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Biz Buzz: Maria Ozawa chooses PH as new home

/ 06:02 AM June 06, 2016
Maria Ozawa INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ RICHARD A. REYES

Maria Ozawa       INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ RICHARD A. REYES

IN A DEVELOPMENT that is sure to make her legions of fans happy, adult video icon Maria Ozawa has apparently decided to stay in the Philippines on a more permanent basis.

Why? Well, because of business, of course.

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The Japanese internet sensation—who has since retired from the adult video industry—is now one of eight partners who put up the increasingly popular Singles Bar at Remington Hotel located in Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

Biz Buzz was lucky enough to interview Ozawa at the swanky nightspot, which she described as a “gentleman’s club” where people (predominantly affluent businessmen and movers and shakers) can hang out and relax during evenings after a hard day’s work.

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“Business is doing great and I love working with the Resorts World team,” she says. “When we first met to discuss this project, we clicked instantly.”

Apart from her TV stints on TV5 and her photoshoots for billboards and magazine, Ozawa says this new business venture is what keeps her busy since she visits the club—which she helped conceptualize— several times a week to meet the guests and even share drinks with them. The personal Ozawa touch even extends to her famous (on the Internet, at least) red kimono, which, framed in a large glass case, adorns the entrance to the bar. And yes, she is fluent in English, being half Canadian.

This lady has traveled the world and has lived in several countries (apart from Japan, there’s China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, among others), but she says she loves the Philippines and its people the most.

“I love the humidity here. It’s good for moisturizing the skin,” she says, adding that that she has even acquired a local condo unit already. “And the people are so friendly. Everyone’s always smiling.”

Singles Bar is part of a chain of establishments at Remington Hotel that includes the La Maison whisky bar, the Jardin Garden Club for al fresco dining and the new House Manila nightclub.

And here’s how it works in Singles Bar: The guest comes in and pays a fixed hourly rate (“If you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it,” as they say), which entitles you to enjoy the evening’s musical entertainment at the lounger, drinks of your choice, and the company of attractive, articulate and tastefully attired female hosts. And by “tastefully attired,” we mean they’re dressed in … well … maybe you should go see for yourself.

Now before you get any naughty thoughts, remember that these female hosts are rotated regularly during the guest’s stay. The idea is for them to be with you long enough to entertain you, but probably not long enough for a guy to get “too close.”

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Biz Buzz learned that the club management has even scientifically determined the ideal time for the female hosts to be rotated before the guests summon up enough courage to make “the moves.” And that duration is … 15 minutes.

But there’s only so much words can do to describe the venue and Ms. Ozawa’s charms. We know you’re curious. Go. Daxim L. Lucas/rga

Tugade vs traffic

MOTORISTS and commuters in the capital like to joke that “forever” exists, when you consider Metro Manila’s traffic-strangled roads. So it’s safe to say there are massive expectations for Arthur Tugade, the incoming head of the transportation department.

It’s still early days—the Duterte administration has yet to assume office—but we’re hearing encouraging things about Tugade from those close to him. In fact, as one of our sources pointed out, Tugade, a former CEO of state-run Clark Development Corp., is the “perfect” man for the job given his self-made business background and his apparently “iron-fisted” approach to getting things done.

True, he has personal and direct links to the incoming President, being his law school classmate, but Tugade’s supporters say his record should speak for itself.

He was also cited for his humility. Apparently, Tugade was at first reluctant to head this department but we hear he agreed after Duterte agreed to give his full support in terms of addressing the “emergency” traffic situation in Metro Manila. Hopefully that support goes a long way to fixing road congestion woes in the capital.

The outgoing administration could have done more to confront the issue, but then again it wasn’t all bad for them since it signaled a healthy, growing economy. So why are people still angry? Perhaps it’s because those “trickle down” benefits matter little when motorist and commuters see their hours trickle away into nothing while on the road. Miguel R. Camus

Greenfield hospital

THE GROUP of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan a.k.a. MVP has built a  portfolio of hospitals through a number of acquisitions over the years. The strategy was to find tertiary hospitals seeking a white knight, take  over operations and unlock efficiencies from them, instead of building  from scratch.

But to reach Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc.’s goal of having 5,000  beds nationwide from 2,600 currently, it’s no longer enough to rely on a  shopping spree. To extend its reach to a wider area and to a bigger group of customers,  Metro Pacific is currently working on its first greenfield project.

“If successful, it will be the first private specialty hospital in the Philippines and should bolster the hospital group’s growth prospects. In addition, the group is in discussion with a potential partner to grow its footprint of medical clinics, from its current count of one,”  Pangilinan said.

“Existing hospital deals are getting fewer and far between,” Augie Palisoc said, when asked to explain the change in tack. “Also, MVP wants  to build something na kailangan ng bayan (that the country needs).” Realistically, the goal to build a 5,000-bed nationwide healthcare capacity could be achieved by 2020, Palisoc said. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

E-mail us at bizbuzz@inquirer.com.ph. 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: Business, economy, Maria Ozawa, News, Remington Hotel, Resorts World Manila, Singles Bar
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