Words by Leslie Sy
 
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Traffic jams are a daily reality for anyone who drives around Metro Manila. Day or night. And it only gets worse even if it rains ever so slightly. With today's technology and internet connectivity, there should be some way of knowing which roads are free and which ones are to avoid altogether in real time, right?
 
There are those like MMDA's Traffic Navigator that does well to inform its users of the traffic condition on major roads in the Metro. But what about the thousands of kilometers that are not covered by the MMDA's system? Fortunately there is a solution and it's an app called Waze - available for both iOS and Android devices. Best part is, it's free.
Words by Leslie Sy
 
dost monorail
Metro Manila's traffic congestion has been a problem for everyone in the region for at least the last two or three decades. The major highways that connect its 16 cities turn into parking lots as vehicles come to a virtual standstill during the morning and evening rush hours. In a bid to help alleviate this problem, President Benigno Aquino III proposed in late 2010 a driverless, fully-automated guideway transit system simply known as the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) to improve public transport and hopefully, lessen cars on the road. But is it really the answer to Metro Manila's traffic problem?
 
coty20122013 mirage
After the long search, the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) has finally been revealed last April 4, 2013 at the 9th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) held at the Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC). Following the footsteps of last year’s winner, the Hyundai Elantra - of which we see many of on the streets - this year’s champ is none other than the all-new Mitsubishi Mirage GLS MT.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos by Mikko David
 
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After spending nine days for Qualitative Tests at ETON Centris, Quezon City and another four days for Technical Tests at the Clark International Speedway (CIS), it all comes down to this. On the eve of April 4, 2013 at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), there will be a newly-crowed Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) for 2012 - 2013. But before last year's COTY - the Hyundai Elantra - hands over its throne, the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) has published this year's final nominees.
 
The list includes 80 vehicles competing in 20 Categories, plus the coveted Car of the Year Philippines title. But new for this year is a Truck of the Year Philippines (TOTY-P) award that separately recognizes the bigger cars in the bunch.
Words by Jade Lu | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua
 
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Last Saturday, January 26, 2013, was the final day of the qualitative testing for the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). It was a day for big brutes once again, as Hyundai sent the Santa Fe R-2.2 GLS 6AT 2WD and Premium 4WD, which were matched by Toyota’s Fortuner 4x2 G DSL AT and Hilux 4x2 G MT and Mazda’s CX-5 and BT-50. The Honda CR-V made its reprise with the 2.0 S and 2.4 SX variant, this time made in Thailand with local specs (Honda sent the Japan-made CR-V last time).
 
It was the fitting ending for this chapter. The cars weren’t too exciting to leave us done and fulfilled at the end of the day; they were mellowed down to leave us wanting more. Of course, “more” would come to us during the technical testing at the Clark International Speedway on February 25 to 27, when the cars will once again converge for the acceleration, braking, and handling tests. But until that comes, we were satisfied enough with the cars we’ve driven to keep us at ease until the end of February. Hopefully, the sky will stay clear of rain clouds and strong winds until then.
 
With that last hurrah, here are some final words from our writers about the cars of Day 9:
Words by Christian Peña
 
acero bodykits
There are only two fundamental elements in the world of car customization: wheels and body kits. These are the very first things one should ever consider changing to improve how their ride looks, way before lowering springs, exhausts, and paint. But while wheel choices may already seem endless in terms of design, size, and offset, choosing the perfect body kit for your car is much more difficult than that. Not only do you have to find the style that best suits your taste, you'll also have to consider quality, durability, material, and even weight. On top of that, installing body kits is a long term commitment that you can't simply swap out like a set of wheels.
 
With those things in mind, Acero Intertrade offers a wide range of aero and body kits for the growing number of Filipino car enthusiasts who are willing to pay a premium for a higher quality product. Think of it as an investment that will surely pay you dividends in style points and longevity.
Words by Jade Lu | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua
 
coty8 main
The end is near - for the qualitative testing dates, at least. The second to the last 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) qualitative test fest day was held least Saturday, 19 January, and things were looking pretty bright despite the gray skies. And who wouldn’t be excited? We were testing six lovely sportsters and two tough trucks. The members of the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) couldn’t wait to get their hands all over these beauties; we didn’t know where to start!
 
Hyundai brought in the Genesis Coupe’s 2.0T 6MT and 3.8L V6 8AT variants, set side-by-side with Toyota’s 86 Aero AT and MT, not to be outdone by MINI’s Cooper S Coupe and Cooper S Roadster. Contrast these low riders with Isuzu’s D-Max 4x4 AT and 4x2 MT, and we had a ball.
 
After the final qualitative test day this coming Saturday, 26 January, all models from the previous and this coming weeks will once again be put to the test by CAGI’s Technical Team, this time on track for the technical phase of the COTY-P. That would be held in the end of February at the Clark International Speedway (CIS).
 
For now, here is what our writers had to say about the hardy two-door contenders from last Saturday:
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua and author
 
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On a regular day, we'd have around 8 to 10 cars to drive at the Qualitative Testing for the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). But this was no regular day. Last January 12, 2013, the boys and girls of the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) found themselves face-to-face with 17 shiny new cars and they had to drive every single one of them. Though the experience was fun, we were all left battered and bruised by the day's end. Still, we got to drive big, small, and everything in between.
 
The smallest of the bunch were all four variants of the all-new Mirage from Mitsubishi. Following on its trail are the trio of Chevrolet Sonics, in both hatchback and notchback (sedan) forms. Then there were the heavyweights. Chevrolet brought three Colorados with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains; Foton stepped up with their own all-new Thunder 4x2 and 4x4; and Mitsubishi fielded their 3.0L V6-equipped Montero Sport. But I guess it goes without saying that the crème de la crème were from newcomer Peugeot, who brought their entire line-up: the 3008 crossover, 5008 mpv, 508 sedan, and RCZ sports coupe.
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