Green Frog Hybrid Bus offers hope for Metro Manila


MAKATI CITY, Philippines – Veterans of the daily commute to and from work know that air pollution and traffic are part of the whole routine. But one bus company hopes to change that by offering something never before seen on Philippine roads: a world-class city bus that runs on hybrid technology.

Green Frog Zero Emissions Transport (GFZET), established in 2010, will soon roll out the country’s first hybrid diesel-electric buses in Makati City. The initial route will run the entire stretch from Kalayaan Ave down to Sen Gil Puyat Ave (formerly Buendia Ave). The company plans to open up 3 more routes in the future.

According to GFZET managing director Philip Apostol, Green Frog buses are Euro-4 compliant and emit 80% less than a typical diesel bus would on the road. “Five of my buses would emit the same pollution as one normal bus,” he told Rappler. At the moment, the government only requires bus operators to follow the lower Euro-2 standard for emissions.

Many of these typical buses are imported second-hand and refurbished. And because the bus simultaneously uses its diesel and electric engines, it can go farther on the same amount of fuel. “If a typical bus will travel 1 kilometer, for the same amount of fuel, my bus will travel 2 or 2.5 kilometers,” Apostol said.

Green Frog buses are ahead of their time in many other aspects. They are modeled after buses that ply highly urbanized cities like Singapore and New York, with lowered floors to ease entry and exit. They also have 6 security cameras, a tap card system for cashless payments, fire extinguishers and a GPS tracker.

CASHLESS PAYMENT. Green Frog buses will utilize a tap card cashless payment system. A one way fare costs P12 and stored cards will be sold for P120. Photo courtesy of Green Frog's Facebook page

CASHLESS PAYMENT. Green Frog buses will utilize a tap card cashless payment system. A one way fare costs P12 and stored cards will be sold for P120. Photo courtesy of Green Frog’s Facebook page

The drivers of the buses, who just happen to be all women, will be paid a fixed salary and will pick up and drop off passengers only at designated bus stops. The GPS tracker will also help monitor speed to ensure drivers don’t over speed or clump together.

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North Korea to foreigners in South: Prepare to leave

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea on Tuesday, April 9, urged foreigners living in South Korea to consider evacuating, saying there was a risk of “thermo-nuclear war” breaking out on the Korean peninsula.

The warning followed a similar evacuation advisory the North gave Friday, April 5, to foreign embassies in Pyongyang, saying it could not ensure the safety of their personnel if war broke out.
Spread template 2013
“The situation on the Korean peninsula is heading for a thermo-nuclear war,” said Tuesday’s statement which was attributed to the North’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

“In the event of war, we don’t want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt,” said the statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It urged “all foreign organizations, companies and tourists to work out measures for evacuation”.

After last week’s embassy warning, most governments involved made it clear they had no immediate plans to withdraw personnel from their Pyongyang missions and some suggested the advisory was a ruse to fuel growing global anxiety over the current crisis on the Korean peninsula. –

Northern Inuits double as direwolves in HBO series “Game of Thrones”

-There are no direwolves south of the Wall.
-Now there are five.
“―Robb Stark and Jon Snow (before finding runt of the litter, Ghost, making six)[

For fans who have watched the blockbuster HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones”, have you wondered where they got those adorable and fluffy direwolves in the show? 


They were in reality Northern Inuit breed, which is a relatively new dog breed founded in the 1980s by U.K. breeder Edwina “Eddie” Harrison. Experts claim that these dogs are actually a mix of several rescue dogs of unknown origins, along with the Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd and Siberian Husky. The result was a dog breed that is not only exquisitely beautiful; these pooches have great temperaments and make wonderful pets, provided that they are adopted by the right people.

northern inuit

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Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Anniversary Promo – 50% Off

As Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®’s (CBT) celebrates its 50th Anniversary, they are giving away 50% off on their most famous beverages every Monday, from 3pm to 5pm, beginning April 1, 2013!


*This promotion is valid at all The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® stores in The Philippines except CBTL™ Coffee Bars and is only valid for the stated featured beverage of the day.

For more information, visit –

April Summer Sale 2013 – Forever 21, Debenhams, BLIMS, And MORE!

To all Manila Shoppers out there! Here’s the list of sales and promos for April 2013! 🙂

Forever 21 Clean-Up Sale
April 1 – 14, 2013

Get amazing discounts on selected items at Forever 21′s Clean-Up Sale happening at Forever 21 store outlets from April 1 – 14, 2013.

Le Donne P1SO Sale
March 18 – April 30, 2013
Get your third shoe for only Php 1.00 for every purchase of two (2) pairs of regular-priced shoes worth at least Php 1,500.

Available at all Le Donne store outlets nationwide: SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA, Glorietta 4, Robinsons Ermita, SM City Taytay, SM Rosario, SM Calamba, SM Cebu

The SM Store Summer Fashion Sale @ SM Megamall
April 5 – 7, 2013

Get up to 50% off on selected items at The SM Store’s Summer Fashion Sale happening at SM Megamall only from April 5 – 7, 2013.

Debenhams Freedom To Shop Sale

April 6 – 9, 2013

Get 20% off on regular-priced items storewide at Debenhams Freedom To Shop sale event happening at all Debenhams store outlets from April 6 – 9, 2013.

Store Outlets are located at: Trinoma, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Glorietta 4, Abreeza Mall Davao

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A sumptuous start to the National Day of Valor is assured at Spiral! Enjoy lavish breakfast fares, then move on to brunch with delights such as unlimited salmon, foie gras, fresh lobsters and scallops, a ravioli station and fresh Brittany creuse oysters. Cap off your meal with divine desserts, and celebrate with overflowing French champagne and an assortment of sparkling wines.

Conquer our 21 dining ateliers — 20% DISCOUNT* is on us! Call 551.5555 for bookings and queries.

Spirals Sofitel 6
*Valid on April 9, 2013 from 12 noon to 3pm. Not valid with other promotions.


How an Insult Created Italian Luxury Sports Car “Lamborghini”

Did you know that Lamborghini cars were only created because a tractor builder was insulted by Ferrari founder?


Ferruccio Lamborghini was a self made millionaire, he made a fortune by building tractors from army surplus left by the Allied Forces back in 1945. He started this business from a small garage but soon was able to move to larger buildings because demand for his very powerfull tractors rose. He also started manufacturing oil burners and airconditioning systems after his tractor plant started making lots of money, it turned out his second business also made big money so Ferruccio Lamborghini became one the wealthiest men in Italy. He could afford just about everything he wanted, including high speed GT cars like the Mercedes SL300 and Ferrari he owned alongside the Jaguar he liked very much. But his Ferrari started giving problems with the clutch, the local workshop couldn’t fix this problem so Ferruccio decided to drive to Modena and confront Enzo Ferrari himself. But Enzo, who was known for his arrogance, told this ‘farmer’ to take a walk.

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Upcoming Marvel Movies – 2013 and Beyond

Back in my younger days, I wasn’t really a huge fan of ANY comic superheroes. I just know Superman and Batman. Well who wouldn’t? They have appeared in series of television shows that were aired repeatedly over and over again. I think they were also the first comic characters to appear in movies. Batman movie in 1966 and Superman in 1978, gosh I wasn’t even born during that time! Then came their Part 2s, Part3s and so on… I lost count on how many movies there are in total for just these 2 characters alone. Or perhaps I just didn’t really care at all…

But that was before… things were different now. Blame it to huge productions, amazing CGIs & special effects and awesome marketing campaigns. They keep getting better & better every time! They were so awesome and I totally LOVE it!

And to make it even more exciting, here is the summary list of upcoming films based on Marvel characters. The line-up looks so amazing!  Wonder if there will also be similar line-up for rival DC comics? Hmm let’s find out soon! 🙂

Iron Man 3

Release Date: May 3, 2013 (United States); April 26, 2013 (United Kingdom); April 25, 2013 (International) Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures Director: Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) Screenwriters: Drew Pearce (No Heroics), Shane Black Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce The Scoop: Consider this one signed, sealed and delivered. Both Downey and Black have gone on record saying that they’re aiming to make up for the rushed, haphazard Iron Man 2 and have a more cohesive and challenging story in play this time around. In this one, Downey’s Tony Stark/Iron Man finally meets his comics arch-nemesis The Mandarin (played by Kingsley), while also looping in the adversaries of Warren Ellis and Adi Granov’s “Extremis” story-arc which served, stylistically, as the touchstone for the original movie. As the first movie in Marvel’s Phase Two, Iron Man 3 has a lot to prove.

The Wolverine

Release Date: July 26, 2013 (United States); July 25, 2013 (Australia); July 24, 2013 (International) Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Director: James Mangold (Walk The Line; 3:10 To Yuma) Screenwriters: Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher; X-Men; The Usual Suspects), Mark Bomback (Total Recall; Live Free or Die Hard), Scott Frank (Minority Report) Actors: Hugh Jackman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Will Yun Lee The Scoop: After X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wasn’t high on the idea of a sequel despite my love for the character and Hugh Jackman’s work, but damned if they haven’t seemed to have turned it around. With Mangold on board and Jackman firmly guiding the movie as a producer and star, The Wolverine looks to be just the kind of standalone unencumbered story the character, and the X-Men franchise, need.

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Starbucks to open 100 stores in 4 years in PH

Way to go Starbucks Philippines! Hope you can bring back my favorite Salted Caramel Mocha beverage! 🙂

Starbucks just opened its 200th store in the Philippines on Thursday, but the coffee giant’s CEO and chairman Howard Schultz is already looking forward to opening a hundred more stores in the country in the next four years.

In an exclusive interview with ANC’s Karen Davila, Schultz said he visited Manila for a second time to thank the company’s partners who have made the coffee chain such a success in the Philippines.

“People ask me, ‘why are you going to the Philippines? It’s such a small market.’  I’m coming here because I want to say thank you to our people who are doing such an amazing job. We never thought we’d have 200 stores in this market.  And here we are. Now we just announced we’ll open a hundred more in the next four years,” he said.

Starbucks, through local partner Rustan Coffee Corp., opened its first store in the Philippines at 6750 Ayala Avenue in December 1997. At that time, it was only the third market outside of the United States where Starbucks opened.

During his one-day visit on Thursday, Schultz visited a handful of Starbucks stores, including the branch at The Grove by Rockwell which won a key design award.

Schultz, who met Starbucks’ partners during his visit, was effusive in his praise for the Filipinos working for his company, saying they were “the best.”

“We have Starbucks now in 62 countries [but] the culture, the values, the passion of the Filipinos who are wearing the green apron at Starbucks are absolutely the best we’ve ever seen,” he said.

The Starbucks chief noted there is a “genuine” and “heartfelt” feeling he sees in Filipinos, which is a perfect fit with the company.

“It’s not contrived. You can’t teach it. It’s an embodiment of a spirit that is unbelievable, and putting that in a Starbucks store, when the brand, the relationship we have with the customers, is the formula for success,” he said.

With more than 18,000 stores in 62 countries, there’s no doubt Starbucks is an iconic global brand.

Asked about plans for further global expansion, Schultz said, “We’re committed to growing, innovating and doing things that perhaps has not been done before. And I love that.”

For more of Karen Davila’s exclusive interview with Starbucks CEO and chairman Howard Schultz, watch Headstart on ANC at 8 a.m. Tuesday (April 9).