Taipans in rubber shoes

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Sunday, January 5, 2014


MR. CDC president looked at the youthful businessmen from Taiwan as a cat watches the mice. The young Chinese visitors wore rubber shoes and denim jeans topped by casual coats, their hair tousled in the spike fashion of the era.

The CDC chief, a known close confidante and loyalist to the Macapagal-Arroyos, was not impressed but rather turned off by the funky appearance of his visitors.

After all the young Taiwanese, just out of their teen years, seemed hardly the personalities who can afford to lease some 150 hectares of prime property at the Clark area.

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Not wanting to waste valuable time in entertaining them, apart from his lack of information about the background of the prospective investors, Mr. CDC president abbreviated the meeting by telling the Taiwanese group “to show the color of your money,” as token proof of their financial capability.

Getting the curt and laconic message which they interpreted as rude and impolite, the group beat a hasty exit. Some weeks later the office of the CDC chief received bank statements and official confirmation from Taiwan’s giant financial institutions as evidence of the young investors’ financial capabilities.

Half-shocked he was, suddenly enticed by the figures he saw.

Mr. President immediately asked Dr. Irineo Alvaro, Jr. Ph.D., the Taiwanese group’s consultant here, and announced he was now willing and open to discuss serious business with the investors.

Dr. Alvaro bluntly told the Macapagal-Arroyo protégé what the young investors told him. “They will only invest at Clark when you are no longer president of CDC.”

True to their vows, the Taiwanese group who felt belittled and mistreated by the former CDC chief, returned to Clark after his official separation from CDC. They poured a billion-peso initial investment in a world-class casino cum five-star hotel and a tourist-oriented theme park.

Dr. Alvaro said that if a book should not be judged by its cover, neither should big-ticket investors be judged by their appearance. It happened that the young men who were roughly treated by the impolite and brutally candid official were scions of powerful families in Taiwan who are leaders in the state’s industrial and economic might.

Soon to rise and become a landmark at Clark is the Midori Casino and Hotel where Dr. Alvaro is the top honcho. A theme park is currently being developed to make the huge investment a top tourist destination.

Aware of Alvaro’s background in public life, his Taiwanese partners-investors had the former three-termed city councilor make a vow of devotion to his duties and development agenda for Midori. A call to public life may distract the former City Administrator from his engagement with the Taiwan investors.

The story is told that a few hours before the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy in May 2013, jocular officials of the Comelec called Alvaro to advise him that the local poll body was still waiting for him to file his candidacy (for Congressman) till the last minute.

Alvaro’s name frequently come up in speculative talks regarding the most qualified – and highly preferred – candidate for the 1st Congressional District. While public service is at the core of Bong’s life, his full time commitment with the Midori project is a long term deal.

The popular Methodist church lay leader believes, however, that “to everything there is a season ...” And a time for every purpose under Midori.

--oo0oo—

The business community welcomes 20l4 with its first public event on January 8. A giant billboard of the Bank of Florida and Bank of Lubao will be unveiled in fitting ceremonies at the House of David Central Park along JASA road. “The affair signals the onset of aggressive marketing and promotions of the two popular banks.

They are engaged in community development through timely and adequate financing and credit support to small, medium to large scale business enterprises,” according to Fe C. Paule.

Paule quoted provincial and CSF officials and local business leaders saying the two banks’ bold thrusts in local economic activities highlight overall optimism and positive projections for the new year.

--oo0oo--

Dreams visit us when we are asleep,
but God is truly wise.

He wakes us up each day and gives us
every chance to make our dreams come true.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 06, 2014.

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