Technology and Travel
Innovations that leave—and take—nothing but digital footprints
- Eco-Mobility and Empowered Sustenance
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- Technology and Travel
It may be too early to tell. But at least, this newest development should inject renewed hope for the ride-sharing public. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has just announced its partnership with Grab, the leading online-to-offline mobile platform in Southeast Asia.
What started as an initiative by Grab to aid its drivers and micro-entrepreneurs into having an easier and faster way of securing their own vehicles has become an official partnership with Toyota and its affiliate–Toyota Financial Services Philippines (TFSPH).
This is part of the earlier-announced strategic collaboration between Toyota Motor Corporation and Grab Inc.
Toyota will offer a car replacement and easy-ownership package for existing Grab drivers. They can get great value with trade-in offers, exclusive flexible and affordable TFSPH financing deals, inclusive of an Easy Maintenance Package up to at least 80,000 kms, and special discounts on batteries, aircon cleaning, and car detailing.
Bonus privileges will also be available for eligible Grab drivers. TMP claims that Grab drivers can now enjoy the Toyota Sure Advantage of quality, durability, reliability, and worry-free vehicle ownership.
Grab drivers will receive notifications through their Grab apps for the start of this offer, or they can follow TMP’s official Facebook page and its new websitewww.toyota.com.ph.
Do it now, before things literally blow up in your face with deadly results; Honda Cars PH reiterates airbag recall
It has been over 10 months since Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) announced a voluntary recall last December for affected Honda vehicles to repair the airbag inflator of certain models manufactured from 2001 to 2015. To date, however, only 50% of the affected vehicles have been successfully recalled and repaired, despite the concerted effort between HCPI and its dealerships to reach out to customers through numerous mails, text messages, phone calls, and through broadcast, print and online announcements.
HCPI cannot stress enough the importance of having both driver and passenger side airbag inflators to be replaced in the affected models the soonest possible. In fact, HCPI has offered this service free of charge at its dealerships nationwide, and it only takes an hour to complete
How important is this procedure? It was discovered that during deployment of airbags in frontal collisions, fragments of the inflator (the device responsible for the rapid inflation of the airbag) shoots out in different directions, posing the possibility of hitting the car occupants. In some cases in other countries, this occurrence has resulted in death.
Customers can easily check if their vehicle is affected by visiting hondaphil.com/services/vin-search and simply typing in their car’s Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. The VIN is a 17-digit number that can be found on the vehicle registration or from the warranty booklet. Customers may also call Honda hotline numbers at 1-800-1000-HONDA (46632) or (02) 857-7240 between 8 a. m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, or through e-mail email@example.com.
The Airbag Recall campaign is an unprecedented challenge that is facing not only Honda but the whole automotive industry worldwide. While Takata supplies the affected inflator part to various car manufacturers globally, Honda is actively spearheading the campaign to ensure that its customers are protected from possible harm from the defective part.
Call your nearest Honda Cars dealer for details, or to set an appointment.
For the second straight year, a team from De La Salle University-Manila has bagged Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City country finals. This team then represented the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific regional finals held in the last week of August.
Don Emmanuel Santamaria and Fae Nicole Serrano, Team Green Goldies from DLSU-Manila, won for their e-Hub project.
The team chose to crowdfund in order to strengthen the awareness of renewable energy. E-Hub is an innovative financing mechanism that grants access to greener energy to address the decline in renewable energy investments and the low-level of awareness of it. By creating the E-Hub app, students Serrano and Santamaria allowed ordinary individuals to be involved in creating a smart city through investments or donations, proposals from project developers, and sell and buy products related to green energy.
Team Green Goldies was awarded P100,000 and also received mentorship from Schneider Electric Philippines’ team of experts that prepared them for the Asia Pacific Regional Finals on August 28-29. They competed against respective country winners from Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Last year, the university also earned the opportunity to represent the country in the regional finals. Iliana Benice Tan and Aaron Jules Del Rosario represented the country and finished first runner-up in the regional finals for their “Glass X” project, which “showcases a design that absorbs the heat being received by buildings from the sun. The heat absorbed is then converted into energy that can be used for the buildings’ own cooling systems, making the overall design versatile, extractive and sustainable.”
The E-Hub app also provides “the latest news on renewables, articles, and blogs from users, games, and average prices of various sources of electricity.”
“Go Green in the City is their platform to share their concepts and ideas that can help make a Smart Nation out of the Philippines and other countries by embracing digitization, innovation, and sustainability,” said Alexandre Vermot, country president, Schneider Electric Philippines.
Worldwide, energy management company Schneider Electric has been encouraging the youth to unleash their inner environmentalist with its advocacy “Go Green in the City”, which features innovations by business and engineering students worldwide.
Now on its eighth year, “Go Green in the City” challenges thousands of students to come up with “bold ideas” that can solve one of the four real-life challenges within energy management, or present an original idea for efficient energy management in a city environment.
The advocacy drew about 20,000 students from 3,000 universities in 180 countries last year.
Go Green in the City attracted more than 400 entries from various colleges and universities nationwide. Other finalists include Syd Ian Matthew De Ama (Far Eastern University) and Chelsea Kate Lavilla (University of Sto. Tomas) aka Team Foodies; and Earle Kit Sanchez (MAPUA Institute of Technology) and Kathlyn Mae Yap (De La Salle University) aka Team OffTheGrid.
First runner-up was Team OffTheGrid who presented GG Tap and Power Glass project use to maximize daily water consumption to generate electricity. Second runner-up was Team Foodies who created a project called The Green Cycle, also a mobile application that serves as a two-part solution using logistics and energy generation to address the world’s food waste problem.
Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI), Honda’s automobile business unit in the Philippines, has just introduced the limited edition variants of the new CR-V, Mobilio and Civic with cosmetic enhancements, adding to their sporty and dynamic looks. Interested customers may now inquire and reserve at any of the 38 Honda Cars dealerships nationwide.
As Honda’s first-ever diesel turbo available in its local lineup, the new CR-V has sold 5,651 units as of September 2018. A limited edition New CR-V Touring Diesel 9AT will be made available, integrating an aggressive front grille, running board, rear bumper protector and an exhaust pipe finisher. And to differentiate this limited editon CR-V from other variants, this will be fitted with a Touring Edition emblem.
The New CR-V Touring Diesel 9AT will be priced at P1.738 million, available in White Orchid Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, and Dark Olive Metallic.
Meanwhile, another variant of the new Mobilio MUV, the Mobilio 1.5 Premium CVT, exclusively comes in White Orchid Pearl to give it a touch of elegance. It will also come equipped with a shark-fin antenna, exhaust pipe finisher and a Premium Edition emblem.
Only 100 units of the new Mobilio 1.5 Premium CVT will be available for an SRP of P968,000, with actual deliveries to commence this November.
Finally, only 30 units of the Brilliant Sporty Blue variant of the Civic RS Turbo CVT will be available this year. The new Civic RS Turbo CVT Limited Edition goes for the SRP of P1.576 million.
These three limited edition variants will come with a P30,000 discount.
OFWs could have sent P6.75B more to their families in one month alone, if only they used what was already at hand
Mobile money–the use of a mobile phone to remit funds–offers the cheapest way for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to send cash home.
Citing the World Bank’s latest Remittance Prices Worldwide (RPW) report, ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III said on September 23 that cash transfers via mobile operators cost a global average of only 3.20% of the amount sent in the second quarter of 2018, down from 3.29% in the same period in 2017.
“In contrast, remittances coursed through banks cost a global average of 10.41% of the amount forwarded in the second quarter of this year, down from 10.99% in the same period last year,” Bertiz said.
Remittances by means of money transfer operators such as Western Union and MoneyGram, as well as so-called “innovative financial technology players” cost a global average of 6.15% of the amount conveyed, down from 6.23% last year, according to Bertiz.
Bertiz said remittances passing through postal offices cost a global average of 6.81% of the amount dispatched, down from 6.85% last year.
“We have to push for the use of mobile technologies to make it cheaper and faster for OFWs to send money home,” Bertiz said, although he also acknowledged that the development of mobile money or “mobile wallets” has been slowed down by lack of harmonized regulations between countries.
At present, Bertiz said remittance markets are still dominated by banks that charge the highest transfer fees.
“In our case, OFWs still rely heavily on banks to send their money home, so we have to put more pressure on banks to reduce transfer charges,” Bertiz said.
“While we recognize that Philippine banks correspond with foreign partners that also collect high fees, our banks here can do their share in bringing down charges, primarily through innovation and new technologies,” Bertiz said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last week reported that the cash sent home by OFWs through banks in July alone reached $2.401 billion, up 5.2% from the $2.283 billion in the same month in 2017.
“Based on the 10.41% global average cost of remittances coursed through banks, we can easily estimate that in July alone, OFWs spent around $250 million to pay for (bank) transfer fees,” Bertiz said.
“Reducing bank charges to an average of 5.2% would easily translate into $125 million, or P6.75 billion in monthly cost-savings–additional wealth that should directly benefit the households here of our migrant workers and our overall economy,” Bertiz said.
The World Bank’s RPW quarterly report tracks remittance prices across all channels and across all geographic regions of the world, and is used as reference for measuring progress towards global cost reduction.
The United Nations’ Social Development Goals that seek to lessen inequality include the target of reducing the cost of a cash remittance to a global average of 3%.
The global average cost of a $200-remittance across all channels stood at 6.99% as of June 2018, according to RPW.
On September 22, the third and final race of season 5 of the Vios Cup will be held at its old home at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga. No doubt, as in previous seasons, the races in the different classifications, from the Celebrity class all the way to the Promotional, Sporting and Super Sporting Classes will be action-packed.
Don’t be fooled by the seemingly low turnout of spectators, though. As much as motorsport fans based outside of Pampanga province would love to be where the action truly is, today’s circumstances (in particular, traffic and the high cost of fuel) prevent them from physically going to the venue.
The next best thing, then, is to watch the Vios Cup at the convenience of their own mobile devices, via Facebook Live in Toyota Motor Philippines’ official Facebook page.
Watching on Facebook Live presents some distinct advantages. It provides closer camera shots of the action from every location in the speedway (and the replays and slow-mos), plus you get clearer commentaries and race results, and the pre- or post-race interviews. Then, you can be part of the conversation by posting your own comments and reactions during the race.
Still, they say nothing beats being there, feeling the palpable excitement, hearing the rumble of engines and the roar of the crowd, and seeing and greeting your favorite racers and celebrities such as Sam Milby, Diego Loyzaga, Sofia Andres, and Chie Filomeno with returning celebrities from last season’s race, Japanese-Brazilian model Fabio Ide, sportscaster Gretchen Ho, and actor Troy Montero. Plus, Toyota promises a memorable Waku-Doki for its motorsports fans at the event with various food concessionaires, a selfie park, and other fun activities such as arcades and skid carts catering to the whole family. Gates open at 9:00 a.m.
At 30, Toyota in the Philippines is looking both at the past and the future. Here’s how it’s doing it
Time has rolled by so fast, before we all know it, such an iconic automotive brand as Toyota has been with us Filipinos for all of three decades already. And now, more than just looking at the past, Toyota Motor Philippines is also engaging its future motoring public.
TMP currently has two customer engagement programs. The first, as a way of saying “thank you” for those 30 years of driving together, the “Me and My Toyota” online platform has been created for people to share their timeless, unforgettable, and deeply personal Toyota stories.
The microsite was launched August 23 and will run until February 7, 2019.
Participants simply need to upload a memorable photo or video of their Toyota vehicle at the Me and My Toyota site (https://meandmytoyota.com.ph/) to get a chance to win premium prizes during the three draw dates on October 25, December 20, and on February 14, 2019.
The second is through TMP’s activation of its Toyota Viber stickers, the first-ever local automotive brand to imprint its models on the widely used digital messaging app.
The sticker pack, which highlights Toyota’s current lineup, allows you to choose from your favorite Toyota vehicles recreated in full, vibrant colors. Each sticker comes with a unique caption, perfect for that quick one-line reply or eye-catching conversation starter. The limited offer is available for free only up to September 20, 2018.
For Android and IOS users, download the Toyota Viber stickers on this link: https://vb.me/sayitwithtoyotastickers.
The new Ford EcoSport mini SUV just arrived last August 30 at all Ford dealerships in the Philippines.
First launched here in 2014, the EcoSport has enjoyed wide appeal for its combination of agility, affordability, and fuel efficiency of a compact car with the ground clearance, flexibility, and spaciousness of an SUV. The new EcoSport continues that formula, with enhancements in its exterior and interior design, new and upgraded smart and safety features and driver-assist technologies (DAT), and improvements in driving performance and fuel efficiency powered by a 1.0L EcoBoost engine.
With the EcoSport, Ford pioneered the mini SUV segment and led it over the last four years, highlighted by a nearly 50% share in 2017.
At the heart of the new EcoSport are two engine variants: the award-winning 1.0L EcoBoost and the new, more powerful 1.5L Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (TiVCT) engine, producing 125 and 123 horsepower, respectively.
The 1.0L EcoBoost engine features direct fuel injection technology and variable camshaft timing with turbocharger. EcoBoost is Ford’s most technologically-advanced engine ever, producing more power while consuming less fuel. It also now comes with the auto start/stop technology when idling at traffic light.
The new and more powerful 1.5L engine features TiVCT that helps improve efficiency. Together with the new 6-speed automatic transmission, this upgraded engine allows for smoother and faster acceleration.
Designed to suit urban traffic conditions, the new Ford EcoSport has a compact size yet trendy look. It has a ground clearance of 209mm and its exterior features a refreshed grille, a new hood design, headlamps, and lightweight and durable 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Titanium variant sports a more stylish design and features a power sunroof and an 8-inch multicolor touchscreen with a redesigned interface and intuitive smartphone-like actions. The Trend and Ambiente variants are equipped with a 9-inch touchscreen display.
The new EcoSport can handle a load of up to 1,178 liters, with 25 smart storage compartments for coffee cups, smartphones, tablets, umbrellas, bottles and other accessories.
The new EcoSport is equipped with multiple smart and DATs, including the rear view camera with rear parking assist, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, and smart keyless entry.
The new EcoSport is also powered by SYNC 3 with navigation that allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while staying connected. SYNC 3 features voice control for the entertainment system and the driver’s calls and text messages. The AppLink 3.0 feature on SYNC 3 also allows passengers to use their favorite smartphone applications via the car’s touchscreen. The new EcoSport also includes a 7-speaker audio system for the Titanium variant.
The new EcoSport also comes with safety features, including Hill-Start Assist Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution System, Electronic Stability Program and Anti-Locking Brake System, and six airbags available in all EcoSport variants.
The new EcoSport will be available in four variants with the following prices: 1.0L EcoBoost Titanium AT at P1.168 million; 1.5L Trend AT at P1.028 million; 1.5L Trend MT at P968,000, and; 1.5L Ambiente MT at P918,000.
The new EcoSport comes in six colors: Absolute Black, Ingot Silver, Crystal White, Ruby Red (Trend and Titanium variants only), Canyon Ridge (Titanium variant only), and Blue Lightning (Titanium variant only).
Last May, my family visited our relatives in Canada for a month-long vacation. In the first two weeks, we stayed with our relatives in Montreal. For our next two, we flew four hours to stay with my brothers and their families in Saskatchewan, then went on a butt-numbing 16-hour drive to British Columbia to visit my sister and her family.
We were fortunate to have such kind and generous relatives who made our coast-to-coast tour of Canada possible, enabling us to glimpse some of its great sites; as Montreal is in the east coast and British Columbia in the west. Our relatives took us to many famous spots, but for now this will be just about our stay in Montreal; any more and my space-obsessed editor would beat me to a pulp with his grandpa’s heirloom cane.
Our relatives are based in LaSalle Montreal, a place perfect for nature lovers as there are plenty of trees, plus a majestic river with raging rapids. The trail beside the river gives the residents reasons to go trekking, cycling, or have family picnics. I made it a point every morning to walk a few kilometers around the block, enjoying the cold breeze on my face.
Located nearby is Parc des Rapides. At the base of this park is a sanctuary for over 225 migratory bird species. It’s beautifully landscaped with wild flowers, walking paths, and spacious seating areas. It also offers a jet boat tour of the river. My Aunt May offered to book us a cruise of the rapids, but being such a wussy, I declined.
Montreal is like Metro Manila when it comes to malls — they both have a lot of ’em. But the great thing about Montreal’s malls is that when there’s a sale, they practically give the stuff away, unlike in our country where a typical mall sale says “Up to 70% off!” followed by the fine print “On selected items.” Such wussies.READ MOREREAD LESS
Designer brands can be bought dirt cheap during a sale.We saw this firsthand when my cousin Kuya Momay, his wife Ate Tin and their daughter Nikki took us shopping. Shout out to my cousin who still owes me a pair of rubber shoes that were not on sale when I saw them.
(Editors’ note: Shout out to Normandy who still owes us the pasalubong (gifts) of those sale items. Don’t go cheap on us, bro.)
My Uncle Benjie took us to Mont Royal mountain for a short hike up the Belvedere observatory, where amazing views of downtown Montreal and the mountains over on the south bank lay waiting.
VIEW PHOTOS FROM OUR MONTREAL ADVENTURES HERE
After taking the customary pictures atop Mont Royal, off we went to St. Joseph’s Oratory, located on Mont Royal’s Westmount summit. We went up the elevated outdoor steps, then made our way through the Oratory’s beautiful interiors and its in-house museum. Outside, we were treated to an excellent view of the Montreal sprawl. Standing in front of the ginormous church, I was tempted to shout “By the power of Grayskull… I have the powahhh!” but my son threatened to slap me silly.
As they say, a visit to Montreal wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Old Port. My Aunt Arden took us there via the train so we could also experience riding Montreal’s massive subway system. Walking the streets of the Old Port, we felt transported to another time, as the place exuded a medieval European charm with its antique structures. To cover more ground, we rented a four-wheeled bike that could seat four. And to see the entire Old Port and the surrounding areas, we got onboard the La Grande Roue de Montréal, a Ferris Wheel with air-conditioned cabins offering a panoramic, 60-meter-high view.
There’s a family adventure park in Old Port where one could climb aboard a full-size 100-foot replica of an old pirate ship and try the aerial adventure courses that go as high as 35 feet, or run through the inflatable playground. My son wanted to have a go at the pirate ship obstacle course with me, but again my wussy side took over and we settled for the inflatable playground. We also visited the Notre Dame Basilica, a majestic church in Old Port with an elaborate gothic façade and an even more elaborate interior. When my aunt said it was the church where Céline Dion got married, I almost sang “My Heart Will Go On” but now it was my wife who threatened to slap me silly.
Just when we thought nothing could top the places we visited, my cousin Ate Nuni and her hubby Kuya John treated us to a day at the La Ronde amusement park, owned and operated by Six Flags.
The park has 40 rides, including 10 roller coasters; among them Le Monstre, a 40-meter-high wooden double-tracked roller coaster that holds the world record for such a roller coaster. Aside from being so high up then dropping so fast that your tongue wants to run away, part of the thrill of riding Le Monstre is that it’s so old and rickety, you feel it might collapse anytime you’re running the course. I’m proud to say I slayed this monster; all may now call me He-Man, Master of the Universe. “I have the powahhh!!!”
Montreal is such a wonder. What made our tour even more memorable were our relatives who spared no expense just so we could have a swell time here.
If I survive my editor’s grandpa’s heirloom cane thrashing, I will next impart our family’s escapade with my brothers in Saskatchewan, the rendezvous with my sister in British Columbia, and some other surprise locations in Canada, a country I once thought was just so frigid I’d just spend my days cooped up in the warmth of a bedroom. Boy, was I wrong.
(Editors’ note: You wussy. You did exceed the recommended word count, by almost twice. But since you will be sending over your lavish gifts from the mall sale in Montreal, we have unanimously voted to extend your word count limit to 1,000. Those better not be just chocolates and ref magnets, boy)