Thursday, December 31, 2015

Remembering 2015: Sports analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015.

Now, it's time for sports and for the year 2015, it has been quite of a big year for the athletes competing in different kinds of sports.

The 49th Super Bowl sees the second time the Seattle Seahawks advanced following last year's win against the Denver Broncos. For 2015, the Seahawks faced off against the New England Patriots but because of Russell Wilson's big mistake at the near end of the game, the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl match, paving way to the Patriots with Tom Brady named as MVP.

Anyway, in the world of basketball, we've seen the Golden State Warriors are named as the 2015 NBA Champions after successfully defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, despite LeBron James' return to the team, at the score of 105-97 in Game Six to win the NBA Finals 4-2. This is the first win of the team since 40 years ago.

Of course, as mentioned in the previous topics, the world already witnessed the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Following Mayweather's win against Pacquiao, the undefeated boxer was stripped off his WBO belt he won from Pacquiao when he failed to pay the $200,000 sanction fee required by the organization. This means that the belt is now belonged to Timothy Bradley, who defeated Jessie Vargas last June for the interim championship.

The historical rematch between the US and Japan at the 2015 Women's World Cup sees the US Women's soccer team scored three goals, more than enough to retaliate against Japan for their loss four years ago.

In the world of mixed martial arts, the biggest champions of MMA have fallen to make room for new ones as UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo was defeated by the Irish fighter Conor McGregor. In the women's bantamweight championship, Ronda Rousey was knocked out by Holly Holm in the second.

There are so many sporting moments in the year 2015 that shaped the world and as for the Philippine side, we witnessed that San Miguel Beer is still king in the PBA, women's volleyball in the Philippines remained famous, the Letran Knights of the NCAA and the FEU Tamaraws of the UAAP made their historical wins in the world of Philippine college basketball, underdog Filipino boxers rose to prominence in the Duel in Dubai, and GILAS Pilipinas has a long way to go in the world of FIBA World Cup.

Well, I guess there are so many moments occurred in the year 2015 that shaped the world and I think that's about it. What will the new year bring to us? Whatever the heck the new year will bring us, the different kinds of news will remain the same as before.

In the meantime...

The ten best AlDub moments of 2015

Photo: Official Eat Bulaga Facebook

As you may know, today, even though this is the last day of the year 2015, marks the 24th weeksary of AlDub, the love team that made famous in Eat Bulaga's kalyeserye segment since their first split screen encounter last July. Anyway, as AlDub Nations bid farewell to the year 2015, time to jot down the best ten moments in the story of AlDub.

1) Their first encounter between Alden Richards and Yaya Dub occurred in the 16th of July, 2015, and what was her first DubSmash to Alden when they first met? Something Chinese, I presume.

2) The YaKie weddings made a huge impact in the story of AlDub. When Alden's going to rush at the wedding of Yaya Dub and Frankie Arinolli to stop it, Yaya Dub got fainted and when Alden's arrived, it was too late. Onto the second wedding, it was revealed that this wedding between Yaya Dub and Frankie's a fake. Even the doctor and the priest is fake as well!

3) Their Dabarkads Pa More performance, on their first try, is surely one moment they will never forget. After Alden's performance onstage, he gets dragged by Lola Nidora and her Rogelio men backstage while Yaya Dub's next. While Lola Nidora tries to make sure Alden will suffer while Yaya Dub performs, Yaya Dub impresses the crowd with her Cinderella-like performance and when her performance ended, Alden's going to rush through the entire Broadway to chase Yaya Dub until it's too late. Yaya Dub got on the jeepney and her missing slipper ended at Alden's hands.

4) The wildcard performance between Alden and Yaya Dub on Dabarkads Pa More is also one of the best AlDub moments in history because right after their performance, Alden and Yaya Dub made their first encounter. They were going to approach each other until Lola Nidora dropped the plywood between them. After the whole plywood fiasco, some unknown men kidnapped Yaya Dub and this is where the search for Yaya Dub began.

5) Another AlDub moment every AlDub Nation remembered is the kidnappings and it was revealed that Duhrizz is the main culprit behind the AlDub kidnappings, which made everyone shocked in awe.

6) On their first date backstage, Alden and Yaya Dub could have made the best day of their lives but then an alarm clock caused Yaya Dub to rush back to Lola Nidora until a car accident occurred. On their second date, this time at the De Explorer mansion, they had the best date ever even with some interruptions caused by Lola Nidora's sisters, Tidora and Tinidora. This is the first time we hear Yaya Dub talked at the very end.

7) The Bahay Ni Lola Halloween Special of Kalyeserye is also one of the best AlDub moments of 2015. Alden, Yaya Dub, and the Kalye's Angels brace themselves as they enter a haunted house that Lola Nidora's diary of secrets foretold. A house known as..."Bahay Ni Lola"!

Having managed to brace themselves in fear and a little bit of AlDub Dubsmash chemistry, they've survived and snagged the jewelry box as foretold by a message.

Inside that jewelry box, there was a message saying that a ring is inside...and it was! Alden grabbed hold of the ring and he was going to wear it on Yaya Dub's finger but then...well, you get the idea.

8) Kalyeserye does Gaya-Gaya Pa More! Shortly after the celebrities performing their best impersonations in Bulaga Pa More's Gaya-Gaya Pa More competition, fans have witness what celebrity impersonation will AlDub pull off and it was none other than Guy and Pip, the legendary love team in Philippine showbizness.

9) AlDub goes to Enchanted Kingdom! Before going to Enchanted Kingdom, first they have to attend a Christmas party alongside Lola Nidora, Tidora, and Tinidora as they will give gifts to the little children and have games in a form of a calamansi relay. After a short Christmas party, Alden and Yaya are off to the said location and hoping that they will follow what Lola Nidora promised. Of course, Tidora and Tinidora are tailing them while on Enchanted Kingdom and alongside the sisters is none other than everyone's favorite doctor/explorer, Doktora de Explorer! Muy bien!

10) In the 24th of October, 2015, the world is all one when everyone at the Philippine Arena, at home, at a viewing party, or abroad witnessed the biggest AlDub event of a lifetime when Alden Richards and Maine "Yaya Dub" Mendoza finally made it "Sa Tamang Panahon".

It was a star-studded cast with all the Eat Bulaga presenters as well as the Kalyeserye characters present to unleash their own brand of joy to the mass audience and it all builds up to the arrival of AlDub. Too bad no kiss occurred but that's fine by them to see these two finally close to each other having managed to survive through tons of challenges in their never-ending quest for forever. Of course, no event is too colorful without Lola Nidora, Tidora, Tinidora, Duhrizz, Rihanna, Frankie, the Rogelios, the Bernardos, and the Quandos present.

It's a dream come true to witness AlDub matured through the weeks and thanks to the viewers like you, forever truly exists.

BONUS: AlDub first movie appearance in their comedy flick My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore, which also stars Vic Sotto and Ai-Ai Delas Alas. This film is named as the third best picture in the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival with Yaya Dub named best actress.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed the best of AlDub in the year 2015 and here's for more AlDub antics in the year 2016 and beyond. Until then, AlDub you!

*Pabebe Wave

Remembering 2015: Motoring analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015.

The world of motoring in the year 2015 has been a tremendous topic for the car enthusiasts and for this kind of analysis, I think I may have done much better.

Automotive recalls are nothing new to this year and with the ongoing Takata airbag scandal and General Motors' faulty ignition switches, those headlines really made a huge impact in the motoring industry in 2015. However, the biggest automotive headline that caused quite a backlash by the consumers is the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. It is discovered that there are dubious software planted on most diesel-powered vehicles, making it capable to cheat through emission regulations. From public apologies to change of management, looks like the VW diesel scandal will keep on going this next year until this problem is resolved.

Fears of high-tech carjacking are one of motoring in 2015's hot topics. It started when a group of researchers managed to remotely hack a Jeep Cherokee with terrifying results and in response, the government officials introduced legislation protecting drivers from auto security privacy risks.

The rise of autonomous driving is also one of the key topics of 2015 as the world's top car manufacturers are busy experimenting with autonomous tech that in the foreseeable future, these self-driving cars will pave way to a much safer motoring, although some are unaware of the possible risks regarding autonomous cars and how they should worry about.

Sportscars are making a huge comeback in the year 2015 with the introduction of the new generation Ford GT, Koenigsegg's first ever PHEV supercar Regera, the new Acura/Honda NSX, Honda S660, the new Mazda Roadster ND, the new Camaro, the new Mustang GT350, the Cayman GT4, and many many other sportscars appeared in 2015, proving that even with today's economic and environmental climate, the sporscars may find its way to redemption.

Meanwhile, eco-cars are making the rounds in the year 2015 and while most models are releasing PHEV versions, car enthusiasts have been greeted with the arrival of new generation eco cars such as the new Toyota Prius, new Chevrolet Volt, and Tesla's Model X crossover.

Hyundai and Citroen made some headlines when they decided to have their own standalone luxury brand such as Genesis and DS Automobiles. The facelifted DS5 is the first of Citroen's standalone DS Automobiles, which was followed with the recently facelifted DS4 range, while Hyundai's new Genesis brand introduced its first ever model, the EQ900 flagship saloon.

Motorsports in the year 2015 has been quite a big year for most car enthusiasts. Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes is once again a world champion in the F1 2015 season. Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya named as the 2015 IndyCar champion. The VW Polo R WRC, driven by Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, scored the most wins in the WRC 2015 season, Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein became the 2015 DTM champion. NEXTEV's Nelson Piquet Jr. is the winner of the inaugural FIA Formula E championship. There are so many motorsport moments happened over the year 2015 that made spectators happy no matter what's under the bonnet and what sort of tricks the drivers pulled onto their sleeves.

BBC's motoring TV show Top Gear made headlines in 2015 as thanks to Jeremy Clarkson's fiasco with one of the producers, Series 22 is the last for the Clarkson, Hammond, and May trio. With the trio out of the way, radio DJ Chris Evans was named as the new presenter of Top Gear, coming May of next year. As for the now ousted trio, they got themselves a new motoring show coming to Amazon Prime subscribers next year.

Of course, I would never left what's happening at motoring in the Philippines. From the newly issued license-plates, Isuzu made a Popemobile for Pope Francis during his Papal Visit, a Filipino named Joward Policarpio was named as one of Nissan GT Academy graduates this year, the worst traffic recorded in Metro Manila, and the return of the sudden unintended acceleration problems by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, I'd knew motoring in the Philippines in the year 2015 made a huge impact in every Filipino's lives.

Check back on this special segment for sports analysis.

Kia All New K5 (JF) Hybrid

The hybrid version of the Kia K5 (known as the Optima in the global market) has been reintroduced in the latest generation and the new K5 Hybrid features an upgraded powertrain as seen on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid as well as some unique aerodynamic features that will make this hybrid saloon quite noticeable to some.

2016 Kia K5 Hybrid

When the new generation Kia K5 was launched, it's been offered with a wide array of petrol and diesel engines available and with the inclusion of a hybrid model, there are different K5 models to choose from and for this hybrid model, it combines fuel efficiency with clever aerodynamics that is quite surprising.

One such example is the new Active Air Flap on the front. When travelling at high speeds, this unique aerodynamic feature automatically engages, allowing this car to absorb air through the engine compartment for cooling measures, That's scientific, yet very clever for a hybrid car of this magnitude.

Just like its Hyundai Sonata Hybrid cousin, Kia's new K5 Hybrid comes with a 2.0L Nu GDi engine, which produces 156PS of power, connected to an electric motor and Li-ion battery. Mated with a six-speed automatic gearbox, it promises  17.5km/L of fuel consumption, that is depending on the size of the alloy wheels.

And like the normal K5, the new K5 Hybrid comes served with safety features such as Auto Emergency Braking and Advanced Smart Cruise control, keep the car in momentum for the road ahead.

The K5 Hybrid starts at 28,240,000 Korean Won plus additional costs for optional extras depending on the variant. With the hybrid now in the new Kia K5 range, expect a plug-in hybrid model coming very soon.

Photo: Kia Motors

Hyundai Sonata (LF) Plug-In Hybrid

With the LF Sonata range consists of petrol, diesel, and hybrid, the unexpected range for South Korea's longest-running midsize saloon in history gets a little boost with the addition of the first ever PHEV sold in South Korea, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

As the first-ever Korean-made plug-in hybrid saloon, the new Sonata Plug-In Hybrid offers the best of both worlds apart from running in either petrol, electric, or both because for this PHEV saloon, drivers will be able to fill it up with either petrol or charge its batteries at home by whatever means necessary. 

With the 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery pack, which is five times more than what the regular Sonata Hybrid's battery had, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is expected to have an all-electric range of over 44km, which is a class-leading record for PHEV saloons on the market, according to Hyundai. In terms of recharging, it will take two and a half hours to have it fully charged at a 240V Level 2 charging station while at home, with the 120V outlet at hand, it will take five hours to have it fully charged.

Like the Sonata Hybrid, it comes with the 2.0L Nu GDi petrol engine that produces 156PS of power output but for the PHEV model, the electric motor that joins together with the engine produces 50kW of power, 32% more than the motor used in the regular Sonata Hybrid. Have them together as well as the 6-speed automatic gearbox, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid delivers a combined 17.2km/L of fuel consumption, which is kinda less than what the regular Hybrid had but because this is a PHEV saloon, its fuel consumption well served.

Optional safety features are offered in the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid including the Forward Collision Warning System, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Blind Spot Detection, and not to mention the Advanced Smart Parking Assist System where you can let the parking all by itself when it spots a vacant parking space.

The new Sonata Plug-In Hybrid starts at 40,620,000 to 43,220,000 Korean Won, which costs a lot more than the regular Sonata Hybrid, but because being the first PHEV offered in South Korea, looks like it's going to be treated as a niche vehicle with no competition in sight but as the right opportunity comes in the Korean motoring industry, there will be rivals ready to take on the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, wanting a piece of it.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

Scion iM

The recently facelifted second-generation Toyota Auris has finally make it Stateside as the new Scion iM and although while this is essentially a Toyota Auris fully Westernized for use in American roads, how does it differ from its Japanese equivalent?

2016 Scion iM

Well for starters, it looks fairly identical to the Auris judging from its front end that looks surprisingly American for a Japanese-made hatchback but despite its differences, the iM is basically a Toyota Corolla underneath it, meaning this is just a hatchback based on every commoners' car in America.

2016 Scion iM interior
2016 Scion iM interior

On the interior, it feels very like the Toyota Corolla of today especially when it has seats for five people, touch-screen display audio, rear view camera, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, and any other necessities of comfort you would see on an everyday car at home. Although it feels somewhat cheap on the inside, it feels rather nice to cave in especially when you have friends tagging along with you in case of shopping trips or barhopping or off-kai meetings at your friend's home. You would imagine this could be your next car if you got hired as an Uber or Lyft driver without getting complaints from your passengers.

2016 Scion iM

Under the hood, the Scion iM comes with the 2ZR-FAE engine, which is broadly similar to what the Japanese-spec Auris had in the RS version, and this engine produces 137HP of power and 126lb-ft of torque. It can be mated with either a 6-speed manual or a CVTi-S but best to be in a manual gearbox because it's a lot more fun for a young man to try out the Americanized Auris in a gearbox fit enough to be fun but don't get too excited because even when you're on a manual or a CVT, the big engine output's not peppy enough to zoom through at high revs and acceleration.

Because the Auris is all about European-inspired handling upon its first encounter, the iM does the same too because it's got MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear suspension, meaning that this hatchback feels not so bad to handle but as a concept, it's a bit tad old-fashioned on American roads.

Should you buy one? The iM starts at $19,650 for the manual gearbox model up to $20,390 for the one with the bland CVT-iS on it and while it faces stiffer competition from the likes of the Mazda Axela, Hyundai i30, VW Golf, and the Ford Focus, the iM, despite its affordable pricing, couldn't keep up with its quality and performance and I think this hatchback deserves more if it wants to attract younger customers looking for a youth-oriented car fit for their lifestyles. Perhaps this newcomer on American soil should know better...

Available colors: Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Barcelona Red Metallic, Spring Green, and Electric Storm Blue.

Photo: Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Let's Do The News! (December 30, 2015)

- Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte says that if elected as president, he would deploy an addition 3,000 special forces troops to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mindanao.

- Senator Grace Poe wants three justices of the Supreme Court to inhibit her from the disqualification case after securing a restraining order yesterday.

- Today marks the 119th death anniversary of the Philippine hero Jose P. Rizal, and President Benigno Aquino III urged his citizens to be inspired by their national hero and be a hero in their own way.

- Fr. Albert San Jose of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish, the Catholic priest who went viral for riding the so-called hoverboard during the Christmas Eve mass inside a church in Binan, Laguna, apologized after his suspension, owning up to his mistake and vowed that it will not happened again.

- A husband and wife interested in helping Islamic State militants have been convicted of planning a large-scale bomb attack in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the July 7, 2005 attacks.

- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is the first leader to go to prison following his claim over the cusp of a historic peace deal with the Palestinians a few years ago.
- The African nation of Guinea is declared free of the Ebola outbreak, marking it a step closer to end the world's largest Ebola epidemic.

- The flagship Times Square store of America's popular toy store Toys R Us is closing this week after 15 years.

- Former Pentagon chief William J. Perry warns of possible nuclear strikes that could happen any time now during an interview with reporters. Possible nuclear attacks may involve a nuclear terror attack in a major American city or a shooting war with Russia that could result into a nuclear strike.

- Twitter revised their rules of conduct to emphasize that it prohibits violent threats and abusive behavior by users.


Remembering 2015: Anime and Gaming Analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015.

Anime and gaming, not two words you'd often hear in the same sentence but for the year 2015, these two interests ever nerds and geeks loved about made huge headlines.

Amazingly, the year 2015 is a big year in the world of idols in anime and gaming but the heated rivalry between THE IDOLM@STER and Love Live! School Idol Project made the biggest headlines in 2015. In THE IDOLM@STER side, the airing of the Cinderella Girls TV series, the first ever Side M concert, the second Million Live concert, the Cinderella Girls third concert, and the 10th anniversary concert held at Seibu Prince Dome last July became every producers' fantasy came true and it's not just the live performances that scored big gains to one of Bandai Namco's most successful titles because with the announcement of a new IDOLM@STER game for the PS4 as well as the addition of new Must Songs PSVita game and the new Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage app game, this franchise keeps on expanding to greater heights.

The Love Live series marks the fifth anniversary since the project began in 2010 and catapulted its way to become one of the most successful franchises in anime history and in honor of such occasion, the movie version of the hit TV series, called Love Live! The School Idol Movie was shown in theaters not just in Japan but globally as well, including the US and in the Philippines. Following the blockbuster hit of the Love Live movie, the unveiling of the second-generation Love Live, known as Love Live! Sunshine!! was introduced and Lovelivers have been greeted by the new generation of school idols in the form of Aqours.

Of course, fans of THE IDOLM@STER and Love Live don't usually get along together but at the 2015 AniMelo Concert, all that's about to change when a selection of 765PRO ALL STARS performed alongside μ's in a performance both of the sides will never forget.

Anyway, enough idol trash right now, because the year 2015 brought us some of the best anime shows as watched by most otakus everywhere. They have this majorette-laden Sound! Euphonium, a role-playing adventure show Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in the Dungeon? (our favorite goddess Hestia made famous on this show), the rebooted Fate: Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works TV series, The Asterisk War, Himouto! Umaru-chan (this anime really brought laziness to a whole new level), and of course, the one anime that blew every viewers' heads off, One Punch Man.

Anime adaptations of video games are nothing new here and with the arrival of animer versions of the popular browser game Kantai Collection and the popular role-playing game God Eater, they made pretty decent mark in the world of anime in the year 2015.

Inside the world of Pokemon, we've been introduced by the arrival of the 720th Pokemon; the mischief Pokemon Hoopa. Apart from its announcement, the new mythical Pokemon starred in the Summer 2015 Pokemon XY film Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, along with the Pikachu and the Pokemon Music Squad short film. Players of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire got their hands of Hoopa as well as the Prison Bottle item which allows them to transform Hoopa in its powerful Unbound form. Aside from Hoopa's arrival, a new chapter of the Pokemon XY anime series lit up and now called Pokemon XY & Z. In XY & Z, viewers will brace themselves to the mysteries of the legendary Pokemon Zygarde and its many forms from the Zygarde Cell, Zygarde Core, 10% Form, 50% Form, and the Complete Form. Apart from the many forms of Zygarde viewers will look forward through next year, viewers also surprised of Ash's Greninja unlike anything they knew about this ninja Pokemon. The bond between Ash and Greninja resulted it to become Ash-Greninja according to a certain Kalos mythology regarding the bond between the trainer and the Pokemon. Anyway, there's more explosive moments to expect on the XY & Z next year, including the upcoming film featuring the recently announced mythical Pokemon Volcanion.

While we're in the middle of the world of Pokemon, the franchise has been flooded with three new free-to-play games such as Pokemon Shuffle, Pokemon Rumble World, and Pokemon Picross. Apart from these F2P Pokemon games available on the eShop, there was a new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game called Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, where players get to pick whose Pokemon will they want to be and set off on an adventure to help other Pokemon and save the world from impending chaos.

Inside the world of gaming, well thanks to the success of the PS4 and XBOX One, more and more games have find its way into these new age consoles. In the XBOX side, retrogamers got themselves for a treat with the Rare Replay collection and the remastered Gears of War collection but Halo fans managed to hunt the truth with the brand new Halo 5 Guardians video game. The game's epic storyline, co-op play, improved multiplayer and the rivalry between Master Chief and Jameson Locke are what made Halo fans swoon to this latest installment.

Bandai Namco's Tales franchise celebrated its 20th anniversary and in honor of such occasion, a brand new Tales game was released last January for the PS3 titled Tales of Zestiria. The 20th anniversary celebration also announced a next chapter in the Tales saga called Tales of Berseria and for this new installment, it introduces a female protagonist for the first time under the name of Velvet. It's set to release exclusively for the PlayStation consoles this 2016.

One of the biggest games that made the headlines in 2015 is the long awaited installment to the post-nuclear adventure franchise Fallout and with the all new Fallout 4, fans have been looking forward to play this latest installment after several years. This open-world action adventure game allows players to be who they want to be thanks to the SPECIAL system and apart from fighting enemies, players can build stuff and make negotiations. The possibilities are almost endless.

Konami has been quite making a headline for the year 2015 because with the cancellation of the new Silent Hill game that stars The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus on it as well as the change of staff management and the end of Kojima Productions as we knew it, looks like things aren't looking so well for the Japanese game company, especially when they've launched the long-awaited Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for the Playstation and XBOX consoles. The Phantom Pain breaks the tradition from the past installments as it introduces open-world stealth for the players. From occupying guard posts, capture soldiers and wild animals, expanding your own bases and defend from opposing players, customizing weaponry, the possibilities are endless in The Phantom Pain.

Racing games scored big time in the year 2015 and one of the most successful racing games of 2015 are Dirt Rally, Assetto Corsa, Forza Motorsport 6, and most famously Project CARS, a game made by racers for racers.

The year 2015 brought us so many stuff fit for geeks and nerds alike. Be sure to check back onto this segment for the motoring analysis.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (C205)

The first-ever Mercedes C-Class Coupe was introduced on the previous W204 model as the replacement to the ailing CLC-Class and now it's happy to be returned in the lineup, this time it's based on the latest W205 C-Class. So, what's it all about?

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

When the first C-Class Coupe was introduced, it became known as the sportiest member of the C-Class range, which consists of the sedan and estate. Made to target against the likes of BMW's 4-Series and Cadillac's ATS Coupe, the new C-Class Coupe blends style with technology and performance in one pristine package fit for the bachelors and the bachelorettes alike.

In terms of styling, the coupe version looks almost identical to the four-door equivalent but like we learned from the S-Class Coupe, the new C-Class Coupe features a much different rear end easy enough to distinguish it when parked alongside it. On the inside, it looks very similar to the latest C-Class and above all else, it's surprisingly high-tech to be toyed around by the driver when he or she's not driving in it.

The coupe version offers the same choice of engine types as its four-door and estate equivalents, most are mated with either a 6-speed manual or a 7G-TRONIC PLUS gearbox. The most economical version is the C220 d, which is powered by a 2.1L turbodiesel engine that has CO2 emissions of 106g/km and combined fuel consumption of 4.1l/100km. The most powerful version is the C 300, which is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 245PS of power and 370Nm of torque. It does 0-100kph in six seconds and onwards to an electronically limited 250kph.

And like the saloon and the estate, the new C-Class Coupe comes fully prepared with an innovative multi-link suspension and aluminium bodywork for lightness and rigidity. Yep, this two door saloon feels sporty enough to drive but for some added exciteness, perhaps it needed some more because it feels as civilized as what luxury cars do on the streets and on the open road. Either way, the two-door C-Class is as enjoyable as a librarian in a competition swimwear swimming on the weekends.

Of course, you can expect some safety tech implemented on the new C-Class Coupe especially those driver-assist system which tells the driver what should do while driving. It detects drowsiness, it automatically halts when it sense pre-collision scenarios, lane departure warning, automatic parking, so on, so forth. With all that science donned in the new C-Class Coupe, there's no telling how many surprises will shock the drivers in fruition.

Price? The new C-Class Coupe starts at 35,581 Euros, which sounds very costly to own for a luxury car, but it's surprisingly less expensive than the BMW 4-Series.

Photo: Daimler AG

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

With the latest generation Ford Mustang's taking shape thanks to its new engine choices, a much modern design that harks back to the past, and a new suspension setup that matches up against Europe's finest, looks like Ford's on the roll to turn the Mustang into a global sportscar. If this car's going global in style, perhaps one Mustang we want in our wishlists is this advanced version of the new Mustang, the new Shelby GT350.

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

In the glorious past, the GT350 is known to be one of the most iconic and collectible muscle cars of the 60's, Now, fast forward fifty years to now and the legendary GT350 nameplate is back as the most advanced version of the new Mustang and because it's becoming a half-decent sportscar in its own right, you might think that this car is all buff and all bluff but no.

First up, the new GT350 is powered by an all-new 5.2L Flat Plane Crank V8 engine producing 526HP of power and 429lb-ft of torque while mated exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox. While it doesn't sound much for a V8-powered muscle car of this magnitude, it's powerful enough to roast some marshmallows when it makes a swift getaway.

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
Ford says that the new GT350 is more track focused than the previous GT500, which is known to be the most powerful Ford ever made it doesn't learn much despite the big power in its V8 engine. Of course, while this may not be the fastest Ford ever made, the handling will really remind you of the recently deceased Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Yep, it's like a Porsche 911 GT3 edited for rednecks but if there's something even more redneck than a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ford will offer you a more hardcore GT350R.

The GT350R removes all concessions of comfort as well as implementing more aerodynamic features inspired by the base GT350 and the implementation of space age materials, turning this buff car into a potent track weapon that can be enjoyed most of the time. With the GT350 and the GT350R, this pony car's got talent when it comes to slip past through corners. However, there's a much bigger consequence when it comes to driving it because while this is essentially a much sportier take on the modern Mustang, you'd had to think twice about using it on a day to day basis, well save it to the base GT350, because if you've gone for the R, you'll find yourself in a hard place because with all that concessions of comfort deleted from the inside, you may find yourself struggling to live on the streets.

Either way, the new GT350 from Ford is all about being a well-proven track performer that benefits from the new Mustang's drivetrain to become as better as what European sportscars do during track days. Of course, while this maybe a track weapon but it's essentially a muscle car that likes to throw a party at the neighborhood, something that will wake the neighbors up on a late Saturday night.

Should you buy one? The new GT350 starts from $49,095 for the base to $62,595 for the R so it maybe sound much but it's more affordable to own one rather than an expensive European sportscar you've been longing for. Anyway, if I had something to say about the modern GT350, one thing comes to my mind and that is I want this car better than the classic GT350 of the 60's and who can't blame them? The video games I blame...

Photo: Ford Motor Company

Remembering 2015: Movie analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015.

It has been a big year for movies straight outta Hollywood but technically, 2015 has been a big year for spy flicks such as Kingsman: The Secret Service, the movie version of The Man from UNCLE, the comedy flick SPY, the true-to-life story Bridge of Spies, the fifth installment of the Mission Impossible saga titled Rogue Nation, and the biggest spy flick of the year is 007: SPECTRE. The latest installment to the 007 films featured a bespoke Aston Martin DB10, which caused quite a stir among moviegoers and car enthusiasts everywhere but the biggest fact about SPECTRE is it garnered the Guinness World Record for the biggest film stunt explosion.

We know SPY is a comedy flick starring Melissa McCarthy but did you know that Jason Statham co-starred in this flick? Believe it or not, Statham appeared in Furious 7 as the villain named Deckard Shaw. Furious 7 featured some of the hottest cars including the bespoke Lykan Hypersport which made a shot by leaping through a tall building from within. With or without the late Paul Walker, the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious films kept the moviegoers' pulse racing to the very end.

Of course, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reprised in the film as Hobbs but way after Furious 7, Johnson appeared as a helicopter pilot in the disaster flick, San Andreas. Some might say this is even scarier than 2012, San Andreas pits Dwayne Johnson as a helicopter pilot on a daring rescue mission to save his daughter.

Furious 7 maybe one of the hottest car action flicks of 2015 but it's beyond compare with the post-nuclear car action flick titled Mad Max Fury Road. With Tom Hardy now donning the titular character, most brave cinemagoers and car enthusiasts watched this flick to see some dystopian car action that feels so go, they wish they want to be in this world...or rather they did because they already have a Mad Max video game to toy around with on their XBOX One and PS4.

Legendary franchises made a huge comeback in the cinemas and with films such as Jurassic World, Terminator Genysis, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, these films surely bring the new generation of moviegoers a taste of legends in its own rights.

Superhero movies became dominant in the summer blockbusters of 2015 and for the Disney-owned Marvel, they've gone big with films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, however, there was one film that didn't make the cut and that's the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four film.

Children's' films have been rose to dominance in 2015 with films such as the SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Minions, Hotel Transylvania 2, and The Peanuts Movie, but the biggest breakthrough made possible by Disney with thanks to their live-action reboot of Cinderella as well as two Disney-Pixar films such as Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur.

In partial terms of erotic fantasies, the most erotic films of 2015 that satisfy their erotic fantasies were Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike XXL, which is a sequel to the Magic Mike film that stars Channing Tatum.

Book-based films gained quite an interest in 2015 from the powerful biopic American Sniper, the science-fiction space movie The Martian, to the epic conclusion of The Hunger Games saga titled Mockingjay Part 2.

There are many many great movies ever shown in theaters in 2015 but deciding which is the best movie of 2015 is everyone's guess.

Check back on this segment as I'll be tackling on the anime and gaming analysis through the year 2015.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Let's Do The News! (December 29, 2015)

- Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Emerson Carlos, who was one of the jurors of the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival, welcomed the reported decision by the House of Representatives in the investigation of the disqualification of Erik Matti's film, Honor Thy Father, from being nominated in the best picture category.

- The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the overseas Filipino worker placed on death row was executed in Saudi Arabia. The OFW, named Joselito Zapanta, aged 35, was executed by the Riyadh Grand Court around 1420 hours. He was convicted for murder with robbery five years ago and was sentenced for killing his Sudanese landlord over a rent problem.

- The Armed Forces of the Philippines will display forty of their air assets during the commemoration of Jose Rizal's 119th death anniversary in Manila. The fly-by of these assets will be held just nine days after the AFP displayed their helicopets and aircrafts during the 80th anniversary in Clark, Pampanga. It will be the first time to initiate a fly-by in celebration of Rizal Day.

- Following the death of a nine-year old girl in Bulacan by a stray bullet, the Department of Health called on gun owners to be responsible and avoid indiscriminate firing.

- The United States expressed concerns that the new anti-terror law established by China would restrict the freedom of expression. A spokesperson to the Deputy State Department said that the new legislation requires internet-related companies to share information with the authorities.

- The northern Italian city of Milan has adopted an emergency measure to curb air pollution by banning everyone to drive their cars for three days.

- South Korean reports are divided over the historical agreement on the issue of comfort women. Last Tuesday, the Japanese and Korean governments reached an agreement and gained heavy coverage in newspapers.

- To attract more foreign visitors in the Taito Ward district in Tokyo, the ward's official website will be translated to 89 languages, with new languages such as French, Thai, Norwegian, and Nepalese. Officials warn that the translation will be Google-based so it may not be accurate but this translation want to to provide foreigners with more information about the ward's landmarks ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.


New Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport

Peugeot's return to hot hatchery since the 208 GTi made the French carmaker to explore new heights with the arrival of the brand new 308 GTi, their most potent version of the second-generation Peugeot 308 hatchback. Would the VW Golf GTi had something to worry about?

2016 Peugeot 308 GTi

Generally, yes, because with the new 308 GTi, Peugeot managed to venture the hot hatch world with brave new heights because this is essentially the most powerful Peugeot hot hatch ever made and for some, this new hot hatch wants to draw inspiration from the legendary Peugeot 306 S16, the hatchback that set benchmarks for French hot hatches, but truth be told, it's a lot more than that.

It's powered by a 1.6L THP engine that delivers a much tangible 270HP of power output. With that kind of power output, it's an undeniable fact that this is much more powerful than the Golf GTi and the Ford Focus ST, but less than the ultimate Golf, the Golf R. Mated exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox, it does 0-100kph in less than six seconds and onwards to an electronically limited 250kph.

Either way, even though the 308 GTi has some big power under its small engine, the handling that has been the key point of hot hatches is still there. Thanks to the available Driver Sport Pack, the new GTi feels as livelier as Peugeot's past hot hatchbacks that dates back to the iconic 205 GTi, meaning it's a great car to drive on a track day and it doesn't matter if you're not concentrating. It maybe mild on the driving dynamics but it feels very accessible to handle and even if you're a track-shy rookie, it feels not so bad. However, while the GTi is focused to be a track weapon, driving on normal roads will have a different experience and because of its stiffened suspension, you may find driving one on the city streets to be a stressful experience, especially on heavy traffic.

Anyway, should you buy one? The new Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport starts at 37,200 Euros, which sounds like a lot for a Peugeot but less expensive than the Golf R, which is not what you call a smart buy but either way, the 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport is the ideal hot hatch to drive on a track day and if you wouldn't mind the stiffened suspension that caused so much drama on the normal roads, it is a fantastic addition to your garage.

Photo: PSA Peugeot Citroen

New Mini Clubman (F54)

If you ever thought that with the launch of the five-door Mini Cooper, you might expect that the Clubman will be gone for good but no way because that would be pretentious and silly. Anyway, even with the five door present in the lineup, Mini decided to regenerate the longer Clubman to become the most spacious Mini available to the market.

2016 Mini Clubman

Just like its normal Mini, the new Clubman is now a bigger, more roomier Mini, you can take loads of if you have a little hectic schedule to deal with. With a car like this, think about the stuff you'll do from your recently made to-do list whilst on your day off. One minor setback, though, and when you notice that when you park this car side by side with the normal Mini five-door, you will notice that there's not much difference between those two except for its longer wheelbase and the signature doors at the rear. The club door from the previous model is gone, meaning the new Clubman is an accessible Mini your friends could enjoy.

Of course, you still have the new Mini interior as seen in any other new Minis but because of its added dimensions to the new model, you'll have lots of room not just for the passengers but also boot space, which is fairly decent for the average courier man.

Like all new Minis, it's been utilized in BMW's UKL1 platform as seen on the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, meaning that it's a front-wheel drive car so it's as civilized as a salaryman. Sure, it's got a nice suspension setup but because of being too big for its size, it doesn't feel as fun to drive as any other Minis in the history books. It rather feels bulky every time you turn the steering wheel and understeer can be a bit of an issue for the Clubman.

The cheapest Clubman is the One, which is available at 21,900 Euros and what you get is a 1.5L three-cylinder turbo engine developing 102PS of power and 180Nm of torque. The most powerful version is the Cooper S, which has a 2.0L turbocharged engine that can go from 0-100 over the seven second mark. The most economical is the One D Clubman, which has CO2 emissions of 99g/km. Either way, they're all about choices for the new Clubman.

So, should you buy one. As mentioned before, the new Clubman starts at 21,900 Euros, which is somewhat more expensive than the five-door Mini offered in the lineup but in terms of ownership, it's somewhat average to the average buyer.

Photo: MINI

Monday, December 28, 2015

Remembering 2015: TV analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015.

From newest additions, returning favorites, and bitter ends, nothing can amaze the televiewers than the best of television moments of the year 2015. Let's analyze what's what.

According to Facebook, the ten best TV shows watched by viewers in 2015 were HBO's Game of Thrones, AMC's The Walking Dead (including its origin series Fear The Walking Dead), Comedy Central's The Daily Show (from Jon Stewart's departure to the arrival of new presenter Trevor Noah), NBC's Saturday Night Live (which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year), WWE Raw, The Simpsons, 19 Kids and Counting, Grey's Anatomy, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.

In the tumblr side, the twenty most reblogged live action TV shows of the year are Supernatural, Parks and Recreation, Orange is the New Black, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, The 100, Sherlock, Pretty Little Liars, The Walking Dead, Hannibal, Orphan Black, RuPaul's Drag Race, Agent Carter, How To Get Away With Murder, Daredevil and Agents of SHIELD.

Also, the most reblogged cartoon shows of the year, according to tumblr, are Steven Universe, Gravity Falls (thanks to the Weirdmageddon specials, with the series finale due next year), The Legend of Korra (on its final chapter of the show), Avatar, Bob's Burgers, Spongebob Squarepants (anyone seen the Sponge out of Water film?), The Simpsons, Over the Garden Wall mini-series, Adventure Time (following the Stakes special episodes discovering Marceline's secret origins), Adult Swim's Rick and Morty, Disney XD's new show Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Nickelodeon's TMNT, Teen Titans series (the Teen Titans Go TV show sparked huge interest on it), Cartoon Network's new show We Bare Bears, The Powerpuff Girls (due for a reboot in next year), Danny Phantom, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (the 100th episode is a milestone to this show), Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, South Park, and Invader Zim.

As reality stars come and go, the year 2015 brought some of the biggest impact on reality TV stars but the Kardashians nailed it big time as well as the infamous sex change from Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner as every observers knew it.

We had so many newcomers in TV, which some viewers may find it to have a possibility to become a new favorite, such as Mr. Robot, Into The Badlands, Miles from Tomorrowland, Jessica Jones, The Grinder, Best Friends Whenever, The Expanse, Supergirl, Blaze and the Monster Machines, The Expanse, The Last Man on Earth (most are starting to love that show not because of Will Forte playing the titular character but also the woman who voiced Mabel from Gravity Falls appeared in this show), We Bare Bears, and many other new arrivals. Apart from that, we braced farewell to ever popular shows such as Mad Men, Phineas and Ferb, Jessie, Kickin It, and other shows left the TV land for good. No matter the outcome, the year 2015 is a golden year for binge watchers.

Check back on this segment as I'll be tackling on the movie analysis through the year 2015.

Let's Do The News (December 28, 2015)

- Presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe and running mate Senator Chiz Escudero thanked the Supreme Court for issuing temporary restraining orders against COMELEC's rulings that disqualified Poe.

- Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte promises that if elected, he will rid the Philippines of half of the estimated 3,000-5,000 drug lords operating in the country, according to his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

- Twenty-seven mountaineers who got stranded over the Christmas weekend in Mount Pinatubo were rescued by local disaster management teams. Based on a TV report, the team got stranded at Mt. Pinatubo Delta 5 Sapang Uwak, and area located within Porac town. Details of their whereabouts were received by local authorities via text message sent by one of the mountaineers, saying some of the mountaineers were hurt and the team ran out of necessities.

- The Iraqi military successfully regained control of a government complex in the city of Ramadi from the Islamic State militants. According to the spokesman for the Iraqi government forces, the hostile militants are retreating and their operation to recapture Ramadi were successful.

- The governments of Japan and South Korea finally reached an agreement to resolve the wartime issue that strained bilateral ties. Foreign ministers from both nations finished talks on the comfort women issue and said they have resolved the issue definitely and irreversibly.

- Protests continue against the death sentences handed down by a Thai court to migrant workers from Burma. The court sentenced two men last week for the murder of two British tourists on the island of Koh Tao in September of last year. The defendants denied their charges but they are arguing they were forced to confess under police brutality.

- Suzuki will display specially prepped versions of their recently launched Alto Works as well as its upcoming Ignis compact crossover at this January's Tokyo Auto Salon.

- Remember the cartoon movie The Croods? Guess what, they'll be spawning a Netflix original series titled Dawn of the Croods. Check out the trailer of the upcoming 2D cartoon show coming soon to Netflix subscribers.

- Shocking news to Lovelivers everywhere as Yoshino Nanjou, the fripside vocalist and the seiyuu behind our favorite μ's member Eli Ayase from Love Live! School Idol Project, will not attend at the New Year's Kohaku song battle. The seiyuu is suffering from knee injuries.

- The Directors' Guild of the Philippines, Inc. condemned the disqualification of Erik Matti's Honor Thy Father film, which starred John Lloyd Cruz, from the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival awarding night's best picture category last Sunday night. The DGPI called the film's disqualification "A DISHONOR TO THE INDUSTRY".


Remembering 2015: Global analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015. Now it's time to take on the world's top headlines occurred this year.

Paris, the capital city of France, once known as the city of love has became the city of death for some. First, there was the infamous Charlie Hebdo attack last January 7, 2015, when two assailants killed 12 people and injured 11 others at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, over their depiction of prophet Mohammed. Three days later, millions of people staged unity rallies all over France, using the phrase "Je suis Charlie" in remembrance of the Charlie Hebdo victims. 

However, there is nothing more so than the November 13 attacks, which is known to be the deadliest attack in France since World War II.  Terrorists unleashed a barrage of attacks through numerous sites in the French capital such as nearby Stade de France, where the soccer match between France and Germany occurred, Avenue de la Republique, Rue de Charonne, Rue Bichat, and the hardest hit on the deadly Paris attacks is the Bataclan concert hall where a rock concert occurred and then terrorists taken dozens of people hostage. In response, French president Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency to the capital and staged retaliatory strikes against the Islamic State militants who are held responsible for the attacks.

Of course, the Islamic State made headlines throughout the year and across the world, everyone condemned the actions of the militants' actions, shared news and information on the latest developments, and mourned those who've been fallen by the Islamic State.

As conflicts in Syria continue, the great migration is also one of 2015's key topics recorded. According to the United Nations, over 4.1 million refugees are registered. Most of them have migrated to neighboring countries and over 500,000 refugees and migrants have applied for asylum in Europe.

In the 25th of April, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck parts of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and the city of Pokhara. It is known to be the deadliest of the Nepal earthquakes in over eight decades and it's not just Nepal that's affected. It's also parts of India, Bangladesh, Tibet, and Mount Everest, where avalanches were triggered. With the death toll reported at over 8,800 people, it is the worst since 1934 which killed over 8,500 people. In response, the entire globe responded quickly to provide aid and show their support for Nepal.

Another key topic in 2015 is the Greek debt crisis. Last June, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister who was elected on an anti-austerity platform, urged his citizens to vote against a renegotiated bailout agreement, raising awareness of the nation's possible exit from the eurozone, but a month later, Greece accepted the negotiations from the top European officials on the 86 billion Euro bailout package that will save the nation from impending bankruptcy.

In the United States of America, there has been so many headlines sparked in the world superpower. One news is the topic of same-sex marriage. A historical 5-4 ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges has led the US Supreme Court officially declared that same-sex marriage is legal all 50 states. Gay marriage, which is the most important civil rights case in a generation, in the USA is now well and truly LEGAL, because those politicians who supported it pointed out that marriage equality is part of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. It's not just the politicians who supported marriage equality that prompted the USA to legalize gay marriage, it's the LGBT community that rejoiced the historic decision, saying that "Love has won".

In terms of black lives matter, the death of a black man named Freddy Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody, sparked violent protests in Baltimore for two weeks but even more questioning in the topic of black lives is the Charleston shooting where a gunman killed nine people, mostly black, at a church. When photos of the suspect posing with the Confederate Flag emerged, fears of white supremacy beliefs have emerged and the South Carolina representatives voted to rid the flag for good.

As Obama's administration is nearing its end, the whole world kept their eyes on who's going to be Obama's successor for the November 2016 elections. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made the most headlines but honestly, it's Trump that made headlines, especially his infamous remarks to ban all Muslims from entering the United States following the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shootings, led by a Muslim couple who were suspected as Islamic State supporters.

Other key topics of 2015 reported include the downing of a Russian plane in Egypt, the Turkish forces shot down a Russian warplane heading for Syria, the inauguration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy at St. Peters Basilica, the explosion at Yasukuni Shrine, the Japanese government signing new security bills that will boost their Self Defense Forces' presence globally, the rare appearance of the Super Blood Moon in late September, Tianjin factory explosions, the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, the FIFA scandal, and many others to list here.

Check back on this segment as I'll be tackling on the TV analysis through the year 2015.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Remembering 2015: Philippine analysis

The year 2015 has been quite an impact for our daily lives ranging from the good news, better news, the best news, the bad news, the worst news, and everything we laid our eyes on. Now it's the ideal time for this blog to write down the analysis on what's what over the year 2015. To start, let's start on what happened in the Philippines. Of course, there are many many events occurred during the year 2015 but it would be best to jot down some of the most impacting moments.

One of the most inspiring moments Filipinos observed in the year 2015 is the extraordinary Papal Visit of Pope Francis. Last January, Pope Francis spent his five day visit to welcome Filipinos and deliver his message to all of those devoted to their Christianity. What's also inspiring for Filipinos in the year 2015 is the reprieval of Mary Jane Veloso by the Indonesian government before her execution since April after numerous negotiations. El Gamma Penumbra winning Asia's Got Talent is also inspirational as well.

The crisis at Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Kentex factory fire, the death of the Philippine Eagle Pamana, and the ongoing tanim-bala scam are what made Filipinos lashing about in the year 2015 but nothing is more so than the death of 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force units during the Mamasapano Clash last January.

As disasters come and go, typhoons have been the sidelines for this year but the typhoons that made impact in the sidelines of the Filipinos in the year 2015 is Lando (where it reached 9.8 billion pesos of damages and killed 47 people) and Nona (which killed 41 people and cost 4.9 billion pesos of damages). Meanwhile, in terms of quake preparedness, the entire Philippines, as well as Metro Manila, engaged a shake drill to train people to be aware in case a more powerful quake hits the Philippines, like the one occurred in Nepal.

In terms of traffic, looks like the Filipinos did faced the worst traffic ever and upon the reading of the Filipino mentality, they've lashed the government by any means necessary to complain about how harsh the traffic really was.

In the world of Philippine showbizness, Filipinos are enamored over two beauty queens winning beauty pageants such as Miss Earth's Angelia Ong and Miss Universe's Pia Wurtzbach. We even got salivated over iconic love teams such as LizQuen of Forevermore, KathNiel in the 2015 reboot of the legendary drama Pangako Sa 'Yo, and JaDine of On The Wings Of Love but the love time that caused the most impact for Filipinos is none other than AlDub. The invention of kalyeserye on the noon time show, Eat Bulaga, sparked the birth of the love time of Alden Richards and Maine "Yaya Dub" Mendoza. For five months, Filipinos witness how the AlDub story unfold as well as enjoying with their favorite Kalyeserye characters from Lola Nidora, Tidora, Tinidora, and many others. They even got their wishes come true with "Sa Tamang Panahon" live performance at the Philippine Arena last October, which scored the most number of tweets worldwide. The force of the AlDub nation is strong with that one.

Another dream come true for us Filipinos is the megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May. Although controversial, the fight between the two boxing superstars has been a historic one, as long as infuriating fans didn't count Mayweather's questionable but dirty tactics that defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision.

There are many good Filipino movies shown in theaters through the entire year but the Filipino made films that caused the biggest impact were A Second Chance and the Heneral Luna biopic.

President Noynoy Aquino's final state of the nation address is considerably one of the biggest news that impacted the Filipinos this 2015 and what's even more impacting are the candidates running in the May 2016. Senator Grace Poe made the most headlines due to COMELEC's decision to disqualify her from presidency as well as Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte who made a surprise entry to the presidentiables despite numerous statements of himself not running for president of the Philippines.

Of course, who wouldn't forget about the 2015 APEC Summit held last November? Despite the heavy traffic caused by the summit, Filipinos have been greeted by some of the world's top leaders including USA, Japan, China, Mexico, Canada, and many others, discussing about territorial disputes, counter-terrorism, economic reforms, and many others.

There has been so many events occurred in the Philippines throughout the year 2015 and no matter how good or bad the reports are, Filipinos have been bound by their sense of observation to observe what's happening.

Check back on this segment as I'll be tackling on the global analysis through the year 2015.

Forza Motorsport 6: Wild Cats

challenger (2)

When the ultra-powerful Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat emerged from the shadows, most car enthusiasts went insane over its wide reputation of being the most powerful V8 car in the world and because it's so powerful, they want to take the SRT Hellcat against a wide range of supercars. Whether you bring it a Lambo or a Bimmer or a Merc, or whatever you got, this 707HP beast will always eat it like an eat-all-you-can buffet.

With the Challenger Hellcat in the Forza Motorsport 6 roster, it's the perfect time to find out what makes the Hellcat the Hellcat every drivers went nuts about.


In a bold surprise move for Chrysler Group LLC's Dodge brand, they've unveiled the flagship version of the facelifted Challenger muscle car called the Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Since its introduction, this ultimate Challenger is powered by the newly-developed and supercharged Hellcat 6.2L HEMI V8 engine. It's the most powerful engine ever made by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Dodge claims it can produce over six hundred horsepower but it's been verified to produce 707HP, the most powerful V8 engine ever made in a production car.

The secret of unleashing its highest power output is via a red key fob because the Challenger SRT Hellcat comes with two key fobs. There's a black key fob which restricts the Hellcat's engine power output of just 500HP but with the red key fob engaged, all of the power output from its supercharged V8 engine is released. To survive the monstrous power output, a specially-made 8-speed automatic gearbox is developed to handle the extra power and torque.

Thanks to its powerful engine, the SRT Hellcat is capable of reaching 0-60mph in less than four seconds and onwards to 199mph.

challenger (3)

This car is all about straight line performance unlike any other. When racing in the straight line against any other production car in almost any other class, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat will simply get away from them and because of all that power implied in its supercharged V8 engine, those European sportscars will think twice about how are they going to make a car as powerful as the Hellcats. Truth be told, they Europeans already retreating, even BMW.

What about handling? Well, even with all that power, some drivers might find the Hellcat to be extremely tricky to handle in the same way someone's taking on his favorite idol girl song in an expert difficulty setting. Generally speaking, you need a lot of practice to find the perfect way to handle the Hellcat like a pro but because it's heavier than any other European sports cars do, it doesn't feel as sophisticated as its opposition.

The better way to exploit the Hellcat's biggest weakness is to compare it against one of America's powerful machines made for the next-generation of drivers and I know what they are...

gt corvette

As you can see, I have been joined by the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the all-new Ford GT and with these powerful American machines on hand, they're here to demonstrate just how 707HP worthy the Hellcat is. And because the SRT Hellcat has been too much for me since car lovers love to push this car to the limit, it's the perfect time for the Hellcat to don the chicken hat I made up...

challenger (4)

If by chicken hat, I mean of course, my handcrafted design inspired by THE IDOLM@STER's Hibiki Ganaha in her 10th live outfit. Although my half-decent creativity looks more appealing to the average producer who've attended the 10th live last summer, this could be the ideal chicken hat for the Challenger Hellcat because...I don't know what the outcome is when I send it to Laguna Seca and pit against the best of Ford and Chevy.

After one lap round Laguna Seca, the results are in. The Ford GT did it in 1:43.265 while the Corvette Z06 did it in 1:45.078. So, care to guess how good the Challenger Hellcat did? Well, you're wrong because it did it in a rather humiliating 1:52.058, meaning I have successfully exploit its main weakness and it involves track capabilities.

Of course, the Challenger Hellcat is one heck of a machine slipping past down luxury cars on the straights but when it comes to driving in the tracks where it has so many corners involved, well, the weakness is on it. So, why would Dodge ever made a car that has more power than any other supercars but doesn't handle as good as a supercar? Is this the main reason why the Dodge Viper faced its imminent death in the foreseeable future and want the Hellcat to be the perfect Viper successor on the road and on the track? Well, I'm not much of a Mopar man here but to be honest, there's so much stuff to learn for the Challenger Hellcat.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Doctor Who 2015 Christmas special

The Husbands of River Song

The recently returned River Song, played by Alex Kingston, sparked excitement and shivers in the 2015 Christmas special episode of BBC's Doctor Who, titled The Husbands of River Song. This episode maybe all about the hunt for the diamond inside King Hydroflax's head but this episode triggers chains of events involving who is The Doctor and who is River Song. It was one heck of a ride until it reached the climax of this episode where everything Whovians are wondering about have been revealed. From the singing towers of Darillium to the part where The Doctor gave River Song a sonic screwdriver as a Christmas present for her (which explains a lot to some veteran Whovians), all the truth between these two has left us quite a shock to the very end.

Well, I guess that's all the time and space left in the world of Doctor Who. The story's finished but The Doctor will return in the foreseeable future. Until then, happy holidays.

BMW X1 F48 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

2016 BMW X1

As the crossover craze keeps on lingering since the dawn of civilization, BMW's range of crossovers are never far behind when it comes to update their lineup in various ways to keep them prepared for the competition ahead. One of it is the X1, now on its newly regenerated form, and while this crossover looks nearly identical to the previous model, what lies underneath is worth a tale to tell.

For this new generation, it now utilizes the UKL1 platform used on the sacrilegious BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer, resulting to a front-wheel drive crossover that some Bimmer enthusiasts wouldn't agree on but because this is just a crossover, who cares about it. What this car is is like an oversized Mini Countryman but with some refined dynamics and a bigger space for five people and stuff at the back, so it's good but question is, does its front-wheel drivetrain worth it being a commoner's Bimmer? To show you the idea of what would the front-wheel drive BMW X1 feel like, you have to take a look at its chief rival for some inspiration and I found one...

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

This ain't your auntie's GLK because the GLK is dead and in replacement, the brand new Mercedes GLC-Class is born. Of course, the GLC is basically front wheel drive at first (only in a base model, that is) and when you experience it first hand, driving one of these is broadly similar to the new X1. However, when you gave these two crossovers a four-wheel drive setup, no weather will keep these two feeling moody, not even on a wet asphalt or at a sandy beach but dynamics can get a bit moody because of the mild driving feel that will impact its fun and usability. In other words, too much grip.

Although a little moody to drive, the four-wheel drive in the new X1 and the GLC really fits its cruising status as a family getaway vehicle, suitable on your next getaway to a faraway place or at the beach or at grandma's house. Anyway, let's not keep it too long because time to check out under the hood.

Sure, both the X1 and the GLC have different petrol and diesel engines available but let's narrow to something powerful and something economical. In the new X1, the most powerful version is the xDrive25i with its 2.0L Valvetronic turbo engine producing 231PS of power and 350Nm of torque, going from 0-100kph in 6.5 seconds and onwards to 235kph. The most economical in the range (and not always the wisest) is the sDrive18d with its 2.0L turbodiesel engine that promises fuel consumption of 4.1L/100km and CO2 emissions of less than 109g/km. Onto the GLC, the most powerful is the GLC 250 4MATIC with its 2.0L turbo engine producing 211PS of power and 350Nm of torque. 0-100kph takes 7.3 seconds and onwards to 222kph. Economical in the range? For now, it's the GLC 220 d 4MATC with its 2.1L diesel engine that promises combined fuel consumption of 5.0l/100km and CO2 emissions of less than 129g/km/

In comparison, looks like the new X1 bags it but the battle goes on for the GLC because pretty soon, it will unveil a more powerful AMG version as well as a more economical PHEV variant next year.

2016 BMW X1
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

In terms of pricing, these two German luxury crossovers are giving customers the stiff neck because the new X1 starts at 29,950 Euros while the new GLC starts at 44,506 Euros, meaning the X1 is a lot cheaper to own than the GLC but the question is, why would you want to have one? At either way, in its front-wheel drive state, both of these crossovers aren't what you call good but with four-wheel drive implemented, these crossovers synched to their lifestyles. Whether if its in tarmac, gravel, or snow, you would knew nothing would go wrong with them until its moody dynamics get the better of you. Try both and you decide.

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