The Last Action Hero

It seems heroism has been forgotten in this country. Even the make-believe industry of entertainment has forgotten it. In fact, the only thing they can do for an action movie comeback was to 're-create' an old film that has been revived repeatedly & made the latest version still looking like it was produced from the last century. People who have missed the genre from local films openly welcomed a retired old timer (who's always been a villain) to do the lead part because they know there's no one else to portrait the part. Quel dommage! Maybe the show business has finally succumbed to Hollywood. It can't compete.

Original film 1961                                        December 2011

Same goes with Philippines' automobile industry. After the Toyota Tamarraw FX hit the road and changed (most) commuters life forever, no vehicle has become a hero yet. If one can't afford to take a cab, the FX will save you from the sweltering heat, the smoke, the dust, the noise you are to endure riding a jeepney or a tricycle. I'm more than happy to see other xuvs & vans followed its lead. But I'm hoping the Tamarraw FX will not be the last action hero on the road.

Besides, there are not enough trains to surrender to.


Toyota vs. Toyota

I believe if you like the safest car choice, you go to a Toyota dealer. You're not gonna go wrong with a Toyota. Among your local peers, they most likely own one or two, even more. If you need something from a car, Toyota has the car for you. But, if you WANT something from a car, you look at other brands.

The other day, I overheard someone, a mother who's in 'need' of a people carrier. Her brand of choice: a Toyota (not a suprise). Torn between a Hiace GL Grandia & an Alphard. 

These two shouldn't be compared. But then, you can only compare a Toyota to another Toyota. Otherwise, it seems unfair. She's eyeing the GL Grandia as it's more spacious. More people, more stuffs, 'homey', she continued. I'm guessing it's also because in Metro Manila, it's a popular car of choice, just like its brother Fortuner. But the thing is, here's a madame who's not bothered by all the bells and whistles the other car brands are offering & now, she's also to put herself (& her family) in a giant moving fridge while on the road? Oh mon dieu!

I'm hoping she ends up with an Alphard. It's a bit modern. It looks like a car & it feels like a car. When you want to feel at home, then don't get in a vehicle, stay home. It is a minivan with no stunning exterior beauty. But it gives its passengers a comfortable ride to their destination with a little touch of luxury, without looking like they have just stepped out of a giant 80's refrigerator. 

Whichever she choose, one thing is for sure, the dealer's happy. As I said, it's a competition only between Toyotas.


Rolls Royce et Chanel

What do these two power brands have in common?

Yes, both have been an inspiration to a lot of us to do very well in life; to have the iconic arm candy & to travel with THE car mascot, I mean, ornament. I refuse to call it a 'mascot'. In my time, mascots are ridiculously looking big things with silly moves.

What else do they have in common? An inspiration from an affair which both ended in tragedy:

Coco Chanel's classic flap bag or the 2.55 ( february 1955) wasn't only made for her convenience of not having to carry the purse on her hand all the time. Not only she can turn it into an instant shoulder bag, it also hid her love letters in its secret compartment. For she was having a hidden love affair with her boyfriend's best friend.When they can finally be together, Chanel's lover ( & benefactor) died in a car accident. Tragic.

Rolls-Royce's Spirit of Ecstasy (the flying lady on the bonnet, kids) begun from a client. The editor of The Car Illustrated magazine & a future baron, thought his Rolls Royce's hood lucked a little oomph. So, a sculptor was hired & the sculptor was inspired, by his client's secretary who's also his mistress.

It was doomed from the start. A forbidden love affair not only because of marital bond but of aristocracy. She gave up their daughter for adoption. She died in a shipwreck. He was saved. Life went on...But the lady's spirit still lives as she quietly travel on the hood top of the most luxurious car brand in the world. And nowadays, she's never been more in demand...

Bonne Saint-Valentin! Happy Valentine's Day!


Time Out For A Knock Out

Valentine's day is approaching, along comes the 'special' dramas. My petrolhead gents, here's an application game for your passenger lovahhh when she won't let you drive in peace. Let her play & beat you...hard. We all know how arguing inside a car can turn the driver into a madman.

FaceFighter HD

P.S. Gentleman, whatever you do, please don't give your mademoiselle something as tacky as this.....

shoe cupcakes...eww!


Honk! Honk!

3 Must-haves inside the car to stay awake. No, it doesn't include obligatory conversation.

1. Coffee drink aren't always available. Your best resort is chocolate-covered espresso beans.

By the way, Meiji Coffeebeat doesn't have caffeine. Yea, I thought so too.

2. OxyCan. Oxygen in a can. Park, breathe in & viola! you'll feel rested instantly. Like you just woke up.

3. Spicy snacks. It should be hot enough to keep you awake & not scream for water.

Bon Week-end!


Worlds Collide

The whimsical world of Kelly Wearstler [interior designer]

collides with planet fashion...

her own collection

The spectacular world of Frank Gehry [architect]

collides with the sparkling planet of jewelry...

for Tiffany & Co

The 'eco' world of Kenneth Cobonpue [furniture designer]

collides with the speed planet...

Phoenix Roadster concept car
Filipino Pride

My kind of collision.


Rated R

...for Road Rage. Who hasn't experience it? Here are 3 tricks that you SHOULD NOT do but CAN....to deal with the b*st*rd on the road.

1. Briefly drive as if you're drunk ( ONLY if you trust your driving skill). Bottle not needed. Make sure the knob head will be able to watch your pretend drunk driving. & everyone else who has seen your 'loony' moment will smartly back away. We all know that every one avoids a conducteur ivre...a drunk driver.

2. Pretend you're not to looking. It's a trick we got from our chauffeur who was a lorry driver for years. According to him you pretend not seeing the other car, so you look at the other direction. Most will stop and give way.

3. Print & cut out (big enough for the other driver to see). Keep within reach.

Of course, the best defense is just let it go, knowing if everyone played it safe, life will be boring.


Faking It

Are you stuck with a paint color that you don't really prefer or you're just plain bored with your car? A simple solution, let's fake it!

Ladies & kids, a little 101 on vinyl wrap:
  • Internationally speaking, vinyl wrapping isn't new. But it's only been available in Manila for less than 2 years.
  • Your car is 'temporarily dressed' in whatever color you want for as long as you wish.
  • Once removed, the original paint of your car is untouched & protected from small scrapes & stone chips. Tada!

[click pictures to enlarge]

Nice, no? It's more stunning in person! Now it's the kind of faking, the business world & your partner wouldn't mind. Even more fabuleux, you don't need to renew your car registration.  So let's go be a fake. It's a wrap!


Riding Cars With Tots

Let's face it, driving along Metro Manila is not charming, especially when you're driving with a toddler. I Spy game doesn't work here: I spy a man spitting, I spy a little girl asking for alms with his big fat mother (annoys me every time), I spy half naked men/women on billboards. I spy lies. You can save the I spy game elsewhere as

For reference of my slogan *chuckles*

So what to do? A few suggestions:

Ipad apps that have worked so far without totally annoying us. First being the most played:

 Fong! Sticker by Samsung Pub Ltd. 

Toddler Song by Samsung Pub Ltd


 Neon Sketch

These apps are for pure entertainment. To keep things light while the Manila traffic is getting heavy. Chances are, the kid will get dizzy & snooze.

No ipad? No worries:

  • Play the Silent Game. The one who stays silent the longest wins. 1 2 3! Noone makes a sound... 
  • Find me a color. Find me 3 red SUV, you get a price (his price, your decision)
  • The I'm Thinking Game. I'm thinking of something square, soft, well you know the drill.
  • Compile theme songs of his fave cartoons e.g. Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts from the movie Cars. No ABCs & 123s. Something you can actually enjoy singing with him.
Happy drive! Bonne conduite!


Who's Hungry?

Q: So what happens when two Italians run into a Swedish?
A: They make The Most Beautiful Sandwich.


So Long, EDSA

Last year, car market was terribly affected among other industries due to lack of government projects. Quel dommage. I wouldn't go political. Not here.

Anyways, there is a plan constructing an expressway (freeway) connecting SLEx & NLEx. How smart is that? It's too smart that it's probably the smartest thing we've heard from the government in years. That is, if Mr. President OK'ed the project, we can only hope. We can also hope that it'll be as good as SCTEx. By the time Mr. President has done his term, he can finally enjoy whatever supercar or hypercar he'll drive in that new expressway & not give a damn what's to be printed in the newspaper.

I can already envision the locals buying more supercars, smiling as if they're in German Autobahn knowing they are no longer to pass through EDSA. You see in EDSA, the traffic isn't the only problem. You are to deal with the torturous highway. Doing 30mph or less is necessary otherwise you'll break a bone or simply go insane. And I am not exaggerating.

With that project proposal in mind, let me imagine that this weekend I'd be driving a Mulsanne in a sunny tropical afternoon. And beam from point A to point B....wwwweeeeeeeee!!!


These Old Men

I'm not saying that I don't have an eye for Ferraris. I do. But I think if it is not vintage then you should leave the new ones to the trust-fund kids. Now on the other hand, the vintage Ferraris ahhh...it's a totally different affair.

Ferraris are like men. The older they get, the classier they become, the sexier they look. Even with a keg belly. Most men will not have THE character until they hit their prime, at the time we mesdemoiselles start expiring *pouts*

Now that I have stated my amour to These Old Men, you can imagine how heartbreaking the following pictures to me. Somehow it's like real life, a young babe breaking the poor old rich monsieur's heart.

As in real life, there are few exceptions. Men who are of character even when they're young. A Ferrari Enzo will surely be more valuable in time. & right now, it's like the David Beckham of automobiles. And if Mrs. Beckham file for divorce ( knock on wood), it'll be like seeing this car:



Go bare Or Go Crashing

Mesdemoiselles, do you know that:
  • hair conditioner bottle must be close immediately upon use to keep it effective?
  • skin care products in pots/(round) cream containers accumulate more bacteria? that you're better off using the ones in tube, pump dispenser & atomizer?
  • lipsticks must look good on you when you absolutely have no makeup on?
  • applying makeup while driving is absolutely the most shallow thing you can ever do?

I don't know about you but I rather go to my destination fabulously late than get a ticket for reckless driving or worst, end up in the ER.

In the latest Top Gear episode (Season 18 HOORAH!), the ever amusing hosts talked about things they can't do while driving. I know one thing's for sure: They can not apply make-up while they're behind wheels. Males may be the fairer sex but they can't be the "fairest". They just can't...not when they're driving.