President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad


To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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Angels and tigers
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J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

BUSINESS WORLD(FINEX Folio)
March 3, 2017

Angels and tigers

FINEX Folio is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Friday in BusinessWorld, opinion section.

Last month, I was in Bangkok with a group of agri-journos and photojournalists who won the 10th Bright Leaf Awards for Agriculture Journalism.

These winners came from print and broadcast media outlets based in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, namely: Ruben Gonzaga (Davao), Erwin Mascarinas(Cagayan de Oro), Jujemay Awit (Cebu), Ian Flora (Pampanga), Grace Nidoy (NuevaEcija), Erwin Beleo (La Union), Karl Lapniten (Benguet), Zaldy Comanda(Ifugao), Freddie Lazaro (Ilocos Sur), and Ariel Tejada (Ilocos Norte).

Even if some of us had been there several times, we were still surprisedto find out some little known facts about Thailand’s capital city, foremost ofwhich is that the locals call it Krung Thep, which means “City of Angels.”

Bangkok’s formal name is actually 22 words long with a total of169 characters, making it the longest city name in the world. It shares the moniker with Los Angeles, California and Angeles City, Pampanga.

“Sawadee” is a word used by Thais to say “hello” or “greetings” which you hear hundreds of times in a day. It is gender-specific: Sawadee Khrup when addressing males and Sawadee Kha for females. Surprisingly, this ubiquitous phrase wasonly introduced to the Thai language by a professor at Chulalangkorn University in the 1930s. The world’s biggest Chinatown is Bangkok’s Yaowarat district –home to over one million ethnic Chinese. It is much bigger than its counterparts in San Francisco, California and the oldest Chinatown in the worldat Manila’s Binondo district. Yaowarat also has the world’s largest solid gold Buddha weighing 5.5 tons and housed inside the temple of Wat Traimit.

All of the temples pictured on Thai baht coins are located in Bangkok. Among these are the Temple of the Emerald Buddha inside the Grand Palace, and the Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn at Thonburi on the west bank ofthe Chao Phraya River.

We stayed in a hotel at CentralWorld, Bangkok’s biggest shopping complex and the 10th largest globally, slightly bigger than SM Mallof Asia in Pasay City. With a floor area of over half a million square meters, it tops nearby rival Siam Paragon in terms of size. CentralWorld was damaged in2010 after a portion was set on fire by anti-government protesters while the surrounding Ratchaprasong retail district was completely blocked for months by“ Red Shirt” demonstrators.

One of our dinners was at the Baiyoke Tower, an 88-storeyskyscraper which contains the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and a 360-degreerevolving roof-deck restaurant. At the time of its completion in 1997, it was the world’s tallest reinforced concrete building but was surpassed by CITIC Plaza in Guangzhou, China a year later.

Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation that has never been colonized by a Western power. During the “Age of Empires” in the 19thcentury, its strategic location acted as a buffer between the French coloniesin Indochina and the British occupation of Myanmar and India.

In the 1990s, Thailand was referred to as a “tiger cub economy” together with Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam because they followed the same export-driven model of economic development pursued by the four original “Asian Tigers” composed of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Here at home, Mandaluyong is known as the “Tiger City of the Philippines” due to dramatic improvements in the city’s economy since the turn of the millennium. It is the site of the Asian Development Bank and the headquarters of San Miguel Corp. as well as SM Megamall and Shangri-La Plaza.

Recently, the Mandaluyong City government inked a deal with Carranz Outdoor, one of the country’s top out-of-home advertisers, to give Filipinos the so-called “Times Square experience” similar to the famous intersection in New York City with its bright lights and busy streets.

Carranz Outdoor has been tapped to light up Mandaluyong with giant billboard LEDs (light emitting diodes) for installation along the city’smajor thoroughfares like Shaw Boulevard and Pioneer Street. It will also provide other outdoor advertising platforms such as static billboards, lamp post banners, and scrolling light boxes.

Currently, Carranz’s billboards are found on EDSA, OrtigasAvenue, Osmena South Superhighway, and C-5 Circumferential Road. Having beenin the out-of-home advertising business for over three decades, it is responsible for lighting up Metro Manila with world-class, larger-than-life posters and displays, including the iconic billboard at EDSA-Guadalupe, which is the country’s biggest at 34,200 sq. ft.

Aside from commercial advertising, Mandaluyong’s local government unit will use these giant LEDs made of sleek, lightweight, andall-weather materials to issue advisories on traffic and typhoon situations. News headlines, disaster drill announcements, environmental protection advocacies, and support for Filipino athletes would also be flashed on screen.

This initiative is expected to draw more investments and business opportunities to the Tiger City. The technology is likewise seen toultimately impact and enhance the architectural landscape of the country.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FINEX. The author is the Chief Finance Officer of the Asian Center for Legal Excellence and serves as Co-Chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee.

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