Category Archives: business

WATCH: DENR Sec. Gen. Roy Cimatu addresses foreign business leaders

IN FOCUS: General Roy Cimatu, DENR Secretary
15 June 2017, Makati Shangri-la

1. Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) between Japan & the Philippines
2. Environmental Clearances for Investors
3. Waste to Energy Projects through the aid of foreign countries
4. Water Security through DENR’s National Water Security Roadmap
5. Developments in the Philippine Mining Industry and the new fiscal regime


European Chamber of Commerce (ECCP)
Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCHAM)
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CANCHAM)

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All rights reserved © Maria Paula Tolentino

An Economy Built on Mining – Learning from South Africa

On 11 March 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte says he is willing to let go of the P70-billion earnings the government collects from mining operations. “We can live without it. I would rather follow Gina. Maghanap-buhay na lang tayo ng iba, get the P70 billion somewhere else and preserve the environment. ‘Wag na tayong magbolahan,” he said on Saturday.

P70-billion is no small amount. This is a substantial amount of money which can be used to develop areas and communities that are beyond the reach of the government. A substantial amount of money that can be utilized by the Filipino people whose battle-cry has long been ‘inclusive growth’.

Based on the World Bank for the current 2017 fiscal year, and calculated using the World Bank Atlas method:

Low-income economies are defined as those with a GNI per capita of $1,025 or less.

Lower middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $4,035. Fifty-two (52) countries including the Philippines are in this bracket.

Upper middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,036 and $12,475. Fifty-six (56) countries including South Africa are in this bracket.

While High-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $12,476 or more. Seventy-nine (79) countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States are included in this list.

How can a country such as the Philippines move from a low-income economy to a high-income one? The best way is to take a long hard look at its neighbors.

Though jumping from a low-income economy to a high-income one may be a tall order, and the Philippines using the mining models of Australia, Canada and the US are too idealistic, it would be to the country’s best interest to redirect its gaze to a country with similar trades, businesses and the challenges that go with it. When it comes to minerals development, South Africa is the country closest to the Philippines.

The billion dollar question (no pun intended) which begs to be answered: Can an economy be built on mining?

South African Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Martin Slabber shares with us his insights on what Africa was, to what it is now because of mining. A privileged discussion, this story was crafted in the hopes of giving the Philippine government a glimpse of “what our economy could be” if ethical and responsible mining practices were done in the Philippines.  

For the full story, refer to page 38 of the Philippine Resources Journal with the subject – An economy that was built on mining: How the Philippines can learn from South Africa by Maria Paula Tolentino

For more information about this story, contact its author:
Twitter – @misstolentino22  
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Bleeding Passions

I bleed every time I write.

When I say bleed, I literally mean exhausting every ounce of energy in me. Whenever I’m in the zone, I can’t be bothered ‘lest I look at the nuisance with murderous eyes. Inspiration comes in bursts, and seizing those moments are critical in the writing process.

I am done with sitting on the computer all day long and drawing blanks. It simply does not work for me. What works though are solitary walks, being with nature, exercise, reading, music. Just taking a good time out from the ‘job’ of writing.

So don’t be surprised if some writers you know are pretty sensitive when it comes to their copy. Each end product that comes out of every endeavor is, after all, a summation of their energies, all poured into a piece of paper.

With years of doing this for a living, some writers such as myself, are now more open to suggestion and criticism. Growing up means being open to improving your craft. But there will always be the problem of getting inspiration. Finding inspiration is the constant struggle for every single project I accept, not the criticism, nor the deadline.

How I wish that by simply accepting money and automatically churning content were that easy. It’s much more complicated than that: I need to know if the copy is worth my time, if the owners are worth my energy or if their business goal and passions are meshed with how to improve a particular system.

Obviously, being your text-book systems builder, I like to improve things. And this translates to how I work as well. If the copy that I churn from my fingertips help a business or a friend in improving a particular system, culture, business, etc. then I go for it with all my might. Nothing done in halves. A project/vision/team/person should be worth my energy, my ideals, my passions. Otherwise, I turn it down.

A few weeks ago I’ve been distraught. I haven’t been able to create. There were days of crying spells. I couldn’t eat and sleep. I felt like I was loosing my mind.

Then, unexpectedly, a family concern came up. The timing of it all. I’ve just successfully inked a major project with a very important client, when personal concerns such as hospitalization comes up. Two nuclear bombs on opposite ends. How lovely.

But surprisingly, during those days in the hospital, I’ve been able to write excellently given the dire situation I was in.

I wrote in the cath lab, the patient’s room, brainstormed on the nurses station while blatantly questioning the nurses’ competence, the timing of the patient’s food, the ambulance MD who hit on every single female nurse (and had the death glare of his life when he tried to get chummy with me), the billing clerks at the hospital…every angst I had during that hospital stint, I took out on the hospital staff and put in my writing. I had laser-like focus.

The hospital distraction helped me construct, compose, create. I was argumentative, fiery and passionate: the best recipe for creating, for writing.

I still have to finalize and close the current project, but the momentum has now resurfaced. Sometimes, it takes a life hurdle to shake you senseless and tell you ‘Get a grip! You got this’.

I may have bled buckets the past few weeks but every drop was well worth it.

Have you gone through the same dry-spells? How did you get your groove back on track?

Solaire Eyes International Gambler through Integrated Resort

After the huge and much talked about opening a year ago and being the first new property in Entertainment City, Solaire Resorts and Casino has experienced a year of overwhelming popularity, adding to this growing popularity is its recent October 16-28 2014 World Poker Tournament®.

In a mutually beneficial five-year relationship with World Poker Tournament®, Solaire Resorts and Casino will be playing hostess for a country long regarded as one of Asia’s poker hotbeds, the Philippines. With a destination designed to match international luxury resorts across the globe with world-class gaming facilities, Solaire Resorts and Casino’s recent World Poker Tournament® was a smashing success with over 58 Million Pesos awarded during its two week Poker festival.

Solaire’s Senior Vice President for Casino Marketing, Cyrus Sherafat recounts what went on during the festival, who Solaire is eyeing to play on the felt and what Solaire will be in the following months to come.

Solaire Hosts 1st World Poker Tour in the Philippines,  Eyeing to Attract International Gamblers through Integrated Resort
Solaire Hosts 1st World Poker Tour in the Philippines, eyeing to Attract International Gamblers through Integrated Resort

For more of my interview, please grab a copy of Power Play Magazine’s December 2014 issue with Rustan’s Chief, Amb. Bienvenido R. Tantoco, Sr. on the cover.

Out now on all leading bookstores nationwide.

Featuring the legendary and iconic Rustan's,
Featuring the legendary and iconic Rustan’s Chief, Ambassador Bienvenido R. Tantoco, Sr

For more information about the magazine, please check out their online properties below.
Power Play Magazine Official Website:
Facebook page:
Twitter page: @POWERPLAY_PH
Instagram:  @powerplay_ph

Valkyrie Nightclub Opens The Palace, Set To Be Biggest Nightlife Destination in Asia

In Norse Mythology, Valkyrie referred to one of the virginal women who searched the battlefields for the souls of dead men fit to become einherjar (ine-hair-ee-are), which were then taken up to Valhalla (the equivalent of heaven) and trained to fight in the battle of Ragnarok (equivalent of apocalypse). The Valkyrie also served wine and food to the einherjar in the great hall.

And so the word was out: the establishment of the colossal Palace at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and the unveiling of its first phase, Valkyrie Nightclub. Valkyrie Nightclub is just the initial stage of the massive complex that is rising in uptown Taguig.1

The brainchild of the people behind Members Only, Prive, Aracama, 71 Gramercy, 12 Monkeys, Draft Republiq, Opus, Aracama, and from the not-so-distant past, Embassy, Encore, Cuisine and Fly2 , for Manila’s party crowd, there is only one place to be seen: Valkyrie at The Palace2 . Celebrity partners include Tim Yap, Raymond Gutierrez, JM Rodriguez and Fabio Ide1 with Kim Yao, Stephen Ku, Neil Arce and Pam Solilapsi.1

SOME of The Palace business partners: GP Reyes and his wife Andi Manzano-Reyes, PamSolilapsi; Tim Yap, Erik Cua; Fabio Ide Image © Philippine Daily Inquirer
SOME of The Palace business partners: GP Reyes and his wife Andi Manzano-Reyes, PamSolilapsi; Tim Yap, Erik Cua; Fabio Ide
Image © Philippine Daily Inquirer

Valkyrie the nightclub has two floors in a cavernous and luxurious space. It has multiple VIP seating areas and six luxury skyboxes.1 Valkyrie can accommodate almost 3,000 people1 and it’s bound to get bigger. The first step for The Palace soon to rise will be two restaurants, a micro brewery, a day club with pool and 12 cabanas, and a high-end lounge and bar on this sprawling space in uptown Bonifacio Global City.1 Is the cover charge consumable? “Yes, but we highly recommend reserving a table,” says GP Reyes1

“I didn’t realize how huge our club is until I decided to do the rounds. I didn’t get to see most of the people I wanted to see. It was such a fun and crazy night. I’m overwhelmed!” said JM Rodriguez, one of the partners.2

“When all the phases have been opened, The Palace will be able to accommodate 10,000 people,” said Tim Yap, another of the partners.2 “We wanted to give Manila a new nightlife home that encompasses everything in terms of scale, a paradise of sorts, from night to day,” he added.2

The Palace, located on 9th Avenue and 36th Street in Bonifacio Global City, will be the biggest nightlife destination in the country with six distinct outlets—Valkyrie Nightclub, Pool Club at The Palace, Revel Room, Brewery, Light Café, and a Japanese lounge and restaurant.1

The second phase, the Pool Club and Light Café, will be launched in February 2015, while the third and final phase, the Revel Room, Brewery and Japanese lounge, will be completed by April 2015.1

The man behind The Palace, Erik Cua started his first club, Temple, when he was only 29 years old. Always coming up with brilliant concepts for what our town is looking for, he conceptualizes nightlife on the fast track.1

“The Palace was envisioned as the biggest nightlife destination in Asia. It is poised to put the Philippines on the worldwide clubbing map with its six truly unique clubbing concepts, the first of which is Valkyrie, the nightclub, which is a bilevel space with luxurious interiors, soaring ceilings, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound system” GP Reyes adds.1

A facade of the newest night club to rise in BGC: Valkyrie Image © Philippine Daily Inquirer
A facade of the newest night club to rise in BGC: Valkyrie
Image © Philippine Daily Inquirer

With a recent grand opening last Dec. 4, Valkyrie has had international acts spin and perform with the likes of Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and Canadian electronic dance music duo Adventure Club. To welcome the New Year, Dirty South will fly in for The Palace New Year’s Eve Ball on Dec. 31.2

Valkyrie at The Palace is at 9th Avenue corner 36th Street, Uptown Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City. For table reservations, call 0917-6808888

Twitter @valkyrie_club
Instagram @valkyrienightclub

Follow “The Palace Manila” on Viber Public Chats
Instagram @ThePalaceManila
Twitter @ThePalaceManila
Visit | Call tel. 0917-6808888


1 The Philippine Daily inquirer, ‘Valkyrie, Just One Of The 6 Outlets Rising In The Colossal Palace’. December 12, 2014. Maurice Arcache.
2 The Philippine Daily Inquirer, ‘Valkyrie at the Palace: It’s ‘it’ for now’. November 23 2014.