Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Benefits of Being Barefoot

We have all been born barefoot. A long time ago, people have lived and survived without using protective footwear. But, today, because of technology and the many changes it brought, wearing shoes became an essential part of life. But beyond all the protection and the style shoes provide, we seem to have forgotten the significant benefits and sense of freedom being barefoot brings.


Shoes were first invented thousands of years ago—way back when people used to live in caves. Back then, they used animal hides and leather laces to protect their feet from the rough terrain. Millennia passed and the concept of shoes evolved in countless ways from its design, material, and even its uses. It became a necessity to shod oneself. However, no matter how things change, most people still prefer to do a lot of things barefoot. It is all because being barefoot is very comfortable. But, aside from the unrivaled relaxation being barefoot brings, it also has a considerable number of benefits, not just to the feet, but the body as a whole.

Doing activities barefoot brings a lot of advantages to the body’s flexibility and mobility. It allows people to exercise, stretch, relax, and strengthen muscles they normally don’t get to use when wearing shoes. Barefoot running also corrects the way people run—making them land on the balls of their feet—as compared to wearing rubber shoes which gives the tendency to land on the heels first. Landing on the heels of the feet releases more pressure and shock to legs and knees. Doing things barefoot also improves range of motion in ankles, feet, and toes because of movements that are more natural and free. It also heightens body awareness since the body has the sense of being freer than being shod. Balance and motion agility are also developed because doing things barefoot further stimulates the neurons and nerves that are essential to lower body movement. And because there are no heels to torture the foot heel and the ankle, it enhances natural posture and the alignment of the spine. And, most especially, it is much easier to relax and stretch after a workout if someone is barefoot.



Countless health benefits have been associated with being barefoot. That is why athletes, to attain better health and movement, prefer to do their sports without any footwear on. It is because when barefoot, movements become the movements of a child—playful and sensitive, yet purposeful and confident. A person experiences the unbound joy of stepping, hopping, and running across any surface on earth, simply to get from here to there. This is the reason why a lot of sports enthusiasts prefer to deal with their activities barefoot.

Numerous runners have been hitting the tracks without any shoes on because the benefits of running barefoot have long been supported by scientific research, coaches, and athletes who’ve offered ample evidence that training without shoes allows you to run faster and further with fewer injuries. Motion studies demonstrate that when running barefoot, one naturally lands on the forefoot, directly below the center of gravity. This results in optimum balance, increased stability, less impact, and greater propulsion.

Indeed, undertaking activities barefoot has a lot of benefits and advantages for the body. However, the feet—most especially those of the more active people—need to be protected from the many possibilities of injury. That is why some footwear are developed to mimic the feel and freedom of being barefoot. A good example would be the Vibram Five Fingers which is a proof that many people prefer to do things barefoot. With a slot for each of the toes, it actually gives all the freedom and feel of wearing no shoes on.

Many other innovations in footwear have been introduced into the market to make our feet as comfortable and relaxed as if barefoot. It is because it takes no genius to agree that—aside from the benefits of going barefoot—the feet has taken the humans a long long way and they deserve a break and the freedom.

The Vibram Five Fingers store is located at Level R1 Bridgeway in PowerPlant Mall, Rockwell. For inquiries, call (02) 513-1449 or e-mail marketing@barefootwearinc.com. You could also visit the official website at www.barefootwearinc.com.

 


The Typical Guy says: I've always wanted to try out the Vibram FiveFingers ever since I first found out about it years ago. Here's hoping the various models are affordable so that a lot of people can try this innovative pair of shoes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2onetwo Auto Care Pasig, you have lost a very, very loyal customer.

I went there last July 11 for my car's monthly double coating of wax while I had a late lunch at Charlie's Grind & Grill. When I came back to inspect the car after eating, there was this big, deep scratch mark on the driver's side rear quarter panel that went all the way down to the primer. 


Good job, 2onetwo Auto Care Pasig!

Ironically enough, the thickness of the scratch suggested that it was the rotary buffer's backing plate that caused it. Even the direction of the scratch is consistent with the left-to-right motion when one uses a rotary buffer on a car. I had the feeling the guy buffing my car wasn't that well-trained because while pulling the extension cord to buff the other side of my car, he left the rotary buffer on while pinning it under his armpit. Sure enough, his shirt got ripped in half after it got caught in the spinning buffer pad, leaving him with a couple of bruises on his arm and torso. 

Anyway, when I pointed out the scratch to the supervisor, he called the guy who buffed my car who said that it had been there a long time. I pointed out to them that I practically see the entire length of the driver's side of my car everyday since that's the exposed side in our garage so I'm very familiar with even the faintest scratch on that side, even if the car was covered in a week's worth of dust.  And as you can see, the size of the gash isn't that hard to miss.

In the end, they just shrugged their shoulders and walked away, leaving me around P5000+ poorer for the double wax coating and, for later that week, to retouch the scratched part. 


 
Yes, the scratch went all the way down to the primer.  Ouch!

I went to Big Bert's today and they've been very helpful in explaining to me the correct process on how to buff a car.  And from what I've seen at 2onetwo (they use the same buffing pad for the two coats of wax!), Big Bert's is definitely waaaaaaay ahead of them when it comes to knowing how to do a job right.

I only patronized 2onetwo because I often eat at Charlie's but I've been meaning to switch to Big Bert's since I know the guys behind it. Well, 2onetwo just gave me the perfect - albeit expensive - reason to dump them and switch to a more professional, more experienced auto detailer.  I mean, if Porsche owners trust Big Bert's to do a good job on their cars, then that means they (Big Bert's) know what they're doing when it comes to auto detailing.  As for 2onetwo in Pasig, the many times I've been there, I just can't recall any high-end car getting a wash & wax there.  I mean, if moneyed folks don't bring their cars there to get them detailed or at least given its monthly wash & wax, I guess that's an indicator that you can't really trust the shop's work.  So yeah, that's a lesson learned right there.


 
The scratch is even longer than a magazine.  And yet the guys at 2onetwo Pasig have the gall to say it's been there's a long time!  I bet even Stevie Wonder can see that gash from a mile away!
 

Sure, 2onetwo, you've got lots of customers so you probably won't miss the roughly P900 I spend for your car wash and wax services every month.  The thing is, by putting this out, I'm letting everyone else know the shoddy work of your people and how irresponsible they are to admit when they are at fault.

Good riddance, 2onetwo Pasig!


So, goodbye 2onetwo Auto Care Pasig.  My not patronizing you anymore may be insignificant enough to not affect your sales you but I sure as hell will do my best to let everyone know the kind of service you have in store for your unlucky customers.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Goodyear Philippines launches enhanced website

With more consumers using the Internet to learn more about tires, compare choices and even look for third party endorsements, Goodyear Philippines makes it easier with the launch of its highly interactive and enhanced website, www.goodyear.com.ph.

“The Internet is a fast emerging consumer touch-point for us that allows customers to experience the Goodyear brand while enabling our company and dealers to respond directly to their needs,” said Gerry Alava, Goodyear Philippines Managing Director. 
 
 
The website features an interactive homepage that can access Goodyear information like the very latest product innovations, consumer promotions, dealer locations, product warranties as well as driving and safety tips.

A highlight of the new site is the Request A Quote function for consumers in search of tires for a specific vehicle. Through this function, Goodyear recommends the tire best suited for each vehicle type and the customer may request for a price quotation on the tires as well as set an appointment with the dealer of their choice through the company's customer service department.  "It is a new, easy and convenient way to shop for tires", added Alava.

The site also features a Map Locator powered by Google Maps that shows the exact location of the Goodyear Autocare, Servitek or TyrePro outlet of the consumer’s choice. Apart from this, online users can now compare their tires of choice side by side with the Tire Comparison function which shows the features and benefits of all the Goodyear products.

For racing enthusiasts, the website also gives direct access to the Goodyear Racing Asia Facebook page, where consumers can get the latest updates on Goodyear racing events in the Asia Pacific region.

"We are excited about our new website and invite everyone to browse through www.goodyear.com.ph to know more about our company and our new product innovations, and to  request for an online quote for a trouble free tire shopping experience", Alava concluded.

For more information, log-on to www.goodyear.com.ph.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Landing in the Philippines soon - the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

“Automotive design is undoubtedly one of the supreme disciplines of industrial design.  Almost no other product is as complex and combines so many different disciplines...” says Prof. Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz Head of Design.  This is evident in the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (SLS AMG), wherein every inch and angle of the sports car is the result of the amalgamation of the skills of researchers, technical and engineering experts and designers of Mercedes-Benz-AMG.  


Like all other Mercedes-Benz models, the SLS AMG combines performance, quality, comfort, safety and aesthetic appeal.  Its dynamic and elegant visual design qualities do not compromise its performance as well as driver and passenger safety and comfort.  There is a reason for every way the SLS AMG was designed. 


The decision to use the “Gullwing” doors was not a gimmick to grab public attention.  The doors hinged on  the car roof were a purely structural requirement, since the lattice frame carried over from the racing SL did not allow the use of conventional front-hinged doors.  The swing-wing doors, which open a full 70 degrees for the ease of access and egress, require less opening space than the conventional coupé doors, and can be fully opened in a normal garage.


The powerful 420 kW AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine that sits on an aluminum space frame is set at an angle, resulting in a particularly flat front end with outstanding air-flow characteristics.  With this flat long bonnet and its lightweight structure, it ensures low drag coefficient and superior performance.  The chassis was essentially based on the 300 model saloon (W 186) but with suspension settings that are more focused on sporty performance qualities.


Inside the SLS AMG, all controls ergonomically surround the driver for easy reach and intuitive operation.  Electronically adjustable sports seats with integrated head restraints ensure excellent lateral support and a high level of comfort.  The three-spoke AMG Performance leather steering wheel has a 365 mm rim with flattened lower section, shift paddles and a metal insert, underlining the authentic custom-built look.  Hand-stitched designo leather with contrasting seam adorns the car’s dashboard, sports seats, interior door panels and armrests. 

As with all Mercedes-Benz models, the design team took into great consideration the elements of innovation, trend-setting design along with the most important and distinctively Mercedes-Benz design characteristic: timelessness.  The SLS AMG harks back to the sporting legend of the 50’s, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) production “Gullwing” —the first car to be fully developed by AMG in its 40-year-long history.  Today, that sporting legend lives on with the new SLS AMG, which 60 years from now would surely still take breaths away like the 300 SL.

Having just been recently introduced, the SLS was already voted as Europe’s Most Attractive Car and has been honored with the coveted Plus X Award for “high quality” and “design” in the world’s largest technology, sport and lifestyle contest.  It has also garnered the 2010 Germany Design Award by AUTO BILD, “GT Car of the Year” by Top Gear, GB, and “Best Dream Machine” by MotorWeek TV’s Driver’s Choice Award, USA, among so many other awards.  To top it off, as the Official F1TM Safety Car, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is considered the most powerful and exclusive safety car ever seen in Formula 1 racing.  It indeed deserves the title of its predecessor: the Sports Car of the Century.

Excited to see and know more? Watch videos, see and download photos, and read more about the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in www.mercedes-benz.com.ph or www.sls-amg-special.com/com/en.  For more information and materials, contact Grace Enriquez, Assistant Manager of Public Relations for CATS Motors, Inc.'s Marketing Department at 723-5808 local 193 or 0920-904-6517. 

The Typical Guy's Opinion: I had the opportunity to get up close and even sit inside an SLS AMG as I covered the Bangkok International Motor Show this year and I have to say, it's one awesome looking car.

 *Bangkok International Motor Show photos courtesy of Final Drive's Mikko David

I couldn't help but fall in love with its gorgeous shape, and it was the same feeling I felt  years ago, at what I believe was the 2nd Trans Sport Show in SM Megamall's Mega Trade Halls, when I also saw an original Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing up close.

Fil-Swiss Marlon Stockinger has Formula Renault UK dream weekend

Filipino-Swiss Formula Renault UK driver Marlon Stockinger had a dream weekend at rounds nine and 10 of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft Circuit last June 19 and 20 as he not only qualified in the top three for both rounds, he also took his maiden victory and finished in second place.


For round nine last June 19, Stockinger almost scored a hat trick as he not only took his maiden pole position for the race, he also held off the challenge of fastest lap holder and second place finisher Ollie Millroy for 15 laps to bag his very first Formula Renault UK win. This makes Stockinger the first ever Filipino driver to win a Formula Renault UK race.


On June 20 for the 10th Round, Stockinger qualified in third place for the race but after the starting lights went out, he immediately took second place after pole sitter Thomas Hylkema struggled to get away from the starting line. Stockinger then fended off the attack of eventual third place finisher Will Stevens as the 19-year old Filipino-Swiss driver brought his Atech Grand Prix car across the finish line in second place.


"It's been an excellent weekend for me and the team has done a great job in setting up the car. Round nine was really nerve-racking but I'm thrilled to finally secure a win especially given I've had a third place, a second place in the Winter Series and now my first win," said Stockinger in Formula Renault UK's official website. "This weekend has been a huge confidence boost for me though and I'm looking forward to the next rounds." 


"What a fantastic result for Marlon, the whole team is delighted for him, he didn't put a wheel wrong all weekend and this was our most consistent performance this season," said Atech GP team principal David Hayle in their AtechGP.net website. "Now we must ensure we can nail qualifying for him as we head into the second half of the season as I have no doubt he is more than capable of challenging for race wins."

Stockinger's impressive weekend sees him moving up the Formula Renault UK leader board from ninth to seventh place this season. Stockinger's 136 points haul for the 2010 season is already more than double that of his 2009 season which he finished in 25th place with 56 points.

Side note: I was lucky to interview Marlon Stockinger for TopGear.com.ph and he's a genuinely nice guy. He's the Philippines' best hope of getting into F1, and being an F1 fan for as long as I can remember, I wish him all the luck in the world.


Good job, Marlon!  Here's to you winning more races this season!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Honda offers paint wash-over promo

Give your ride a fresh look.  Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is offering a special paint wash-over promo until June 30, 2010.

If your vehicle has been around for quite a while and is starting to look a little dated, a paint wash-over can put life back to its faded color.  Honda’s wash-over service rates start at Php 24,000 for City and Jazz models, Php 25,000 for the Civic and Php 26,000 for bigger models like the Accord, CR-V and Odyssey.  Rates quoted do not cover necessary body repairs.

Meanwhile, if you are tired of having the same old color and opt for a more refreshing look, you may go for a different color for a minimal additional fee of Php 7,000, starting at Php 31,000.

Honda is also extending 10% discount on its detailing, rust-proofing and windshield treatment services to complete your vehicle’s make-over.

Paint wash-over promo is available at participating Honda dealers located in Alabang, Makati, Manila, Kalookan, Batangas, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

Restore your car’s glint by contacting any participating dealer and scheduling a wash-over.  A paint job can make a lot of difference in giving your vehicle a new look at very reasonable rates.  For more details, visit www.hondaphil.com.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Enjoy as much as zero fuel cost per kilometer with the Honda City

Celebration of more than 10,000 Honda City sales gets even better.  Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is raffling off Php 10,000 worth of e-fuel cards to fifty (50) lucky customers who reserve any City variant from June to July 31, 2010.

In appreciation of the market’s ardent support, Honda brings patrons of the City an opportunity to experience zero fuel spending per kilometer traveled.  With free fuel, these fifty lucky winners can enjoy fuel mileage at zero cost.

Unstable fuel prices have been one of the major concerns of motorists.   That is why more and more have turned mindful of their consumption and have sought means to improve fuel economy.

 
One of the key strengths that made the City the winning choice of over 10,000 owners is its fuel efficiency.  The City has a number of features that aid better fuel mileage.  At the heart of the City is the renowned i-VTEC engine technology which varies valve timing to optimize fuel consumption.  It also comes with a class-leading 5-speed automatic transmission that contributes lesser engine stress. For fun and easy tracking of one’s fuel mileage, the City has a fuel meter located in the liquid crystal display of the instrument panel.  Such fuel meter shows instantaneous and average fuel consumption.  More than excellent fuel efficiency, the City is also engineered to pass the stringent European Emission Standards.  Among local manufacturers, Honda is the only brand that has reached EURO 4 levels for ALL its model line-up, even if Philippine regulations only require EURO 2 compliance.

“When we introduced the 3rd generation City, we envisioned it to change the landscape of the subcompact category.  Changing the rules in its class, we fit it with technologies that used to be available in higher models.     Gone are the days when this segment runs on basic features only.  Now, we are overwhelmed at how the market supported us and resulted in over 10,000 sales milestone.  I invite you to check out www.hondaphil.com to learn more about the City’s over-all value for money proposition.” said Mr. Voltaire Gonzales, Vehicle Sales and Corporate Communications Head of HCPI.

During the student edition of Honda Challenge Cup, a fuel efficiency driving competition that subjects different Honda models in real-life driving situations while using normal driving styles, the tandem of Joseph Manguiat and Princess dela Paz from the University of the Philippines generated an average of 30.74 km/li with the 1.3 liter City A/T -- a remarkable result when you combine a very fuel efficient vehicle with good driving habits.  “I was able to pick up a lot of learning from my Honda Challenge Cup experience.  To save on fuel, one must simply be patient.  Wise use of brakes, gradual and steady acceleration and safe gliding will earn you extra fuel mileage.”  said  Mr. Manguiat.

Experience first-hand the features that earned the nod of over 10,000 City owners.  Visit any of Honda’s 26 dealerships nationwide.  Remember to try before you buy.  Be smart!  Testdrive!

Chevrolet Cruzes tops both WTCC Manufacturer’s and Drivers’ Championships

With multiple wins and podium finishes, The Chevrolet Cruze in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) has proven itself as a winner in 2009, and is continuing strong in 2010. The WTCC is an international touring car championship that includes some of the top auto manufacturers in the world wide industry.  An example of which is the recent race in Monza, Italy, where fans saw touring car action at its finest. The Monza races, given the track characteristics and the warm weather, were anticipated to be tough on tires and brakes and thus expected to be extra exciting. In this event, the Chevrolet Cruze took its second win of the season, thanks to Chevy Driver Yvan Muller. The cars also conquered two more podium finishes with Driver Rob Huff. These great results gave the Chevrolet team the lead in the WTCC overall standings in both the Manufacturers' and the Drivers' championships. 



The Chevrolet Cruze is an all-new global vehicle with design and engineering collaborations from around the world. It is a worthy competitor in the compact segment and comes standard with an array of above-its-class features.

The involvement of Chevrolet in the WTCC strengthens Chevrolet’s presence in the international racing scene. With the Chevrolet PhTC Cruze, Chevrolet Philippines will announce their presence in the hot tuner market and showcase the durability of their products, model lineup, and their technological innovation – all of which are built in the Chevrolet Cruze WTCC, in the Chevrolet Cruze PhTC, and in every single Chevrolet Cruze being sold both internationally and locally.

To add local excitement and flair, Chevrolet Philippines - The Covenant Car Company Inc. (TCCCI) has created our very own and locally-built Cruze PhTC (Philippine Touring Car). The Cruze PhTC is a manufacturer-backed race car in the Philippines, and will be participating in the top nationwide races. Chevrolet has teamed up with Pacho Blanco, one of the Philippine’s top mechanical chief engineers, and has Blanco Race Engineering (BRE) as its official race partner.  The Cruze PhTC has gone through modifications in every aspect – exterior, interior, power, and handling – but retains the stock engine, transmission, and brakes – a testament to the quality and strength in its design of the Chevrolet Cruze.

The Cruze PhTC looks to emulate the path of the Cruze WTCC in the local racing circuit. With the success that the Chevrolet Cruze WTCC is enjoying along with the increasing popularity and interest in the Chevrolet Cruze PhTC, it is looking forward to be successful times for Chevrolet. With the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Philippines-TCCCI has got a surefire winner in its hands.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Prepare your Suzuki APV Type II for rainy day driving

After suffering through an extremely hot El Niño summer, PAGASA is warning about the onset of the rainy season which is expected to peak in July and August, with at least 10 tropical cyclones entering the country between June and September.


Motoring advise columns list some basic precautions to prepare for rainy day driving, and one of the most basic is to check and replace the front and rear wiper blades of your Suzuki APV Type II.  Old or brittle wiper blades may leave streaks on or even scratch your windshield, seriously limiting visibility during bad weather.  Don’t wait for the rains to start, do a quick wiper check now by turning on your windshield washer and note any streaking, chattering or other obvious problems with your front and rear wipers. Furthermore, the Suzuki APV Type II is equipped with a rear windshield defogger, for improved visibility in extreme weather conditions.

 
Another basic precaution you can take is to check the condition of the tires on your Suzuki APV Type II. Check that the tire treads are deep enough for good traction.  Bald tires can result in hydroplaning, especially at higher speeds.  Of course, you also need to make sure that your spare tire is properly inflated with the correct tire pressure and ready for use in case of emergencies.

It is also wise to have your brakes checked as you are more likely to need them in bad weather.  The Suzuki APV Type II is equipped with responsive ventilated front disc brakes and rear drum brakes to ensure that you have a safer, more secure ride.



Road safety experts also recommend turning on your headlights when driving in heavy rains.  In addition to better driver visibility, this also automatically activates the tail lights, making your car more visible to other vehicles behind you.  Never use your hazard lights as these can confuse the cars following you about where you’re going.  The high position of the head and tail lights on the Suzuki APV Type II also ensure better all-around visibility.

You can also consider putting together a roadside emergency kit with essential items to deal with most problem situations on the road.  You can prepare a heavy duty nylon bag containing: 12-foot jumper cables, reflector jacket, blinker lights, a quart of motor oil, blanket, extra fuses, flashlight and extra batteries, screwdriver set (flat head and Philips), pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, tire inflator, tire pressure gauge, rags, paper towel roll, duct tape roll, pocket knife, pen and paper, help sign, energy bars and bottled water.  In addition, you will need a first aid kit including bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant hot and cold compresses, scissors and aspirin. With the Suzuki APV Type II’s spacious cabin, there is plenty of room to store your basic survival kit.  However, make sure that you stick to the basic essentials and do not overload your vehicle.

Of course, the best precaution that you can take to ensure safe travel through heavy rains and flooded streets is driving the right vehicle, such as the Suzuki APV Type II.  Its air intake is strategically located above the engine, almost at hood level.  This means that the Suzuki APV Type II can safely navigate flooded streets since its engine is protected from sucking in water.  This makes the Suzuki APV Type II the perfect “baha-buster” that can be relied on even in the worst weather conditions.    With minimum ground clearance of 185mm, the Suzuki APV Type II can safely navigate even knee-high flooded areas.


  
The Suzuki APV Type II comes in three variants—the GLX 5-speed MT model, priced at P735,000; the SGX 5-speed MT at P775,000; and the SGX 4-speed AT at P810,000.

Suzuki Philippines is the only integrated automotive company in the country, offering passenger cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles in its model line-up. Suzuki automobiles are available through a network of 18 dealers nationwide.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Experience Urbane Refinement with Honda's Crossover CR-V

Picture busy cityscape on weekdays followed by soothing countryside scenery on weekends.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have that one vehicle that can naturally handle both fast-paced modern living and that much-needed breather on the rural side?  The refreshed 2010 CR-V does well in these opposing landscapes with ease.  Having the right blend of refinement, ride and drive comfort, and generous cargo room, the CR-V lets you live a crossover lifestyle for all your life’s adventure.

Inner-city roads and tight spaces are the usual concern for SUVs.  The CR-V is a practically-sized SUV that lets city dwellers get around congested roads effortlessly, thereby eliminating the hassle of hauling heavy, full-sized SUVs.  With its compact body and adjusted suspension settings, the CR-V is remarkably nimble, easy to maneuver and has quicker steering response.  But don’t let its compact size fool you.  The CR-V prides itself with the biggest cabin and cargo room in its class, making it the ideal vehicle for families and for towing loads of cargo.

Using sedan-based platform, the CR-V has etched a reputation in excellent ride comfort.   To complement such ride pleasure, Honda added seals and insulators to reduce noise, vibrations and harshness levels.  Reduced road noise makes your trip even more relaxing.


Apart from high quality performance, the CR-V is a looker.  The 2010 CR-V is uniquely designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life.  It exudes urbane styling with its two step front grille with honeycomb design, refreshed bumpers and alloy wheel designs.  Its revitalized front-end styling balances smoothly with the CR-V’s clean lines and premium finish.

All these and more make the CR-V a staple name in its category.  That is why it has earned growing demand here in the local scene.  For year 2010, cumulative CR-V sales (January – April) showed 15% increase as compared to the same period of the previous year.

The CR-V also leads in providing security and safety as it earned international honors for its advanced safety features.  The 2010 CR-V received 5-star frontal and 5-star side-impact crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  NHTSA is a U.S. Government agency, part of the Department of Transportation, responsible for setting safety standards and verifying compliance by automobile manufacturers.  Five-star rating, the highest rating possible, represents 10% or less chance of serious injury. 

As a manufacturer of high quality vehicles fitted with modern technologies, Honda products have been known for its reliability and high resale value.  The Kelley Blue Book, one of the most trusted sources in the U.S. for used car values, bestowed the 2010 CR-V with Best Resale Value Award in both Compact Utility Vehicle and Top 10 Categories. 

Be it here or abroad, the CR-V is recognized as a true crossover SUV that delivers pleasurable ride comfort of a sedan and ample space of an SUV, sheathed in a stylishly sophisticated body.  Over-all, the CR-V presents a reflection of the distinctively refined taste of its market. 

Crossover to the 2010 Honda CR-V and keep up with the demands of urban living.  Visit any of the 26 Honda dealers nationwide and request for a test drive.  Remember to try before you buy.  Be smart! Test drive!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Relatively bargain priced Nike Trainer SC 2010 Manny Pacquiao spotted...

...at one of Nike's factory outlets for less than P4,000.  The only catch?  They only have size 11 pairs in stock.


Images are from SneakerNews.com.

I would've bought one of they only had a pair in my size... *sigh*

Monday, May 10, 2010

Motolite-powered electric vehicles join Earth Day motorcade

Motolite, the country’s leading automotive battery brand, supported the Earth Day pollution-free motorcade held last 22 April 2010, by powering electric vehicles like the REVA, the e-Jeepney, and the e-Trike. The motorcade, which was themed “Electric Vehicles, Bicycles, and Miss Earth: Making Waves in the Metro” started off from the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) compound at Visayas Avenue in Quezon City at 7:00 am, traversing EDSA with the early morning traffic to end at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

 
Motolite-powered REVA...


Motivated to discover cleaner and cheaper alternative sources of energy as part of its corporate social responsibility, Motolite is a recognized prime mover behind pollution-free electric vehicles in the country. By improving on its patented golf cart battery technology, Motolite has been able to produce a stronger, more reliable battery which can endure the extreme demands of public transportation, such as the e-Jeepney. Several local governments have adopted the e-Jeepneys, notably Makati City, Bacolod City, and Puerto Princesa City.

 
...and Motolite-powered e-Jeepney


According to Motolite marketing manager Melissa Valdez, “As a Filipino company, Motolite is always happy to support initiatives that will help ensure a cleaner environment for future generations.” Aside from its support for electric vehicles, Motolite has also been at the forefront of an environmental protection program that encourages proper recycling of used lead acid batteries through its Balik-Baterya advocacy.

Motolite batteries are manufactured by Philippine Batteries, Inc. (PBI), the largest manufacturer, exporter and distributor of automotive, motorcycle and industrial battery products and solutions in the Philippines. Its fully integrated facility in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, is one of the largest and most modern battery manufacturing facilities in Southeast Asia. It also has the country’s only ISO 14001-certified, environmentally-compliant recycling facility, the second biggest in Asia.

2010 Suzuki SX4 Aero and Crossover models launched in spectacular magic show and Vegas style production numbers

Satoshi Uchida, president of Suzuki Philippines, the country’s only integrated motoring company, disappeared onstage and magically reappeared in the 2010 Suzuki SX4 Aero, at the recent product launch held last April 28, 2010, at Le Pavillion, Pasay City. This was the highlight of a magic show topbilled by master magician Mr. Cris Castro. Shortly after, the long-awaited SX4 Crossover model was revealed after a rousing Las Vegas style production number by the Club Mwah performers.
 

The upgraded Suzuki SX4 Aero... 

Unveiled with accompanying magic and mystery, the new Suzuki SX4 Aero is the sedan version which has been completely restyled with a sportier profile and more aggressive front grille. A rear spoiler with third brake light, 17” alloy wheels and rear disc brakes make this sedan a looker.

Sharing the same basic specifications as the Suzuki SX4 Crossover, the SX4 Aero now boasts of a more powerful M16A engine, a 1600cc 16-valve DOHC engine with variable-valve timing (VVT). Mated to a 4-speed gate-type automatic transmission, it is able to deliver maximum output of 110hp at 5,600rpm and maximum torque of 150Nm at 3,800rpm.

Also a Japan-made import, the Suzuki SX4 Aero is offered in snow white pearl, star silver metallic and super black pearl, and retails for P 890,000.

Meanwhile, the Suzuki SX4 Crossover is expected to be an instant hit among Filipino car enthusiasts, carving out a niche as a compact crossover vehicle. Designed by automotive hall of fame designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign studio, the units sold in the Philippines are imported as completely built-up units (CBU) from Japan, ensuring its build quality.

 
... and the all-new Suzuki SX4 Crossover

It is equipped with new features such as honeycomb type front grille, fender arch, roof rails, all wheel disc brakes and 16” alloy wheels. More power and better fuel efficiency are the hallmarks of its new M16A engine, a 1600cc 16-valve DOHC engine with variable-valve timing (VVT). Mated to a 4-speed gate-type automatic transmission, it is able to deliver maximum output of 110hp at 5,600rpm and maximum torque of 150Nm at 3,800rpm. Likewise, occupant safety is assured by a high rigidity body that utilizes Suzuki’s proprietary TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) as well as dual air bags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and keyless entry.

On the inside, the instrument cluster serves as a virtual information center with a fuel consumption gauge, fuel range and digital clock. The audio system has also been upgraded to deliver surround sound experience via a 8-speaker system consisting of 4 door speakers and 4 door-mounted tweeters. External music players can be connected through an auxiliary port, while the in-dash CD player is mp3-compatible. Audio controls are mounted on the leather-wrapped steering wheel for easy access.

Plush seat fabric material, all-power features, and chrome inner door handles all add to the luxe-feel. A spacious cargo area and passenger seat under tray complete the Suzuki SX4 Crossover package. It is offered in three colors: sunlight copper metallic, super black pearl, and star silver metallic, and priced competitively at P899,000.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Subaru WRX is dead...


...at least for the Philippines.

  Goodbye, Impreza WRX.  It was fun while it lasted.

That's because Motor ImagePilipinas, the country’s exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles, has decided to stop selling the WRX variant of the Impreza as the company has seen the demand for the Japanese carmaker’s mid-level performance variant pale in comparison to their top-of-the-line offering, the WRX STI.

This was revealed by Nicky Mariano, Motor Image Pilipinas’ general manager and the Motor Image Group’s chief operating officer for sales and marketing as he told The Typical Guy that they have decided to stop selling the WRX and concentrate instead on the R variant and the WRX STI.

According to Mariano, the local demand for the WRX isn’t as much as they’d like it to be as many of their buyers have chosen to either go with the entry-level R variant or the performance-oriented model, the WRX STI.


 The Impreza WRX STI soldiers on...

“It’s not hard to see why many of our buyers went with the WRX STI instead of just the WRX,” Mariano said. “To them, the WRX STI gives them more value for their money because for around half a million pesos more, they get a car that’s faster and more powerful than the WRX.”

Motor Image Pilipinas’ marketing manager Ariel de Jesus seconded Mariano as he told The Typical Guy separately that “the market demand and trend is focused more on the WRX STI,” prompting the company to dump the WRX from their local line-up in favor of the WRX STI.

Priced at P2,448,000, the WRX STI has 300hp and 407Nm of torque while the WRX, when it was still being sold, cost P1,758,000 and produced 230hp and 320Nm of torque.

Now, the question is; if and when will Motor Image Pilipinas bring in the WRX STI sedan?  


  Hello, WRX STI boot and rear wing.  We missed you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's get down to business...

I believe I've neglected this blog long enough.  A recent conversation with a friend and fellow Top Gear Philippines journalist Mikko David has inspired me to get back to blogging on a regular basis.  After all, I've been blogging about cars even before I joined TopGear.com.ph, and if Yugatech's Abe Olandres can modestly say at a recent bloggers' conference that he'll be earning more than P2 million on ad placements alone this year, then who knows; maybe I could make half as much as that one day.  Yeah, right.

I may be a motoring journalist, but before I came to be one, I am a car enthusiast that's eager to know a lot more about cars and share this knowledge with fellow enthusiasts.  And I'm doing this to dispel the preconceived notion that motoring journalists are nothing more but the paid mouthpieces of car manufacturers and distributors.  

In essence, I want this blog to become for cars and motorcycles - or maybe even for gadgets and places because, after all, the typical guy loves a lot of different stuff - what Anton Diaz' Our Awesome Planet did for food and travel - a one-stop shop for everything that a typical guy needs to know about.


So, let's get it on!


LFA is an acronym for 'Looks F***ing Awesome'.  No, seriously
(Photo courtesy of Mikko David)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

OFW expressed full satisfaction over Mitsubishi Motors Philippines – BPI Direct ‘Balik Bayani’ Auto Financing Program

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines collaborated with Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI-Direct) to introduce the ‘Balik-Bayani’ Auto Financing program, which was conceptualized to assist Overseas Filipino Workers’ to own a Mitsubishi vehicle in a much convenient and affordable way.

Recently, Jabez Motor which is Mitsubishi Motors Philippines’ franchised dealer in Bacoor, Cavite turned over the new Adventure GLS Sport to the Mr. Carlos Garcia, an overseas Filipino worker, working for Saudi Arabia for 16 years and has long dreamt of owning a Mitsubishi vehicle. Together with his wife, the couple was very excited to drive home their brand new Adventure. “Nagulat kami sa bilis ng pag proseso ng aming Balik-Bayani application at sa bilis din nang pag-release ng aming Adventure GLS Sport. Lubos kaming natutuwa at hindi na naming kailangan maghintay at magdaan pa sa mahabang proseso para maiuwi ang unang sasakyan ng aming pamilya. Salamat sa Mitsubishi - BPI Direct Balik-Bayani Auto Program at naging napakadali para sa amin ang pagkakaroon ng sasakyan. Perfect na pang-regalo sa aking pamilya ang Mitsubishi vehicle’. (“We were surprise on how quick our application was processed and how fast our unit was delivered. We are overjoyed that we did not need to wait too long and do a lot of processing to have our first family car. Thanks to Mitsubishi - BPI Direct Balik-Bayani Auto Program for making owning a car easy for us. A Mitsubishi vehicle is definitely a perfect gift for my family”), Mr. Garcia gladly commended.

With Mitsubishi Motors Philippines - BPI Direct Balik-Bayani Auto Program, OFWs who wish to avail any of the Mitsubishi vehicles may simply apply online by completely filling up the online application form at: http://balik-bayani.mitsubishi-motors.com.ph/application.php. A BPI-Direct officer will coordinate with the OFW as soon as the application is received (applications are received on real-time). The OFW simply needs to comply and provide all the requirements (completely filled-out online application form, Certificate of Employment, and 6 months latest proof of remittance to a beneficiary in the Philippines) to expedite the processing of their auto loan.

To know more about Mitsubishi - BPI Direct Balik-Bayani Auto Program you may log on to http://balik-bayani.mitsubishi-motors.com.ph. 

Photo Caption: From left to right: Ronjo Neria- BPI Direct, Manager – Loans Marketing, Carlos Garcia- OFW from Saudi Arabia and wife Teresa Garcia, Lito Valdez- Jabez Motor Corp., Rosemary Cruz- Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, Tristan Coral- BPI Direct, Assistant Manager – Loans Marketing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Toyota Models in PH not affected by U.S. Accelerator-pedal Recall

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) today announced that TMP and Lexus Manila Inc. (LMI) models sold in the Philippines are not affected by the U.S. Accelerator-pedal Recall.

Toyota Camry and Corolla Altis sold by TMP in the Philippines are manufactured in Thailand while RAV4 models are imported from Japan.

Last January 21, 2010, consistent with its commitment to product safety and quality, Toyota Motor Sales USA initiated a Safety Campaign on sticking gas pedals of specific US market models, including certain 2009-2010 RAV4, certain 2009-2010 Corolla, certain 2007-2010 Camry, 2009 – 2010 Matrix, 2005 - 2010 Avalon, certain 2010 Highlander, 2007 - 2010Tundra, and 2008 - 2010 Sequoia, in coordination with the NHTSA*. 

In rare instances, there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedals may mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position. The condition does not occur suddenly and results from wear.  Toyota is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. It is working quickly to remedy the situation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines banners 2009 industry sales with 33% growth

As total industry surpassed its 2009 forecast and registers 6% growth

The Philippine automotive industry defied threats of automotive slump due to global financial crisis as it registered a 6.4% growth in 2009.   Total vehicle sales reached 132,444 units in 2009, exceeding the flat growth forecast for 2009 by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) or 125,000 units.  In 2008, total vehicles sold were 124,449 units. 

CAMPI and TMA credits this growth to the aggressiveness of automotive players in introducing new models and various promotion schemes as well as by  banks/financial institutions to accept auto financing from loans especially from entry level buyers such as small to medium scale entrepreneurs and also Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).   In addition, the strong typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng last October which brought heavy floods in Metro Manila and Luzon areas caused irreparable damaged to most vehicles, have partially contributed to the increase as it accelerated vehicle replacements especially in the last quarter.

Meantime, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines (MMPC) closed 2009 with sales of 23,247 units, accounting for an impressive 32.5% growth compared to its 2008 sales of 17,539 units.  With this sales performance, MMPC also managed to improve its market share from 14% in 2008 to 17.6% in 2009, to maintain its strong No.2 position in the industry.

 

MMPC also registered growth in all segments for the first quarter.  Lancer and Galant sales totaled to 1,562 units for a slight 1% growth in the passenger car segment.     

In the light commercial vehicle segment, total growth registered was 36% as MMPC sold a total of 20,959 light commercial vehicles versus 15,382 units sold in 2008.   MMPC credits this performance to the strong sales of its new Montero Sport, Adventure, Strada pick ups and L300 models.   Both Adventure and L300 models continue to attract private and government fleet, as well as small to medium scale entrepreneurs, and OFWs and their dependents.  The Adventure and L300 continue to be significant due to their very low cost operation and maintenance and reliable performance of its now Euro-2 compliant 4D56 engine.

Meantime the warm market acceptance for the Montero Sport and Strada pick up were further validated by the various awards received last year.   For the Montero Sport, it was voted as the best mid-size SUV and best value for money by motoring media in the Auto Focus People’s Choice Award and also the best mid-size 4x2 SUV in the 2009 Car Awards Group Inc.  Likewise, the Strada was also voted as the best pick up in the Auto Focus People’s Choice Award.

In the truck and bus segment, MMPC sold a total of 726 units which has increased by 20% compared to 2008 due to improved fleet sales business.

Aside from its notable sales performance, MMPC also led the industry in customer satisfaction by topping both J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2009 Philippine Sales Satisfaction Index Study and Customer Service Index Study.   In December 2009, MMPC also achieved its 500,000th cumulative production milestone, being the first automotive manufacturer in the country to achieve this feat, as it rolled off its first locally assembled Lancer EX in its manufacturing plant situated in Cainta, Rizal.   MMPC is confident in further increasing sales of its Lancer EX given the sustained availability from its local production at the same time repositioning the price at very competitive levels.   The Lancer EX was initially introduced by MMPC in 2008 as a completely built up unit from Japan and received commendations from several local motoring media including the Car Awards group which proclaimed it as the best Compact Sedan for 2009.

For 2010, MMPC remains to be very optimistic as it aims to further increase sales volume and market share.  “Our objective for this year is to sell 28,000 or a 20% growth from our 2009 performance”, Froilan Dytianquin, Assistant Vice President for Marketing Services remarked.  “Our positive growth projections will be supported by our refreshed vehicle line up such as the 2010 models of the Lancer EX, Montero Sport, Strada and Adventure.   There will be also new exciting additions this year such as the Lancer EX Ralliart, a new compact cross over plus new variants of our core models.   Apart from realizing this sales target, MMPC will also continue to improve further its after sales to ensure the total satisfaction of our customers”, Dytianquin added.