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REVIEW| Time for Suzuki Ertiga’s close-up

Zest Magazine reviews the Suzuki Ertiga 1.4 GLX AT.



That it’s a long-ish vehicle was my first impression of Ertiga, what may well be Suzuki’s take on Chevrolet Spin or Toyota Innova or Toyota Avanza or Honda Mobilio (among others), people-carrier multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) that ALMOST look like extended hatchbacks (and in some ways are “packaged” as such). And I suppose in many ways this is the very appeal of Ertiga – i.e. that it “looks” like a family (or at least a big group) car without looking staid (say, like a van).

On the outside, the Ertiga reminded me of Suzuki’s own Swift – albeit this one seemed extended (in the middle). Both the front and the back of Ertiga has Swift’s pretty sexy contours (i.e. not boxy), so that it appears like the hatchback’s bigger brother/sister (particularly notable when looking at Ertiga from the side).

Though using 15″ alloy wheels, Ertiga isn’t at all tall, particularly when placed beside Innova, Avanza, Mobilio, et cetera. And this is even if it is in the same league as the others length-wise.

Inside, the Ertiga was repeatedly described to me as “like a hotel”. Perhaps because, to begin with, the seats look lounge-y. With the fabric upholstery of the seats, the inside of the Ertiga actually also reminded me of an airline, so that being inside this car was somewhat akin to being inside a plane.

But while the inside appears somewhat classy, I’m sorta critical of the fabric used – i.e. dirt COULD stick on them easily. Entering the car after swimming in a beach in Laiya, Batangas, all I could think of was, “Stains! Stains!” Don’t get me started with having kids come onboard…

There are must-mention features inside Ertiga, i.e.: keyless push start system, electronically adjustable side mirrors and audio unit running on Android OS with mirror link capability (similar to Ciaz), reverse parking sensors (no video; just that loud and consistent BEEP-BEEPing), large windows (NOT as large as Jimny’s, but still big enough), dual airbags, and rear airconditioning.

The latter (i.e. airconditioning) is worth mentioning because, for a somewhat big car, the A/C works extremely well on this one.

As mentioned, this is a big group car (Because if not, then what’re the seven seats for?), and as such, it means frequent utilizing for out-of-town trips. And so the Ertiga unit received was tested on: Las Piñas to Lucban (via Nagcarlan to Lucban, then via Pansol to Las Piñas); and Lobo, Batangas (specifically Malabrigo Lighthouse), then Laiya, Batangas before heading back to Las Piñas.

On the road, Ertiga is somewhat malikot (moves a lot). This is particularly true when there are only two or three people in the car. BUT – this is just as important to highlight – when there are more than five people in the car, it gets steady, even if it also sorts of drag, like it’s nahihirapan (having a hard time). This is not to mention two related issues:

  1. If you use the third row for the 6th and 7th sets, you’d have less space for luggage; and
  2. Those who are at the back (6th and 7th passengers) complain that being there was like being in a roller-coaster ride; maalon ang feeling (it feels wavy).

For me, sticking with five passengers (driver included) hits the right spot with Ertiga. But that’s just me…

Sticking with five people inside also makes more sense power-wise and trunk-wise. On the former, this car only has a 1.4 liter, 4 cylinder VVT engine capable of 95hp and 130Nm of torque. On the latter, this is because Ertiga doesn’t have a lot of luggage space; the third row with the 6th and 7th seats may be used as seats, or folded as trunk space. Meaning, you’d have to forego one over the other…

I can’t fault the other “spaces” – i.e. legroom and headspace – as there was enough room for everyone to move (friends can even do Madonna’s “Vogue” – LOL!).

This car is also “brave”. For instance, it can climb steep roads – e.g. on the way to Malabrigo Lighthouse, right before the factory of Fortune Cement, there is a one way “road” (if it can be called that at all) that leads to a one-way bridge, and then the end of that bridge forces one to immediately make a steep climb uphill via a WINDING/CURVED road. I must say that the Ertiga didn’t choke. I thought that the car wasn’t gonna make it; but then it revved up, and… zoomed.

Curves were handled well (again, particularly when the car has more load). For instance, and again while heading to Malabrigo, it is “normal” to encounter roads shaped like “S” and double “S”, and “J” and “U” and other weird permutations. Bituka ng manok (Chicken intestines) is an apt description here; and the Ertiga was able to handle these well…

Fuel consumption was… acceptable. Two full tanks had me cover 835 kms.

Particularly on the outside, the Ertiga is by no means a showstopper. But – get this – this provides a cross between a HB (for city driving, since the car may appear long, but it was still able to squeeze in tight spots while city driving) and a (somewhat) big group vehicle. If this is what’s being considered, then this car is definitely worth checking out (not only because of its under-P1 million price tag, but also because of the somewhat classy inside).

Selling for P918,000, Ertiga is available in Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, Graphite Grey Pearl Metallic, Cool Black Pearl Metallic, Radiant Red Pearl and Burgundy Red Pearl.

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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Product Showcase

Embrace life every moment at Two Botanika Nature Residences

Two Botanika offers a “lanai” living experience with deep balconies, inspired by a design feature seen in tropical countries, allowing better airflow and spacious living. It promises world-class luxury living spaces with 70% of the whole development dedicated to open spaces. Families and individuals also get convenient access to business and lifestyle hubs in the south for work and leisure. But there’s more that residents can look forward to.



Imagine a quiet morning with a gentle breeze while sipping a cup of coffee. A panoramic view of lush green surroundings greets you as you wait for the sunrise. It’s the kind of life that welcomes the future occupants of the recently unveiled 1-bedroom, east-facing units at Two Botanika Nature Residences.

Two Botanika offers a “lanai” living experience with deep balconies, inspired by a design feature seen in tropical countries, allowing better airflow and spacious living. It promises world-class luxury living spaces with 70% of the whole development dedicated to open spaces. Families and individuals also get convenient access to business and lifestyle hubs in the south for work and leisure. But there’s more that residents can look forward to.

In celebration of its unveiling, an exclusive event was held at the Filigree Showsuites, styled by celebrity event stylist Robert Blancaflor, with performances by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. 

“We are happy to announce through this event that the east-facing 1-bedroom units at Two Botanika are now open. Mornings will be something to look forward to because the first thing residents would see are the sunrise and a beautiful view — the life they deserve,” said Daphne Sanchez, head of Filigree, the brand portfolio behind the residential masterpieces in Metro Manila and Metro Clark.

Redefining luxury with space

In charge of Two Botanika’s efficient unit space planning is New York-trained, Tina Periquet from Periquet Galicia Inc. To further upscale the lifestyle of future residents, the firm meticulously designed every space so its use can be maximized. The units are designed in a curved, well-defined shape to make residents feel safe in their sanctuary. Outside their home, the surrounding is peaceful and safe, giving residents the freedom to wander around without worries. 

Tina Periquet shared, “My ultimate task is to curate experiences in the home. So, [I designed Two Botanika in a way that] there is a nice sense of community and it’s really very much in keeping with the overall idea of being in a healthful place where you can just relax and not feel confined the way you normally would in a condo tower. There is a sense of expansiveness, openness, actual ventilation, and daylight.”

The newly-opened 1-bedroom units are 70–76 sq m in size, much bigger than the average 35–55 sq m 1-bedroom units from other properties. These sizeable abodes of Two Botanika allow residents to move around comfortably in a large space.

Experience a life of luxury in your own sanctuary

Beyond the spacious unit, residents can experience convenience and an elevated lifestyle with the amenities offered. There’s no need to go out of town for a quick dip in a swimming pool surrounded by nature as Two Botanika has tiered swimming pools and a sunbathing deck residents can use. Amenities can be found across all three towers, accessible to all residents. Residents can enjoy all of these while fostering a sense of community with the other residents. Parents can have fun and create core memories with their kids in the indoor play area and game room.

Residents can live an active lifestyle without leaving the property with its outdoor play area and a fully-fitted gym. If they want to unwind, residents can enjoy the peace and quiet while admiring the scenic view from the Line Garden, or strike up a conversation with others in the sky lounge, greenhouse, or lawn space.

For residents looking to socialize and are already members of The Palms Country Club — an accredited member club of the prestigious International Associate Clubs, Two Botanika has a gate exclusive to its residents who are members of the club, a few steps away from their unit. Residents who are members can experience an elevated lifestyle in the club. They can dine, unwind, relax, or celebrate special moments with their loved ones at The Palms Country Club.

Every waking moment opens a plethora of exciting possibilities for Two Botanika residents. Two Botanika offers a huge living space for them to comfortably lounge in and amenities where they can unwind and create more precious memories whether alone or with their loved ones.

To learn more about Two Botanika and the latest projects, visit the official Facebook page at

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Product Showcase

Citadines Roces Quezon City showcased



In the heart of Quezon City stands Citadines Roces Quezon City, a testament to The Ascott Limited’s expanding footprint in the Philippines. As one of the properties from The Ascott Limited, it exemplifies the brand’s commitment to providing exceptional hospitality and top-tier accommodations.

With its modern design, diverse accommodations, extensive amenities, and a prime location, Citadines Roces Quezon City caters to both business and leisure travelers, offering a seamless blend of comfort and convenience. Whether for business conferences, social gatherings, or intimate celebrations, Citadines Roces Quezon City offers the perfect venue tailored to its guests’ needs.

Strategically located in a bustling metropolis

Nestled in Quezon City, Citadines Roces Quezon City prides itself for its ideal location for both travelers and their various demands and needs. As the largest city in Metro Manila, Quezon City is a dynamic hub of commerce, entertainment, and culture. Its position gives guests seamless access to government institutions, corporate offices, premier shopping destinations, and a vibrant dining scene. This makes it an attractive destination for travelers seeking convenience and a rich urban experience.

Unleash your event’s full potential with the property’s premier function rooms

To fully realize the property’s vision, one of the biggest highlights of Citadines Roces Quezon City is its state-of-the-art function rooms, designed to host various events with elegance and sophistication. These premier spaces are meticulously crafted to provide an ideal setting for any occasion. From corporate meetings and seminars to weddings and social events, the function rooms are equipped with the latest technology and amenities to ensure the success of every gathering. 

The function rooms are versatile, offering customizable layouts to suit the specific requirements of each event. Additionally, the dedicated event planning team at the property are available to assist with every detail, from menu selection to technical support. The attentive and professional staff are committed to providing exceptional service, ensuring that every event is executed flawlessly. With their expertise and attention to detail, you can be confident that your event at Citadines Roces Quezon City will be memorable and successful.

Each room features high-quality audio-visual equipment, including projectors, screens, and sound systems, to facilitate seamless presentations and multimedia experiences. The modern decor and flexible seating further enhance the ambiance, making it suitable for all events and social gatherings.

“Our function rooms are designed to cater to the unique needs of each event, offering customizable layouts and comprehensive support,” says Ms. Thea Peregrino, Assistant Residence Manager at Citadines Roces Quezon City. “Our dedicated event planning team and professional staff are committed to providing exceptional service, ensuring every event is executed flawlessly and leaves a lasting impression.”

In addition to the variety of inclusions to the function spaces, each individually curated event will be catered to by the residence’s flagship restaurant and bar, Alejo. Serving a robust selection of intercontinental cuisine with Filipino flavors at the helm, the restaurant can seamlessly customize an exceptional menu fit for any occasion. With its modern chic and wood-accented aesthetic, the outlet is also perfect for a more gastronomic focus setting, providing unlimited culinary experiences and food journeys for everyone to enjoy.  

No matter the event’s nature, find the perfect venue at Citadines Roces Quezon City. With its strategic location, comprehensive accommodation options, and premier function spaces, it stands as the ideal choice for creating unforgettable moments.

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Beauty & Fashion

PUMA drops new Deviate Nitro 3

With the third iteration of Deviate, PUMA is redefining speed in a way the running scene is yet to experience, empowering runners to unlock new personal bests.



Deviate means to do things differently. To not accept normal standards. To challenge the status quo. Deviate inspires you to not just go beyond your boundaries, but to shatter them in emphatic style.

With the third iteration of Deviate, PUMA is redefining speed in a way the running scene is yet to experience, empowering runners to unlock new personal bests.

Embodying PUMA’s relentless pursuit of excellence in performance footwear, Deviate provides runners with the confidence to hit the road, making every second count.

This new offering sees Deviate served up in a new  distinct model; Deviate NITRO 3 – a premium everyday hero.

Deviate NITRO 3

The Deviate NITRO 3 challenges runners to have the most successful training experience ever. It’s the everyday source of speed that runners can trust week after week, mile after mile.

The shoe is engineered with even more of PUMA’s cutting-edge NITROFOAM technology to deliver supreme cushion and responsiveness, elevating the legacy of its award-winning predecessor.

The carbon fibre PWR Plate offers a smoother and more consistent source of speed, resulting in an explosive toe-off that propels runners beyond their normal limits, whilst PUMA’s unrivalled PUMAGRIP enables multi-surface traction in even the most testing conditions.

A lightweight engineered mesh upper features strategically placed PWR Tape to provide support in high stress areas, with a padded collar offering additional comfort and fit.

Sure to enhance the training experience for people around the globe, Deviate NITRO 3 continues to grow closer to its raceday counterpart.

Deviate NITRO 3 Specifications:

  • Price: PHP 8, 800
  • Weight: 265g (UK8)
  • Stack Height: 29mm – 39mm

Commenting on the hotly anticipated double dose of Deviate, Romain Girard, VP Innovation at PUMA said: “We’re living in a world where athletes and runners have high expectations. They want to set PBs and break records, time and time again. To do that, you need a shoe that gives you the competitive edge – that’s where Deviate comes in. The Deviate NITRO™ 3 is now available globally on, in PUMA stores and selected retailers.

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