Biz Buzz: Backing Bautista | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Backing Bautista

/ 02:10 AM January 03, 2023

Embattled Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista got one reason to welcome the new year with a smile with a number of foreign investors declaring their intention to explore more business opportunities in the Philippines.

Bautista met with a number of European companies late last year, urging them to support programs of President Marcos to create new jobs and rebuild the economy still shaking off the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


He told the group that investments are needed in the areas covered by his department, including aviation, maritime, railways and roads under the Marcos administration’s “Build Better More” mantra, and his message was well received.

“Foreign investors are ready to assist and to do business because the Philippines are ready and open again under its newly elected government,” said Alfred Reiterer, chair of the Foreign Investors Advisory Group.


Just recently, Mr. Marcos attended the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-EU Commemorative Summit in Brussels where the Asean-EU Plan of Action for 2023 to 2027 was adopted and a solution regarding the European Maritime Safety Agency accreditation was promised.

—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Target: a Michelin star

A good lawyer knows the value of a good dining venue and a good meal for getting clients to sign up for legal services or, in some cases, resolving legal disputes between clients and their opponents.

As such, most big law firms or their senior partners have arrangements with preferred restaurants for these important meetings. And in some cases, some law firms have restaurants of their own.

Well, Biz Buzz learned that Divina Law will officially be joining this small circle of legal firms with their own dining facilities when it opens this week its own restaurant in the Makati building where it holds office.

We’re talking about the Pacific Star building at the corner of Sen. Gil Puyat and Makati Avenues where a section of its ground floor was being converted into a fine dining establishment over the last few months (and finishing touches were being made all throughout the holidays, we hear).

The restaurant will have its soft opening this week, and will henceforth be open for lunch and dinner. And, of course, it will be open to the public.

Divina Law founder Nilo Divina—who has been diversifying into other fields like financial advisory while his law firm grows—says his goal is to make the restaurant one of the country’s best.


Just how good? Let’s just say his own personal dream is to make the restaurant earn the Philippines’ first Michelin star. To achieve this, we’re talking about a substantial investment in its facilities, procuring the best ingredients, as well as partnering with a top-notch chef and crew to please customers’ palates. (As it stands, he already spends a princely sum each month on private catering services for his clients, lawyers and staff, so a little more won’t hurt.)

Its kitchen maestro will be no less than Chef Nicco Santos, formerly of Hey Handsome, Elephant Grounds and Your Local.

The restaurant will be called “Cafe Aurora” after Divina’s mother.

Oh here’s another important element that’s very important for establishments in that area: guests will have access to reserved parking in the building’s basement. Now that is good news.INQ

—Daxim L. Lucas

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TAGS: Jaime Bautista, Nilo Divina
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