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Biz Buzz: Aguinaldo great-grandson ‘okay’ with Heneral Luna

/ 03:44 AM September 25, 2015

THE BIOPIC Heneral Luna, which depicts the life of Filipino war hero General Antonio Luna, has received such wide acclaim that it’s no surprise it was selected as our entry to the foreign-language category of the 88th Academy Awards.

We didn’t expect everyone, however, to agree with its historical accuracy, least of all the heirs of President Emilio Aguinaldo, whom the film suggests had a hand in Luna’s brutal assassination.

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So we asked Transportation secretary Joseph Abaya—a great-grandson of President Aguinaldo—what he thought about the movie.

While Abaya hasn’t seen the film, he knows enough about what transpired and interestingly encouraged people to watch it—of course, taking jabs at its take on what may or may not have happened.

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“It’s good they are getting to appreciate the various versions of what happened,” Abaya said, adding that the argument has been raging even from his school days. It has also been tackled by various historians.

“I don’t know what transpired..I don’t think he [Luna] was assassinated,” he said.

Still, if this is what the Philippines needs to bag an Oscar, Abaya said he was okay with that.

“I don’t mind,” he said.   Miguel R. Camus

Man on a bike

IF YOU’RE ever stuck in traffic again and wondering if this only happens to ordinary people with rank-and-file jobs, it might comfort you to know that even top honchos in big companies have their own “carmaggedon” anecdotes, too.

One of them is San Miguel Corp. (SMC) president and COO Ramon S. Ang. During the flashflood-induced heavy traffic that paralyzed thoroughfares in Metro Manila on Sept. 8 up to the wee hours of the morning of Sept. 9, Ang said he had noticed the heavy traffic in Ortigas Center at around 9 p.m.

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“Sabi ko teka sandali, puntahan ko nga yung Skyway at SLEx, baka walang nag-aasikaso,” Ang said during an informal media roundtable. “So nagmotor ako, pinuntahan ko.” Note that SMC controls the companies operating the Skyway and SLEx.

When Ang arrived, he said he noticed that cars weren’t going up the Skyway because there were pylons placed at the foot of the overhead toll road. A Pajero was parked up ahead and a woman was near it. He approached.

“Tinanong ko, ‘Miss, Miss, sino naglagay ng pylon?’” Ang said. “Galit sya. ‘Nasiraan na nga ako andami mo pa tanong,’ sabi niya. Sabi ko, tinatanong ko lang kasi akala ng mga motorista hindi passable itong Skyway kasi may naglagay ng pylon. Sabi niya, ‘Bwisit!’”

Ang then called the security detail in Skyway and asked for assistance. A guard on a motorbike arrived shortly and removed the pylons, then signaled to motorists that they can go up the Skyway.

“Nung nakitang may umakyat na, siguro mga 5, 10 cars umakyat na, lumusob na yung iba. Lumuwag na yung southbound sa ilalim,”Ang said. He said he even helped out, pushing the Pajero down to the side of the SLEx.

Asked why he did not identify himself as the big boss in the Skyway and SLEx operations, Ang said, “We don’t do that. In the street we don’t argue with anybody.”

Then, thinking out loud, Ang said, “Imagine mo nag-cause siya ng traffic. Dapat pala kinuha ko yung picture, ano?” Riza Olchondra

Collectors’ clogs

IMAGINE iconic Dutch wooden clogs “klompen” turned into unique pieces of art with the touch of contemporary Filipino visual artists like Daniel dela Cruz, Salvador Joel Alonday, Michael Cacnio and Manny Garibay. These clogs are then auctioned to raise funds for a cause.

That’s exactly what Dutch banking giant ING did recently to mark its 25th year of operations in the Philippines. ING’s head office in Netherlands donated a number of such Dutch clogs and shipped them to the local office while a mix of seasoned and young visual artists put their personal touch, transforming each into a valuable work of art.

Some 28 of such art pieces were sold in a live, one-day auction run by Christie’s auctioneer in partnership with Tin-Aw Gallery.

At the end of the day, the auction called “KLOMP/ART” raised P2.4 million for ING Foundation’s scholarship program that benefits deserving students from impoverished backgrounds.

The two artworks that fetched the highest prices at this auction were: Dela Cruz’s “Treading New Horizons 1” which was sold for P285,000; and “Treading New Horizons 2” which was sold for P280,000. Each used a wooden shoe as base for a miniature sea vessel complete with intricate sails.

An Alonday piece called “What the Tide Brought In”—which featured a child wearing a pair of oversized Dutch clogs—was sold for P165,000. Cacnio’s “Speed,” which turned a clog into a mini-car with a passenger, was sold for P125,000. Garibay’s “Kindat” carried an open-mouthed face on one shoe and winking eyes on another. This piece was sold for P120,000.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., who graced ING’s silver anniversary gala, lauded this auction as a “one-of-a-kind opportunity to fuse art, banking and national traditions into a distinct expression of corporate social responsibility.” He added: “By choosing to ‘work’ tonight, ING Bank Manila is benefiting its scholars, and doing this in a way that supports local artists and enhances cultural ties between our nations.” Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Play it again, Shell

MAJOR oil firm Shell may soon fulfill its obligation to get listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) through an initial public offering(IPO)—not the first time that the company has said so.

In a letter to DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau director Rodela I. Romero, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) chair and president Edgar O. Chua assured that the company was “committed” to comply with the Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, which says an oil firm with a refinery must offer 10 percent of its shares to the public.

In early 2014, he said, PSPC’s shareholders finally made a decision to keep and invest in Shell’s Batangas refinery, which was a key factor in IPO plans.

“Unfortunately, due to difficult economic conditions in 2014, caused primarily by the significant drop in crude prices during the second half of last year and low refinery margins, PSPC’s 2014 net income after tax was negative P8.5 billion,” Chua said.

Still, PSPC’s board has apparently directed its management earlier this year to proceed with the preparation of an IPO at the soonest possible time. That is, “assuming favorable (1) equity market conditions, (2) financial performance of the corporation and (3) capital structure of the corporation,” Chua said. Shell’s letter was sent in response to a letter dated July 3, 2015, seeking clarification on PSPC’s obligation to offer shares to the public under R.A. 8479 (Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998).

This is not the first time Shell has assured the government that it would comply with its IPO obligations. Until after the 2007 Asian financial crisis, Shell had cited the volatile stock market in deferring IPO plans.

But sources said that this time, plans were firmer and there was even buzz of a timeline, which was around the third quarter of 2016.

If Shell does push through with its IPO, it would be another major oil firm in the PSE after Petron Corp.

However, if Shell abandons plans to upgrade and offer shares to the public, the company could go the way of Chevron/Caltex, which chose to shut down its refinery and is simply importing all its fuel products. Riza Olchondra

Email us at [email protected] Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: Antonio Luna, Aquinaldo, Business, Emilio Aguinaldo, Heneral Luna, history, Jose E. A. Abaya, Philippine history, Tim-Aw Gallery
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