Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Fans of THE IDOLM@STER franchise always state that the best sub-franchise of THE IDOLM@STER is always be the Cinderella Girls because they amass a huge number of idols than any other idol stuff we are familiar with. We are all agree with that and as a token of appreciation for the love of all things Cinderella Girls, there is a new CG STAR LIVE mini-album featuring the idols that started it all.

CG STAR LIVE Stage bye Stage

That's right, in this CG STAR LIVE, the idols that started it all in Cinderella Girls; Uzuki Shimamura (CV: Ayaka Ohashi), Rin Shibuya (CV: Ayaka Fukuhara), and Mio Honda (CV: Sayuri Hara), are all here to perform their newest song that is going to be a new favorite for Cinderella Girls fans everywhere. It's titled Stage bye Stage and listening these three performing this new song is proof that the new generations trio are always have been the image girls of the Cinderella Girls sub-franchise. Kinda makes your head tinkle when you listen to it, huh? 

Anyway, apart from listening to the girls listening to this new song, there is a solo mix version where each of the idols featured in this mini-album are performing the titular song and after that, there is a 10-minute CG STAR LIVE CINDERELLA GIRLS Brilliant Party! Mix featuring a medley of six of the greatest hits from Cinderella Girls, just to stir up some nostalgia.

Enjoy listening this newest mini album as a way of saying thanks for being such a loyal Cinderella Girls fan since the beginning and here's for more memories.


As if there is no shortage for the STARLIGHT MASTER range, inspired by THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage app game, here comes another new installment to the range and looks like it's the perfect time to ring the wedding bells and bring in some bouquets because in this installment, love wins.

With Love

In this installment, the highlight song is titled With Love and it's performed by Kyoko Igarashi (CV: Atsumi Tanezaki), Yuuki Otokura (CV: Yuki Nakashima), Yukari Mizumoto (CV: Akane Fujita), Kirari Moroboshi (CV: Rei Matsuzaki), and Yuki Himekawa (CV: Mako Morino). If you love this song in the Starlight Stage app game, you'll going to love the full M@STER VERSION of this song, just to say thanks for playing this song from DEBUT TO MASTER+. 

If you are satisfied with this highlight song, there are two tracks offered to enjoy this installment even more such as 銀河図書館 by Fumika Sagisawa (CV: M·A·O) and always by Hiromi Seki (CV: Saya Aizawa), Hina Araki (CV: Rui Tanabe), Tomoe Murakami (CV: Miharu Hanai), Hajime Fujiwara (CV: Minori Suzuki), and Yuzu Kitami (CV: Larissa Tago Takeda).

Enjoy this wonderful take on love with this installment and when you listen to these new songs, they can make a nice addition to the Starlight Stage playlist. Be sure to keep playing Starlight Stage for more!

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Projections for South Korea's economy

The South Korean government has released its latest projections for the nation's economy and its economic policy plans for the latter half of the year.

The finance ministry has cut it's growth forecast for 2018 to 2.9%, down 0.1 percentage point from its three percent projection made earlier this year.

The ministry lowered its forecast for next year to 2.8%.

It also slashed its annual job growth estimate by about half to 320-thousand newly added jobs.

To help support the economy, the government said it will focus on job creation, income redistribution, and regulation reform.

Switching on, Japan has stepped  up its territorial claims against South Korea's Dokdo island.

On Tuesday, Japan's education ministry posted a guide for high school teachers to teach -- STARTING NEXT YEAR -- that South Korea's Dokdo island is Japanese territory, and is called Takeshima.

Seoul called on Tokyo to immediately withdraw the plan.

Noh Kyu-dik, spokesperson of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the South Korean government deems it very regrettable that the Japanese government revised its teaching manual for high school s to strengthen unjust claims over South Korea's Dokdo island and strongly demands an immediate withdrawal of the claims.

Seoul pointed out that Japan would be missing an opportunity to move forward by reflecting on past mistakes.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (July 18, 2018)

- Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri warned that local government units may go bankrupt should country adopt the Consultative Committee's proposal to have 18 federal regions under the new system of government. Since resources and projects of the national govenrment would be devolved to the federal regions under the proposed federal system of government, Zubiri said the federal states should be able to raise enough funds to distribute to each of its provinces, cities, and municipalities through their internal revenue allotment.

- The number of persons affected by the inclement weather has reached 58,000, prompting the DSWD to extend relief assistance to families affected by severe flooding in Metro Manila, and Central and Southern Luzon. In response to the request for augmentation assistance from affected local government units, DSWD’s field office in Metro Manila has started to facilitate the provision of 500 family food packs for residents living near Marikina River who are currently staying in evacuation centers.

- The Commission of Higher Education and the Maritime Industry Authority signed a joint circular for the two agencies to collaborate in the monitoring of maritime education programs in the country. The joint CHED-MARINA Memorandum Circular No. 1 or the “Guidelines on Joint CHED-MARINA Monitoring of Maritime Education Programs” signed last July 10, 2018, outlines four important areas that include qualifications and composition of the monitoring team; key areas of evaluation; conduct of monitoring and evaluation of findings; and reporting and appeal procedures.

- The youth soccer teammates rescued from a flooded in Thailand are expected to be discharged Wednesday and to speak about their ordeal. A news conference with the 12 boys and their coach was being arranged for the evening in the northern city of Chiang Rai, where the boys have been recovering in a hospital since last week.

- Maria Butina, a Russian woman arrested last weekend on charges of failing to register as an agent of a foreign power spent years in the United States cultivating relationships with influential Republicans and the National Rifle Association, according to interviews, court papers and her social media posting. Butina is scheduled to appear Wednesday at a bail hearing in federal court in Washington.

- Unidentified air strikes killed 12 civilians in a rebel-held southern Syria as Russia presses talks for Damascus to retake the area, according to a monitor. The deadly strikes late Tuesday hit Nawa, the last town under rebel control in the southern province of Daraa, according to the Syrian Observtory for Human Rights.

- Porsche will unveil the facelifted Macan in an event in China at the end of the month.

- The newly-named WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca returns to the Verizon IndyCar Series as the last venue for the 2019 season.

- Actress Aiko Melendez quashes the "gamitan" issue with her boyfriend, Subic Mayor Jay Khonghun. According to her, the mayor's family has been in service for several moments at Zambales.

- After 19 years, actor Raymart Santiago switched stations and will appear in a new show with Judy Ann Santos.


LEOPAUL'S HEAVEN AND HELL: The Chiong Story, what is it?

Today, the controversial biopic of the infamous Chiong Sisters Murder Case of 1997 has now been shown in theaters but long before it hits theaters, it got stormed by negative comments about this film, saying that this so-called true crime story is based off from a false testimony of a convicted felon and bears no truth whatsoever, given the reports state that one of the men behind the rape-slay case 21 years ago is a 19-year-old male with Spanish and Cebuano blood.

So, as most Filipinos expressed anger over the biopic because of the strained pseudo-historical re-enactment of one of the most infamous cases in Philippine history, how did this murder case came to this and how it reflects today? As you may know, the views expressed in this segment do not reflect those who are involved in this mess, therefore, everyone is open to their own opinions.

It was mid-July 1997. I was six years old at that time and I was at school, although I don't like the concept of schooling at first, but I never forget what I saw in the news that time. The Chiong sisters, Marijoy and Jacqueline, were kidnapped after dark, then they got raped at an undisclosed location, and then Marijoy got thrown to the ravine. Authorities found the remains of Marijoy Chiong but as for Jacqueline, well as of now, she remains missing in action following the rape-slay case.

Two months later, following the rape-slay case that rattled Cebu, one of the seven suspects behind this rape-slay case is Paco Larrañaga, a male with a Spanish and Cebuano blood whose family had ties with the Osmeñas was surrounded by armed informants, according to his relatives. Paco was in Metro Manila attending culinary classes at that time so the main question is, what's Paco doing in Manila at the time of the crime occurred in Cebu? There's so many conspiracy theories circulating about what's going on at the scene of the crime, not to mention the fact that the daughters' father, Dionisio Chiong, manages a trucking company whose individual is known to be one of the biggest drug lords in the Philippines and the girls' disappearance came amid his testimony against the drug lord in question. In fact, no one really understands what's going on around there.

Fast forward to the years of the Erap administration, a man named Davidson Rusia steps in, confessing to the authorities about how the Chiong murder case unfolds. Despite Rusia cleans his name to tell the truth, the suspects are not familiar about Rusia himself. What's even more bizarre is that because of the convicted felon Rusia told everything they need to know about the Chiong murder case, a certain TV show spawn an re-enactment of the said case during the trial before the defense presented their case. However, as we saw on reports, because Rusia felt exhausted while apologizing the Chiongs, the case got adjourned. When he was taken to the detention cell, Rusia got mauled and tortured, and with many weeks have passed, forensics managed to slice a part of the skin to find evidence that the fingerprint of the dead body matches Marijoy's voter ID fingerprint.

Two weeks after the hearings, enter Judge Martin Ocampo, whose controversial verdict forever changed the case as the November 17, 1998 hearing sees witnesses, mostly friends of Paco Larrañaga, gathered at the trial, saying that they were with Paco at the time of the murder. Ocampo stressed that Paco's case needs solid evidence that he wasn't involved in the rape-slay case in Cebu. When the trial is over, Judge Ocampo spent three months to write the verdict as well as freeing Davidson Rusia.

Come early 1999, the verdict has reached and after two hours, Paco Larrañaga and the others were found guilty for kidnapping and serious illegal detention and sentenced to two life imprisonment. However, this verdict enraged the Chiongs because she wanted death penalty against Paco Larrañaga and the others. Following the trial of the decade's end, some people involved in the trial got promoted while Judge Ocampo, well, he committed suicide at a hotel room.

At the time Joseph Estrada was ousted and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became the president of the Philippines in 2001, the Chiongs finally got what they have coming as Paco Larrañaga is facing death sentence, as ordered by the Supreme Court. That news saddened most of Paco's loved ones but because Paco's father is Spanish, making him a man with dual citizenship, he seeks help to the Spanish government, and with time running out, he drawn out his trump card; seeking help to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and they released a ruling to the Philippines. Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono arrived in Manila in November 2005 to meet up with President Arroyo to discuss relations between Spain and the Philippines as well as Paco himself.

Because of that, on June 24, 2006, President Arroyo abolished the death penalty. Moments later, because Paco is classified as a "3rd grade prisoner" because of how much time he served during his imprisonment, he is allowed to serve his sentence outside prison on parole. At the twilight of the Arroyo administration, Paco Larrañaga finally switched prisons from Bilibid to Spain's Centro Penitencario.

And that is how the Chiong murder case unfolds and if most of you watched a certain documentary titled "Give Up Tomorrow", you'll know what it really means to you about this case and the man of the hour. Boy, what a drama this case really is. Two sisters got kidnapped and raped, one killed and one remained unaccounted for, a Spanish-Cebuano male got accused for the crime he didn't commit, judge committed suicide after the verdict, death penalty, Filipino-Spanish relations, and switch of prisons. 

That really is one of the most controversial cases ever to hit the history of the Philippines as the Chiong murder case demonstrates the tarnished legal system the Philippines possess and even in today's times, the legal system remains as what this case told us, making it harder to trust.

Paco Larrañaga forever changed the history of the Philippines but the true fate of the Chiongs remains to be disclosed with conspiracy theories about Jacqueline Chiong circulating around like the wind, but no matter which side you're on, this case shows that it is difficult to trust the Philippines' legal system in so many angles and that is the story of the day. 

If you have any questions about this case, it would be better to speak to it yourself, now that you're already familiar with the infamous case as portrayed in the Give Up Tomorrow documentary and the now showing Jacqueline Comes Home film. Until then, see you again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Aikatsu Stars! no Ongaku 02

The second series of the Aikatsu Stars! TV series aired on TV Tokyo since April 2017 and it continues where the first one left off as Yume Nijino starts her first day as one of the newest members of the S4 until the arrival of the Venus Ark puts her school's reputation to the test. Viewers witnessed the girls' adventures at school, at Venus Ark, the Star Premium Dresses, the showdown of the greatest, all the way to the 100th episode finale where Yume bids Rola goodbye and after getting through all 100 episodes of the show, the original soundtrack of the second season of Aikatsu Stars has arrived, wrapping up the playlist.

Aikatsu Stars! no Ongaku 02

This two-disc compilation features the songs and score from not just the second season of the TV series but also the Data Carddass game inspired from, including TV-sized versions of the show's opening and closing theme songs as heard from the TV series. They;ve even thrown in two bonus tracks performed by Sena, Rie, Miki, Kana, and Nanase from AIKATSU☆STARS!

While supplies last, this original soundtrack comes with the special Dark Banquet accessory card for use in the DATA CARDDASS Aikatsu Friends game, just a way of saying thanks for watching the Aikatsu Stars series and do look forward to keep watching the newest series, Aikatsu Friends, airing every Thursday nights on TV Tokyo, right before Pokemon Sun and Moon.


Disc 1
03:今回のおはなし ver.2
17:アイキャッチA ver.2
18:アイキャッチB ver.2
36:MUSIC of DREAM!!!(TV-size)
40:Bon Bon Voyage!(Tv-size)
43: アイカツ☆ステップ! ~ゆめ・ローラ・あこ・真昼・小春 ver.~

Disc 2
06:劇組 PRESENTS ミュージカルカフェ
14:S4 overture
19:Going my way
34: We wish you a merry Christmas AIKATSU☆STARS! 2017 ver.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Measures for low-income people

Members of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and officials form the government met Tuesday morning to discuss measures to support low-income people as part of the follow-up measure to the planned minimum wage increase next year.

During a policy coordination meeting, the two sides agreed to increase the basic pension for elderly people in the lowest 20% bracket to roughly 260 US Dollars by next year, two years earlier than originally planned.

Hong Young-pyo, floor leader of Democratic Party of Korea said labor groups as well as the opposition party agree to Earned Income Tax Credits.

This measure needs to be effectively implemented so that people can make up for their small income through tax returns.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said we will work to expand the social safety net of those in the low-income bracket, as well as carry out reforms so that innovation can be seen across the economy.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (July 17, 2018)

- The Congress assured that they would factor in the economic managers' concern that the rush to implement federalism may disrupt the Philippines' economic growth, when they tackle the proposed Federal Constitution. Deputy Speaker and Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia said projections made by the Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia will be considered as their “guide” in scrutinizing the draft Charter.

- The Bicameral Conference Committee on the proposed Organic Law for the Bangsamoro in the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao resumed its discussions Tuesday on the reconciled version of the measure of the House of Representatives and Senate.

- The Bureau of Internal Revenue has issued a circular clarifying the requirements on the withdrawal of bank deposits of a deceased without the need of a clearance or the electronic certificate authorizing registration. In signing Revenue Memorandum Order 62-2018, BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay stated that the legal heir or administrator of the decedent maybe allowed to withdraw the decedent’s bank deposits within one year from death provided the bank subject to six percent final withholding tax the amount withdrawn.

Israel shut down its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to continued Hamas hostilities, even after it agreed to a cease-fire ending 24 hours of intense fighting.

- Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Tuesday led some 100,000 people in a nighttime procession marking 100 years since the Bolsheviks shot dead tsar Nicholas II and his family after he abdicated, according to authorities.

- Peru has declared a 60-day state of emergency on its Colombian border in order to guarantee security in a region rife with drug trafficking. President Martin Vizcarra on Monday said the measure was “because there are security problems” created by Colombian citizens crossing the border and there was a need to “reestablish the state’s presence.”

- Japan and the United State have extended their nuclear pact as Tokyo pledged to work to reduce its plutonium reserves at address Washington's concern.

- Uber is facing a federal investigation on alleged discrimination against women working at the ride-hailing service, according to sources. The US Equal Opportunity Commission began the probe in August of last year focusing on whether women at Uber were treated the same as their male counterparts when it came to pay or opportunity at the San Francisco-based startup, according to the source.

- Nickelodeon announced a revival on a classic cartoon show, Rugrats, with a movie and a new TV series coming this 2020.


Forza Motorsport 7: Prime Day

It's Prime Day once again and once again, the prime specimens that roared through the sounds of prime are back to let their feral instincts roar in Forza Motorsport 7. Whether if its up against the HALO Jumper, a mid-engine German sportscar, the Nurburgring, or even for one last ride, these prime specimens are all about business and leisure without compromise.

Releasing our first feral beast from its cage is the Ford SVT Raptor. Today's F-150 Raptor is one of the best offroaders ever made but what made us miss the most about the old F-150 SVT Raptor is its supercharged V8 engine because the sound of this feral beast is much more ferocious compared to the EcoBoost V6 engine that today's Raptor had. It maybe heavy and somewhat irrelevant in circuit racing but you can't beat the monstrous sound of its V8 engine the SVT Raptor possess and there's so much to love about a monstrous offroader that challenged the HALO jumper and lost.

The next beast is the Renaultsport Megane 250 and while today's Megane RS is basically five-door only, the last three-door Megane RS of the past is something to be missed because while being short on power compared to hyper hot hatch rivals such as the Ford Focus RS and the VW Scirocco R but because of its cup chassis, motorsport-level expertise, limited slip differential, and lightness, it eats the powerful ones like a rat scaring away a big fat biker. Being a prime meridian, the Megane RS remembers the most insane race of its life while delivering near-sportscar levels for everyday speedo boys.

Next prime meridian to be released from its cage is the McLaren MP4-12C. With today's McLaren 720S is the evolution of its Super Series range, the 12C is something to remember for as the first McLaren ever made in this new era since the legendary F1. Unlike their last masterpiece, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, the 12C is purely McLaren inside and out as well as its 3.8L V8 Twin Turbo engine which is somewhat small but packs a heavy punch when you put your foot down. As a high-tech sportscar with some motorsports knowhow in the days when Lewis Hamilton is a McLaren driver, the 12C is all about propagating through the track with intelligence unheard by supercar standards, quickly became the supercars we all fell in love with since the 458 and the Gallardo.

And the last beast to be unleashed from the hell in the cell is the Pagani Zonda R. As the track-only finale to the Zonda, the R features extreme aerodynamics that is fitting for a no-holds barred machine that sits in Pirelli racing tires and 6.0L V12 Mercedes engine producing 750HP and because it dons so much carbon fiber on its body, it's 200kg lighter than your first Zonda. Start this beast up and you can really hear its roar loud enough to deliver the prime of its life. This is the first Zonda that dons a semi-automatic gearbox that shifts faster than your basic supercar and such impressiveness lapped the Nurburgring faster than the Ferrari 599XX.

These prime specimens really proved to the the world that they are business and leisure without compromise and when Prime Day comes, these feral beasts roaring through the sounds of prime and prepare for the insane moments in the prime of their lives. Since this is Prime Day, it's time to let these beasts loose in the Grand Prix circuit of the Nurburgring like bats out of hell. Let heavy beasts roar through the sounds of Prime Day!

How's that for Darth Pancake? These heavy beasts really roared like bats out of hell and that is why they called it PRIME DAY, a day when you can open your Amazon and go all out. It's like releasing your anger for a day and it never felt so alive driving these prime specimens to the prime of their lives.

Until the next PRIME DAY, my little kittens...

At the DragonFest 2018

One scorching weekend at Seattle's Chinatown International District, many visitors managed to survive the extremely hot temperatures in the Pacific Northwest just to witness the annual DragonFest event.

The DragonFest is a celebration for all things Asian-American. From Chinese, Thai, Indian, Filipino, Korean, this event had it all in store for the large crowd. There's even packs of stands, food walks, fun, and games in store to keep the visitors happy for more. Now that's how Seattle Chinatown managed to beat the heat with this summer event happening every year.

Anyway,. I managed to snap some pics to highlight the best of this year's DragonFest.

More pics:

Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 Verizon IndyCar Series - Honda Indy Toronto

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series has gone north of the border as the streets of Toronto, Canada, transformed into a city course for the drivers to put their limits to the test. As if this World Cup finale week is embroiled with so much races occurred, this Indy Toronto race really wraps this mega weekend up.

Josef Newgarden leads the race while Ryan Hunter-Reay roared himself from 6th to 3rd and Will Power gunning down Alexander Rossi at the start of the race. As the excited builds, incidents occurred as Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais faced rear wing damage when he collided with the tyre wall, Newgarden and Dixon on the pits, Ryan Hunter-Reay missed turn 3, and Rossi and Power made contact. When the race restarted, Newgarden nudged to the wall while Dixon leads and a big one occurred when seven cars caught in a pileup. Near the end of the race, Robert Wickens and Simon Pagenaud are gunning each other for second place, causing too much tension between the two drivers.

Scott Dixon won his 44th IndyCar win and 3rd win of this season. Pagenaud placed 2nd and Wickens placed 3rd. The lead for Dixon is now 62 points ahead of Josef Newgarden. 464 vs. 402, respectively.

Next race is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on the 29th of July.

FIA Formula E S4 FINAL

Here we are, while the world enjoyed the epic finale of the World Cup, the streets of New York City became the final destination for the fourth season of the FIA Formula E Championship and this epic two-part season finale marks the end of the era for the first-generation Formula E machines as it paves way for new and exciting changes happening this holiday season.

The first part of the race heralds the rise of this season's champion as Jean-Eric Vergne, started last following his disqualification at the qualifying lap for having too much power and stormed his way to fifth place, managed to earn enough points to be crowned the ABB FIA Formula E Champion for this season. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler nailed their first 1-2 finish with di Grassi and Abt while Renault's Sebastien Buemi placed 3rd. In the latter half of the race, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler nicked their Constructors' Championship title with Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt placed 2nd and 3rd with the world champion JEV wins the latter half.


What a race it was. Jean-Eric Vergne won the championship but it was Audi Sport that nicked their Team Championship win. What a sendoff for these machines and that really is the end of the fourth season of the ABB FIA Formula E. Next season will be the biggest Formula E to date so see you in December.
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