Lifestyle

Asics Gel Cumulus 21: Your everyday training sneaker

This lite-show edition is perfect for evening runs

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The Asics Gel Cumulus 21. That 21 isn’t just some random number. We’ve been through 20 previous versions of this everyday trainer sneaker, and if a sneaker line has survived over 20 iterations, they must be pretty good, right?

According to Asics, these are neutral running shoes designed to cushion and support your feet over runs. It’s a neutral every day trainer with a 10mm drop, that competes with other sneakers like the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus.

Unlike the Asics Nimbus which is more premium and made for distance, the Cumulus 21 is intended to be a go-to shoe.

Can they deliver on this promise? Let’s see!

Made for day-to-day comfort

The Asics Gel Cumulus 21 has a similar design to its previous version, the Gel Cumulus 20, which is probably a good thing because it was already a pretty good looking shoe considering how this classic design is in style right now.

It’s a pretty mature, balanced, and the Cumulus series also includes some of the top tech in running shoes from Asics which includes enough cushioning for runs.

The first thing I noticed when I took them out of the box was that the Cumulus 21 is a really well-built pair of training shoes. They’ve got a little bit of weight to them but that’s not a surprise since these aren’t really meant to be racing shoes. I’ll talk more about the weight later on.

At the top of the Cumulus 21, there’s the breathable Jacquard mesh — a welcome choice and will be much appreciated during hot summer runs. Plus its a nice, flexible mesh, so it’s pretty comfortable.

Speaking of flexibility, the toe box has a lot of space, and I’m saying that as someone that has pretty wide feet. The Asics Cumulus 21 fit true-to-size so you won’t have to worry about the sizing.

There’s also a stronger overlay over the mesh in the parts of the upper where you need stronger materials. Places like the front of the shoes, toe caps, and the eyelets for the laces. This is all so that the mesh does not tear because of your toenails.

Undeniably Asics

There’s also prominent Asics branding on the sides but this isn’t just aesthetic. There’s a functional role since it helps you secure and tighten the shoes.

Coming to the collar, its thick but soft, just like the tongue. They’re a bit larger than on most running shoes but the thicker layers do help with comfort.

There’s also an internal heel counter. It keeps the heel area stiff so that your heel doesn’t slip. This definitely helps with the stability of the shoe. Also on the inside of the shoe, is an eva sock liner which offers a nice amount of cushioning.

Overall the design of the Cumulus 21 is pretty nice, and it certainly looks like an Asics sneaker, for sure. They’re available in a variety of colors, so you should be able to find one that’s your style.

This particular sneaker is the new lite-show version of the Cumulus 21 which has reflective elements on the upper and midsole to help with those evening runs.

This was shot with flash on to show how it reflects light

Cushioning great for absorption with a modest return

I wore the Cumulus 21 for quick morning runs, and at the gym for my boxing, crossfit, and dance fitness classes, so that I could really put them in a variety of situations.

The shoes are really comfortable to jog in, and the excellent cushioning on the sole means you can probably wear them for hours.

As you walk in them, you can feel how the gel sole compresses under your foot and absorbs all the pressure. As you start to run, you won’t feel the same kind of soft cushioning, but its still really comfortable, with the forefoot area nicely cushioned off as well.

I should make it clear that there is very low energy return on this sole. The Gel sole just absorbs pressure but unlike Boost from Adidas or React from Nike, there’s not much energy returned to bounce back as you stride. But it’s also what makes the Cumulus 21 really comfortable to wear.

The sole is made of a combination of different cushioning tech — There’s the forefoot which is a bit more stiff but still has a bit of cushioning, there’s the rear gel cushioning, and then there’s the Flytefoam propel technology.

The Flytefoam offers additional cushioning, with some amount of energy return to help push you forward.

Coming to the outsole, there’s a thick layer of Asics High Abrasion Rubber, or AHAR, as they call it. This hopefully means the shoe will last a while and won’t get worn out too fast, which is appreciated since this is meant to be a daily training sneaker.

The outsole is pretty grippy and I never felt like it was slippery, even on wet surfaces.

All in all, the Asics Gel Cumulus 21 is made to last, with good quality materials, and offers about medium-to-high levels of comfort as an everyday training sneaker.

Perfect for short runs at any time of the day

The Asics Gel Cumulus 21 is pitched as a pair of running shoes but also everyday training shoes, and the exceptional cushioning and support definitely does help.

That being said, I do feel like they’re too heavy to be used for a race or long distance running. I found them a little too heavy and maybe a little stiff after a while on a long distance run. Don’t get me wrong, this sneaker is great for short distance runs and that cushioning is good, but it has a sweet spot in terms of distance before it does start to feel a little bottom heavy.

So yes, short distances, there’s no problem. However, these are just not built for long distances where you’ll really start to feel that weight. For that, the Asics Gel Nimbus might be a better option.

But for your morning jogs, or as everyday training sneakers, these are pretty great. They perform as expected, and you never really feel like you want any more from them.

If you’re just starting out with a fitness routine and you’re looking for an all-around fitness sneaker, the Gel Cumulus might be the best choice around because they offer good cushioning, great build quality, and solid stability.

Is this your Sneaker Match? 

The Asics Gel-Cumulus 21 is a slightly tweaked update to a very successful line of neutral everyday workhorse shoes. It is priced well for the amount of tech packed into this shoe, and they’re nice enough that you could wear them around casually, at the gym every day, and even for your morning and evening runs.

It’s a great pair of all-around shoes. If you could only own one pair of running shoes, the Asics Gel Cumulus 21 is worth considering.

 

Features

Smartphone photography 101: Capturing festivities

Keep those memories of celebration and happiness alive

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The crowd, color, food, and impeccable decorations make welcoming the Lunar New Year so much fun and memorable. It only happens once a year, so it’s important to keep those memories of celebration and happiness alive.

Here are some tips from photographers on how you can make the most our of your iPhone during the festivities:

1. Shoot with your phone

Food stylist CR Tan demonstrates how easy it is to shoot a reunion dinner. Even if you have one, you wouldn’t really want to whip out your big camera to capture the fun and action over food. With good lighting, a little bit of styling, and added human element, you can achieve a great photo with an iPhone.

Follow CR Tan on Instagram: @xlbcr

2. Use Night Mode

Not enough light? Don’t let darkness stop you. Photographer Yudhi Aristan uses Night Mode to capture vibrant colors even in low light. Just hold still for a few seconds and see the magic happen.

Follow Yudhi Aristan on Instagram: @aristan89

3. Play with perspectives

Take your time to frame your shot. Photographer Jason Lim suggests playing around with the different lenses your iPhone comes with. The Ultra Wide Angle, Wide Angle, and Telephoto lenses can be used to create eye-catching compositions.

Follow Jason Lim on Instagram: @jsnjnr

Did you capture any photos in welcoming the Chinese New Year? Share them with us in the comments below! 📷

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24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Jakarta

Captured through the awesome camera of the Galaxy A71

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When I hear Indonesia, Bali always comes to mind. Although I’ve never been there, I know it’s a dream destination for many because of its beaches, peaks, parks, temples, and terraces. It’s an escape out of the polluted and crowded cityscape.

Two hours away from Bali is the country’s capital, Jakarta. Its dense city structure further proves that it has been on a massive urban sprawl. Honestly, I had no idea where to go and what to do — but the internet exists for a reason. The only Indo things I’m aware of are mi goreng, nasi goreng, beef rendang, MONAS, Alfa Mart. That’s about it.

I flew all the way to Jakarta for Samsung’s Awesome Live Event with BLACKPINK where they introduced the Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71. The day after the event, I finally had the phone on hand and tested its “awesome camera”, including the new ultra-wide lens.

Cozy stay

Capturing the hotel view outside was the first thing I did with the phone. Not the best window view I had but the greenery added an ethereal escape against the sharp, tall slabs of concrete.

Going out of the room gives me another view. That large structure is the Tennis Indoor Senayan where Samsung held its live event. It’s also one of the venues of the 18th Asian Games and other K-Pop concerts. Seeing it from afar and up close made me realize how lucky I am.

Before heading out, I tried the hotel’s breakfast buffet. So far, so good. There was enough variety that I enjoyed eating. I spoiled myself by having more than five plates. Here’s a photo of the sweet food, for the wandering souls out there.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)

I decided to go to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah as it’s located far from the skyline of Jakarta. Despite what the name suggests, this place isn’t “mini”. This museum is just one among the many parks you can see inside the TMII premises.

With limited time, I decided to push through — and I’m glad I did. It made me realize how similar Indonesians and Filipinos are, not just when it comes to appearance but also language. There are Bahasa and Tagalog words that both share the same meaning such as “selamat”, “datuk”, “kolintang”, “pintu”, “balik”, “lima”, “pula”, “kanan”, “anak”, and more. It’s truly fascinating.

These traditional art pieces show how rich and diverse Indonesia’s culture is. Some were hand-drawn, sculpted, weaved, or even painted, like the batik. They even have their own version of puppets called wayang.

After the three-story museum tour, I headed to a mini temple to rest and relax. Those who were caught off-guard by the claustrophobic dim spaces of the museum can enjoy the majestic pond outside.

National Monument (MONAS)

As mentioned earlier, I knew about MONAS. It’s Indonesia’s National Monument — and that’s because the city-building game I’m playing introduced me to it. I downloaded the landmark mod which made me recognize it’s one of Indonesia’s sought-after landmarks.

It’s erected right in the center of Jakarta. According to locals, you can see all of Jakarta if you go up — pretty much like a drone. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to do that because of the flaming hot weather.

Kota Tua

If you weren’t aware, Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch empire. Batavia was the old-day Jakarta. Thus, the “Old Batavia” they’re calling can be found here in Kota Tua.

What you see above is the Fatahillah Square which is the historical center of the old town. Beside it, there are museums pertaining to wayang, fine arts and ceramics, and even Jakarta’s history. During my visit, they were all closed.

If you are too lazy to walk around, there are these colorful bicycles you can rent.

The establishments here look nothing like modern-day Jakarta. A lot of cities saved much of their history through preservation of old buildings and Kota Tua is no exception.

After strolling for almost half an hour, I had my late lunch. Indonesian cuisine is known to be spicy. I teared up eating authentic mi goreng — its spice level is way too high for comfort. I love eating spicy food as long as they’re tolerable. Thankfully, Thai iced tea I ordered saved my tongue from burning.

I went to the night market early so I witnessed how vendors cooked their food before it got crowded. There are martabak and lumpia stalls although I didn’t get to try them.

The sun was setting so I hurried to see other establishments. There were a lot of shops that offer local kopi and indomie, while other stalls were selling phone cases and designer imitations. I didn’t find any souvenir shops around, although that might be because I was there before most shops opened.

Malls galore

Jakarta’s malls aren’t the biggest but they have exclusive shop offerings, like Plaza Senayan. It was surprising to see a bakery and a popular coffee shop inside the department store. It’s not something I’m used to, and I found it odd considering they were selling all sorts of cosmetic products within the vicinity.

I wasn’t too happy with the food choices at Plaza Senayan so I went to another mall near the hotel called FX Sudirman. I only had a few hours left before I had to leave so might as well enjoy what I can have.

As a Libra, being indecisive is part of my whole being. I roamed around and there were better food choices but I got tired so I chose to eat at an American burger joint instead. The Salted Egg Cheese Burger was good although the salted egg flavor was barely there.

When I went out I was greeted by these roller skaters going back and forth the sidewalk.

3-Star Airport (?)

I was surprised that the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is only a 3-star airport. It’s not as fancy as Singapore’s Changi, but it’s clean, organized, and the architecture is modern and striking. My flight departed at midnight, so you can see how quiet and less crowded it gets off-peak hours.

Unlike other airports that offer 24-hour services, most shops and restaurants after immigration were already closed by the time I got there.

Too little time for a huge city

Moments before boarding the plane, I somehow wished I could’ve stayed longer. It would’ve also been more “awesome” if I met locals around. It’s hard to imagine how I managed to compress what I wanted to see in just 24 hours. It may not be long before they transfer the city capital crown to East Kalimantan in Borneo, so I’m hoping I can come back before that happens with a more well-thought out itinerary.

All photos were taken using the Samsung Galaxy A71.

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Entertainment

The Witcher is getting an anime film on Netflix!

To be created by the animators of Legend of Korra

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Netflix is on a roll lately! For the past week, the streaming service has consistently announced new titles that everyone has been clamoring for. Soon, we’re getting the Studio Ghibli collection and the very first Pokémon film remastered in CGI.

Today, Netflix has announced a quick follow-up to last year’s most iconic debuting show, The Witcher. In partnership with the renowned animators at Studio Mir, The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich will return to the world of the series in a new anime film.

According to an official statement from Netflix, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf will deal with “a new threat facing the Continent.” However, Hissrich has not confirmed who will star in the new film yet. From a tweet, the showrunner has kept the anime film a secret for over a year now. Presumably, the film will follow the events of the original series. At the very least, it should belong in the same universe.

Likewise, neither Netflix or Hissrich has confirmed the film’s premiere date.

On the production side, partnering animators Studio Mir created the acclaimed Legend of Korra in the past. The studio has also helmed the Netflix original, Voltron: Legendary Defender.

The Witcher follows the adventures of Geralt (Henry Cavill), a superhuman hunter, in a world fraught with monsters and sorcerers. Following its premier late last year, The Witcher quickly ascended the ranks as one of the most watched series on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: 6 shows on Netflix with hot sex scenes

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