motoring

In Pursuit of Driving Pleasure – All-new Toyota GR Supra

August 2, 2019

The All-New Toyota GR Supra, otherwise known as the A90 or Mk. V, is the first-ever Toyota Supra to be retailed in the Philippines. Following a 17-year hiatus, the legendary Supra makes a comeback and takes the motoring world by storm upon its international debut in Detroit, USA. Now on its fifth generation, the new Supra is the first global Toyota Gazoo Racing model, with all units being manufactured at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria. Toyota Gazoo Racing, or GR, is Toyota’s performance development arm which aims to produce ever-better cars through motorsports. The GR Supra is the culmination of Toyota’s racing expertise.      The Philippine variant of the All-New Toyota GR Supra is powered by a twin-scroll turbocharged, in-line six-cylinder engine that produces a maximum output of 335 hp and 500 Nm of torque. A flagship sports car through and through, the GR Supra is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe that comes exclusively in 3.0L displacement and 8-speed automatic transmission.      Both chassis and body frame are masterfully crafted to enjoy a 50:50 front-rear weight distribution, crucial in achieving optimum cornering performance. In addition is a wheelbase-to-tread ratio of 1.55*1—one of the smallest among mass production sports cars—contributing to its excellent turning and responsiveness.      The All-New Toyota GR Supra is also armed with Adaptive Variable Suspension. Its front wheels are equipped with double-joint type MacPherson Strut, while the rear wheels come with Multi-Link suspension. The Supra features a Limited Slip Differential and ventilated disc brakes. Its high body rigidity, low center of gravity, and aerodynamics all combine to give the driver ultimate driving speed and precision.      Set as low and wide as possible, the All-New Toyota GR Supra has an athletic stance that evokes a dynamic look referred to by Toyota engineers as the “Condensed Extreme”.      Its prominent grille is flanked by large air intakes on both sides, whose character lines meld seamlessly down the flared spoilers and trapezoidal bumper with dual exhaust pipes plus diffuser. The silhouette profile is perfectly accentuated by 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, with custom-made tires by Michelin.      The All-New Toyota GR Supra has a distinct illumination setup: the front features six-lens LED headlamps that integrate daytime running lights and turn signals, while the rear lamps combine turn, tail, and stop into one stylish main ring. The dot-type LED backup lamps are located in the center of the lower bumper. A Follow-Me-Home lighting feature is also present.      The interior of the Philippine variant comes purely in black, with muted carbon accents for an understated luxury feel. The Alcantara sports seats are equipped with lumbar support and 8-way power memory adjust, and the 3-spoke leather steering wheel has both manual tilt and telescopic adjust for optimum ergonomics.      Aimed at millimeter driving precision, the All-New Toyota GR Supra has a narrow-sectioned dashboard that offers expansive forward visibility. The vehicle intuitively assists its driver in focusing on the road through an advanced Heads Up Display (HUD) plus responsive Paddle Shifters, complemented by 8.8-inch TFT-LCD Multi Information Display gauge.      Keep the cabin comfortable through a dual-zone, push-type air conditioning and stay entertained with an 8.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display with Bluetooth and USB connectivity that synergizes with its 12-speaker, High-Fidelity surround sound system powered by JBL.      In Toyota, safety is always a priority especially for its high-speed performance models. The All-New Toyota GR Supra has seven (7) SRS airbags, 3-point Pre-tensioner and Force Limiter seatbelts, as well as Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control, and an Anti-Lock Brake System.      The All-New Toyota GR Supra 3.0L Philippine variant starts at PHP 4,990,000. It comes in eight (8) striking colors: Prominence Red, Lightning Yellow, Deep Blue Metallic, White Metallic, Silver Metallic, Ice Gray Metallic, Black Metallic, and Matte Storm Gray.

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PPI at 55: Building Better Communities

July 1, 2019

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), also known as the national association of newspapers. This milestone serves as a testament to the enduring two-pronged vision of PPI: 1) To defend press freedom; and 2) to promote ethical standards within the ranks of its member-publications. “We do not only celebrate its longevity but remind ourselves of its relevance and mandate,” said Alfonso Pedroche, outgoing PPI chairman-president and retired former editor-in-chief of Pilipino Star Ngayon.   As in previous years, PPI is holding yet another edition of the  National Press Forum on July 4 and 5 in Manila, not only in celebration of its founding but, more importantly, to bring together the members in a once-a-year opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion on an issue that matters to the public and all of the Philippine media.  The publishers and editors from the member-newspapers will be joined by guests from the academe, government, embassies, and civil society organizations. The theme for this year is “Governance, Media, and Democracy: Building Better Communities”, around which the PPI aims to have a discussion that, among others, will highlight the role of media in both local and national affairs as the fourth estate and watchdog.  “Building Better Communities” is the slogan for PPI’s flagship program which is civic journalism. “We couldn’t stress enough the role of the print media.  PPI in fact has been a witness and participant in the evolving media landscapes which also saw the growth of community press since the inception of the organization fifty-five years ago,” said PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino.  He also attested that newspapers have survived the tests of time. Alex Pal, a publisher of a Dumaguete-based community newspaper and PPI vice-chairman said that it is even more challenging for a small paper to sustain its operations despite difficult times.  “The last time they said print was dying, we’re still here, active in our role as catalysts for change and a platform for civic engagement.”  His weekly newspaper MetroPost is a finalist in this year’s Civic Journalism Community Press Awards. The PPI Board took note of this year’s conference theme as timely and relevant “as we also try to have an insightful look at a new system of government that has been a subject of discourse for the longest time”. Senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel, Jr., considered as the father of local government code and a staunch advocate of federalism will share his take on it.  Atty. Christian Monsod will discuss the (proposed) Puno Federalism in relation to preserving democracy and promoting press freedom.  “Social justice and economy are just two of the major shortcomings of the Puno Constitution,” said Monsod in response to the PPI invitation.  Atty. Erwin Caliba will talk about autonomy as a mechanism to address exclusion of minorities.  Atty. Cheryl Daytec-Yañgot, a staunch advocate of IP issues, will react to all three presentations.   This year’s event is being supported again by Nickel Asia Corporation as its principal partner for the conference and awards, and in part by Kusog Bikolandia and Hanns Seidel Foundation as major sponsors, SM Investments Corporation as minor sponsor, Smart Communications, PAGCOR, Ayala Corporation, Land Bank of the Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, PAGLAS Group, McDonald’s, PCSO, and Hotel Jen. PPI’s current program partners, led by Nickel Asia Corporation will take center stage in the Industry Forum as they talk about “engaging communities” in relation to their programs and advocacies in the communities they serve. The Civic Journalism Community Press Awards, now on its 23nd season will highlight the two-day event.  There are six dailies and 7 weeklies vying for five major categories, namely: best in photojournalism, best in environmental reporting, best in business and economic reporting, best editorial page, and best edited paper. The finalists are: Baguio Chronicle, MetroPost, The Mindanao Cross, The Bohol Chronicle, BusinessWeek Mindanao, Herald Express, and Northern Forum for the weekly category; and  Sun.Star Baguio, Cebu Daily News, Sun.Star Davao, Sun.Star Pampanga, Sun.Star Cebu, and Edge Davao for the daily category. The awards program, the only one of its kind by far, is being managed by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and supported by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC).

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