Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Suzuki adds 1.4L turbo on Escudo

2018 Suzuki Escudo

The current-generation Suzuki Escudo, fully imported from Europe, has received a brand new 1.4L turbocharged petrol engine for the 2018 model year.

This new variant for Suzuki's Euro import crossover comes with the brand new 1.4L Booster Jet turbocharged engine producing 136PS of power (19PS more than the 1.6L variant) and 210Nm of torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, fuel economy is expected at 16.8kmpl based on Japan's JC08 Mode standards.

To differentiate the turbocharged variant to the non-turbocharged Escudo, it's been given an X-TRAIL-inspired front face, red accents on the interior, and a brand new Bright Red 5 Black 2-tone roof exterior color.

Like the non-turbocharged Escudo, it still remains the ALLGRIP system as well as Radar Brake Support II system for this variant.

The Escudo 1.4L Turbo variant starts at 2,586,600 Japanese Yen.

Let's Do The News! (July 26, 2017)

- Government Chief Negotiator Silvestre Bello III is currently waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to terminate peace talks with the communist insurgents. Bello said it would take about 30 days after the receipt of the letter to formally terminate all negotiations.

- TV presenter and talent manager Lolit Solis has been in hot water after being bashed by some netizens during her appearance at the Alfred Vargas wedding. Some netizens said that the occasion was for civilized and educated people only.

- US President Donald Trump warned Iran to adhere to the terms of a nuclear deal with world powers or else face “big, big problems.” Trump administration officials, briefing reporters last week, said new economic sanctions against Iran were being prepared over its ballistic missile programme and for contributing to regional tensions.

- Foes of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro are to stage a two-day national strike from Wednesday in a final push to pressure him into abandoning a weekend election for a super-congress they say will institutionalize autocracy in the Latin American country.

- The death toll from the collapse of a four-storey building in the suburbs of Mumbai, India, is now 17 as rescuers removed debris searching for those still trapped, a police official said on Wednesday.

- Golden State Warriors' star player Stephen Curry sigs a $201 million extension with the championship-winning team.

- With just seven months to go, the song for the PyeongChang 2018 torch relay was unveiled and titled "Let Everyone Shine" performed by popular Korean singer Insooni. In the next 101 days, after being lit one week earlier in Olympia, Greece, the Olympic torch will touch Incheon by the 1st of November. 7,500 torchbearers will take part in the Torch Relay.

- Not too long ago, Microsoft announced that they will axe the most loved MS Paint application from their Autumn Creators Update but due to inconsistent public demand, the app is saved and it will be available at the Microsoft Store for free.

- Adobe will axe the Flash player at the end of 2020 as all web browsers blocking Flash over the past past year and Adobe plans to end support for it by the end of 2020.

- Mercedes-Benz announces its withdrawal from the DTM after the 2018 season and shifts focus on its Formula E entry beginning on the 2019-2020 season.

- The 2018 Ford Mustang's V8 variant can now do 0-60mph in 4 seconds courtesy of its brand new Drag Strip mode.


Range Rover Velar

Since the beginning, the Range Rover has been served as the flagship of the Land Rover lineup, but now, the Range Rover has been expanded into numerous models under its helm. There's a Range Rover Sport, which remains the only Range Rover model to have seven seats, and there's the smaller Range Rover Evoque that combines style and practicality at such size. Now, the Range Rover family welcomes their newest addition; the stylish and yet functional Range Rover Velar.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

There is one major reason why they called their newest Range Rover addition the Velar because this coupe-crossover's name harks back to the codeword used on the first Range Rover, which is basically a three-door SUV in the beginning. The goal of the Velar is capture the inspiration of the first Range Rover in terms of design while offering five-door practicality you would expect on a posh crossover. That's just statements from Land Rover themselves but under keen observation, the Velar's sizing is bigger than the Evoque but slightly smaller than the bigger Range Rovers, making it more of a middleman to the family than a chieftain of the tribe, even good-looking.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar interior
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar interior

Despite being smaller than its big brothers, the Velar's interior is about as cozier as a Jaguar XF in so many ways but what's revolting about the Velar's interior is that the dashboard's jam-packed with touch panels rather than buttons because every luxury carmakers know that the future of dashboards belong to touch panels and the thing about the use of touch panels is when your hands get smothered with too much finger foods, you'd better pack some hand sanitizers before touching those. That's a top tip but even though the dashboard's littered with too much touch panels from top to bottom, it's surprisingly accommodating and spacious as well. You'll find many great ways to enjoy it.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Now, let's look what is like to drive the Velar and under the hood, the Velar offers almost the same choice of petrol and diesel engines as its close relative, the Jaguar F-Pace, with the most powerful in the range for the time being is the one with the Supercharged 3.0L V6 petrol engine producing 380HP of power and 450Nm of torque. With the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is standard on all models, it does 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds and top speed normally limited to 155mph. That sounds quick even by SUV standards and then there's its signature Range Rover capability. Of course, for those who want more pull for their buck, there's the 300HP 3.0L V6 diesel engine delivering 700Nm of torque.

Of course, while there are most SUVs that can do all kinds of jobs better than the Velar, this new crossover sets the class apart with its legendary Range Rover capability inherited from the entire family tree. Like the available Terrain Response 2 and All Terrain Progress Control, these handy-capable features allow the Velar to tackle almost all corners of the world; be it the Sahara desert, the Australian Outback, the African jungles, Patagonia, be any place as long as you are looking for a shortcut that will lead you to your point of interest quicker than luxury saloons. Then, there's the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, which uses artificial intelligence to determine torque distribution, traction, and dynamics while being connected to its Dynamic Stability Control system, Torque Vectoring System and the Active Locking Rear Differential. And then, there's the electric power-assisted steering which adds a bit more feel every time a driver steers the Velar but sometimes, it can be prone to understeering and this calls for more painkillers when your arm aches from steering this crossover. It maybe an SUV but with that level of dynamics, the Velar really feels like an luxury saloon in so many angles and it's the ideal crossover for people who don't want to be late for their dinner reservations with their dates.

Speaking of dinner reservations, the Velar offers a wide range of advanced driver assistance systems, either standard or optional to ensure its preparedness on today's traffic conditions. From the Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitoring, Traffic Sign Recognition, Reverse Traffic Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, 360° Parking Aid, and Park Assist.

Should you buy it? Well, prices start from 44,575 to 84,195 GBP, so it isn't cheap for a luxury crossover of this size but for the new Range Rover Velar, it's all about the style, the interior, the choice of engines, and the legendary Range Rover characteristics you'd expect from the family tree. If the RR, the RR Sport, and the RR Evoque turn the world into their sandbox adventure, the Velar can and that really is a welcoming addition to the Range Rover family.

Photo: Jaguar Land Rover



THE IDOLM@STER Million Live Theater Days is already here and it's an honor to see the rest of 765 MILLION ALLSTARS had a new home in mobile games just like the Cinderella Girls and Side M. To celebrate the release of Theater Days, the latest single and the first of the brand new MILLION THE@TER GENERATION range has arrived.

Brand New Theater! is the official anthem of THE IDOLM@STER Million Live Theater Days and it's performed by almost all of your favorite 765 PRODUCTION idols from Haruka Amami to Mirai Kasuga. In the first ever single of the new range inspired by the said game, not only the game's theme song is featured but also two new songs such as the 4th anniversary anthem song titled Dreaming!, and インヴィンシブル・ジャスティス.

Expect more to come in this new range and be sure to download the brand new THE IDOLM@STER Million Live Theater Days game on the App Store or Google Play. (Contains in-app purchases).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Let's Do The News! (July 25, 2017)

- Over two million pesos worth of illegal drugs was confiscated in a condominium in Makati City last night. With a search warrant, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Makati City officials searched the condo unit of a certain Joanne Cuachon, a speculated drug pusher.

- Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, accompanied by her mother Representative Imelda Marcos, attended today's Congress meeting on the issue regarding the alleged misuse of tobacco funds.

- After President Rodrigo Duterte's demands to the United States to return the Balangiga Bells on yesterday's SONA, the The US Embassy in Manila vowed to solve the issue on the Balangiga bells seized by the Americans more than a century ago.

- The Venezuela crisis has entered its pivotal week as foes of socialist president Nicolas Maduro pull out their stops to stop a controversial congress. The unpopular leftist leader is pressing ahead with the vote for a Constitutional Assembly on Sunday despite the opposition of most Venezuelans, a crescendo of international criticism, and some dissent within his ruling Socialist Party. Most critics feared that Maduro's congress is intended to institutionalize dictatorship in the OPEC member country.

- Pop star Justin Bieber cancelled his remaining concert dates under the Purpose World Tour. He is supposed to perform in countries like the Philippines, the China (which banned him due to bad behavior), Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Bieber's saddened with his decision but he would rather choose to rest for a while after 150 shows during the past 18 months.

- A specially-prepped Subaru WRX STi Type RA NBR Special lapped the Nurburgring in 6:57.5, which is half-a-second slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder but quicker than the Lamborghini Aventador SV.

Subaru WRX STi Type RA NBR Special

- The stars of last year's hit anime film "your name.", Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu, finally gained a Nendoroid treatment.

Nendoroid Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu

- The 25th James Bond 007 movie will be out in theaters on the Fall of 2019. It will be written by long time collaborators and writers of previous Bond films Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, and will be produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Cast, distributors, and director to be determined until further notice.

- Did you know that in Portugal, they've recreated the action from a manga and anime action-comedy series Keijo with a real-life sports league where contestants using their butts to battle just like in the absurd action-comedy series?


2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup - Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series landed on Indianapolis Motor Speedway where despite a lightning struck that sent the race to a slight halt, it became a wildfire no one saw it coming for the drivers racing themselves to the finish line.

In Lap 50, Kyle Busch passed the first stage of the race. Then, in Lap 75, smoke is pouring in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 car due to radiator problems, prompting him to abort himself from the race. In Lap 100, Kyle Busch cleared the second stage but he got knocked off from his lead by Martin Truex Jr, whose car got caught in flames. In Lap 149, it's car crash ahoy when Clint Boyer's car smashed and then followed by Kurt Busch. Same thing happened in Lap 154 when Kyle Larson's car went wrong and then caught in flames while the #48 car went out of control and crashed, and in lap 162 when the #6 car caused a pileup.

After all that chaotic moment after another, even in overtime, in Indianapolis, the winner goes to Kasey Kahne.

Next race is at Pocono on the 30th of July.

President Duterte's second SONA focused on drugs and terrorism

The 24th of July, 2017. It was the most crucial date for Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as he took part in his second State of the Nation Address where he will address some of his accomplishments, his goals, and what's next for the President.

Much to the dismay of those who despise him, especially those working from the sides of human rights, the firebrand Philippine leader focuses more on his ongoing war against drugs and the war on terror that prompted him to declare Martial Law in the Mindanao area due to the Marawi siege against the Islamic State-backed Maute group.

In his ongoing war on drugs that killed over seven thousand suspects, putting him on heat by international groups, President Duterte vowed that he will send drug pushers "to hell." In his speech. Duterte valued the life of the Filipino people but he told his critics to assist the public in avoiding drugs rather than criticizing the government’s campaign and the only way to solve the drug war is through public fear.

He vowed that even though his war on drugs was trivialized by human rights concerns, it will not be weaken and keep on going until those involved in illegal drugs will stop. 

Onto the subject of terrorism, President Duterte denounced terrorism as a "revolution" rather than a tribe as he spoke about the ongoing war against the Maute group, sponsored by the Islamic State terrorists, in Marawi.

The President promised that he will add 30,000 to 40,000 new soldiers to replace and strengthen the current military force as he asserted when his term ends, he will leave the Philippines with a very strong military.

Regarding peace talks, President Duterte flexes his muscles on his opposition against peace talks between the New People's Army and the government due to the NPA's outrageous demands and reminded Jose Ma. Sison to not "abuse" the charity of the Netherlands.

Duterte asserted that his take on Martial Law will not repeat the one that the late Ferdinand Marcos implemented 45 years ago and he clarified that the siege in Marawi is not due to poverty or corruption but an invasion driven by extremist beliefs from foreign countries.

Apart from the war on drugs and terrorism his SONA focuses on, The President also talked about the mining issue, the China-PH relations, his involvement in Mindanao, the tax reform, the infrastructure, the economy, and so on.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Let's Do The News! (July 24, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte promised that he will step down from his post after his six-year term. In his State of the Nation Address, Duterte was honest when he said that he has no intention to extend his term.

- The Palace officials respects former President Benigno Aquino III's decision not to be part in today's SONA.

- More Filipinos travel to Israel, according to the Embassy of Israel. Data from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism showed that around 9,000 Filipinos travelled to Israel during the first half of the year, up 62 percent from 5,600 during the same period in 2016.

- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that their government wanted to maintain stability in the South China Sea as it seeks alliances in the region amid tensions in the disputed waters.

- Nigeria released a photograph of President Muhammadu Buhari, the first in almost three months since he left the country on May 7 for medical leave in the United Kingdom, sparking speculation ranging from his ability to contest the 2019 election for a second term to his death.

- For the 2018 season, all Formula 1 cars will feature the Halo safety device for health and safety issues.

- The Jaguar XJR575 was unleashed, making it the fastest XJ ever made with 575PS from its supercharged 5.0L V8 engine resulting to its 186mph of top speed.

- BMW celebrates 40 years of the 7-Series with the special 40 Jahre model, finished in two special colors; Frozen Silver metallic and Petrol Mica metallic, while giving special touches to the interior.

- 2017 marks the 5th anniversary of the Aikatsu franchise since its 2012 debut and apart from the announced concert happening next year, there's a special PV featuring the stars of both Aikatsu and Aikatsu Stars anime series.

- The title of the Doctor Who 2017 Christmas Special has been announced during the San Diego Comic Con. Titled "Twice Upon A Time", it stars Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor (who tenures ends here), David Bradley as the 1st Doctor, Mark Gatiss, and Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts.


Super GT 2017 - Sugo

The fourth round of the 2017 Autobacs Super GT series heads to Sportsland Sugo and no wonder this race keeps on heating up in the heat of the summer season for fans and drivers alike. No matter the outcome, the Sugo leg of this race has been one of the most enjoyable races to witness during the Japanese summer season.

So, who are the winners of this race at Sugo this Sunday afternoon? For the GT500 class, winner goes to the #1 DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500 while 2nd place goes to the #46 S Road Craftsports GT-R, and 3rd place goes to the #6 WAKO'S 4CR LC500. In the GT300 class, meanwhile, the #11 GAINER TANAX AMG GT3 wins the race while the #50 Ferrari 488 GT3 placed 2nd and the #25 VivaC 86 MC placed 3rd.


Next race is on Fuji Speedway on the 6th of August.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

About the Pokemon GO Fest

To commemorate the first anniversary of PokeMon GO, a very popular augmented-reality smartphone app game inspired from the PokeMon video game franchise, the first-ever real-life Pokemon GO Fest took place at Chicago's Grant Park. In this anniversary event, Trainers of all teams took part in numerous challenges to unlock global rewards.

In this said event, a legendary PokeMon made its debut appearance in the PokeMon Go Fest and it's Lugia from the Gold and Silver games (namely The Johto Journeys). The legendary Psychic-and-Flying type PokeMon is set to appear at Raid Battles globally starting on the 23rd of July (24th of July Tokyo Time). Apart from Lugia, there's another Legendary Pokemon making an appearance as well on Raid Battles and that is the Ice-and-Flying type Articuno.

Reason why Articuno because there is a competition between the three Pokemon GO teams such as Team Mystic (representing Articuno), Team Instinct (representing Zapdos), and Team Valor (representing Moltres). It's a challenge of which team captures the most PokeMon gets the Legendary Pokemon they've represented appear alongside Lugia and Team Mystic is the winner, meaning Articuno will be appearing alongside Lugia in Raid Battles.

Players who successfully defeat the Legendary Pokemon in Raid Battle gets the chance to capture it but it can't be used to defend their gym.

So, with Legendary Pokemon finally arrived, are you ready for a new kind of PokeMon GO challenge? What Legendary Pokemons do you want to see next? Do you want more PokeMon to appear on future updates?


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Luc Besson, the man who brought you films like Leon, The Fifth Element, and Lucy, has done it again and this time he introduces moviegoers a brand new sci-fi fantasy adventure that will take us beyond the limitless possibilities of outer space and our imagination.


This sci-fi fantasy film is called Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and it's based on a popular comic book series which inspired numerous creative minds. Dane DeHaan plays the titular role of Valerian and Cara Delevingne plays as his partner Laureline. Set in the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline embarked on a mission to an ever-expanding city called Alpha, where a benevolent force threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets and together, they are on a race against time to stop this threat and save the universe.

Visuals has been part of every sci-fi fantasy movie ever made and the true beauty of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the colorful and vivid visuals that adds life and depth of field into the cinematic masterpiece. Think Avatar, Interstellar, Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, and any other science fiction movie you know and familiar with because this film feels like mashing up the best science fiction films ever made out of curiosity from many sci-fi geeks and the result is a vast-changing film that releases a prismatic spectrum that will satisfy every moviegoer witnessed.

Despite the colorful visuals that sets Valerian apart, the storyline should have known better and while we are impressed with how it looks, how the film unfolds is a bit of a decency and it can knock some of the moviegoers into boredom until the exciting parts kicked in. And there's another problem with this film and there's a case of product placement.

Remember Minority Report a decade and a half ago? Toyota's luxury division Lexus made a car specifically for this future-set film and in Valerian, Lexus had another go in the sci-fi fantasy landscape with their so-called SkyJet and even though it only exists in the film, this is how Lexus represents its enhanced L-Finesse design in so many ways. It maybe just one of the key aspects on showcasing what Lexus can do when they design almost everything the way they did to their cars in the real world but as a product placement, it kinda rather spoils it like posers loitering around shopping malls all day and all night.

Even though the storyline is what you call a decency, the sheer magnitude of the visuals is what made Valerian one of the best films to watch in the summer blockbuster season and if you're looking for some out-of-this-world adventure that will excite your imagination, look no further.

My rating: 3.7 out of 5.

Martial Law in Mindanao extended until year's end

In a bold act, both the Senate and the Congress met jointly on Saturday and voted to extend the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao until the end of 2017.

Despite opposition, the two chambers passed a resolution extending for five months President Rodrigo Duterte's Proclamation No. 216, which imposed a 6-day martial rule in Mindanao on the 23rd of May in the wake of the Marawi Siege against the ISIS-backed Maute group. About 261 have voted to the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao while 18 have voted against it.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the duration of the Martial Law, if declared in an event of a rebellion, will last for around 60 days but it is up to the Congress for the extension of the said rule.

The Malacañang praised the vote and said Congress' extension of martial law is their only chance to combat terrorism in the said region.

Since September 21, 1972, the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos declared the whole Philippines under Martial Law due to clashes against the communist forces. It lasted for almost a decade and right after Marcos was ousted from power.

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