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A closer look at Suzuki’s Jimny

Zest Magazine takes a closer look at Suzuki Jimny JLX – MT.

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Butch.
The one word to describe Suzuki Jimny. That was my first impression of it, that first time I saw a unit traversing the roads of Tagaytay, seemingly calling for attention as a somewhat masculine – albeit in a cute way – car a la Jeep Wrangler.
That word returned to me when the unit to test arrived in Las Piñas.


Look-wise (from outside), the Jimny is somewhat of an attention-grabber, with a rugged retro look that could easily remind one of the likes of the early Wranglers or early RAV4 or – perhaps also more aptly – those locally-made owner-type jeeps (particularly in provinces) that served as the very first vehicle driven by oh-so-so many. With fog lamps, hood scoop, roof rails, 15″ alloy wheels and “masculine” color options (i.e. Superior White, Silky Silver Metallic, Granite Grey, Bluish Black Pearl and Cool Khaki Pearl Metallic), this one’s somewhat of a hot item when seen.

Inside Jimny, though, it’s a different story. The word that comes to mind is… functional; in a tight (if not cluttered) space. The seats – which use synthetic leather upholstery – are stiff. The headrest for the front seats are awkwardly positioned, so that the user is forced to firmly sit; no slouching or even comfy napping/sleeping can be done here (this perky position can be good for the driver as it keeps one awake; but it can be tiring when doing long drives).

At the back, two passengers (as there are only two seatbelts there) will have to fight for space to be comfy, and forcing three can be a nightmare (if they fit at all, depending on the built and weight of the passengers; though small kids should do). The back seats can fold (for luggage), and truth be told, layout may have been better this way – i.e. turn it into a two-seater, or (if this isn’t an option at all) with the back passengers facing each other and the empty space in front of them serving as space for stuff/luggage (much like the owner type jeeps); at least if this is the layout, legroom may be bettered.

There are definitely numerous pluses – e.g. fully-trimmed (albeit plastic-looking/feeling) dashboard, well positioned meters (easy reading indeed), high seating position (oozes with sex appeal; aside from allowing you to actually see your hood, like some lord/lady overseeing his/her space), cool A/C (I suppose for the small space this isn’t surprising), dual front airbags, multiple storage spaces (the sides for the back passengers have the armrest, for instance), and 2WD/4WD/4WD-L options. And – this has to be stressed – HUGE windows that seem to place who’s inside the Jimny outside, too. It’s almost like being in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Let me state, though, that perhaps because of its size, the Jimny is also seen as “cute”. I’ve lost count how many times the Jimny has been complimented as “way nice” – e.g. truck drivers in Agoncillo, Batangas; traffic enforcers in Lucban, Quezon; passersby in Balayan, Batangas; and even pedestrians in Bacoor, Cavite. If combining “cute” and “butch” is possible, then the Jimny’d be the exemplification of that…

The Jimny’s size bodes well in city driving (I have seen smaller cars in the streets of San Francisco; but this comes close). Squeezing in the unrealistically tight parking spaces of, say, Cybergate in Mandaluyong City (behind Robinson Forum) or Greenbelt is somewhat breezy.

But with the reservations re the Jimny’s compactness (here mainly because it really is TIGHT), how it performs matters big time.

And the Jimny has an all-aluminum engine, with the twincom 1,328cm3 powerplant spinning to high revs to provide lots of torque and instant response (e.g. traverse EDSA and fight for street space with the buses or truck there, and note the Jimny’s more than apt handling, braking and accelerating).















But of course this is also being sold as an all-terrain vehicle. Specifically:

  1. Press the 2WD button to disengage the front driveshaft and reduce noise and vibration;
  2. Press the 4WD button to engage the 4H setting, which is ideal for off-road surfaces; and
  3. Press the 4WD-L button, which engages the 4L setting, for even rougher terrain.

#1 was easy; that’s basically the “normal” driving with the Jimny – e.g. Coastal Road (from Baclaran to Las Piñas), where (true to form) noise and vibration were reduced.

I’d say fuel consumption for city driving wasn’t as good as other Suzuki offerings (at least in my experience, think Ciaz and Celerio), with a full tank covering approx. 300kms. This is no gas guzzler, yes; but seeing how fast that dial went down from “F” to “E” gave me (as always) that anxious feeling…

For #2 and #3, off we went to the south to try the Jimny. The off-road capabilities of the Jimny were tested at Naculo Falls, a somewhat hidden and not-that-often visited destination in Cavinti, Laguna (not too far from Pagsanjan). I didn’t know until late(r), but – as per local chika (storytelling) – the road wasn’t that good there that a van just stopped running; the same van is still there, left in the middle of (almost) nowhere. When there, the locals (they carry gravel from the area near the falls to the upper areas of Cavinti) just said the roads are “madulas (slippery)”. Only when we were trying to maneuver out of the “putik (mud)” did they say: “Puwedeng iwanan ang sasakyan sa taas (You can leave the car in the upper area).” But the Jimny held well; able to traverse the slippery slopes.

Perhaps worth noting was the benefit of the size of the Jimny in this situation. Because it was small-ish, the center of gravity was a-OK; and chances of turning over didn’t even occur to me. And then when there was an area where the Jimny could be turned around (instead of just attempting to get out of the literally sticky situation by reversing), the unit fitted the tight spot well.











But rough(er) roads weren’t the only contexts that used the 4WD and 4WD-L capabilities of the Jimny. From Cavinti back to Las Piñas, we traversed the less frequented roads that allow tourists (like moi!) to enjoy the small towns that thrive along Taal Lake – e.g. Laurel, Agoncillo and Nasugbu. There, the roads were, I’d say, almost pasted on irregularly shaped hills, so that driving meant needing power. Smaller inclines only needed 2WD; but 4WD (and at times 4WD-L) helped a lot for the sharper climbs.

Road surface-wise, I noted, too, how Jimny was “malikot (moved a lot)” on concrete road; but wasn’t on asphalt. Outside the city, fuel consumption got better. From full tank to nil, well over 400kms were covered.












I still think Jimny’s one butch/masculine car. Or perhaps that’s just because I’m nostalgic for a retro-looking offering (?). But looks – as we know – aren’t everything when buying cars. And here, Jimny can be said to be… lacking, e.g. the cramped space inside, ultra-basic offerings (I don’t know why but the AM/FM player reminds me of the tow vehicles in outback Australia), no accessories that should be (as we say in tech world) OOTB (“out of the box”; such as that much-needed USB outlet), not-that-comfy driving (check the aforementioned stiff seats and non-adjustable headrests), not even a driver’s seatbelt reminder lamp, singular inside light, no fuel consumption gauge, tunog lata sound system, et cetera.

Yes, it delivers on the 4×4 experience it promises – to an extent. And yes, it does have its pluses (also as earlier mentioned).

And so, I suppose, the Jimny’s appeal will be very… personal.

I’m trying to find a fitting analogy cum summation here…
So now let me put it this way: If, for instance, you are a bachelor only looking to drive a somewhat mean-looking car (with the 4WD promise to boot), then by all means, consider the Jimny.
But the moment you want to take someone home with you, and you’d already need that comfy passenger seat (as well as the other she-bangs) to accommodate the other party/parties, then the Jimny becomes a tricky proposition.
This may not be the coolest analogy/summation (I know, I know…), but you get the point…

Jimny comes in three variants: JX 1.3L – M/T (selling for P738,000); JLX 1.3L – M/T (P790,000); and JLX 1.3L – A/T (P845,000).

M.D. dela Cruz Tan is the founder of Zest Magazine. And no, the initials (i.e. M.D.) do not make him a "medical doctor" (as many have erroneously thought in the past); he is actually a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales Australia (just don't ask when, he says). He can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (of course), shoot flicks, community-organize, facilitate, lecture, research (with pioneering studies under his belt)... this one's a multi-tasker, who is even conversant in Filipino Sign Language. Cross his path is the dare (read: It won't be boring).

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Introducing Taco Bell’s ‘Cupid’s Choice Valentine’s Special Combo’

Make every moment count with 1 Crunchy Taco Supreme, 1 Burrito Shawarma, 1 serving of Oreo Chocodilla, a side of Nachos Sprinkle, and 2 servings of Ruby Fruity Freeze for dine-in or 2 12oz. servings of soda for delivery, all for just P499!

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This season of love, Taco Bell has cooked up an irresistible offer to help you show how much you adore that special someone! You’ll be love-struck like never before with the Cupid’s Choice Valentine’s Special Combo, available for a limited only!

Make every moment count with 1 Crunchy Taco Supreme, 1 Burrito Shawarma, 1 serving of Oreo Chocodilla, a side of Nachos Sprinkle, and 2 servings of Ruby Fruity Freeze for dine-in or 2 12oz. servings of soda for delivery, all for just P499!

Enjoy an all-time Taco Bell classic with the Crunchy Taco Supreme, made with a crunchy taco shell that’s filled to the brim with perfectly seasoned Mexican-style ground beef, topped with a special sauce, and then garnished with shredded fresh lettuce, diced tomatoes, and grated cheddar cheese.

Indulge in the Middle Eastern inspired Shawarma Burrito, made with Mexican-style ground beef topped with diced onions, tomatoes, and cucumber, and generously drizzled with Taco Bell’s rich and creamy garlic sauce, all encased in a soft and tender tortilla wrap.

Stay refreshed with sips of your Ruby Fruity Fizz or soda, and munch on some Nachos Sprinkle between each bite.

Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with 2 slices of Oreo Chocodilla, a delectable treat made with gooey, melted dark chocolate, chewy marshmallows, and chunks of crushed Oreo cookies, all nestled in a lightly grilled tortilla wrap.

The Cupid’s Choice Valentine’s Special Combo will be available until February 29, 2024 only, so make sure to order today if you don’t want to miss this offer!

.Get it together with your other favorites from Taco Bell by visiting your nearest branch for dine-in and take out orders, or by calling the 8911-1111 hotline for delivery. You can also order through Taco Bell’s official delivery partners GrabFood, foodpanda, and Pickaroo (prices may vary). Never miss the latest news, offers, and deals from Taco Bell by following and giving the brand a like on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram.

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Victoria Court reveals secrets on popular themed suites for Valentine’s Day

Anyone who’s been inside these themed suites can attest that the beauty is in the details. From the Red Light, Green Light guns to the MRT train hand railings and color schemes, the rooms are designed accurately. Maybe too accurately.

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Love motels are an open secret to us, and over the years, Victoria Court has been unveiling one themed room after another. You may have heard of their Squid Room suite at the height of the show’s popularity (pandemic doom, we feel you) or their juicy and sweaty nudge to Filipino daily commute (and JAV chikan) with their MRT-inspired room.

Anyone who’s been inside these themed suites can attest that the beauty is in the details. From the Red Light, Green Light guns to the MRT train hand railings and color schemes, the rooms are designed accurately. Maybe too accurately.

After all, aren’t guests the ‘main character’ of their fantasies?

Speaking of getting into your main character era, who isn’t planning a spicy, steamy experience this Valentine’s Day? Whether we hide it or not, it’s been a long-standing tradition for Victoria Court to create an adult playground for love and intimacy this time of the year.

Victoria Court Owner Atticus King weighs in on how they’ve turned the drive-in motel chain’s themed suites from ideas into guests’ short-lived realities: “I had a professor once say, a room is a room is a room. With that in mind, we thought about how important it is to go beyond that, we wanted to give them an experience they couldn’t just get anywhere and that would make a mental mark and become a core memory. “Remember that time we went to VC…”

Yes, how could one forget a rendezvous night spent with their partner trying to live happily ever after? Victoria Court’s Ever After room in Pasig can do just the trick. The room’s jacuzzi is their biggest one yet, and you can literally float on it without touching the sides of the tub. Talk about real happy endings, right?

You’d also be surprised to know which themed rooms are well-suited to the Filipino taste. “We have the most number of suites in our Panorama Branch in Pasig. There, our top 10 busiest rooms are CLOY, Chips, Squid Room, Oval Office, Venice, Bachelor’s Pad, Moulin Rouge, Cirque, 50 Shades, and yes, Princess Jasmine,” Chief Operating Officer Sam Pineda reveals.

We’re not here to gatekeep on other steamy perks these rooms have to offer. “Aside from custom-built jacuzzis, we have rooms with playful additions like places to strap folks in. Our Homerun and Casting Couch rooms in Pasig are good examples,” Pineda adds.

Of course, behind each themed room is a story of how it came to be. “It’s a combination of looking at what is trending, what is underserved, and what we think looks fun. When we built the Oval Office room, my father [the late Archie King] said I’d end up losing my visa because it was a replica of the Oval Office but my selling point was how often can you say I’ve partied in the Oval Office? The room was a hit when we launched it and I didn’t lose my visa,” King explains, laughing.

But how exactly does the motel chain decide which fandom or Netflix show will turn into the next themed suite? “We have several recipes but to be honest, sometimes themes we think will be a big hit just do okay and others that are okay do exceptionally well. We always listen to our guests and we try to design themes to make their crazy fantasies real,” King says.

Even then, Victoria Court has moved away from its public perception of being a mere ‘biglang-liko’ or place for illicit affairs to a hotel chain that hosts (wholesome) parties and offers an award-winning food menu.

“The bigger suites are typically what end up hosting parties (and some couple stays). For couple stays, we find that while some regulars have a favorite room, others prefer not to use a room they’ve already seen – and that’s what’s beautiful about it,” Pineda explains. “You can choose or you can just go for any and be (pleasantly) surprised!”

Guests, despite being discreet, aren’t shy to offer a thought or two about these rooms. “We’ve received great feedback from either camp, with some loving the variety, while others have a favorite jacuzzi, enjoying the special effects, the tantra chair, or even something as simple as preferring rooms with more mirrors.” Pineda says.

Not all themed rooms are here to stay, though. But some rooms are classics and crowd-favorites that guests will always come back to now and then. “When we see a certain theme starting to look dated, we decide whether to reinvest to upgrade it or what we fondly like to call belo and make it fresh again or we take a vote on what new theme we can reintroduce.”

But more than rooms to play out fantasies is a vision to create an adult Disney experience for King: “I think our product will continue to evolve to serve couples looking for an experience that will bring them right to the edge of their comfort zone and inject that feeling of adventure.”

Well, folks, it’s time to head over to the nearest Victoria Court branch this Valentine’s Day and see their themed suites for yourself. You’ll never know what you’ll find there–a newfound fantasy or a tantalizing experience that will keep you on your toes, craving for more.

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Coffee with cookies? Here’s a delicious combo from two well-loved brands

Great Taste Cream-O is a delicious collaboration between two well-loved brands: Great Taste offers its signature “aromanamnam” taste, while Cream-O adds a layer of deliciousness with its real cookie crumbles. It is a unique coffee-cookie mix that’s great for those who are looking for a delicious drink to enjoy during their break time.

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Great things can come out of great collaborations. We’ve seen this in how talented artists worked together to create the songs and movies that we love. In the realm of fashion, brands also introduce unexpected collaborations to bring something new and interesting to customers.

Collaborations are just as important in our studies and jobs. When we work together, not only do we get things done faster, we motivate each other to come up with creative ideas. Of course, you should also take a break in between tasks. One way you can make this free time more enjoyable is with a new coffee blend, like Great Taste Cream-O.

Great Taste Cream-O is a delicious collaboration between two well-loved brands: Great Taste offers its signature “aromanamnam” taste, while Cream-O adds a layer of deliciousness with its real cookie crumbles. It is a unique coffee-cookie mix that’s great for those who are looking for a delicious drink to enjoy during their break time.

Great Taste Cream-O comes in a compact twin sachet pack, for only P15.00 (SRP), so you can carry a pack with you and quickly whip up a delicious drink to enjoy your break times with your classmates or colleagues.

University students enjoy breaks with Great Taste Cream-O

To give students an enjoyable experience at school, Great Taste shared its newest coffee blend to select universities in Manila. Its first stop was at the Mapua University Manila last January 23, 2024, where Great Taste Cream-O set up an exciting booth with a 360-degree photo and video booth they could visit in between classes, and make memories while enjoying Great Taste Cream-O with their blockmates. Making the moment even more enjoyable for the students, the brand collaborated with one of the University’s dance groups, and a guest influencer, to entertain guests with an energetic dance number.

For students looking to add flavor-sarap to their coffee and make their breaktimes more enjoyable, this is your chance to get your Great Taste Cream-O fix. Watch out as Great Taste might make a stop at your university in the coming weeks. Be sure to follow Great Taste Coffee on Facebook for more updates and information.

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