Lifestyle

How Sony’s newest TV made me remember what matters most

And how to stay connected again

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We live in an age wherein people watch movies on the go. Smartphones, laptops, tablets — these are great avenues for entertainment while in transit. We’re always rushing, always heading somewhere while fixated to our devices. When we hang out with people, we’re stuck to our gadgets taking photos for the ‘gram, showing off to social media that we’re having fun. Yes, I’m guilty of that.

These were my thoughts heading into Sony’s BRAVIA launch for Southeast Asia. I was thinking how a TV could change the way we hang out with people. Will we always choose to go outside and tell our stories over Instagram, or will we consider spending more time at home watching TV with the people we love?

It was in Singapore where Sony unveiled the latest lineup of its BRAVIA collection. Among all the new models, my eyes were glued to the event’s headliner, the A9G 4K HDR OLED TV. It looks slim and sexy (like yours truly), and it exudes a premium vibe.

I could imagine it hanging on my wall, beautifully blending in just like a picture frame. Being the creative person I am, I visualized how to redecorate my living room to accommodate this humongous, gorgeous TV without sacrificing aesthetics.

I walked past the people interested in the other TVs, and went to a room featuring the A9G OLED’s X-Wide Angle. It’s a super-wide viewing angle feature that allows you to see the content with clarity, eliminating the need to always be in front of the TV to see what’s playing.

I told myself, this TV is perfect for when my friends and family come over. We could watch sports and eat popcorn without clumping together… and then it hit me.

The A9G OLED made me remember the people who matter most. I realized that I haven’t sat down with my friends and family, watched something for hours, and had fun in a long time. Now that we have different schedules and priorities, even catching up at a coffee shop or watching at a movie theater seems so difficult.

It got me thinking: Maybe we don’t need to drive and get stuck in traffic jams and face long queues to watch the latest movie everyone is talking about. We can wait for it to be available online and stream it on a high-quality television.

Because BRAVIA offers a Netflix Calibrated Mode, I think it would be more fun to watch in the comforts of our own home. The TV is even IMAX-enhanced so we enjoy a masterpiece the way it’s meant to look on a living room TV.

Soon after marveling at the TV, I walked inside a closed room where a few people gathered. The room featured Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology and TV Center speaker mode. It’s amazing how the sound is so immersive; I honestly thought I was inside the movie. To better explain, here’s what I saw and heard:

The experience inside the booth made me miss my friends and family. I’ve never had the quality time I’ve always wanted because technology started consuming us and the way we hang out. It’s time to use technology to bring us back together so we can be connected again. Maybe, I’ll get my own TV, particularly this A9G OLED I’m eyeing once it’s available in stores.

Automotive

Celebrating spesh occasions with the Ford Territory

Friends, blue skies, and creature comforts for a cozy drive down south

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I can still remember the first time I rode the Ford Territory. I was astounded by the vehicle’s creature comforts that gave drivers and passengers a cozy experience.

We traversed between cities, looking for good food. Despite the hellish traffic that comes with driving in Metro Manila, we were entertained by the technology packed inside the automobile.

More than a year later, the Ford Territory found its way to my garage. It’s like a gift of adventure, in time for my birthday.

Day 1

9:00 am. south kids, ready to go.

July 23. It was a Saturday morning when I received a call from my best friend, Mark, asking me to get ready. They arrived shortly and tried to wind down watching Netflix at home while I prepare everything we need for the trip.

The last time I celebrated my birthday was three years ago. When the pandemic robbed us of time and moments to be with the people we love, I found it difficult to find joy in glamorizing my day. As the world eases up, I knew I had to take this chance to get out and be fabulous.

Before we set off for an adventure down south, we took a photo in front of the Territory.

It was only the three of us who are going for a ride, though. Two of my friends, Oliver and Marlon, weren’t able to join my momentous occasion due to a conflict in the schedule but they decided to stop by and greet me.

10:00 am. navigator at your service.

We were headed to pick up the parents of my godson along Santana Grove in Parañaque. Of course, I wasn’t the driver. I took on the shotgun to be the navigator and the DJ. And so I can always look at myself in the side mirror.

The first half of the trip consisted of exploring the Territory’s technology. A drive isn’t complete without good music, so we used Apple CarPlay in its infotainment system to connect our iPhones. Plenty of devices can get in the way of easily connecting your iPhone to the vehicle, but it’s still easy to pair.

READ: 13 Reasons Why I keep coming back to an iPhone

What we found troublesome was using both Maps and Spotify. The music gets interrupted whenever Maps prompts with a new direction to take. Since music is more important to us, I used my Android phone to use Maps and have a separate, dedicated navigation tool.

If you have a car mount like Moshi’s SnapTo Universal Car Mount, you can clip it so it’ll hold your smartphone.

11:30 am. blue skies.

Our destination for the weekend was Calatagan. That means we have to pass through Tagaytay, which is horrible on the weekends. We took several detours and long cuts just so we have to make it to our favorite stop, Mahogany, in time to meet our other friends driving their sedan.

Finally seeing good weather, we blasted ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry and opened the windows, as well as the sunroof, while traversing CALAX.

I was already having a good time, and it was just the morning.

1:00 pm. time for bulalô.

Our mood went down; energies depleted. We finally encountered Tagaytay’s unbearable traffic on the weekends. It took us at least half an hour to arrive at Mahogany Beer Market, and we even struggled with finding a parking slot.

When we found a space to park, I loved how the Ford Territory assisted us, thanks to its Ford Co-Pilot 360, an advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies. Parking in reverse — parallel even — allows the screen to provide a simulated aerial view of the Territory’s surroundings on the screen.

The Mahogany Beef Market is popular for serving fresh meat such as beef, chicken, and pork. On the second floor of the beef market, you can find a slew of food stalls serving Bulalô — a Filipino soup dish made from beef leg bones and marrow.

Mahogany wasn’t fancy in any way, but the food is overwhelmingly delicious and they serve it at a cheaper price compared to restaurants found in Tagaytay. The place is also nostalgic. I remember my drunken nights from Papa Doms, stopping over at Mahogany so I can get sober.

READ: 24 Hours in Tagaytay

3:00 pm. safe drives in the rain.

It took us more than an hour to reach Calatagan coming from Tagaytay. The drive was filled with chill OPM blasting through its speakers. We weren’t able to use the sunroof since we encountered heavy rains and thunderstorms when passing through Nasugbu.

The infotainment system came in handy when I was adjusting the vehicle’s air-conditioning system, the ambient lighting, and sometimes, the seat’s heater. My friend kept increasing my seat’s heater while I try to take a nap, which annoyed me since my butt’s getting really warm.

On another note, my friend was able to keep his eyes on the road and take control of the vehicle’s settings even if we were all asleep, thanks to the easily reachable buttons in and around the steering wheel.

4:00 pm. hello, calatagan.

By four in the afternoon, we were able to arrive at our destination called The Beach along Lucsuhin-Hukay Rd. There are military checkpoints along the way, so be sure to stop when they tell you to do so — even if you’re obstructing the traffic. They’re pretty angsty if you’re considerate of other vehicles.

Nevertheless, the staff at The Beach greeted us with a welcoming smile when we arrived. Even in the lobby, the staff were polite, courteous, and accommodating. When we got the keys to our room, we were served refreshments while we bask at the sound of the waves crashing down the shores, along with the murmurs of friends and families chatting and having fun.

We tried to settle in and change our clothes so we can relax.

6:00 pm. dillydallying at the beach.

As the sun sets, we were vibing, dancing to the beat, and drinking beer, while gawking at the scenery unraveling before us.

When the night came, we ate our freshly-served dinner and I blew the candles from the cake my friends surprised me with. It’s funny how they stole the Instax films I have at home as my cake’s topper to make it really about me.

My birthday night ended with moments of revelry, alcohol, music, and good companionship. I couldn’t ask for more.

Day 2

07:00 am. mornings by the beach.

The Beach, home to aesthetically-pleasing sets and decors, looked immaculate when I went out to enjoy the rising sun. The sea was calm, the breeze was cool, and there are happy vibes all over the place.

The resort offers a freshly-brewed Kapeng Barako, a coffee varietal grown in Batangas province coming from the Coffea Liberica species. There’s also a complimentary breakfast for the guests.

The Beach had an Instagrammable dining area by the sea, and we opted to eat our breakfast there.

9:00 am. laughter and splashes.

Making the most out of our stay, we decided to head to the beach. We weren’t thrilled with the kayak, and instead, we swam up to the inflatable which proved to be challenging for almost everyone trying to make their way up.

We took several photos, had fun splashing around, and enjoyed swimming.

Moments later, we decided to try the Infinity pool. Of course, we still had our photos taken.

12:00 pm. it’s time to go.

Check-out is at 12 noon. We dressed up because we were a little extra. We took group photos in several parts of the resort to commemorate the celebration.

Of course, we all posed in front of the Ford Territory. Rising pop-rock sensation, Noela, and her boyfriend stood out of the sunroof. If this was a 7-seater, we would’ve really enjoyed using only one vehicle, and our drives may have been filled with waves of laughter and stories.

2:00 pm. wind in my hair, i was there.

We were on the way home, and there were only three of us inside the Territory since the couple we picked up before were joining my friend in another vehicle. We were taking separate ways after eating our lunch at Tagaytay, again.

 

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I took this moment to sing along to my favorite songs, as I open the sunroof. We were savoring the cool breeze despite the blazing heat of the sun. It was literally a Taylor Swift moment of “Wind in my hair, I was there” because I remember it all too well.

4:00 pm. do you have oat milk?

Like on ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’, we took a long way home. But no, we didn’t ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright. We passed by Amadeo, the coffee capital of the Philippines. We stopped over by Kaffe Belardo so my friends can buy their coffee beans.

I bought a ready-to-go beverage, taking a sip of their cold brew mixed with almond and oat milk. It’s rare to see local cafes offering milk options, especially for those allergic to regular, fresh milk.

With the scent of coffee and the cool breeze thanks to a lineup of trees surrounding the highway, Amadeo is a good place to drive when you just want to get away from it all. I wish I went here when I was losing myself before.

9:00 pm. singing in the car, getting lost upstate.

The Sunday traffic was arguably hellish, especially if you’re down south. The full tank was almost depleted after over a hundred-kilometer drive, which made us giddy since we didn’t have to stop over at gas stations to refuel while we were on our way. It made the trip efficient, and our planned schedule was followed — even with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The Ford Territory offers a cozy experience — whether you’re a driver or a passenger. It makes being on the road fun and comfortable, thanks to its creature comforts that are easily accessible to anyone. Moreover, the technology infused in the vehicle makes everyone feel safe.

I never pegged the Territory as a long-drive companion, but it proved that it can handle city drives and road trips excellently, more than what we asked for.

To know more about the latest offers, visit ford.com.ph/shopping/latest-offer/ or any Ford dealership nearest you.

SEE ALSO: Ford Territory: Feel at ease while traveling in style | Ford Territory: A techie finds his dream car

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Convenient Smart Home

This cordless wet/dry vacuum might be what every busy bee needs

Squeeze in chores between hustling!

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We all love a nice, clean home. But these days, it can be difficult to balance everything in our lives. If you live a busy life, you probably don’t want to face up to cleaning your home with the little spare time that you have. It should be reserved for relaxation, not for a giant mountain of chores.

The last thing we all want is to be surrounded by mess. For me, it’s a good thing that keeping my home clean is doable even though I’ve got a hectic schedule that seemingly makes it impossible.

What I’ve realized is that investing in new and more efficient equipment will allow us to get things done swiftly. This could mean anything from replacing a raggedy mop to buying a more powerful vacuum cleaner.

What’s in the box?

When the Dreame H12 wet & dry vacuum was handed to me, I felt thrilled to try it out! I always get intimidated by the idea of using large vacuum cleaners, but not with the Dreame H12.

It comes with user-friendly features and a wide array of accessories that would make doing chores bearable.

To begin with, there’s a charging base. It’s molded, so you can set the vacuum directly into a convenient socket. This base can be used both for charging and cleaning.

(1) H12 Main Body Unit (1) Floor Brush (1) Charging Base (2) Accessory Holder (1) Extra Filter (1) Power Adapter (1) Cleaning Brush (1) Detergent Floor Cleaner

User-friendly features

As easy as clicking on the button at the top of the handle, the H12 will begin to clean the roller brush as thoroughly as possible, which is why the process takes around two minutes to complete.

Since it’s much easier to clean small areas like my studio apartment, having the upgraded edge-cleaning roller brush effectively deals with those hard-to-reach corners and baseboards freely.

The Dreame H12 has two modes: auto-mode and suction mode. In Auto mode, the cleaner automatically adjusts water and suction to the desired level depending on cleaning tasks.

In suction mode, it shuts off the mopping feature and only vacuums liquid without mopping. It also has this Smart Dirt Detection feature that identifies dirt and adjusts its suction power automatically.

You can also monitor the condition of the floor with the circular cleaning indicator around the screen. A smart LED screen that displays the cleaning status and clear voice prompts is beneficial for new vacuum owners like me.

A green light indicates light dirt while an orange light means there’s medium dirt present. A super dirty floor will prompt the ring to glow red.

Other features

Other features of the H12 can be monitored via the screen which also prominently displays the battery percentage. But you don’t need to rely on the display all the time as the H12 can audibly provide alerts since it has voice prompts as I’ve mentioned.

You’ll never be able to keep every single speck of dirt off the floor especially if you were running low on time. Partly, it takes a very long time until the roller from the wiping vacuum is dried. Thanks to the Wet and Dry Cleaning feature of Dreame H12 that removes wet or dry messes in one pass.

A good feature that I appreciate here is the absence of a dust bag, which is known to be a hassle to clean. Instead, all the dust, dirt, and grime get mixed with the water, so you just need to pour out the wastewater. H12 has two transparent containers built into it.

The top is a 900ml water tank for clean water, used for the mopping function. The bottom is a 500ml dirty water tank, which also serves as a dust hopper. Both tanks are easy to remove, refill, empty, and release with a simple latch.

Vacuuming

A filthy property can affect a person’s health. The nice thing about Dreame H12 is it does self-cleaning on the roller brush to avoid bacterial cross-contamination. It also self-dries the brush to prevent bacteria growth and odor.

It’s amazing how vacuuming the floor, cleaning up the kitchen, and straightening up clutter always improve my mood. Even if it’s just 15 minutes of my spare time, it does really feel good.

Imagine having this cordless Dreame H12 that can run for about 35 minutes. I am able to clean my small house frequently without having the need to recharge it every time.

Is the Dreame H12 Wet & Dry vacuum your GadgetMatch?

Accomplishing a few chores might give your mood a boost. So if you dream of spending less time cleaning, you can cut yourself some slack now. With the Dreame H12 Wet and Dry vacuum, you should not worry about sweeping and scrubbing messy floors in the little time you have.

With sleek designs to match, You can now literally have the clean home of your dreams. The Dreame H12 retails for PhP 25,990.

Don’t miss the Dreame H12’s Launch on Shopee this August 15, to get an exclusive price of P21,890 (SRP: P25,990) plus gifts with every purchase. For more info, visit Dreame Philippines’ official pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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Accessories

Kim Kardashian made her own Beats Fit Pro

It’s skin-colored

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There’s an unwritten rule about interacting with people you meet in public: If you see someone wearing headphones or earbuds, they probably don’t want to be bothered. With the size of over-ear headphones and the color of earbuds, it’s easy to spot these telltale signs in public. However, if you’re really feeling your look today, you might not want your gizmos to take away from what really matters. Enter the new Beat Fits Pro from Kim Kardashian.

If you’ve tried a pair of Beat Fits Pro already, then you already know what these sound like. However, the collaboration’s draw comes from more than just audio quality. Compared to other accessories with sleek colors, the Beats x Kim device is meant to match the color of your skin.

With most ear gear using black, white, or purple, a nude pair of earbuds is unique. According to Kardashian, it’s meant to “blend in or stand out.” A lot of technology, especially AI-based ones, are (rightfully) taking a more conscientious approach to skin color sensitivity.

The new Beats Fit Pro model will have three colors: Moon, Dune, and Earth. The three colors goes through three stops in the spectrum of skin color. Though it can certainly have more options, it’s a good start towards color sensitivity.

Apple will release the Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian collaboration on August 16 online through Apple’s store. Meanwhile, the device will debut in-store starting August 17 in ten select locations around the world. It will cost as much as the regular model — US$ 199.99.

SEE ALSO: Apple launches Year of the Tiger-themed AirPods

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