Wednesday, April 26, 2017

2017 Honda Civic 1.5L RS Turbo: A Superstar Reborn

2017 Honda Civic 1.5L RS Turbo - Damortis, La Union
 By Monch "Road Monchster" Henares

At First Glance

I remember test-dating the Honda Civic 1.8 E a short time ago.  Today, with the 2017 Honda Civic 1.5L RS Turbo before me, it felt like I was meeting my gorgeous, sexy date all over again... but this time she had some upgrading done to her already voluptuous body. A Wing Spoiler topped her ever so bootilicious rear, and a glossy jet black grill that complimented her sleek and squinty LED Headlamps (with Daytime Running Lights). This more provocative and aggressive sister stood symmetrically low with perfect aerodynamic proportions, too.  I just knew this romance was about to rekindle, but this time with the more sophisticated twin. Hand me the keys please!

Mother's Day at Passion Resorts World Manila is Fit for an Empress

Treat your mom like an empress. Celebrate Mother’s Day with a sumptuous Cantonese feast at Passion Restaurant in Resort’s World Manila (RWM).

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Eduard "Landslide" Folayang is destined to be king.


The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), sent shockwaves throughout the capacity crowd at the state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines with another exciting evening of world-class mixed martial arts action. ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY showcased a series of compelling bouts, punctuated by a thrilling main event that left fans on the edge of their seats. In the main event, Eduard Folayang successfully defended his ONE Lightweight World Championship, defeating Ev Ting by unanimous decision.

Friday, April 21, 2017

ONE: Kings of Destiny is the Biggest MMA Event in Philippine History

Main event face off. ONE Lightweight World Champion, Eduard "Landslide Folayang and Ev "ET" Ting will burn the ring at the SMX MOA Arena on April 21. 
Considered as the front-runner of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the Asian region, ONE Championship has become a staple of the growing local combat scene in the Philippines since its first venture on the country's shores in 2012.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

ONE Championship Kicks-Off Kings of Destiny Fight Week in Manila

Giving his speech during the press conference at the City of Dreams Manila is Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang, ONE Lightweight World Champion.  Together in the panel with him are (from left to right); Gina "Conviction" Iniong, Christian "The Warrior" Lee, Vice President for Gaming Operations of City of Dreams Manila, Kevin Benning, Ev "ET" Ting, Wan "The Werewolf Jian Ping, Natalie "The Kilapino" Gonzales Hills and, ONE Championship Vice President of PR and Communications, Loren Mack.

ONE Championship, the largest sports media property in Asian history, held a well-attended press conference today at the City of Dreams Manila to kick-off the ONE: Kings of Destiny fight week. Gracing the occasion were main event fighters, ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, along with challenger Ev “ET Ting of Malaysia. Together with them on stage were supporting card fighters, Christian “The Warrior” Lee, Wan “The Werewolf” Jian Ping, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, and Natalie “The Kilapino” Gonzales Hills.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ernest Cu of Globe Telecom hailed as Philippines' Best CEO by FinanceAsia

Ernest Cu, Chief Executive Officer of Globe Telecom


Globe cited in 4 other categories including Best Managed Company

Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu is the Philippines’ Best CEO by FinanceAsia.  The company ranked 3rd Best Managed Company in the country and was also cited in several other categories.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mazda’s latest CX-5, CX-9, and MX-5 RF models make Philippine debut at the 2017 Manila International Auto Show

Mazda Philippines once again placed a dominant display at the recent 2017 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, by launching no less than three exciting new models; the latest CX-5 five-seat crossover, the all-new CX-9 seven-seat premium crossover, and the highly anticipated MX-5 RF retractable hardtop sports car.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort: A Taste of Paradise in Anilao

Planning a trip to a pristine vacation place need not be far away from Manila.  All-year-round, Anilao in Mabini, Batangas offer a range of beach resorts and water activities that the whole family can enjoy.  For most part, when one think of Anilao, it is scuba diving or wind-surfing that comes to mind.  Thanks to water enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, Anilao has evolved in the past 20 years as a destination of fun, and relaxation for Filipinos and foreigners alike.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Honda - Joy in Motion MIAS 2017

Press Release

Honda sports the Civic Type R at the 2017 Manila International Auto Show
March 30, 2017 – Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), Honda’s automobile business unit, exhibits the Civic Type R at the 2017 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) at the World Trade Center Pasay City. Customers are invited to visit the Honda booth from March 30 to April 2, 2017 to see the Civic Type R in the metal, and to catch HCPI’s exciting surprises.
Conforming to this year’s MIAS theme of “Beyond Performance”, HCPI exhibits a dynamic vehicle display lineup that promotes “Joy in Motion”. After a long wait to return into view at MIAS, HCPI uplifts the Honda brand by displaying an accessorized All-New BR-V,  All-New Civic Modulo concept, new HR-V MUGEN variant, and an exclusive limited edition of the New City. On top of all, the Civic Type R is set to excite the Philippine automotive industry, as it races into scene at the 2017 MIAS event.
Booth at MIAS 2017

One of the display models to look out for at the Honda booth is the All-New BR-V 1.5 V Navi Modulo Complete Accessories. This is the first time for HCPI to showcase the All-New BR-V integrated with a complete set of Modulo accessories. On top of the existing accessories equipped in the All-New BR-V 1.5 V Navi Modulo variant, this display concept sports a more athletic body with the addition of Modulo tailgate garnish, 16-inch alloy wheels and door visors on its exterior, and sports pedal and cargo tray in its interior.
Customers may also check out the All-New Civic RS Turbo Modulo Sport Concept among Honda’s exciting display lineup.  This All-New Civic concept boasts a distinct sporty character with its two-tone color. The All-New Civic ‘s Rallye Red paint seamlessly complements its black under spoilers, black roof and door mirrors, Modulo side step garnish, fender garnish, 17-inch matte black alloy wheels, and Modulo emblem.
Another one of the main highlights at the Honda booth is the New HR-V 1.8 EL MUGEN. This newly launched HR-V MUGEN flaunts a more commanding and daring look with the new design of its MUGEN front grille and 17-inch alloy wheels, and new MUGEN side stripe sticker and tailgate spoiler on its body. This new variant also carries the current HR-V MUGEN’s front under spoiler, side under spoiler, rear under spoiler, and MUGEN emblem.  This accessorized variant update also comes with a new MUGEN interior ornament on its high deck center console for added exclusivity.
The New HR-V MUGEN will be available for both 1.8 E and 1.8 EL variants with the following suggested retail prices: Php 1,410,000 for the 1.8 E, and Php 1,520,000 for the 1.8 EL. HCPI is now accepting reservations for the New HR-V MUGEN. Customer delivery will commence in June 2017.
Furthermore, HCPI returns its gratitude to the Filipino customers by displaying and selling a limited number of the New City 1.5 VX Navi MIAS Edition at MIAS. This New City variant was exclusively developed for the MIAS event, designed with Modulo accessories for added sportiness and convenience. The New City 1.5 VX Navi MIAS Edition is equipped with Modulo front under spoiler, side under spoiler, rear under spoiler, duck type trunk spoiler, and daytime running lights on its exterior, and welcome lights on its interior. These welcome lights provide added illumination for easier ingress and egress of passengers. This New City variant is made even more exclusive with only 8 units available in the market with a suggested retail price of Php 958,000.
Lastly, the Civic Type R is set to rekindle Honda’s name at the MIAS event. Fresh from its global debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, the Civic Type R is bound to make its way to Philippine shores. Filipino car enthusiasts are invited to visit the Honda booth to see the Civic Type R for the first time ever.  
Following Honda’s heritage of developing high-performance vehicles, the Civic Type R is engineered to deliver the most rewarding drive with its refined aerodynamic styling, packaged with a remarkable driving performance.
The Civic Type R sports an extensive aerodynamic design characterized by its muscular and aggressive frame that provides better high-speed stability and more agile handling.
The Civic Type R is powered by a 2.0-liter VTEC TURBO engine that produces 320 PS with peak torque of 400 Nm. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, further improved by a rev match control system.

With all these surprises that await at the MIAS event, customers are invited to visit the World Trade Center from March 30 to April 2, 2017 to check out and test drive Honda vehicles. Exclusive offers and packages will also be available to customers who will reserve Honda vehicles at the MIAS event.

For more information on Honda vehicles and the 2017 MIAS event, visit Honda Philippines

Ford Philippines Brings Ford Island Conquest at MIAS 2017

Press Release

Ford Philippines Brings ‘Ford Island Conquest’ to Manila International Auto Show, Announces Nationwide Dates

·         Ford showcases line-up of its best-selling vehicles - Everest, EcoSport and Ranger - at one of MIAS’ largest booths

·         Ford rolls out the Ford Island Conquest at MIAS, providing test drive activities and special offers to consumers during the event

·         Ford Island Conquest announces locations for experiential roadshow, including major provinces nationwide in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

Ford Philippines is leveraging the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) from March 30 to April 2 to showcase both its best-selling vehicles in the country, as well as its unique test-drive and brand experience, the Ford Island Conquest.

The Ford booth at MIAS showcases top-selling variants of its Big Three vehicle nameplates - the Everest mid-size SUV, EcoSport compact SUV, and segment-defining Ranger pickup.
Ford has also brought to MIAS the Ford Island Conquest, which it launched earlier this year with two successful events in Metro Manila.

The Ford Island Conquest is the ultimate test drive arena for car enthusiasts and interested buyers to experience the Everest, Ranger, and EcoSport. An outdoor course, featuring a water-wading drive-thru, is designed to highlight key features and capabilities of the Everest and Ranger.

The Ford Island Conquest also features a mock-up Ford showroom, providing a good opportunity for both owners and interested buyers to learn more about Ford’s sales and after-sales services and ownership packages.

To bring the experiential test drive activity to more Filipinos nationwide, Ford Island Conquest is planning scheduled roll-outs in Bulacan, Pampanga, Naga, Laguna, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao, as well as additional events in Metro Manila to include Greenhills, Ortigas, Marikina and Quezon City, among others.

 Lance Mosley, managing director, Ford Philippines

“We’re excited to have the Ford Island Conquest at MIAS and present something unique to the Show that engages consumers by simulating an actual Ford drive experience,” said Lance Mosley, managing director, Ford Philippines. “Our first two Ford Island Conquest events were a real success and we want to share this opportunity and experience with more Filipinos across the country.”

The Ford Island Conquest will also offer exciting freebies and exclusive Ford merchandise that are up for grabs upon registration and participation in various activities.
The Ford booth at MIAS also features a dedicated service information to handle any after-sales service inquiries that show attendees may have. Ford is also offering exclusive deals during the four-day Show, providing a number of ways for consumers to purchase a new Ford. 

For more information on the Ford Island Conquest, visit or

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Petron Engine Oils Partners with Lazada Online


Wherever you are, you can now enjoy the convenience of having Petron Engine Oils delivered to your doorstep from the leading online shopping mall, Lazada. 

Ride Beyond Performance at MIAS 2017

MIAS 2017, the country's biggest automotive event of the year opened yesterday until April 2 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila adjoining the Philippine Trade Training Center from 10AM to 10PM, organized by the country's biggest trade show organizer, Worldbex Services International. The event is co-presented by BPI Family Auto Loan and is for the benefit of the ABS CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. In photo, (top L-R):Jason Ang (Co-Organizer, MIAS); Eugene Yap (Chairman and President, HRAP); Ronald Delos Reyes (President, CAGI); Lance Mosley (President, Ford Philippines); Felix Ang (President, Auto Nation Group and CATS Motor Inc. Chairman); Tomohiro Ando (Executive Director, JETRO); Steven Tan (CEO, Mazda Philippines); Alvin Uy (Co-Organizer, MIAS); Bottom (L-R): Rene Ramos (Director, Worldbex Services International); Francisco Flameno Jr. (Executive Director, Worldbex Services International) Tessie Roque (Director, Worldbex Services International); Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo (President and CEO, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.); Usec. Thomas Orbos (Chairman, MMDA); Josephe Ang (Founding Chairman, Worldbes Services International);  Augusto Lagman, (President, AAP); Jill Ang (Managing Director, Worldbex Services International)
Press Release

Nothing racks up much excitement and exhilarating energy quite like the annual Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). Hands down the biggest and most anticipated auto event of the year, MIAS 2017 caused quite a stir in the automotive community as it launched today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 Mazda CX-3 FWD Sport - Angry Bird Soaring High

By Monch Henares

At a Glance

If any of you are familiar with the addicting video game "Angry  Birds", seeing the Soul Red colored 2017 Mazda CX-3 FWD Sport quickly reminded me of it. Those Rear LED Tail Lights (especially at night) captured my imagination and made me remember "RED", the lead character of Angry Birds, cute, angry, and very red.

The size of the CX-3 was smaller than I expected. It looked like a shortened version of its bigger brother, the CX-5, but it stood tall and proud with its sporty eighteen inch wheels. I was so eager to take it for a test flight. Let's see how this angry bird flies!

St. Martin of Tours Church, Taal, Batangas

The Interior

The interior wasn't really new to me because I've seen it before on the Mazda 2 Midnight Edition which I test-drove last November . I realized the CX-3 is a Mazda 2 hatchback on stilts. The interior is the same size as a Mazda 2, but with a lot more headroom.

This CX-3 model had a more elegant look to it. Blending in beautifully are the rich Red Leather Accent Panels on the doors and center console with the Carbon Fiber, Brushed Aluminum and Piano Black Trim. A flawless Red Stitching mends them all together.

Its Front Bucket Seats stitched in leather with suede-inserts are snug, comfortable, and surprisingly cool to the body. The driver's seat had manual height adjustment. It was nice to note that both front seats have Side Airbags for added safety.

The  pair of Rear Folding Seats are much appreciated when you need the extra room to expand its very tiny luggage area. Thank God for that. All equipped with 3-Point Seatbelts and Individually Adjustable Headrests for each of the three passengers riding shotgun.

It's like the Mazda engineers were experts in the human anatomy, and had the driver's comfort as their main design thrust. They placed the pedals at a anatomically perfect position.  They added a Multi-function Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel, which can be adjusted to anybody's body built or driving position. They topped it off with a comfy sporty seat. Fatigue-free driving? A driver's dream indeed.

I love how the dashboard sits low and non-obstructive. A HUD (Heads-Up Display), located above the instrument panel, folds up when the engine is started, and it magically displays the vehicle speed. I just wished they would have made the reflected image larger. On the center sits the Seven-Inch Infotainment Touch-Screen, which displays and controls all Audio / Entertainment functions, Bluetooth Connectivity, NAV, Trip Computer, Rear View Parking Monitor, Info Details, and Settings.

The bright-metal trimmed instrument panel is simply elegant and easy to read or monitor, thanks to its bright and well placed markings. Seems like an  Analog-Digital mix of sorts, classy!

Push-Button Engine Start-and-Stop and Keyless-Entry with Alarm come standard with this model. Why did you not include a Smart-Keyless-Entry-System to the convenience roster, Mazda? Why?  By the way, with a Smart Keyless-Entry System, you just have to leave the keyfob inside your bag or pocket, go near the vehicle and pull on the door handle to unlock and open the door. That's convenient and safe. To lock the vehicle, all you have to do is walk away.

The center console shows off  three handsome aircraft-cockpit-type control knobs of the Fully Automatic Climate Control System at the top and right below it are a CD Slot with 2-power/USB ports, an AUX port, a 12 V power outlet, and an SD Card Slot for NAV data. Taking center stage is the ergonomically design Skyactiv 6-speed Transmission Selector lever with Manual Overide. Perched at the bottom is the Sport Mode Switch.

The handy and highly-functional Commander Control for the OM2D (Connect Smart Connectivity & Entertainment Audio System), which is a Mazda original, shares the space to the right of the emergency brake lever.

The Journey

Four of my friends and I were off on a three-day music-jam-weekend at a beach house located at Matuod, Lian, Batangas. Our trip would take us on a 112 kilometer drive away from Manila, traversing through SLEX at highway speeds, before taking a short steady climb to Tagaytay, and down again towards Nasugbu. We were sure to hit some dirt-roads when we get to Matuod.

We started off from Paranaque. I was in a dilemma when I saw the amount of luggage five adult passengers needed to bring on a three-day-weekend outing. Three knapsacks, two duffel bags, two mermaid tails, a sack of swim gear, a bag of beddings, a bag of food, a small guitar amp, and two electric guitars. What the hell were we thinking? How did we stuff all that luggage and gear into that tiny cramped space? The master packers came to the rescue.

We actually did not leave anything behind. It all fitted nicely. I don't think we left any air-spaces between the bags. Our friend Joaco had to embrace his guitar all the way to the beach. Another friend Pete, a body builder, had to sit bending forward for the whole duration of the trip. His muscular body prevented him from leaning back fully. It was quite tight at the back. We were all excited to go, so the inconvenience did not stop us. Off we went to frolic in the clear blue waters of Batangas.

"Full to the brim" Thank you Jeffrey Enriquez for the pics

Off to the beach! With me are (from L-R)) Arabelle Jimenez, Pete LapeƱa, Joaco Marco, and Jeffrey Enriquez.

The CX-3 was packed to the brim, and laden with five beach hungry adults, their luggage, their beach gear, and their musical instruments. It's a good thing no one thought of bringing the stage. So I thought the angry bird would not fly. I was wrong. It did in fact muster so much power from its Skyactiv 2.0L 4 cylinder 148PS Gasoline Engine synchronized with a 6 spd Skyactiv Automatic Transmission. We cruised the highway with dominance and ease.

Accelerating hard with the Sport Mode on was totally exhilarating. The high revving roar of the engine together with its perfectly tuned Dual Exhaust Tailpipes was music to my ears. I could not rightfully test its 0-100 kph time in seconds due to the weight the car was carrying, but I did anyway. I set the transmission selector lever to manual and used the steering wheel Paddle Shifters to shift. It did it in 10.0 seconds with a fully loaded car and a tank full of gasoline.

We climbed the wavy road to Tagaytay without a hiccup. The ride was relaxingly smooth and the suspension never bottomed out.

This CX-3 is equipped with the i-Stop (Idling Stop feature). The system came on when we encountered the stop-and-go traffic in Tagaytay. It shut the engine off when I stopped and started the engine again as soon as I released the brakes. A cool way to save gas.  It also started the engine when I lowered the climate control temperature setting while I was still at a stop. So, don't worry, the car's cabin temperature will always stay at its setting, even with the i-stop feature on. By the way, the system never faltered. I'm glad Mazda has now installed an i-Stop Deactivate Switch on their latest models. Now we have a choice to lessen the earth's carbon footprint or not.

I was amazed how effective the Shark-fin Antenna's range was. It's mounted on the rear part of the roof.  My favorite station 105.1 FM was clearly playing my most requested tunes without interference and distortion through the hills of Tagaytay and up to the Sugar Mills near Nasugbu.... that is about 100 kilometers away. A little bit of trivia; How far away can a shark sense its prey? According to marine experts, the distance is a little bit over 240 meters. This Sharky leaves all other sharks in the dust.

Once we reached the unpaved roads of Matuod, I had to put this bird through another test. How well can it handle rough terrain? Surprisingly, it maneuvered and hurdled with ease. Small ruts on the beaten path did not hinder my speed at all until I came accross this four-inch-high obstruction. I slowed down and glided over it very gently. I heard a faint thud, meaning it hit something underneath the car. The CX-3's  ground clearance of 16 centimeters is kinda low for a crossover don't you think?

At last, three hours later, we arrived at the sandy beach of Matuod. We all stepped out to enjoy the view and fresh air. I see Pete (the muscle man who was bending forward) get off and walk like Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame. Joaco steps out still tightly embracing his guitar. Jeffrey enjoyed the trip in the back seat. He had everyone's pillows around him.

Matuod Beach, Lian, Batangas

On another trip,  driving back to Manila from Anilao Batangas, we decided to take the scenic route home. We passed through the old heritage town of Taal. Of course we stopped for a photo-op at the centuries-old-church, St. Martin of Tours. Then we took the back winding roads beneath Tagaytay, down to the town of Laurel and up the scenic zig-zag road of Talisay. Body-roll was at a minimum on these tight bends.  I was cutting the curves with a samurai sword. After and hour of driving the CX-3, it became a part of me. Every movement I made was perfectly executed by this angry bird.

'HUD'  Heads-Up Display

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 FWD Sport is also equipped with Dual Front and Side Airbags, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS, and a Sport Tuned Suspension.

My Overall Rating

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 FWD Sport 2.0L averaged 13 km/l on this week's trip, fully loaded. Not bad!

With all the little design snags as in the tiny luggage space, not-so-roomy rear seat, and low ground clearance, the CX-3 angry bird still soars above the clouds. It's handsome, powerful, agile, and very lovable. It is packed with lots of safety and convenience features, too. Maybe it's not made for group of friends who love to frolic and travel to the great blue yonder. It's made for single men or women who love the outdoors, and who go out in search for adventure. They will grow to love this sub-compact crossover until they marry and have a kid or two. They better upgrade to the CX-5, CX-7, or maybe the 7-seater CX-9 if they plan to over-procreate.

This bird may look angry, but its a sweet and lovable ride that will surely grow on you.

In a scale of 1 -10, I would rate this Subcompact Crossover, by Mazda a 9.7

Visit Mazda Philippies

 More Photos

Seven Inch Infotainment Display

Mazda Makati

Monch Henares is a tech and motoring specialist, and managed the motorpool for a limousine company in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He is now based in Manila, Philippines.  
You may e-mail him @

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ONE Championship Main Event: Filipino Fighter Eduard Folayang Defends ONE Lightweight World Title on April 21


The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced a spectacular fight card for ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, which takes place Friday, 21 April at the 20,000-capacity Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. The action-packed evening promises to feature the absolute best in local and international mixed martial arts talent. In the main event, ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of Baguio City, Philippines, will make the first defense of his title against top contender Ev “E.T.” Ting of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ticket information for ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY is available at

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The All-New Mazda CX-3: A Crossover Like No Other


Berjaya Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the

country, has unveiled the latest addition to the Japanese brand’s new-generation

vehicle lineup – the all-new Mazda CX-3 Freestyle Crossover Vehicle.