Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mazda Jinba Ittai Academy Opens Doors to the Public

Press release

Mazda’s trademark vehicle design and engineering philosophy which literally translates to horse-and-rider-as-one, is set to be the highlight of the first ever Jinba Ittai Academy public test drive activity happening this November 23 to 26, 2017 at the corner of 38th and 9th  streets, near Uptown Mall at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

The four-day event will see the latest Mazda SKYACTIV models take on the specially designed Jinbai Ittai course. Mazda’s crossover lineup will make its test drive debut with the all-new CX-9 7-seater, the all-new CX-5 compact, and the refreshed 2018 CX-3 sub-compact crossover on hand for customers to feel and experience. The Mazda 6, the Mazda3 and the Mazda2 cars will likewise be available for test drive in the circuit designed to demonstrate vehicle features that enhance the connection between the driver and his car. All current models are now equipped with Mazda’s latest G-Vectoring Control technology which improves steering response and delivers higher levels of driver and passenger comfort.

“Jinba Ittai is Mazda’s guiding principle in its quest to achieve heightened driving enjoyment together with a premium passenger riding experience,” shares Steven Tan, president and CEO of Bermaz Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country. “Mazda brings the driver and his car together through this fundamental engineering philosophy so the experience behind the wheel can be fun while, at the same time, less tiring for all riding passengers. This unique feeling is what we want our customers to discover during their time at the Jinba Ittai Academy.”

Aside from the informative test drive sessions, customers will learn from Mazda Japan-trained Jinba Ittai instructors about each vehicle’s design innovations that contribute to deliver the signature Mazda driving experience. Ten-time Philippine National Rally Champion, Vip Isada, and his crew of driving instructors, will guide customers as they tune their senses to feel the subtleties in movement and vehicle dynamics of each Mazda model.

Customers will also be entitled to promotions exclusive to the event, all of which are guaranteed to make purchasing a Mazda vehicle easier and more rewarding. On-site special deals will also be available to those who make reservations during the four-day event.

The public is encouraged to visit the Jinba Ittai Academy test drive activity from November 23 to 26, 2017 to drive, feel and experience the emotional bond between car and driver that only Mazda can deliver.

Bermaz Auto Philippines, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles and parts in the Philippines. Its current product lineup now includes the Mazda2 sub-compact sedan and hatchback, the Mazda3 compact sedan and hatchback, the Mazda6 full-size executive sedan and sports wagon, the CX-3 freestyle crossover, the all-new CX-5 five-seater and the all-new CX-9 seven-seater premium crossovers, the MX-5 2-seater sports roadster and the BT-50 pickup truck. There are 19 Mazda 3S dealerships located across the Philippines and Metro Manila – Mazda Greenhills, Mazda Pasig, Mazda Quezon Avenue, Mazda North EDSA, Mazda Makati, Mazda Alabang, Mazda Otis, Mazda Cavite, Mazda Sta. Rosa, Mazda Pulilan, Mazda Pampanga, Mazda Dagupan, Mazda Cabanatuan, Mazda Tarlac, Mazda Negros, Mazda Cebu, Mazda Iloilo, Mazda Cagayan De Oro and Mazda Davao.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Passengers and bikers share why Angkas matters

Press release

With yesterday’s announcement that Angkas had suspended operations while seeking dialogue with the LTFRB, Manila has lost not only a crucial mode of transportation, but also a beloved one.

This comes at a difficult time for metro dwellers, with the upcoming holiday season bringing traffic to a fever pitch. Given the continued growth of car sales (a record 420,000 units were sold last year, with 65% percent of the vehicles hitting the roads of Metro Manila), a solution to the gridlock doesn’t seem obtainable. 

In 2015, then-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan mentioned that the country’s every day potential income loss had grown to at least 3 billion pesos due to the worsening traffic. With the recent incidents involving the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT), which serves approximately half a million passengers every day, Angkas was and would have been a saving grace.

Angkas gave passengers a safer, more professional alternative to the habal-habal that have long plied Metro Manila roads. It required safety training, skills assessment, background checks and a professional license before onboarding bikers to its platform, and offered safety gear, transparent prices and personal accident insurance to both its passengers and its bikers.

It is unfortunate that, due to restrictions in regulatory laws in the Philippines, Angkas was deemed illegal, and voluntarily suspended its services in order to engage with regulators. The move has caused strong sentiment among the public, who rallied to support the motorcycle app by sharing how Angkas not only helped them get their time back from traffic but also provided stable jobs to many.

Here are just a few stories shared by Angkas users about how the app transformed their lives.

Bianca Dalisay, posted on Facebook how through Angkas, she no longer needed to wake up at 4 a.m. to avoid spending 3 to 4 hours in traffic during her commute to Makati. It has even helped those who need to be at their workplaces quickly, like those in the medical profession, do their jobs better. https://www.facebook.com/carda.dalisay.7

In Cebu, a city also known for heavy traffic, Angkas has become the preferred mode of transport as opposed to the older habal-habal, as posted by Berniemack Arrellano on Facebook.

Riding Angkas has also saved some riders from missing critical appointments, such as flights. Juliane Paulene Laguilles mentioned how hopeless she was while being stuck in traffic on the way to the airport. She then saw an Angkas poster and tried the app.

In the face of a personal tragedy, Angkas was also there for commuter Pan Cho, who shared on Facebook how the app helped him to get the money he needed for his mother’s funeral service. He needed to be at the insurance company located in Cubao before the cut-off time at 1 pm.

Angkas has not only aided thousands of commuters but also provided stable jobs for its bikers, giving them professional training and the opportunity to earn more for themselves and their family. 

In a long post on Facebook, biker Roderick Manabat thanked Angkas for the many blessings it has brought his family.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1839621552945668/permalink/1976764809231341/

RJ Pinlac shared how being an Angkas biker has helped him as a working student.

Meanwhile, Ferds Llaguno, another working student who recently graduated in Criminology in Cebu thanked Angkas for helping him to pay off his tuition fee debt. Through his continued work as an Angkas biker, he had hoped to eventually take his board exam, a dream that would not be possible for someone with a minimum wage job who is also burdened with debt and needing to support a family. 

The loss of Angkas is also tremendous for women like Ehlie Roxas, a full-time student. Instead of her husband being able to help care for their child part-time, she posted, he now has to take a full-time job to make ends meet.

A photo of a family enjoying a meal at a fast-food chain on Facebook says it all. “Can you provide the simple things in life that make a family happy?” shared Rhey Chel Ann, the wife of an Angkas biker.

Managing traffic in a growing city like Metro Manila is certainly no easy task. With more cars on the road increasing traffic congestion, Angkas hopes to work with the LTFRB to be a part of the solution. It has reached out to the agency with a plea for two-wheeled vehicles to be included under the TNVS or Transportation Network Vehicle Service category. Many citizens have also joined this call, sharing their stories online and urging regulators to engage with Angkas.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ballet Phils. restages The Nutcracker for the Holiday Season.

Last Christmas season, Ballet Phils. staged an original production Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko for the first time. This year, BP is going back to the classic with The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker ballet is a significant part in the Yuletide Season. Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite was so familiar that it was featured as background music for the Home Alone movies that starred Macaulay Culkin.

The Nutcracker is a timeless piece for ballet that it is suited for the holiday season. This is why the Nutcracker is now considered a Christmas decoration rather than tool. It’s called a nutcracker because its mouth can really crack a hard nut when you lever it to close. It only has one trademark face but it can be a king, prince or a soldier.

This production of Ballet Philippines’ The Nutcracker combines the choreography of National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes and Edna Vida. Ms. Reyes serves as the artistic director while Ms. Vida coaches the dancers. For this production, BP will be joined by international guest artist Nobuo Fujino, principal dancer of Hong Kong Ballet while resident guest artist Candice Adea will alternate with Denise Parungao and Jemima Reyes as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Instead of a European setting, the story takes place in 1920's Philippines during the Noche Buena.
Denise Parungao as the Sugar Plum Fairy
There will be selected shows with live music by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Gerard Salonga. This production will give tribute to the late National Artist of Theater Design Salvador Bernal. His set design will be used for this production.

To make the Nutcracker experience memorable especially to children, BP will host The Nutcracker Tea Party for children with fun activities like decorating ballet shoes and meet the dancers. Limited slots are available. The Nutcracker will be staged on CCP from December 1 to 10, 2017. It was performed by Ballet Philippines back in 2005. It the best time to see it now or wait another 12 years for it to be restaged again.
Margie Moran, BP president and Alice Reyes,artistic director(L-R, standing)

Check out the limited edition Nutcracker ornaments on sale online for the benefit of BP scholars. Follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs for more updates about Ballet Phils.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

District Gallery latest exhibit: Ground Zero

Ground Zero presents works across various media that explore escape as a viable aesthetic  and political—that is to say, artistic—response. Here, escape is not about a na├»ve denial of the real, but an acknowledgment of the absurdity that dominates the political sphere and increasingly, the hype-culture of contemporary art, and thereafter taking a moment to step aside.

In this idea of escape, one remains in the midst of everything, in a paradox of stopping in motion. “Umuwi na tayo,” goes the song by the Eraserheads, “dahil wala ng sense ang ating mundo" — which in translation goes “Let’s get back home since the world doesn’t make sense.” Where—or perhaps more precisely, what—home is, sustains itself here as a lingering question whose openness is not only the rationalizing premise of the group exploration, 
but is also the very aesthetic held forth: these are works that could still the mind, that a new perspective might be born, one without prescription, out of the rare freedom that stillness yields.

[ Part of the sales proceed goes to rehabilitation of Marawi. ]

Participating Artists: 
Celine Lee, Jose Tong, Kevin Nieves, Marc Gaba, Nasser Lubay, Racquel De Loyola, Wipo,

Friday, November 3, 2017

Getting Ready for the Holiday Rush

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, we Filipinos are considered celebrating it the longest. Mall stores are already stocking up supplies like Christmas decors on the start of the BER months.  Supermarkets are beginning to sell seasonal products like Quezo de Bola and Christmas Hams.

What are the usual problems the commuters encounter during the Holiday Rush?
  • ·      Heavy traffic on the roads. The volume of vehicles increases within commercial establishments.
  • ·  Parking space. Most of the mall’s parking areas are not sufficient during the Holiday Rush because of the volume of shoppers.
  • ·    Limited taxi cabs and jeepneys at the mall’s terminal bay to accommodate the Holiday shoppers.
  • ·     Long queue in the transport terminal.
  • ·     Taxi cab drivers are demanding a fixed or contracted rate instead of the metered fare.

Here are some suggestions for the Holiday Rush:
  • ·         Set your shopping during work hours (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM). There are less shoppers during this time of the day.
  • ·         Avoid the evening rush hour. You will have longer time in road traffic. Probably longer than your time in shopping.
  • ·         Canvass the things you need to buy ahead of time.
  • ·         Plan your shopping itinerary ahead of time. You must already have a list of things to buy and where to buy it. It will cost less time deciding on the spot.
  • ·         Make extra time for parking. Sometimes, most of the shoppers take one hour to look for parking spaces because most slots are already taken.
  • ·         In case you can’t pick a ride from the long queue in the transport terminal, you may arrange a family member or a friend who can pick you up after shopping.
  • ·         You can book a ride from a transport app.
  • ·         Another option to buy the items you failed to get when you did your first shopping is on the day of Christmas Eve. Shoppers only buy during this day for last minute shopping. By this time, majority are already at home or in their hometown.
  • ·         For buying gifts, you can also buy at shopping sites. These sites offer delivery service. It will be less burden to look for one.

However you celebrate the Holiday Season, it is best to celebrate it in humility as long as we are with our love ones. May your Holidays be meaningful and with glad tidings!