Test Post

Ten years. It doesn’t drive like so but mileage and bodywork confirm it has seen better days. Yup, the car I never thought would be with us past five years is now ten years old and counting.

So today it deserves some sort of pampering. I’ve learned to DIY it in the last two years but today it goes to the nearest car dealership for maintenance. Honda Cars Calamba was surprisingly comfy than the last time I was here. Besides free coffee and free test drive, the place has free Wi-Fi. No big deal but this is when I confirmed what WordPress replied on my desperate tweet–our ISP could indeed be blocking WordPress.com.

I can see the technician is almost done with my car so I’ll have this test post count as this year’s first. Let’s see if my car’s pic would appear.

Just kidding. That’s one of the displays. I got tired after two episodes of Stranger Things and checked out some of the brand new cars. That one is a Civic Type R.


Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Found a new route with the test drive.)


Hot Car No More

Can’t recall the last time I saw him sleeping in the car.

This past week I had the hottest car in the neighborhood. I wish figuratively but no. It was really the hottest car. Thanks to bad air-conditioning.

What was temporarily fixed about a year ago eventually broke down. Nothing but Murphy’s Law. The mechanic was honest enough that placing the shim on the car’s aircon compressor wouldn’t last but back then my only concern was that the car would make it to the airport for our December trip. Well, it exceeded expectations.

Actually, more than enough. It made more trips. It made another trip to Park ‘N Fly for our short Bacolod vacation. And it made more to and from Manila while we process Marcus’ genetic testing. I think the gamble to have the short-term fix was worth it.

But two Fridays ago I braved peeking under the boot to check. It was a rattling sound that got my attention early of May. The compressor’s pulley was indeed coming off. It moved more that the magnetic clutch would. That was the start of one week of sweaty drive to work and weekends spent on finding an air-conditioning compressor replacement. Last Saturday I was lucky to finally source out the part somewhere closer than Cavite.

Today, I got the part installed. The car’s dashboard vents are once again blowing cold air. Monday’s drive to work would be with windows up this time. 


Mood: 2/10 Honks! ( Hot choco while waiting at the car wash.)

2008 Honda City: What’s Good, What’s Bad

After a year with the 2008 Honda City I’ve come to discover and experience more about it, both bad and good.


  • Some paints have chipped off from the door and trunk edges. And this is not due to bad driving (I swear). I actually saw this just a couple of months after we got it. The service personnel said that they’ll do a re-touch of it once they have the exact car color.
  • Upon closer inspection–which I usually do when I don’t have anything to do while waiting for wifey–I discovered that some panels do not align perfectly. Well, it’s not a Ferrari in the first place.
  • The left A-pillar does create a blind spot when turning.
  • The underside engine cover/splash guard got snagged after I parked where a big chunk of concrete is hidden from view. I can’t believe at first that such thing could happen but after seeing several new cars with the same problem, I wonder if placing this part was a good design idea.
  • My wife still won’t drive it. It’s not directly related but it’s still among the bad. Hahaha.


  • Suspension is still remarkable. Most people would say that Honda suspension is indeed better than the rest. I couldn’t agree more.
  • Engine purrs silently. When stuck in traffic, I will just know that I prematurely released the clutch, and eventually cut-off the engine, if I see that the yellow and red indicator lamps have lit up. This is because of the low engine noise in addition to the good interior noise isolation (or insulation).
  • Recently discovered out of curiosity that the rear ash tray can be taken out for cleaning. Good thing no one smokes while inside the car.
  • The “Baby on Board” sticker looks good on it. : )


Mood: 3/10 Honks!

2009 Honda City

After all the speculations, spy shots, automotive forum excitement and anticipation, the new Honda City 2009 was finally introduced this week. Incidentally, this happens to be exactly a year after we bought our 2008 model. When I saw the pictures of the new City, I felt the same excitement I had last year while I was drooling over what was then considered as brand new. Now, somewhere out there I’m sure are thousands of anxious individuals who have already spent several sleepless nights thinking over and over again if this car is indeed a good buy.

Being one of those curious what the fuss is all about, I checked Honda’s website and saw that the City has indeed evolved a long way from its predecessors. In fact, if not for the rear emblem that says it’s a Honda City, this car may be mistaken as anything but a City. And this is where hot discussions and exchange of opinions come in.

At first look, especially coming from a year-old owner of the 2008 City, it cannot be denied that I appreciate the fact that this new model appears to be sleeker on the outside and more spacious in the inside. Fans of the new Honda Accord who fall short of their budget, would likely have some thinking to do now because the resemblance of this car is all over the City — same reason why I’ve been daydreaming about it.

But Honda City designers need not put their heads high just yet. This is because once the 2009 City is viewed from its sides, the feeling of looking at something familiar yet “un-Honda” is there. It’s a shame but it’s as if some designer from Toyota had his hands on this project because the profile of the City shows hints from the 1st generation Vios – especially when looking at the tail light from the sides. To verify if it’s just me and my untrained eye, I searched and found a discussion on this. Check out paultan.org. I rest my case.

At the end of the day, after all have been said and done, two things are certain: that someone coming right out of the Honda showroom will be another proud owner of the 2009 Honda City; and there will be one envious driver tailing the brand new Honda City wondering when the recession ends and if dreams of salary increases do come true. Ti abi.


Images from Honda’s website.

Ghost Sightings

San Vicente, Batangas. We’ve been here since yesterday to spend our Halloween weekend together with wifey’s family. So while the rest lazily settles in front of the TV and watch the movie Robots on DVD, I’m thinking of testing their newly installed internet connection and try to post a blog for the very first time from here.


One of my blog rules dictates that I should not write anything that hundreds or even thousands other bloggers (and even professional writers) will for sure write due to its current popularity or just for the sake of doing so.

But there is always an exemption and one of which that cannot be avoided is Halloween. It’s that time of the year when the grinning plastic pumpkins, skeletons, and scary costumes come out. It’s also my cue to panic and think about what gift I should be giving to wifey–Halloween is also when she celebrates her birthday.

It’s a good thing that this year is a lot more different than last year. Back then, wifey and I had to go to Batangas separately because I was still busy at work; we also had no car yet after selling our old Kia Pride; traffic was worse then. I remember arriving by lunchtime after leaving work at around 8 AM with the last two hours spent travelling from Turbina to San Vicente.

This year is a lot better. (Though I miss covering the hundreds of microprocessor chips before a cold shutdown. You’ll know what I mean.)


While on our way to Batangas yesterday and while driving at a snail pace in the middle of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), I honked at another driver when he tried to get into my lane without signaling his intention to do so. My wife commented, “Aba, that’s the first honk for today!” I was laughing hard after realizing that she’s actually taking notes of it. Then she added, “I’ve actually started measuring your mood by the number of honks you make.” Ti abi.

That short exchange on my driving habit made me smile. I’m now thinking if it would be a good idea to indicate my mood using “honk” score – 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Not bad. Thanks wifey for giving me the idea. Oh by the way, happy 32nd birthday.


Not to be outdone by others who have given their own scary ghost stories, video captures and even trick or treat experience, I might as well post my own. This one though isn’t fabricated in any way. This one is real and I captured it on October 31 when I was in the parking lot of SM Dasmarinas just minutes before sunset.

I was having our car seat cover replaced with fake (which others will call faux just to make it sound a not so cheap) leather and decided that it would be a good idea to take pictures of it to show how it will be done and to see the improvement right after. After I got my camera from the trunk and aimed it towards the workers I saw what appears to be a couple of ghostly figures inside the car after the pictures came out of the LCD screen. Scroll down to see the pictures…











Gotcha! These are Ace Hardware employees in their Halloween costumes. Kudos to these guys. Waiting for the leather seat to be installed wasn’t boring at all.


Mood: 5/10 Honks!