Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Ever since finishing the Harry Potter books from The Sorcerer's Stone to The Deathly Hallows, author J.K. Rowling wanted to expand the world of Harry Potter even further  and that meant introducing Pottermores a spin-off based on a textbook every Hogwarts student read. Called Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, this spin-off prequel film takes fans to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Fantastic Beasts
and Where To Find Them

Before explaining what the movie's all about, let's talk about this spin-off because following the success of the Harry Potter books, some spin-off books were published by J.K. Rowling for charity benefits. Quidditch Through the Ages and this one was published for the benefit of Comic Relief, the other one, called The Tales of Beedle the Bard for the benefit of Lumos. It's a long story but let's talk about the film, shall we? Okay, it's about Newt Scamander, a magizoologist taking a time off in New York until his magic case was misplaced and some of his "fantastic beasts" escaped, causing chaos through the streets of New York City. This is where the adventure begins seven decades before Harry Potter read this book.

For some ordinary folks or Muggles alike, Fantastic Beasts looks a bit basic for a fantasy film but it's good from start to finish. Although this film can be summed up to be sub-par for the ordinary viewers, it can be somewhat enjoyable to watch for those who are big fans of the Harry Potter franchise because Fantastic Beasts is set seven decades before the Harry Potter saga began so fans can truly understand where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

It's enjoyable if they see them being attacked by a Manticore but rest assured that even though this film is basic and good, Fantastic Beasts is a worthwhile contender of becoming one of the best films of the 2016 autumn season and who to blame them? It's the fans to blame for its wishful thinking to give Pottermores a little more time to stay in the world of Harry Potter.

My rating: 3.9 out of 5

Bubble Gang - November 18, 2016 #BGJungleBelles

On the November 18th, 2016 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Christmas decor gags

- A shocking interview from a doctor about a new kind of virus

- The Jungle Belles are bracing for the land's wrath!

- In another EnKangTodo, the Hangres are facing with a man destined to ruin themselves!

- Istambay, Istambay Sa Looban, Lapit Na Kahit Taga-Labasan, Kwento Natin Ngayon ay Pakinggan, Maglalabasa ng...KALOKOHAN!!!

- More PPAP spoofs from Taran Taro!

- Mas Pinabonggang Sumbong Sumbong Kay Bonggang Bonggang Bongbong takes on those who are posting pics on taping day as an extra, people dressing casual outfits at home while doing selfies, and people posting stuff about money they earned from their networking business.

- A new meaning to barber talk

- Lie In Clinic

- Basa-basa-pik!

The Grand Tour - Episode 1

The Grand Tour Episode 1

Amazon's Original Series, The Grand Tour, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, is here and those Prime subscribers finally got what they really deserved; a motoring show featuring three familiar faces in a sequence of driving fast cars, rhetorics, and the usual toilet humor in store for them. I know that motorists really missed those three ever since they left the BBC and Top Gear following last year's incident but with their new show now available for streaming for Amazon customers, this is a clear reminder why everyone should subscribe to Amazon Prime to watch this new show.

In the pilot episode's intro, viewers witness Jeremy Clarkson leaving his mediocre life from the UK, with references of him being fired by the BBC and Top Gear following last year's incident, and then went to California, driving with a modified Ford Mustang on the highway. Alongside Clarkson are Hammond and May, also driving Mustangs, and as they past through the desert full of cars, they've reached the set to welcome the audience. That's where The Grand Tour begin as within the next twelve episodes, they will travel across the globe with a different location every week. California's their first stop but next week's location is worth guessing so watch for it.

Anyway, in the pilot episode, the trio are driving the Hybrid Hypercar Trio; the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 Spyder, and the Ferrari LaFerrari (which is deemed unusable in current conditions) round Algarve in Portugal to see which one is the best. With the help of racing driver Jerome d'Ambrosio, it's clear that in the end, the 918 is the best of the three and with Clarkson's wager, he lost his house because if the P1 is slower than the rest, he will let them blow his home off.

Meanwhile, Clarkson introduced the viewers to the undisclosed test track jokingly called the "Ebola-drome" because the track layout looks similar to the Ebola virus and with odd corner names like the "Isn't Straight", "Your Name Here", and "Grandma's House" as well as deadly traps such as an electric fence, animals, and a hidden unexploded bomb. In the track's first outing, Clarkson tries out the brand new BMW M2 and later hand it over to "The American" Mike Skinner, infamous for calling non-American cars "communists".

Cars aside, the gang are buying the show some time with some segments called Conversation Street, where they keep sharing secrets about what's going on around here, and Celebrity Braincrash where guest celebs getting themselves "killed" on set. Jeremy Renner, Armie Hammer, and Carol Vorderman got themselves "killed" on the set or so the viewers thought. Whatever that is, let's hope they done this in a fictitious or parodius manner.

So, for a new show, it still harbors the same formula motorists expected from these three during their Top Gear years and with all the fast cars and toilet humor mashed up to this show, The Grand Tour is a main reason why there are huge loyalists of Clarkson, Hammond, and May elsewhere who will follow them wherever they go. Although this is by no means a vivid contrast compared to today's Top Gear, The Grand Tour really is a step forward for the fans, young and old alike, and let's give Amazon a huge thanks for this exciting new show to get ourselves ready for the weekends.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Let's Do The News! (November 18, 2016)

- President Rodrigo Duterte has arrived at Peru to attend the annual APEC Summit this weekend, his first engagement as chief executive outside Asia. Duterte is expected to meet other world leaders as well as Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping but details are still being threshed out.

- According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, they were instructed to keep the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos a secret. The AFP was given very short notice yesterday which was followed by a "flurry of activity and coordination.

- Ilocos North Governor Imee Marcos said her father's last wish was fulfilled when his remains were buried at the LNMB in Taguig City.

- US President-Elect Donald Trump met up with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his first foreign visit since winning the elections. Abe convinced that he can build a relations based on trust with Trump.

- Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan will not travel to Stockholm on the 10th of December to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Members of the Swedish Academy issued a statement on Wednesday to say Dylan notified them of his decision in a letter due to his pre-existing commitments but he feels extremely honored by the Nobel Prized and wished he could receive it personally.

- Shareholders officially approved the Tesla-SolarCity merger, According to Tesla's website, the car company says "Excluding the votes of Elon [Musk] and other affiliated shareholders, more than 85 percent of shares voted were cast in favor of the acquisition. With SolarCity's shareholders also having approved the acquisition, the transaction will be completed in the coming days."

- The Chevrolet Bolt EV won the 2017 Green Car of the Year.

- Over 10 million copies of the recently released Pokemon Sun and Moon games were shipped.

- Kotobukiya's Cupoche line of poseable figures just added THE IDOLM@STER's Takane Shijou to the range, this time in her Platinum Stars attire. To be delivered this April, she's available to pre-order for 4,800 Yen.

Platinum Stars Takane Shijou

- The first teaser of their upcoming JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Diamond is Unbreakable film is up, featuring the cast in the press conference as well as the film's Summer 2017 release.


The "sudden" burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos

Ferdinand E. Marcos

November 18, 2016 - The remains of the late Filipino dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, were buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in a "surprise" ceremony despite petitions rooting against the decision to bury the late dictator to the said cemetery following his crimes in human rights.

The sudden burial comes following the Supreme Court decision dismissing petitions asking for it to be blocked for being illegal and for being an insult to the victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos administration.

Once a soldier who served for the Philippine Army during the Second World War with controversial reports about his awards and accolades during his service, Marcos made more schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, and other infrastructure than any other former president, long before his infamous martial law of 1972. In the aftermath of Martial Law, the Philippine's GNP was four times greater than 1972 and made one of the most indebted countries in Asia by 1986. Following the 1986 People Power Revolution, Marcos was ousted from power by Corazon Aquino.

Today's Philippine President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte vowed during the election campaign that he would have Marcos buried at the military cemetery and that decision to bury Marcos did not violate international laws or go beyond his authority by ordering the burial.

Following the "sudden" burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos, most Filipinos have condemned the surprise burial at the LNMB, in fact they are so disgusted from what happened today, although there are a few people who believed that the Marcos burial is the only way to unify the deeply divided country or so they thought. Whatever that is, witnessing a dictator's sudden burial maybe the first to happen here but this isn't the first to happened on a global scale.

If you look at social studies, you can see that even the world's most infamous strongmen in history, no matter how many crimes they committed during their rule, can still get buried because, while this is an excuse made up by some, no matter how powerful they are, no matter how gruesome their rule are, they are still human.

The trauma the people who lived during the Marcos era they felt, after witnessing the sudden burial, is very troublesome and while they are adamantly resisting the sudden Marcos burial, rest assured that how the Filipinos react over the Marcos burial is anyone's guess but I'm sure that even the youngest of Filipinos, whose relatives have survived the brutal 21-year-rule of Marcos, are refusing the results and are adamantly resisting. Whatever that is, it's just one of the many ways why history in the Philippines is becoming louder than it gets and so is the world affairs its getting. Of course, it's a loud, loud, loud, loud history after all.

Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon

The Pocket Monsters (PokéMon) franchise is now on its 20th anniversary since the launch of the first Red and Green games in Japan since 1996 and fans from around the world done many ways to honor the hit franchise's 20th anniversary as a whole. From the games, the TV show, the movies, spin-offs, and merchandising rights, fans have endless ways to honor PokéMon's 20th anniversary and here it is, the ultimate birthday present to the franchise we all know and love has arrived and the all-new PokéMon Sun and Moon games for the 3DS are here to usher us to the next generation of the hit franchise.

Pocket Monsters Sun
Pocket Monsters Moon

So, here we are, twenty years of PokéMon and it goes now as in this brand new installment, players are ready to step on the tropical Alola Region as they are ready to take on new trials, capture new PokéMon, battle the best trainers in the region, avert an imminent threat, and discover the secrets of the Alola Region. Because this is an all-new game with all new PokéMon in store for them, you are introduced with three brand new starters to begin your Alolan quest. First, there's the Grass-and-Flying-type Rowlet, then there's the Fire-type Litten, and finally, there's the Water-type Popplio.

As you progress further, you will encounter more and more new Pokemon around this new region such as Grubbin, Pikipek, Togedemaru, Yungoos, Stufful, Type: Null, and others. Also, keep an eye out of Alolan versions of familiar PokéMon such as Exeggutor, Meowth, Dugtrio, Sandshrew, Vulpix, and others. They may look similar to the ones you remember back when you are kids but they're different in terms of type and their new brand of firepower in store for them. Oh, and if you see an Alolan Grimer and Alolan Muk, please hide the kids. They might be having nightmares about them.

Firepower aside, Pokemon Sun and Moon welcomes players to a whole new way of unleashing devastating attacks to the opposition. Called Z-Moves, a Pokemon must have the same variety of Z-Crystal he/she equipped on the Z-Ring in order to unleash it. There are different kinds of Z-Crystals to collect (depending on the version). Some are applicable to the PokéMon's type (like for example: Bloom Doom for Grass-types, Inferno Overdrive for Fire-types, Hydro Vortex for Water-types, and Gigavolt Havoc for Electric-types) and some are signature Z-moves for a specific PokéMon (like for example: Decidueye's Sinister Arrow Raid, Incineroar's Malicious Moonsault, Primarima's Oceanic Operetta, and Pikachu's Catastropika). 

Did you know that Z-Power can add special effects on status moves? That's right because with a Z-Power and a status move mixed in with them, you'll be gaining an upper advantage on battles. One inate example will be the worthless Splash attack. At first, nothing happened, but if you mixed in with a specific Z-Crystal, the result will be a triple boost to the Attack stat. Looks like who gets the last laugh now, huh? There are so many status moves that can be mixed from a Z-Power. Try it out! Who knows what's in store with those status moves you're familiar with.

The storyline of Sun and Moon is what critics called it "sacrilege" because instead of the usual gym battles and league battles, the new games are focused on trials where players have to complete specific tasks in order to proceed and then battle against the island's Kahunas. Since the Alola Region is comprised with four islands, there are four Kahunas to take on if you're good enough. Defeat the Kahuna and you can proceed to the next island. Be warned though that these new kind of challenges are not going to be easy so stay sharp because there might be surprises in store for you. Later on, you will be encountering more challenges such as collecting Zygarde cells and cores in order to unleash the legendary Order PokéMon Zygarde with three different forms.

Somewhere in the Alola Region, there are powerful entities that pose a huge threat to both mankind and PokéMon. They are known as "Ultra Beasts" and their relentless firepower are second to none. Worse, your capturing methods against these beasts are useless. What holds the mystery of these Ultra Beasts lies on a mysterious organization called the "Aether Foundation" and this organization could be the key to uncover the Ultra Beasts and how to face off with these along with its brutal firepower.

If you need to take a break from the game, you can always check out the new Festival Plaza feature, which is unlockable after you progress through the game. The Festival Plaza feature allows players to trade, battle, do favors, go co-op, shop, and more. There are so many ways to enjoy in the Festival Plaza.

If you have captured PokéMon stored in the PC, don't worry because these PokéMon will not go to waste because of the brand new Poké Pelago feature. With this new feature, PokéMon stored in the PC can go exploring, play, and enjoy other activities. You can even get PokéMon as well. The more PokéMon on the PC you send to the Poké Pelago, the more facilities can be expanded and you will be able to do extra stuff such as finding rare items, raising PokéMon on the go, and more. Isn't science convenient?

Stuff you are familiar back from the Kalos quest of XY are back on Sun and Moon such as personalizing your trainer with various outfits and accessories. Personalization will make your trainer look unique as you show it to the others. The PokéMonAmie from XY has now been upgraded and it's now called PokéMon Refresh. In here, you can tidy up your PokéMon after a battle, heal status conditions, feed Poké Beans, and more, just to boost your PokéMon's friendliness. Simple as that.

There are different ways to search for PokéMon throughout the Alola Region. First, there's the Poké Finder feature on your Rotom PokéDex. Using Rotom PokéDex's camera, you can take photos of PokéMon you find. The better your shots, the better chances this feature will be upgraded such as the zoom in feature. Later, you will be able to use the brand new QR Scanner feature, which allows players to scan specific QR codes to meet new PokéMon.

In the past, trainers rely on using Hidden Machines to their PokéMon to do specific tasks, but here in Sun and Moon, there's a brand new Poké Ride feature which allows users to summon certain PokéMon to get through hard to reach areas by land, air, or sea. Convenient, isn't it? Beats HMs of the past by a long shot so feel free to summon them when you need it.

PokéMon Trainer battles usually comprised of Single, Double, or Triple battles, among many other ways to battle, but here in Sun and Moon, there's a new battle feature called Battle Royal and by far this new battle format will be the most unpredictable format ever because you never know who will strike first and telling the difference between a friend and a foe. But still, it's everyone's game so take some time to learn and master this difficult battle format by yourself or with your mates.

Also new in Sun and Moon is the brand new Hyper Training. In the past, PokéMon grew stronger by increasing their levels and their base stats but their stats are affected by the individual strengths. With Hyper Training, any PokéMon that reached the max level will be able to train their specific strengths beyond limits. All you need is a Bottle Cap and bring it to a specific someone who can train your PokéMon beyond limits with Hyper Training. Be warned though that results might not be typical to your averaged maxed-out PokéMon.

Since this new installment is comprised with two different versions, you can expect differences between the two games, Of course, the legendary Solgaleo is exclusive to Sun while the legendary Lunala is for Moon, apart from the 12-hour differences, there are PokéMon exclusive to each version, especially the Ultra Beasts you will encounter later on. One bizarre difference is how Rockruff evolves into Lycanroc and that's because in Pokemon Sun, Rockruff evolves to Lycanroc in its Midday Forme, while in Pokemon Moon, Rockruff evolves to Lycanroc, this time in Midnight Forme. So, because there are differences between the two versions, one major way to complete the Alola (and later National) Pokédex is by trading, either here or online via the GTS.

In honor of the launch of the two games, there are three special PokéMon in store for the fans. First, there's the pre-order bonus Munchlax which comes with a Snorilum Z crystal. Once evolved to Snorlax, you can unleash Snorlax's signature Z-move, Pulverizing Pancake. Second, there's the mythical PokéMon Magearna, the star from last summer's PokéMon The Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel. If you're in Japan and if you got a special Magearna card for use in the PokéMon Ga-ole arcade game, use the QR Scanner (when unlocked post-game) on the card's QR code to get the mythical PokéMon. For international users, wait for further instructions on how to get Magearna via QR code. And lastly, there's Ash-Greninja from the recently concluded PokéMon The Series XYZ TV show. First played on the special demo, it can now be transferred to the main game. Ash's Greninja comes with a signature Battle Bond ability. When Greninja knocks out the enemy PokéMon, it transforms into Ash-Greninja and its Water Shuriken attack's becoming more powerful. Just be sure to have the cleared Special Demo data in your 3DS in order to do so.

Next year, the PokéMon Bank app will be upgraded and the PokéMon you worked so hard to train on XY and ORAS can now be transferred to Sun and Moon. Which means, its time to complete the National PokéDex once again! Who's up for the challenge? Well, don't rush though because while this is a new game, take your time to fill up the PokéDex while training them to be battle-ready.

So, I think that's all to say about the new installment and I didn't realized it was that long to tell you about Sun and Moon. Because this is the biggest birthday gift for the PokéMon franchise's 20th anniversary, this is more than enough to celebrate two decades of catching them all. From trading, battling, and sharing their favorite PokéMon moments, these moments have been the hallmark of the PokéMon franchise and with PokéMon Sun and Moon, a new chapter is about to be written to the history books as twenty years of PokéMon payed off to deliver a brand new experience for fans, veterans and newcomers alike.

Say Aloha to your next PokéMon adventure to the Alola Region. Everyone's waiting for you.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


There's a brand new CINDERELLA MASTER CD inspired from the popular THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls sub-franchise and following the success from previous CINDERELLA MASTER CDs, the latest installment, titled "Take me☆Take you", is a clear reminder why we all love the Cinderella Girls even more.

Take me☆Take you

The cover girls of the latest CINDERELLA MASTER album are Kaede Takagaki (CV: Saori Hayami), Miyu Mifune (CV: Sayaka Harata), Nono Morikubo (CV: Karin Takahashi), Uzuki Shimamura (CV: Ayaka Ohashi), Nana Abe (CV: Marie Miyake), Miku Maekawa (CV: Natsumi Takamori), Yoshino Yorita (CV: Yuuki Takada), Mio Honda (CV: Sayuri Hara), and Shin Sato (CV: Yumiri Hanamori). In this installment, two brand new tracks are featured such as the titular song as well as キミのそばでずっと. There's also a drama part starring the cover girls of this CD in their new adventure unheard in the world of Cinderella Girls, buying you some time to enjoy their latest idol adventures behind the stage.

Experience the latest installment of the CINDERELLA MASTER range at the comfort at your living room because once you get in, you can't stop enjoying it as much as the other installments inspired from the hit sub-franchise of THE IDOLM@STER.

01 Take me☆Take you
02 キミのそばでずっと
03 ドラマ「シャイニーナンバーズ 特別編」
04 Take me☆Take you オリジナル・カラオケ
05 キミのそばでずっと オリジナル・カラオケ

Let's Do The News! (November 17, 2016)

- The Sandiganbayan cleared the charges on former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay, the wife of the former VP Jejomar Binay, and two others in the 13.2 million peso graft case over the purchase of allegedly overpriced furniture for city hall.

- Recent Social Weather Stations survey showed that Filipinos rated the Duterte administration a "very good" net satisfaction rating as giving the government's war on drugs an "excellent" rating.

- The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said that defeated VP candidate and former senator Bongbong Marcos has previously failed to establish his case over electoral fraud against the COMELEC and should stop. According to Robredo's lawyer, Marcos' complaint filed at the Manila Prosecutor's Office was earlier dismissed due to lack of evidence.

- Actor Robin Padilla has been given by President Duterte an absolute and unconditional pardon, according to Palace officials. Which means that the action star is now able to run for any public office as well as his right to vote.

- The Department of Health wants e-cigarettes and vapes to be covered by the government's campaign against smoking, meaning that they could be included in the public smoking ban.

- Believe it or not, Mazda once made an open-top "parade car" based on the current-generation Mazda Atenza/6 used on the parade for the Hiroshima Carps baseball team.

Mazda Atenza parade car

- The second Love Live Sunshine Nendoroid is finally revealed, this time it's You Watanabe! This Nendoroid based on a character who appeared from the hit TV series is available to order starting at 3,241 Yen plus tax and delivers this May.

Nendoroid You Watanabe

- If you're a fan of THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, you'll going to love Max Factory's offering. This Halloween Nightmare figure of Koume Shirasaka can be yours to order starting at 14,815 Yen plus tax and will be delivered this September 2017.

Koume Shirasaka
Halloween Nightmare Ver.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let's Do The News! (November 16, 2016)

- President Rodrigo Duterte has congratulated US President-Elect Donald Trump for a "well-deserved victory" and says he's very excited to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the upcoming APEC summit in Peru.

- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV reacted to President Duterte's statement that martial law is a "contingency to meet widespread violence". He condemned Duterte for failing to curb the drug problem which he promised to fulfill within three to six months in office.

- Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that the testimonies Ronnie Dayan and Kerwin Espinosa will make the case against Senator Leila de Lima airtight but also said the cause is strong as it is.

- Retirees will receive an additional 2,000 pesos to their monthly Social Security System pension on a staggered basis - the first half in January 2017 and the second tranche in 2020. The committee approved the reported regarding the pension hike.

- Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is seen as the favorable pick for the next US Secretary of State in the imminent Trump administration, according to a senior official.

- ICYMI: the massive sinkhole that struck the roads of downtown Fukuoka, Japan, has been fixed a week later and was later reopened.

- The second-generation Mazda CX-5 crossover has been unveiled before this month's LA Auto Show premiere. New looks aside, it still retains the SKYACTIV Technology knowhow from the previous model.

2017 Mazda CX-5

- The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet was unveiled before its LA Auto Show premiere and it's expected to be sold next year. The luxurious open-top grand tourer is powered by a 6.0L V12 engine producing 630HP of power, while mated with a 7G-TRONIC gearbox.

2017 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet

- Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish S, a facelifted Vanquish with an improved 6.0L V12 engine producing 600PS of power while mated with a 8-speed gearbox and other improvements to its dynamics.

2017 Aston Martin Vanquish S
- What's comedian Conan O'Brien's take on the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game? Take a look...


15 Years of XBOX

The 14th of November, 2001, a year after Sony launched the PS2, 10 months since then-President George W. Bush took office in the White House, and two months after series of attacks on American soil. Microsoft's CEO Bill Gates thrown the gauntlet as he told the gaming world that Microsoft accepted their challenge to create their very own gaming console we know as the XBOX. The year 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the XBOX console gaming as a whole and with the XBOX spawned three different generations from the first one, to the XBOX 360 of 2005, up to 2013's XBOX One, 15 years of progress have shown that Microsoft accomplished their goal to create a gaming console to up the ante in the console gaming revolution.

So, 15 years of XBOX, and as the world honors the XBOX's 15th anniversary with loads of memories of their favorite XBOX hits such as HALO, Forza Motorsport, Gears of War, Project Gotham Racing, and many others, rest assured that the original XBOX cannot be forgotten and let's investigate Microsoft's entry to the console gaming revolution, back in the time when the Dreamcast is fading away while the Gamecube and PS2 are surging like a power surge.

It all began with a project involving numerous laptops disintegrated into pieces following Microsoft's cooperation with SEGA to support Windows CE on the Dreamcast. After its cooperation with SEGA in terms of network connectivity to a short-lived console, the XBOX was born and its innovative features set a template to future gaming consoles to come.

Although the Sega Dreamcast is the first console to provide online connectivity, the XBOX pushed online connectivity further with a fee-based XBOX Live service launched a year later, allowing its subscribers to play multiplayer games and download new content via broadband connection. It was the first to offer an 8GB or 10GB HDD, which eliminates the dependent use of memory cards like what the PS2, the Dreamcast, and the GameCube do. Whereas the Dreamcast failed, the XBOX rose to prominence and such success was carried out to its successors such as 2005's XBOX 360 and 2013's XBOX One.

For the past fifteen years, the XBOX garnered 222,468,423 players, 100,539,390,670 total gaming hours, 29,000,304,183 total multiplayer hours, 32,667,582,157 achievements unlocked, 572,605,554,587 Gamerscores (with the highest gamerscore is a legendary 1,416,465), and 4,233,891,482 friends made. With hit XBOX greats like HALO and Forza Motorsport, there's more to celebrate 15 years of XBOX by whatever means necessary.

Cheers, XBOX! And here's for another 15 more years!

Forza Horizon 3: Tricolore

The Lamborghini Aventador, the Pagani Huayra, and the Ferrari F12. They are the three kings of the Italian exotic hierarchy and when these three Italian V12 kings face each other, they can all see their true selves. When it comes to measure its styling, performance, and how a driver behaves, it's everyone's guess because while these cars reign the supercar realm by its iron fist approach, what they differ is how they perform as a car made for the elite few.

Of course, I did record a little message about something regarding these three kings of the exotic realm. Shall I play the tape for your understanding? Time for a message playback on what I said about these three from a distant past.

(clicks button)

The F12 maybe the most powerful of the three but because the F12 is a class apart from these two, apart from the fact that both the Lambo and the Huayra are mid-engined royalties, it can't just storm in recklessly because despite its power advantage, its drivetrain is what confuses these two. Although the Aventador and the Huayra's V12 engine produces the similar power output, the Aventador is the most fun car to drive because its ancient engine sounds so natural to our ears (because it's naturally aspirated), its gearbox is so fun to shift than double clutches, and overall, it's so generous to drive even if you're not paying attention. The Huayra, though, even though it's a rear-wheel drive scaremonger, is just plain serious. Serious about getting the best lap times with its capabilities as a track weapon and a grand tourer in its own right.

Okay, now that you get the idea, let's translate these words into action and since this is FH3, a certain area from the Outback that was onced used for street racing purposes in mind was made to see how good these three are. As always, fastest time wins so let's hit these three kings on the outback roads.

And now, the results...

F12 - 2:29.383
Aventador - 2:25.779
Huayra - 2:23.577

It's amazing that even though the rivalry between the prancing horse and the raging bull is still as hot as Vesuvius, the outsider from Modena that is Pagani is still reigning as hard as a gladiator in a Roman coliseum, beating both the horses and the bulls. Sounds rhetorical but because no Italian supercar maker does it better than the hands of Pagani, the Huayra is a clear example why an exquisite underdog like Pagani can outlash the likes of the more established ones like Lamborghini and Ferrari. This battle between these three maybe over...

...but the so-called Holy Trinity of Italian supercar hierarchy got something special in store. So, what's it going to be? You'll find out later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

FIA Formula E 2016-2017: Marrakesh

As Marrakesh, Morocco held their annual Climate Change Conference, the second round of the FIA Formula E championship is using the conference's hosting city as an opportunity to promote the future of zero emission motorsport to the global masses and while using the climate change conference as a marketing ploy to promote the FIA Formula E Championship, the second round have been quite a blast for the racers and spectators alike, especially when two cars engaging on a close-quarters combat for the desired spot.

Sebastian Buemi from the Renault e.Dams team is the winner of this race while DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird finished second and Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist finished 3rd.


The next race will be set on Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the 18th of February, 2017.

Let's Do The News! (November 15, 2016)

- Danilo Concepcion, the dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law was named as the national university's president. The 11-member UP Board of Regents voted for Concepcion to replace Alfredo Pascual who will end his six-year team on February 2017. Concepcion is also the executive director of the UP Bonifacio Global City campus, which hosts graduate classes of various colleges.

- President Rodrigo Duterte gives a green light on the Philippine National Police to proceed with its firearms procurement from the United States. PNP chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said yesterday the President approved the deal during last week's Malaysian trip.

- Senator Leila de Lima admitted her relationship with her former driver, Ronnie Dayan, but denied other allegations linking her to the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison grounds.

- US President-Elect Donald Trump's appointment of former Breitbart News president Steve Bannon as his chief strategist sparks fury as Breitbart news was known for causing conspiracy theorists and became the forefront of the "alt-right" movements. If that wasn't enough, Trump even gave thanks to the infamous conspiracy theorist and Infowars presenter Alex Jones.

- More quakes continue to rattle New Zealand following a powerful tremor struck the South Island. The magnitude 7.8 quake struck early Monday and triggered tsunami waves of up to 1.5 meters were observed about 40 minutes later along the coast of Kaikoura. Two people are confirmed dead as of this writing.

- After its global success, the first-ever Ford EcoSport compact crossover has finally arrived in the USA and it will make appearance at this year's LA Auto Show. The new EcoSport is powered by a choice of either a 1.0L three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost or 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, mated with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Sales will commence in early 2018.

2018 Ford EcoSport

- Jaguar showcases its I-PACE electric crossover before its LA Auto Show premiere. Previewing its first ever electric car coming in the near future, the I-Pace concept features two electric motors that can produce over 400PS of power and 700Nm of torque.

2016 Jaguar I-PACE Concept

- New Pokemon Sun and Moon info on the radar! The starters' final evolved forms are getting their signature Z-moves, status moves giving Z-move special effects, Alolan Diglett and Alolan Dugtrio, new Ultra Beasts, and more! The full story will be out when the games will be released on November 18.

- The first trailer for next year's live action rebirth of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is now up. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. It's set to hit theaters on the 17th of March.


F1 2016 - Brazilian GP

Photo: Associated Press

Despite the heavy rainfall pouring in at Brazil's Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, the penultimate round at this year's Formula One season is just one of the most definite examples of the ongoing struggle between the aces of Mercedes-AMG, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, as the race to the championship title draws near until only one stands tall among the rest.

Scoring his 52nd win in his career, Lewis Hamilton survived the heavy rainfall and won the race while Red Bull's grassroots driver Max Verstappen, following his tire change, placed 2nd, and Rosberg's in 3rd place.

Despite his win, Hamilton's now 12 points behind Rosberg, making it too close to call, and the finale, set in Abu Dhabi within the next two weeks, will decide who files or falls from grace. Watch for it.

Forza Horizon 3: Ready Go, FR.

We already got our hands on the S14 Nissan Silvia as an event car back at last month's Forzathon event but the S14 we got was a "Zenki" S14 Silvia and fans from around the world demanded a late-model S14 Silvia, referred to as a "Kouki" S14 Silvia to be here in Horizon 3. They've been demanding this ride since the birth of the Forza franchise a decade ago and at long last, it's here and its ready to shred some tires.

The "Kouki" S14 Silvia, from Forza Horizon 3's Alpinestars Car Pack, is by no means one of the most demanded rides in the history of Forza and now that's finally here, fans can't wait to try out a car that remains a hit among speedo boys worldwide for its drifting reputation and its Frankenstein tuning that no one saw it coming.

Let me give you a quick story about how those Frankenstein creations to their JDM sportscars became a speedo boys' trend. You see a long time ago, speedo boys from Japan created a machine called a "Sileighty" which is an 180SX with a Silvia's front end on it. Thanks to the Sileighty, speedo boys from across the world are doing that kind of stuff and the S14 is no exception. If you went to a drifting competition a long time ago, you may have encounter an S14 with an S15's front face on it, which is a mashup between two different generations no one can tell the difference between those two, and what you see is a fine example of how speedo boys doing Frankenstein stuff on their sportscars not just for show but for their "bravado" manner as speedo boys who are good at drifting with their Asian sportscars.

For further explanation about how the S14 "Kouki" Silvia became a hit among speedo boys who can bend it like Frankenstein, there is a special Rocket Bunny "Boss" kit offered on this S14 Kouki and with this kind of body kit, the S14 Kouki's front face looks similar to American muscle cars while delivering a stance with a capital S. That will be enough to appeal speedo boys who love to drive the best 90's Japanese sports cars in history. You can thank Rocket Bunny's Miura-san for that later but for now, I'm off to some shooting with this car and it's time for the S14 Kouki with the Rocket Bunny Boss kit to do some action!

Ready Go, FR.

So, there you are. If you got an S14 Zenki Silvia from a special event and if you're unhappy with it, look no further than driving the S14 Kouki Silvia Down Under. The differences between them can be slight but as you keep enjoying with these two, you will know the real deal. If you like both the S14 Silvias, feel free to drive different Asian sportscars offered in-game and how you live it up to their reputations is up to you.

Until then, sayonara!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Forza Horizon 3: Showcase Me!

Ah, showcase events. The hallmark of every Horizon Festival masterpiece that traces back since the original Horizon in Colorado. It's about advanced challenges where one car versus a different kind of transportation be it by land, air, and sea, and here in Forza Horizon 3, this is like taking on a boss battle of some sorts.

In the beginning, you're driving The Cholla against a helicopter carrying an old Jeep, and as you gain more and more fans, you will be able to take on another showcase event after another. There are five showcase events occurred Down Under and since I already mentioned the first one, the next one involves a Camaro Z/28 versus a steam locomotive, a Trophy Truck versus jetskis, a Lamborghni Centenario versus a VTOL jump jet, and the final showcase involves a Polaris RZR up against a blimp.

I already cleared all of the events, although I forgot to film the whole action by myself. So what I'm doing now is to redo most of the events and film it so I can make myself a compilation of all five showcase events, which are indefinite proof that I am running the best festival ever.

Ready to check out my greatest hits? Roll the VTR!

Ah, clearing the final showcase in the game. I know that this may sound like a happy ending for me but I'm not done yet because while I already cleared the big finale, there are still roads to travel, cars to drive, people to meet, challenges to take on, and so on. Man, everything around Down Under really brings out the many personalities of me and with so much things to do in so little time, I feel like I am not resting down my laurels and keep moving forward to keep this show going on as long as I like.

For now, I would like to keep duck, dodge, push, and shove for more because things are about to get LOUD. So, whaddya say? Ready to hit the trail some more?

Super GT 2016 FINALE

Under certain circumstances, the season finale of Autobacs Super GT is a two-parter held at the Twin Ring Motegi. The main reason why it's a two-part finale is because that third round, which is supposed to be held at the Autopolis (which is near the quake-struck Kumamoto Prefecture) was suspended and therefore, making the final round a two-parter to ensure that this season remains an eight-round event as planned.

Check out the highlights of this epic two-part finale of the 2016 Super GT season.

In part one, the winner in the GT500 class goes to the #24 Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R, driven by Daiki Sasaki and Masataka Yanagida, while the winner in the GT300 class goes to the #21 Hitotsuyama Audi R8 LMS, driven by Richard Lyons and Tomonobu Fujii. In part two, the #39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD RC F, driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate, won the GT500 class while the #25 VivaC 86 MC, driven by Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui, won the GT300 class.

Still, the champions of the Autobacs Super GT 2016 Series go to the #39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD RC F, driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate, for the GT500 class and the #25 VivaC 86 MC, driven by Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui, for the GT300 class. It really was a winner take all finale, after all, huh?

Anyway, this concludes the AUTOBACS Super GT 2016 Series. See you next season.

Let's Do The News! (November 14, 2016)

- According to a UP professor, US President-Elect Donald Trump may adapt "peace through strength" policy in the Asia-Pacific region. Jay Batongbacal, director of the UP Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea said than an imminent Trump administration indicates such policy and added that the United States would focus less on the economic aspect and would be open to a so-called "grand bargain" with China.

- President Rodrigo Duterte may hold two to four bilateral meets on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Peru. According to a foreign affairs official, nothing is final yet regarding the meetings, which are dependent on the availability of Duterte and other world leaders.

- PNP Police Director General Bato Dela Rosa is willing to be imprisoned if it turns out he broke the law by going on a trip to Las Vegas to see the Pacquiao-Vargas fight. Dela Rosa admitted that Senator Manny Pacquiao paid for everything when he and his family flew to Las Vegas to watch his recent fight against Jessie Vargas.

- The University of the Philippines will vote tomorrow for its next president, who will succeed Alfredo Pascual whose six-year term ends in February 2017. The 11-member UP Board of Regents, will select the next UP president during a special meeting at the Diliman campus. They will choose among six nominees, who are expected to face the regents prior to the election.

- A strong quake rattled the South Island of New Zealand early Monday, shaking residents awake, causing damage to buildings and triggered small tsunami waves. The M7.8 quake struck just after midnight in a mostly rural area close to the city of Christchurch. So far, no reports of injuries but it reminded them of a M6.3 quake that hit Christchurch five years ago and killed 185 people, making it the worst disasters in New Zealand.

- Check out what's in store with the brand new Love Live School Idol Festival ~afterschool Activity~ arcade game, set to arrive this December, including smartphone app connectivity as well as printing real cards for your collection! Now, where did they get that idea from?

- The first teaser trailer for the live-action Ghost in the Shell film starring actress Scarlett Johansson as the Major is now up and running.

- In case you missed the recent Eat Bulaga Kalyeserye, that "positive" the lolas are talking about regarding Maine Mendoza could only mean one thing...


Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet

Back in 2014, Mercedes-Benz made their first-ever S-Class Coupe to serve as the replacement to the CL-Class, which was based from the previous S-Class of yesteryears. Although being a two-door flagship grand tourer derivative of Mercedes' flagship saloon, the S-Class Coupe has been the potent pugilist against Bentley's Continental GT in terms of pricing but only those Marquises and Marchionesses who owned it will live up to their tales. Now, there's an open-top version that is all about business and leisure all day long.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet

Say hello to the first-ever S-Class Cabriolet from Mercedes-Benz and by the looks of it, this open-top grand tourer is about Great Ocean Road meets Wall Street from one place to another, but this grand tourer can rest its case, even though its super-expensive 139,885 Euro pricing stuns the Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

Of course, being convertibles, they can weigh more than its hardtop equivalents but in a normal S500 Cabriolet, with the 4.7L V8 engine connected with the 9G-TRONIC gearbox, developing 455PS of power and 700Nm of torque, it can get out from 0 to 100kph in 4.6 seconds, which is .4 seconds quicker than the Continental GT V8 Convertible, but sadly, the Benz is electronically limited to 250kph.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet
2017 Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet

Although, if any high rollers want to up the ante, they can go with two powerful AMG versions; the S63 Cabriolet or the S65 Cabriolet. This should give them plenty of oomph to give the opposition a run on their briefcases load of cash from Fifth Avenue to Verrazano Bridge. While the S63 Cabriolet uses the soon-to-be-rot 5.5L V8 BiTurbo engine producing 585PS of power output, its 0-100kph time of 3.9 seconds will drown the CGT V8 S Convertible at the start line, although the option to limit its top speed of 300kph is a tad 8kph less than the CGT V8 S Convertible.

The S65 Cabriolet, with the turbocharged 6.0L V12 engine and with the SPEEDSHIFT PLUS gearbox, sees the CGT Speed Convertible as the target, and with its 630PS of power output, getting away from the Bentley .2 seconds quicker is an easy task but be warned because even with the optional package to increase its top speed limit, that will be 28kph less than what the CGT Speed Convertible can pull off. So, even with these open-top versions weighing more than their hardtop equivalents, the story remains the same although the price difference sets these rivals apart.

Hmmm, if you can recall how the S-Class Coupe handles, they can be very hard to handle due to its weight and in terms of dynamics, it's very challenging indeed if you're not careful with it. The same story goes to the open-top versions. Even though you can feel a slight difference due to its added weight from these open-top equivalents, it takes guts to get these cars from one point to another very carefully because they can tend to oversteer or understeer and looks like you're going to need a new artificial hip after that long struggle with these open-top grand tourers. Of course, if you're not in a mood to be as loud as a house with lots of kids inside, they can be very subtle and enjoyable to drive on the open road like smelling the fresh air from the Great Ocean Road.

With the first-ever cabriolet variant, there are different kinds of S-Class to choose from and whichever S-Class you choose is proof that you have the highest standards, a cut above the rest if you really understand what it means, but with stiffer competitions aside, looks like the S-Class range will going to be on a tough slob but if anyone's greedy enough to spend their briefcases load of money, look no further.

Photo: Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz E-Class W213 Estate

With the latest-generation Mercedes E-Class, the German carmaker is taking a path ahead to the autonomous driving trend by delivering its highly-advanced driver tech that is smart enough to track down roads with precise movements. A quantum leap through the better future of driving thanks to its clever intelligence planted in this sports saloon, if I recalled. So, what if you can get the same driving tech from the saloon while getting some more space in the trunk?

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

An estate version, to be exact. The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate delivers the same highly-advanced driver tech that is smart enough to track down roads with precise movements, only this time, with the added boot space big enough to load their lifestyles.

It's the same E-Class story inside out but because this is the new estate version, there are new stuff offered on this model such as the new EASY-PACK tailgate that can be opened and closed at the push of a button for better loading and unloading as well as the available KEYLESS-GO with HANDS-FREE ACCESS, which fits very well in various situations like your kid's afterschool football practice, your next grocery shopping, your next trip to the province, or whatever you see fit to this tech-savvy station wagon. Another features you can expect later on is the third, folding bench seat at the back as well as the rear-seat entertainment system that will keep kids staying on that "sweet spot" they've been saving for weeks. Although it's not just made to be a family car, its luxury car status will keep rich men leaving with their "out on a limo" feeling.

Because this is a station wagon version, it has a capacity of 670 to 1820 litres, making it the biggest in its class, courtesy of its 40:20:40 split foldable rear seats with various seating arrangements suitable for various situations.

Like the saloon, the new E-Class Estate features the DRIVE PILOT feature with Distance Pilot DISTRONIC allows the car to handle road types to keep it in the correct distance behind vehicles in front automatically as well as following them at speeds up to 210kph. It even comes with the Remote Parking Pilot feature, Car-to-X  communication, and PRE-SAFE as well, making it technologically ready for tomorrow's world.

Performance-wise, the estate version inherits the same engine choices from the saloon as well as the brand new 3.5L V6 turbo engine for the E400 4MATIC model that produces 333PS of power and 480Nm of torque, while mated to a 9G-TRONIC gearbox and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. PHEV and an AMG models will follow shortly post-launch. As for dynamics, the new E-Class Estate, inherited the same lighter and stiffer bodywork from the saloon as well as its Direct-Steer system, can track down corners with precise movements and it's a great wagon to take it on the highs and lows of the road, from workdays to day offs.

Should you buy one? The new E-Class Estate starts at 48,665 Euros, which is a pricing that slot between its rivals for its expense, but rest assured that with all that tech-savvy features inherited from the saloon, this station wagon version of the E-Class is here today, ready for tomorrow's roads.

Photo: Daimler AG

Monstrous fire hits rural Mandaluyong

A massive fire broke out in a rural part of Mandaluyong City on Sunday, as if the blaze looked like a scene from a Hollywood movie or something.

The blaze reached the highest level at 9:45 pm on Sunday, and was declared under control at 12:31 am on Monday, November 14. In response, all of the available firefighters have been dispatched to that matter.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Paris attacks - one year later...

Map Imagery from Google

November 13, 2015 - It was nighttime in Paris, France, when armed 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 République, 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.

According to reports, over 130 people were killed, making it the deadliest attack in France since World War II, and the Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the attacks. 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.

Right now, France has became one of the hotbeds of terrorist attacks led by the Islamic State militants followed by Belgium and Germany. It seems that the European Union failed to contain such deadly attacks led by these terrorists. With the rise of Donald Trump being elected as the 45th president of the United States, the world superpower, and with a French politician belonging to an anti-immigration party, named Marine Le Pen, is gunning for the presidential seat in France, it seems that things are taking in from bad to worse. With all that Islamic extremism taking the world affairs by storm, it's a loud, loud, loud, loud world after all and for us, the war on terror isn't just your everyday warfare. This is advanced warfare and we could be in for a long slob.

2016-2017 Seattle International Auto Show at CenturyLink Field Event Center

Despite all of what happened throughout the week, I still had my mood happy enough to go to the annual Seattle International Auto Show, held at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. This year's event runs until the 13th of November, 2016, and there are so many cool cars in store in this show. With so many cool cars in store, I got a chance to take pics of these cars to show all of you.

Check it out!

Full gallery:

My video footage:

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