer history. As a replacement for the DB9, the DB11 showcases its new design philosophy, pioneering aerodynamics, and became the first to use the all new 5.2L V12 Twin Turbo engine.

The new 5.2L V12 Twin Turbo engine produces 608PS of power and 700Nm of torque, making it the most powerful production DB model ever. Mated to its 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox, it does 0-60mph in less than 3.9 seconds and top speed of over 200mph. Not only the new turbocharged engine provides the new sound of Aston Martin's latest grand tourer, but also its new lighter, stronger, and more space efficient bonded aluminium structure that sets the template on the difference between mass and stiffness for sports cars. Aside from that, its driving dynamics, courtesy of its new engine, new body, and reworked suspension, is far beyond its engineering expectations when it comes to delivering a comfortable cruise on the open roads and unleashing its inner potential on the track.

I had to admit it that while the new turbocharged V12 engine isn't as sonorous as the old 6.0L V12 engine from the past, it sounds very smooth for a grand tourer because good grand tourers like this doesn't really need intimidating engine noises like the Lamborghini Aventador's and even if you put a lot of power on it, it's rather unnecessary for a grand tourer to let it all out unless its necessary. After all, isn't that how "grand touring" is made for that car's purpose? Still, I appreciate how Aston Martin had done for the new DB11 and while the exterior design is like a mix of the Vulcan, the Vanquish, and James Bond's DB10 from 007 SPECTRE, the interior is about as basic as a subcompact car, especially that it now has bits from Mercedes-Benz as part of their newfound collaboration.

With Aston Martin becoming part of the Anglo-German club like the ones you're familiar with, it's hard to fathom that this collaboration really is business as usual even in post-Brexit times. I guess this is how destiny's way to flipping its trump card to its sleeves or so they say but while this explanation can be put out later, let's try something special for the DB11 because this is the Aston I've been waiting to drive it since its launch.

This is what I called as shadowy as Shadow Eyes that glow like the Midnight Rose and as poisonous as a fire-breathing toxic lizard unleashing its acid downpour in the heat of the battle. Beneath the poison that lies from this Yozora Kasumi-inspired design lies the Shadow Eyes-esque performance only I can understand when I set off. So, with all that poison and fire injected to the DB11, how about I arrange a little meeting with the best of V12 Astons ever assembled and meet up at an undisclosed location somewhere Down Under. I called it the "12-Cylinder Knights of Gaydon" and why Gaydon, you may ask, is because this is where the Astons currently made. With the knights of Gaydon arrived, time for me to sit through the director's chair and get this film rolling in.

Although this is just me feeling the venom or the burn while the car is facing some corrosion issues race after race, the DB11 proved that this grand tourer is more than just grand touring, it can pry down almost anyone from the start to the last lap and like a fire-breathing toxic lizard crawling through unsuspecting guests from behind at the top of the peak of the volcano, the DB11 is full of surprises one after another.

Which reminds me, with the DB11 now here, looks like I have found a Grand Tour reference in my mind as later on, I am going to compare the DB11 against the Rolls Royce Dawn and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat in a battle of love, poetry, and coffee. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fifty Shades Darker (film)

Fifty Shades Darker

Any adult who witnessed the movie adaptation of the world's best-selling novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, years ago got more than what they really wanted on the erotic but dynamically poised tale of business tycoon Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Due to the film's success that matches the novel's success, the second chapter of the Fifty Shades trilogy has been turned into film and continues the tale of Grey and Anastasia but with a much darker twist.

Following the events from the first one, Anastasia Steele broken off her relationship with Christian Grey to pursue her career with a Seattle publishing house. However, her desire with Christian still lurks around her and when Christian made an offer she can't refuse, that's where the twists unfold about Christian's pasts that Anastasia learned. As Christian confronts his wrongdoings, Anastasia deals with the rage from the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

While the first film seems to be okay for mature audiences, this sequel film delivers a much deeper suspense and plot twists that can really smoke its once-erotic dynamism that woos the fans of the Fifty Shades trilogy books. Because of such plot twists, this film delivers a cloak-and-dagger storyline that really separates the men from the boys and if anyone can brave through the truths, lies, conspiracies, and the suspense that surrounds both the main characters, they will surely come back for more.

This film is going to take a lot of explanation from start to finish and if any viewer can solve the puzzling secrets between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, this film will be highly debatable for many years to come.

My rating: 3.6 out of 5.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Security Council to discuss N.Korea missile launch

The UNSC will hold an urgent meeting to discuss the recent missile launch by North Korea.

The meeting, requested by Japan, US, and South Korea, is expected to held this Monday evening. A ballistic missile was fired eastward on Sunday. It is believed to have fallen into the Sea of Japan about 500 kilometers from its launch site near the city of Kusong in the northwestern province of Pyongan-pukudo. The KCNA reported that their "Polar Star Two" ballistic missile test was a success.

Last year, the UNSC adopted resolutions following the North's repeated nuclear and missile tests but a panel of experts that monitors the implementation of the measures says China, North Korea's largest trade partner, can help make the sanction effective.

Source: NHK World

Let's Do The News! (February 13, 2017)

- The Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed that the New People's Army are suffering tactical defeat following a spate of kidnappings, encounters, and arrest over a few days. In a press statement, the AFP declared that the NPA has suffered defeats in several fronts in different provinces more than a week after President Rodrigo Duterte launched an all-out war against communist guerillas.

- A Malacanang Palace official denied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the release of 2 billion pesos to quake-hit areas of Surigao City. During his visit to the survivors from last weekend's quake yesterday, the president vowed to release money for those who lost their loved ones and sources of living.

- Senator Leila de Lima bared that her legal team is already facing charges against Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II who she said is "unfit" to be in his position. The cases are in connection with the alleged efforts of the justice chief to compel inmates to testify against her in Congress and the supposed special privileges enjoyed by these convicts while in detention at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Custodial Center.

- A government panel says in an event of flooding along Arakawa River in eastern Tokyo, 1.5 million residents could be forced to evacuate and that it would take them around half a day to leave. The Cabinet Office, which serves as the secretariat for the panel, released the estimates on Monday. The panel studies measures against floods in the area. Arakawa River runs through 5 wards in eastern Tokyo, including Koto and Edogawa. Many of them stand at sea level and are susceptible to floods and high tide.

- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the former foreign minister of Germany, was named as the country's new president. The election was held on Sunday in an assembly made up of members of parliament and representatives from Germany's 16 states. Steinmeier won 931 of the 1,239 votes. He will assume the largely ceremonial post next month, succeeding Joachim Gauck, who steps down after a 5-year term.

- According to a White House official, US President Donald Trump will take all possible ways to implement his travel ban on refugees and travelers from 7 Muslim-majority countries. Trump's chief policy adviser Stephen Miller said on an ABC television program on Sunday that the president has the power to suspend the entry of aliens when it's in U.S. national interest.

- A Mexican woman who illegally entered the United States for over two decades was detained and deported earlier this month. 36-year-old Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos moved to Arizona with her parents illegally when she was 14 years old. She gave birth to 2 children in the US, and was granted leniency during the Obama administration. Reports told that she is the first people to be affected by President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigrants. Garcia de Rayos was arrested in 2008 when authorities raided her workplace and found she was using a fake social security number.

- The ultra-exclusive and ultra-tough Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet was unveiled prior to next month's Geneva Motor Show premiere. The newest addition to the Mercedes-Maybach lineup features special rear seats, a rear soft-top, Individual Entertainment System, and a V12 BITURBO engine. It will be limited to 99 units and in stores this autumn.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

- Toy car company Majorette unveiled their own set of 1/64 scale Vision Gran Turismo diecast models as seen from the Gran Turismo 6 game.

- See Top Gear's Rory Reid driving the Aston Martin Rapide S round the Furka Pass.


Six Nations 2017 - Round 2

In the second round of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations championship, two longtime rivals, the England Rugby and the WRU kept their rivalry burning hot in Principality Stadium, Cardiff, where one try can really make the difference between victory and defeat on their uphill battle for the Grand Slam title.

England Rugby's centre, Elliot Daly, performed a last minute try to save the team and maintain their undefeated record for this season. With him and Leigh Halfpenny's 11 point score, the England Rugby team defeated the WRU, scoring their win streak to 15 games.

During this round, the IRFU defeated the FIR Italia at the score of 10-63 while the FFR defeated Scotland at the score of 22-16.


The next round will be held from the 25th to the 26th of February. Scotland will face off against the WRU at the BT MurrayField, the IRFU and the FFR meet up at the Aviva Stadium, and the England Rugby vs. the FIR Italia at the Twickenham Stadium.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Things we learned from the im@s Side M 2nd Stage concert

Bandai Namco's The IDOLM@STER Side M sub-franchise held their second live concert recently at the Makuhari Messe and those who couldn't made it to the venue got a chance to watch the live viewing event at select cinemas. In addition to returning faves such as Jupiter, Dramatic Stars, Beit, High x Joket, W, and S.E.M., new additions are joining in the concert as well, including F-LAGS, FRAME, Altessimo, Legenders, and many others.

Folks who made it to the concert, which is their way of honoring Side M's one million downloads, got in for a special treat because during the concert, Bandai Namco announced that there's a new Side M app game coming soon. Titled THE IDOLM@STER Side M Live On St@ge, this is going to be just like the Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage presumably but right now, no info has been given but fans can expect this new app game coming soon.

In addition to this, another surprise in store for the fans because Side M will become a full-fledged anime series with a special announcement coming on March 15th.

With Side M, it will be the third im@s anime offering since 2011's THE IDOLM@STER starring the 765PRO ALL-STARS and 2015's Cinderella Girls.

With all these cool announcements, things are looking great for 315's finests!

BMW 5-Series G30

With the arrival of the new-generation BMW 5-Series G30, they're on the roll of creating a new kind of executive sedan that promises the next-generation of driving pleasure for the next generation of drivers from around the world because of its next-generation technology embodied to its well-sculpted design that meets the demands of today. So, what's it all about?

2017 BMW 5-Series

First, let's take a look on the new model's design and while the previous model looked promising but a tad too much to bear for a post-Bangle Bimmer, the new design looks more a miniaturized 7-Series with the 4-Series's rear view on it, making it even more interesting to look at compared to the next luxury car in its class parked in the office lot. It maybe more sophisticated to look at but as time passed by, it's going to be as less interesting as an Audi A6.

2017 BMW 5-Series interior
2017 BMW 5-Series interior

On the plus side, the interior is a basic improvement compared to the previous model which reminds you of most BMWs of the past. Looking at the new dashboard inspired from the modern BMW 7-Series, you can see that it's either great or just becoming the template for future BMW interiors for the next few years and let me tell you, while waiting for future Bimmers to use such interior as seen here, you're free to toy around its wide array of gadgets whatever you like before setting off. There's even a rear seat massager that relaxes you as you ride along as well. How convenient for a first-class interior that delivers the same experience as riding first-class on an airplane.

Yes, now that the new 5-Series comes with gesture control apart from the voice control, touchscreen, and the iDrive controller, everything feels like you're in a Mission Impossible movie except that you're not Ethan Hunt or any other IMF agent per se. However, it takes a lot of mastery to get a grip on this gesture part.

Appreciate the congrats on the new interior, but let's move on because there are some important things to check on the new 5-Series.

2017 BMW 5-Series

The new BMW 5-Series features a new powerhouse cast of engine choices with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and these new engines is as fresh as a cast of a remake of a classic TV show. There's a 2.0L 4-cylinder petrol, a 6-cylinder 3.0L petrol, a 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel, a 6-cylinder 3.0L diesel, and more to come in the lineup later this year, including the new 530e iPerformance PHEV that comes with the 3.0L petrol engine mated to an electric motor that produces a total output of 252PS of power, and the flagship M550i xDrive, the most powerful in the normal 5-Series as of time being, with the 4.4L V8 Twin Turbo engine producing 462PS of power and 650Nm of torque. Depending on the variant, they can be fitted with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox, which is uncanny by most speedo boys elsewhere.

That's almost everything you need to know but behind the engine choices lies the improved chassis and suspension of the new 5-Series and for BMW, they've spent lots of man hours perfecting its dynamics inside and out and the result is a more comfortable, sturdier, and a sharper experience unlike the previous model. Plus, they've even done the SYNTAK technology to reduce powertrain noise and that's good too.

For the first time in the new 5-Series, the brand new Adaptive Drive system, which combines Dynamic Damper Control with Dynamic Drive active roll stabilisation, for a better ride unlike the previous one and get this, the anti-roll bars in this new model are now no longer actuated hydraulically but by means of electric swivel motors. Sounds like magic for the drivers but the way it handles is not really half bad when they try it.

Because the 5-Series has evolved into a luxury car that meets the demands of today, it's been incorporated with the latest driver assistance systems ranging from Active Cruise Control with incorporating speed restrictions, hazard preview based on car-to-car communication, side collision protection and automatic lane-change, evasion aid, steering and laine control assistant, and more safety tech that are too much to bear in this post and whatever BMW did to this new model is becoming more of an autonomous car rather than being a BMW that wants to be driven by almost anyone. Autonomous driving...isn't that something speedo boys in their anoraks should be running back to their mommies? Whatever that is, that tech made them look bleak on the public roads.

The new BMW 5-Series starts at 45,200 Euros MSRP including taxes and delivery charges and while this is more expensive than today's Mercedes-Benz E-Class, this is still a 7-Series in E-Class budget, so it's a fair value for the new-generation model. Know this, many will appreciate the new 5-Series for its next-generation technology that incorporated the embodiment of its superiority, one puzzling question that worries a certain driver is that when the new 5-Series is here now, ready for tomorrow, will its technological masterpiece become a burden for its "freude am fahren" slogan? Only time will tell...

Photo: BMW AG
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